As a flagship model, the Lexus LS is a full-size luxury sedan. Four generations of the LS have been produced since 1989, all fitted with rear-wheel drive systems and V8 engines. In 2006 though, hybrid, long-wheelbase, and all-wheel drive versions were made available. The first Lexus LS made its debut at the North American International Auto Show, one of the first luxury sedans in the market then to offer electrochromic rear-view mirrors, power adjustable shoulder seat belts, and automatic tilt-and-telescoping steering wheels with SRS airbags. With the success of the first LS, it also created quite a reputation for itself such that all the generations that followed suit were met with good reception, good enough to keep the distinction of being the best-selling of flagship luxury sedans in the US for the Lexus LS. In July 2012, a restyled fourth-generation LS was announced. And for the first time ever, an F-Sport version will be offered for the Lexus LS.
While the Lexus LS has always held a special place in the hearts of men, it has managed to improve upon its design to find a way to reconcile aggressive flanks and swooping curves. And while the LS can take a lesson on elegant proportions from the Audi A8 and Mercedes S-class, the LS holds down its own by looking so much more than just a generic big saloon and taking advantage of the design language that the Lexus IS followed. Nevertheless, the latest LS is beautifully painted, impressively slippery, and nicely built using consistent tight panel gaps.
In terms of features, there are convenient cars and there are smart cars. The LS is part of the latter, fitted with the latest technology to make any car it finds itself side-by-side with on the road green with envy. For starters, it has radar cruise control. The car also sends out an alert when you drive out of a lane and can even get to work helping you steer the LS so you can drive better. It can find parking space for you as well and even park the car for you. In traffic, the Brake Hold System is a real gem that automatically activates electronic parking brakes for you each time you stop the car.
Inside, even the most basic model has heated leather seats, the front two of which can be adjusted electrically. Passengers at the back will also enjoy more than adequate headroom and legroom. Controls are located in the arm rests, where each rear passenger can individually adjust climate control, operate side and rear privacy blinds, and even control the stereo. The best thing inside an LS though would have to be the roof-mounted, nine-inch screen that folds down, expertly complemented by a 19-speaker Mark Levinson stereo system.
Even with a hybrid Lexus LS, the car isn’t really green, with carbon dioxide emissions at 218g/km and fuel economy at 30.4mpg. Main rivals for the LS also offer diesel engine options at smaller capacities so that automatically bumps off the car for top spots on making the most out of a full tank.
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