Review and photos by Jeff Wilson

Like any warm-blooded automotive enthusiast, the top of my lottery-win wish list consists of several key vehicular purchases even before the “Lavish Tropical Vacation” and “Waterfront Real Estate Purchase” come into play. Mostly it contains cars branded with Italian farm animals or named after German daughters, but there is one very sensible anomaly in the mix: the Lexus LS.

In full disclosure, I should state that the daydream purchase isn’t actually for me, but my father. My dad is a very sensible, down-to-earth and yes, frugal man who would be so pleased with the paradigm of practical luxury cars that it would give me tremendous pleasure to deliver one to him. Were he a wealthy man, he’d be a prime candidate for LS ownership, seeking something quiet, comfortable and luxurious for my parents’ retirement motoring needs.

Test Drive: 2013 Lexus LS 460 AWD car test drives reviews luxury cars lexus Test Drive: 2013 Lexus LS 460 AWD car test drives reviews luxury cars lexus
2013 Lexus LS 460 AWD. Click image to enlarge

With that in mind I loaded his favourite grandson into the back seat and took my 2013 Lexus LS 460 AWD press car on the three-hour journey to visit, and get his opinion on the big beauty, you know, just in case I ever do win the lottery.

Finished in a tuxedo-appropriate black paint, dad and I agreed that the Lexus possesses undeniable presence when parked in the driveway. The size of the car isn’t fully appreciated until you’re standing right next to it, where its visual mass becomes more apparent. From afar, the proportions seem akin to most other mid-size sedans, but it’s the up-close realization that everything – wheels, doors, height, length – are all larger than average. It’s the same sensation one has standing next to a BMW 7-series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class, both of which are roughly the same dimensions as the LS.

Sharp-eyed Lexus aficionados will be the only ones able to distinguish an LS460 from a GS or ES at 20 paces. Thanks to the bold “signature spindle grille” (as Lexus calls it) now applied across the full line, as well as the tasteful but plain back-end treatment, new ES 350 buyers will surely delight in driving a car that looks practically identical to the twice-as-expensive larger model. By the way, that “signature spindle grille” makes me think of the face I must make when my Italian in-laws squeeze my cheeks and tell me “Mange, mange, you’re skin and bones!”

Test Drive: 2013 Lexus LS 460 AWD car test drives reviews luxury cars lexus
2013 Lexus LS 460 AWD. Click image to enlarge

Inside the Lexus family resemblance continues. The dashboard layout and styling of the LS is much like the GS, which is much like the ES. Here though, who could blame the Lexus designers, for they achieved greatness with the GS and ES re-design, so why not add in some fancier bits and more features for the LS and call it a day? The leather is soft, the metal trim accents are elegant, and the Shimamoku wood’s dark stain and deep graining is tastefully beautiful.

The ergonomics are great, too. Large, bright gauges face the driver and nearly everything besides the go, stop and turn functions are controlled by the Remote Touch Interface (RTI). The RTI operates with a mouse-like device that can change from fluid motion to a sensory, notched movement depending on the application it’s controlling. It works very well and is quickly learned by new users. Despite the RTI’s efficacy, Lexus also fits the LS’s cabin with traditional radio and climate controls for those who are understandably worried by the navigation of digital menus when driving.




About Jeff Wilson

Jeff Wilson is a Hamilton-based automotive journalist and accredited member of AJAC. When not pursuing his automotive passions, he divides his time between being a dad, husband and television producer.