Test Drive: 2012 Lexus LS 460 AWD car test drives reviews luxury cars lexus
2012 Lexus LS 460 AWD. Click image to enlarge

First Drive: 2008 Lexus LS 600h L
Test Drive: 2010 Lexus LS 600h L

Manufacturer’s web site
Lexus Canada

Review and photos by Michael Schlee

Photo Gallery:
2012 Lexus LS

Some vehicles just feel worth the price of admission. Rarely is this the case when talking about a vehicle that will eclipse six figures after tax, but the Lexus LS 460 does fit that bill. At a staggering $95,150 as tested, the Lexus LS 460 is all about comfort, convenience and downright spoil-you-rotten luxury. In fact, believe it or not, the LS 460 AWD is a bit of a bargain. With a starting price of just $85,400, the big Lexus undercuts competitors like the Audi A8 4.2 ($104,700), the BMW 750i xDrive ($110,300), the Mercedes-Benz S 550 4Matic ($109,900) and even the Jaguar XJ Sedan ($88,000).

Launched in 1989 as a 1990 model, the Lexus LS 400 shook up the luxury flagship market and proved the Japanese could build a full-size luxury car as well, or better, than the Europeans for affordable prices. Now in its fifth generation, the Lexus LS has established itself as a serious competitor on the market and is easily accepted as full-size luxury car. Although it dates back to 2006, the current LS was substantially refreshed in 2009. Available in either long wheelbase or regular wheelbase, with the choice or rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the LS is designed to suit any full-size luxury car buyer’s wish list—right up to a 439-hp V8 hybrid option.

Test Drive: 2012 Lexus LS 460 AWD car test drives reviews luxury cars lexus
Test Drive: 2012 Lexus LS 460 AWD car test drives reviews luxury cars lexus
Test Drive: 2012 Lexus LS 460 AWD car test drives reviews luxury cars lexus
Test Drive: 2012 Lexus LS 460 AWD car test drives reviews luxury cars lexus
2012 Lexus LS 460 AWD. Click image to enlarge

The vehicle I had for review is the 2012 Lexus LS 460 AWD with the optional Sportech Package. This package adds $9,750 to the price tag and is highlighted by features like dynamic radar cruise control, power assist doors, power trunk, pre-collision system, EPS with VGRS (Electric Power Steering with Variable Gear Ratio Steering), heated, air conditioned and powered rear seats with massage feature, adaptive variable air suspension and various “sporty” exterior visual upgrades. If you plan to be chauffeured around, this is the package to select.

The rear seats are amazingly comfortable and the place to be. The seat adjusts forward and back, reclines, has a power adjustable head rest, power lumbar support and, of course, a massage feature. Well, really, it is more like a vibrate feature, as it just vibrates the rear seat at three different settings. For those not enjoying the back seat, the massagers emit a low rumble that can get irritating after a while. That is okay though, just crank up the crisp 19-speaker 450-watt Mark Levinson stereo and drown those noises out. If you are sitting in the right rear seat and find there isn’t quite enough leg room for your liking, no worry, there are redundant seat controls on the left side of the passenger seatback. Fun fact, the buttons work even if someone is sitting in the passenger seat, prompting hours of hilarity as you squish them into the dashboard from the rear seat. (*Legal note – Autos.ca does not condone nor endorse pressing your front seat passengers into the windshield while driving.) The outboard rear seats are heated and cooled just like the front seats and all four of these seats feature soft, padded, roof-mounted grab handles and vanity mirrors.

If your driver does call in sick one day and you are forced to drive the LS 460 yourself, fear not; the front seats are also incredibly comfortable and a great place to be. Although headroom is a bit low even with the seat set to its lowest position, the seats feel like an expensive recliner and create no undue driver fatigue behind the wheel, but not much excitement either. The wood on the heated steering wheel feels as great as it looks, and even the seatbelt height adjustment for the driver is powered. All materials inside the LS 460 feel first rate with the exception of the material used on top of the dashboard, which does not quite feel up to Lexus standards.

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