2010 Lexus LS 460 Review

Consumer Reviews
1 Review
2018
The Car Connection
See the nominees and vote »
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
December 21, 2009

The 2010 Lexus LS range spans Sport and Hybrid models, but consistently delivers stellar ride and assembly quality-with driving pleasure placed on hold.

TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the Lexus LS 460 and LS 600h L for this hands-on road test. Editors have compared the Lexus LS range with other luxury sedans to help you narrow your choices in the buying process. TheCarConnection.com's luxury car experts also have compiled a companion review of quotes and insights from other respected sources to give you a comprehensive look at the top-line Lexus.

The 2010 Lexus LS range bristles with gas or hybrid powertrain technology, exudes world-class fit and finish, and keeps driving dynamics well-muted as it hits mid-life. New in 2007, the current LS is among the quietest sedans you can experience, and in either V-8 or V-8 hybrid form, it's at least as swift as the competition's standard-issue four-doors. And while it lacks the opulent touches of a Jaguar or an Audi, the long-wheelbase LS' backseat takes a backseat to none. Prices start at $65,000 and soar to $109,000 for the hybrid model. The competition: stalwarts like the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, and Jaguar XJ.

The 2010 Lexus LS lineup is quite conservatively styled inside and out, and that's a mixed bag depending on what buyers expect. However, on a positive note, the simple, organic, and elegant L-finesse design language in the LS will likely age well, as it's not at all gimmicky. In front, the LS 460 short- and long-wheelbase models get a revised grille, bumper, and headlamps; in back, there are revised taillamps and new exhaust diffusers. A new LS 460 Sport wears an aero body kit that's available without the Sport's suspension and handling upgrades. As for the LS 600h L, it's distinguished from the nonhybrid cars by a different grille and blue-tinted taillights-there's little, really, to set it apart from less-expensive versions, especially from a distance. The Lexus LS interior is styled with less reverence to tradition than any BMW or Mercedes (and formerly, any Jaguar), but the cabin is opulent in its own way, with wood and leather mated perfectly to tightly grained, well-matched plastics. An LCD screen dominates the center console, while the driver faces especially clearly designed gauges. The LS 460 Sport Package adds to this a distinctive black and saddle leather interior, with sport seats and steering wheel, as well as a pair of shift paddles fitted behind the steering-wheel rim.

In either body style, Lexus LS drivers get a choice of a mighty V-8 engine or a more powerful, more fuel-efficient V-8 hybrid drivetrain. The 4.6-liter V-8 produces 380 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of peak torque in rear-drive cars, and 357 hp and 344 lb-ft of torque in all-wheel-drive models. Lexus claims a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds for the rear-drive edition (it's 5.9 seconds for AWD), and it's almost impossible to believe-because the LS leaps to its feet without the usual snarl and rush that comes from underhood. It's a silent wave of torque that crests in a bit of muted growl, each peak sheared off as the LS swaps into the next higher gear in its eight-speed transmission. The gearbox has to make lots of choices and lots of gear changes, so it can seem indecisive-but with the paddle controls fitted to Sport models, it's an obedient piece. Fuel economy is rated at 16/24 mpg (16/23 mpg, AWD). A limited-slip differential in AWD models has a torque bias of 40:60 and can vary from 30:70 to 50:50 depending on road conditions-which means power is constantly shifting to wheels with more traction.

Review continues below

The 2010 Lexus LS 600h L teams a 5.0-liter V-8 engine and a hybrid drive system for V-12-like power. The gasoline V-8 makes 389 horsepower on its own, but altogether the system achieves 438 horsepower. Altogether, the LS 600h L moves quickly, with an almost eerie quiet; the only time you hear the gasoline engine is when accelerating hard. Lexus claims a 0-60 mph run of 5.5 seconds. Surprisingly, the LS 600h delivers better fuel economy than many V-8s, at 20/22 mpg. The hybrid system dispatches its power through a full-time all-wheel-drive system and a "shiftless" continuously variable transmission (CVT). For more control during sporty driving, the CVT can simulate eight manually shifted gears. The full-hybrid system can operate for short distances, almost silently, on electric power alone. There's even an EV button-a feature never before used on a Toyota hybrid in the U.S. market-that forces the system to use only electric power for several minutes. It recharges its nickel-metal-hydride battery packs either via the engine or through a regenerative braking system.

Between Sport editions and Hybrid models, there's some variation in the 2010 Lexus LS' handling and performance. TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the new Sport edition, and though it's shod with big low-profile tires and a firmer adjustable suspension, it's still tuned for plushness-yet less crisp and responsive than a stock Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The ride does become tauter but doesn't significantly degrade, and steering remains a light-touch affair. Long-wheelbase cars have exceptionally controlled, smooth rides even in the air suspension's stiffest mode. The handling of the 2010 Lexus LS 600h L doesn't feel sporty but remains buttoned-down, smooth, and sedate. However, it steers well and corners surprisingly flat, thanks to the three modes-Comfort, Power, and Sport-that afford different ranges of response for the throttle, steering, and suspension.

In all versions, the 2010 Lexus LS has amply large, comfortable front seats, supple and roomy backseats, and a large trunk. The front seats are not as supportive as they could be (Sport versions have somewhat more bolstering), but a very wide center console makes the area feel unexpectedly narrow. In back, there's adequate room even for tall and lanky adults in short-wheelbase cars; the L editions afford limousine-like space in the backseat area, thanks to five inches of added length versus the standard LS 460. If seating space doesn't impress, consider the ottoman-style seating option with built-in massage features. Trunk space and interior storage are fairly large, and hybrids have 2 cubic feet more space thanks to a recent repackaging of their batteries. As for quality, few vehicles at any price point are assembled with the Lexus LS' tight panel gaps, though other luxury four-doors offer far richer-looking materials. Some of the LS switchgear mimics that used in much cheaper Lexus models, but the same can be true of vehicles from Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, and Audi, too.

The LS 600h L has not yet been crash-tested, but the insurance industry rated the LS 460 "good" for frontal impact though only "marginal" in the seat-based rear-impact test. Standard features include front side airbags, dual front knee bags, full-length side-curtain bags, and active headrests. Rear-seat side airbags are available. Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), an advanced version of electronic stability control, is standard, and it's integrated with traction control and anti-lock brakes. A Pre-Collision System (PCS) comes with the available laser cruise control and prepares vehicle safety systems if it anticipates a collision. The 2010 Lexus LS features a self-parking system that steers the vehicle into a parallel or row parking spot as the driver backs up; some will find it helpful, but to others it's a gimmick. Lexus now offers an Enform and Safety Connect system on a subscription basis; the telematic systems notify Lexus if the vehicle is involved in an accident and summon emergency personnel automatically.

An amazing list of standard features fills the window sticker of every 2010 Lexus LS. There's leather upholstery and wood trim; Bluetooth and iPod connectivity; an AM/FM/XM/six-CD audio system; steering-wheel audio controls; and automatic climate control. Long-wheelbase cars add rear climate control. The LS 600h L hybrid edition appends virtually everything that can be ordered optionally on the LS 460, including a navigation system with real-time traffic and dynamic rerouting; heated rear seats; a backup camera; ventilated seats; a DVD entertainment system; and the hybrid-only ottoman-style backseat, fold-down wooden trays, and rear cooler box. The standout feature available on the LS 460 and standard on the LS 600h L is a Mark Levinson audio system with 19 speakers, 19 audio channels, 450 watts of power, and 8GB of hard-drive space for music.

7

2010 Lexus LS 460

Styling

The 2010 Lexus LS sedans inches toward true beauty, with the fault-free cabin leading the way.

The 2010 Lexus LS lineup is quite conservatively styled inside and out, and that's a mixed bag depending on what buyers expect. However, on a positive note, the simple, organic, and elegant L-finesse design language in the LS will likely age well, as it's not at all gimmicky.

Edmunds says it has "a clean, conservative, yet absolutely contemporary shape," but the New York Times sees it less positively: "Park those high-wattage rivals beside the Lexus, and the modestly styled LS virtually disappears." Car and Driver notes the exterior on this 2010 Lexus "certainly improves on the exceptionally bland LS430," but they still feel that the car is "more of a grown-up GS than the revolutionary design that Lexus officials describe." Cars.com observes, "each new Lexus becomes incrementally more sculpted."

As for the LS 600h L, it's distinguished from the nonhybrid cars by a different grille and blue-tinted taillights-there's little, really, to set it apart from less-expensive versions, especially from a distance. Edmunds comments the hybrid "looks identical to the [Lexus] LS 460 L," while Kelley Blue Book notes that it gets "several special touches, [such as] blue accents on headlamps, taillamps [and] badging."

For the new year, the LS 460 short- and long-wheelbase models get a revised grille, bumper, and headlamps; in back, there are revised taillamps and new exhaust diffusers. A new LS 460 Sport wears an aero body kit that's available without the Sport's suspension and handling upgrades.

The Lexus LS interior is styled with less reverence to tradition than any BMW or Mercedes (and, formerly, any Jaguar), but the cabin is opulent in its own way, with wood and leather mated perfectly to tightly grained, well-matched plastics. An LCD screen dominates the center console, while the driver faces especially clearly designed gauges. The LS 460 Sport Package adds to this a distinctive black and saddle leather interior, with sport seats and steering wheel and a pair of shift paddles fitted behind the steering-wheel rim.

Edmunds heaps praise on the interior, finding it "brilliant in an aesthetic sense" with "rich wood trim" that is "complemented by perforated leather upholstery." Automobile notes of the LS range, "the interiors are particularly impressive in that they are not overdone." Motor Trend also lauds the "wood veneers (of which there are three to choose)" and "wrinkle-free leather on the steering wheel." As for differences between the hybrid edition and its gasoline-powered relatives, Cars.com reports that the 2010 Lexus LS 600h L "shares the gas-only L model's interior appointments," but points out that "special to the hybrid is a power-flow diagram on the dashboard's central LCD screen...the basics are repeated in color graphics between the speedometer and tachometer."

7

2010 Lexus LS 460

Performance

The 2010 Lexus LS lineup scores points for powertrain smoothness and fuel economy, but handling takes a dive for creamy ride.

In either body style, Lexus LS drivers get a choice of a mighty V-8 engine or a more powerful, more fuel-efficient V-8 hybrid drivetrain.

Let's talk about the gas-only models first. The 4.6-liter V-8 produces 380 horsepower and 367 pound-feet of peak torque in rear-drive cars, and 357 hp and 344 lb-ft of torque in all-wheel-drive models. Lexus claims a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds for the rear-drive edition (it's 5.9 seconds for AWD), and it's almost impossible to believe-because the LS leaps to its feet without the usual snarl and rush that comes from underhood. Automobile cites the "smooth, even, and seemingly inexhaustible power," a sentiment echoed by Cars.com, which notes "acceleration is rather astonishing." Overall, Edmunds feels that acceleration performance is "on par with its peers," and the 2010 Lexus LS 460 can "hit 60 mph in a swift 5.8 seconds." The gearbox has to make lots of choices and gear changes, so it can seem indecisive-but with the paddle controls fitted to Sport models, it's an obedient piece. Cars.com says "gear changes are barely perceptible under most driving conditions," while Motor Trend says the eight-speed transmission offers "near CVT-like performance and fuel economy." Fuel economy is rated at 16/24 mpg (16/23 mpg, AWD). A limited-slip differential in AWD models has a torque bias of 40:60 and can vary from 30:70 to 50:50 depending on road conditions-which means power is constantly shifting to wheels with more traction.

With the hybrid, it's a far more complex story. The 2010 Lexus LS 600h L teams a 5.0-liter V-8 engine and a hybrid drive system for V-12-like power. The gasoline V-8 makes 389 horsepower on its own, but altogether the system hits 438 horsepower. Altogether, the LS 600h L moves quickly, with an almost eerie quiet; the only time you hear the gasoline engine is when accelerating hard. Motor Trend says that the 2010 Lexus LS 600h L "offers an electric-vehicle drive mode for when discreet, engine-free moments arise." Lexus claims a 0-60 mph run of 5.5 seconds. Surprisingly, the LS 600h L is said to deliver better fuel economy than many V-8s, at 20/22 mpg; still, Edmunds warns the hybrid is "not as fuel-efficient as you'd expect a hybrid to be...Fuel economy is 20 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, which is 4 mpg better in the city than the regular LS but 2 mpg worse on the highway." Edmunds also reports, "Lexus claims the 600h L can do zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, but in our performance testing we recorded a time of 6.0 seconds, a tenth of a second slower than the last LS 460 L we tested." The problem? "Together, the heavy batteries and all-wheel-drive system burden the hybrid with more than 700 additional pounds, for a total of 5,049," the New York Times points out. The hybrid powertrain "makes acceleration a wash."

The hybrid system dispatches its power through a full-time all-wheel-drive system and a "shiftless" continuously variable transmission (CVT). For more control during sporty driving, the CVT can simulate eight manually shifted gears. The full-hybrid system can operate for short distances, almost silently, on electric power alone. There's even an EV button-a feature never before used on a Toyota hybrid in the U.S. market-that forces the system to use only electric power for several minutes. It recharges its nickel-metal-hydride battery packs either via the engine or through a regenerative braking system. "A standard full-time AWD system routes the power to all four wheels," says Autoblog. This is through what Edmunds remarks is "a continuously variable transmission (CVT)" that "has automanual shift control and three modes designed for different driving conditions - normal, power and snow." For more control during sporty driving, the CVT can simulate eight manually shifted gears.

Between Sport editions and Hybrid models, there's some variation in the 2010 Lexus LS' handling and performance. ConsumerGuide contends "the base suspension permits marked body lean, as does the air suspension's Comfort setting." Motor Trend agrees, claiming the new Lexus 2010 "heels over more in the corners than the German sedans do," although they approve of the "natural level of effort" in the steering. TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the new Sport edition, and though it's shod with big low-profile tires and a firmer adjustable suspension, it's still tuned for plushness-yet less crisp and responsive than a stock Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The ride does become tauter but doesn't significantly degrade, and steering remains a light-touch affair. Long-wheelbase cars have exceptionally controlled, smooth rides even in the air suspension's stiffest mode. In terms of braking, Car and Driver "measured a pitiful 209 feet" of stopping distance from 70 mph, "30 feet longer than an LS430." While Edmunds doesn't mention stopping distances, they find that the brakes "can seem grabby in stop-and-go traffic."

The handling of the 2010 Lexus LS 600h L doesn't feel sporty but remains buttoned-down, smooth, and sedate. However, it steers well and corners surprisingly flat, thanks to the three modes-Comfort, Power, and Sport-that afford different ranges of response for the throttle, steering, and suspension.
ConsumerGuide says the "air suspension's Sport setting induces some body jiggle." While this source describes steering as "light though direct" and a "turning circle [that] is impressively tight," Edmunds reports "the electric power steering is accurate enough, but it's numb and doesn't offer much feedback." The Los Angeles Times is singularly unimpressed, complaining that "steering has zero feel," and "the brake pedal-even with its electronic stroke compensation la-di-da-has no touch worth mentioning." Kelley Blue Book nonetheless attests that the "air suspension helps the [Lexus 2010] LS 600h L deliver an ultra-smooth ride that should satisfy all but the most critical occupants," though the Los Angeles Times quips that the Lexus 2010 hybrid "goes like crazy, but it drives like the world's most exotic electric shaver."

9

2010 Lexus LS 460

Comfort & Quality

Those seeking the ultimate in quietness, comfort, and build quality would do well to check out the Lexus LS.

In all versions, the 2010 Lexus LS has amply large, comfortable front seats, supple and roomy backseats, and a large trunk. The front seats are not as supportive as they could be (Sport versions have somewhat more bolstering), but a very wide center console makes the area feel unexpectedly narrow. ConsumerGuide reports that "front is spacious for adults, though taller drivers may need more headroom." Whether it comes with four seats or five, Car and Driver feels that the seats on the LS are "all-day-comfortable" and make it a "comfortable long-haul cruiser," according to Cars.com.

In back, there's adequate room even for tall and lanky adults in short-wheelbase cars; the L editions afford limousine-like space in the backseat area, thanks to five inches of added length versus the standard LS. Kelley Blue Book says the long-wheelbase versions' longer body "yields vast space for rear-seat occupants." If seating space doesn't impress, consider the ottoman-style seating option with built-in massage features. Edmunds reports "seating and accommodations are as regal as you'd expect in a car of this category, and then some," comparing the seats to "a Shiatsu masseur." Motor Trend confirms this impression: "to get a sense from behind the wheel, imagine sinking into a lavish and serene home-entertainment room, replete with Eames lounge chairs covered in the supplest leather."

Trunk space and interior storage are fairly large, and hybrids have 2 cubic feet more space this year thanks to a recent repackaging of their batteries. That's a mild improvement over the 2009 model; Edmunds says in the '09, "trunk space is a serious issue...hybrid components and the optional rear seat climate control system drop capacity to a middling 11.7 cubic feet (2 cubes less than a Toyota Yaris)." ConsumerGuide finds that "the trunk is sufficient for most travel needs" and "in-cabin small-item storage is good."

As for quality, few vehicles at any price point are assembled with the Lexus LS' tight panel gaps, though other luxury four-doors offer far richer-looking materials. Some of the LS switchgear mimics that used in much cheaper Lexus models, but the same can be true of vehicles from Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, and Audi, too.
Cars.com claims the LS 460 is "near the top of the luxury sedan pack in terms of material quality." Edmunds agrees, noting that "the fit and finish is without peer" on the Lexus 2010 LS 460. Little touches abound on the LS 460; for example, Motor Trend reports "the steering wheel is buffed for three hours and sewn with ultrasoft stitching." Kelley Blue Book waxes enthusiastic about "acres of creamy aniline cowhide French stitched like a Folies Bergere corset." According to ConsumerGuide, this 2010 Lexus is "one of the quietest cars on the market...the engine is nearly silent at idle and emits a subdued growl under aggressive acceleration...there is virtually no tire, road, or wind noise."

9

2010 Lexus LS 460

Safety

Some strong crash scores are in, and the 2010 Lexus LS sedan's cutting-edge safety options predict many miles of safe driving.

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has not yet crash-tested the 2010 Lexus LS, but the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has awarded the LS sedans a "good" rating for their front-impact protection systems.

Lexus outfits its top-end luxury sedan with a wealth of standard and optional safety features. On all LS sedans, standard features include front side airbags, dual front knee bags, full-length side-curtain bags, and active headrests. Rear-seat side airbags are available. Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), an advanced version of electronic stability control, is standard, and it's integrated with traction control and anti-lock brakes.

Automobile notes Lexus offers a "dynamic radar control" cruise control system that automatically maintains a safe distance from the car ahead when driving on the highway. An optional Pre-Collision System is bundled with the advanced cruise control; Cars.com says it can prepare the LS sedan "when a collision becomes imminent by priming the brake system, tightening the seat belts and stiffening the air suspension."

Lexus now offers an Enform and Safety Connect system on subscription basis; the telematic systems notify Lexus if the vehicle is involved in an accident and summon emergency personnel automatically.

The 2010 Lexus LS features a self-parking system that steers the vehicle into a parallel or row parking spot as the driver backs up; some will find it helpful, but to others it's a gimmick. Edmunds finds that it "takes considerably longer than a skilled city dweller would like." Parking the LS the old-fashioned way is fairly easy anyway; as ConsumerGuide reports, "visibility is fine all around."

10

2010 Lexus LS 460

Features

The 2010 Lexus LS 460 doesn't disappoint, with first-class seating and entertainment options for both V-8 and hybrid editions.

An amazing list of standard features fills the window sticker of every 2010 Lexus LS. On the base sedan, there's leather upholstery and wood trim; Bluetooth and iPod connectivity; an AM/FM/XM/six-CD audio system; steering-wheel audio controls; and automatic climate control. ConsumerGuide reports that standard features on this 2010 Lexus include "dual-zone automatic climate controls," "heated front bucket seats w/ lumbar adjustment," and an "in-dash 6-disc CD/MP3 changer." Long-wheelbase cars add rear climate control; Cars.com says that Executive Class Seating package adds such features as "a cool box for keeping food and drinks chilled...a massage feature and leg rest, [and] a DVD entertainment system."

Kelley Blue Book says "technology lovers may fall hard for the 2010 Lexus LS 600h L, which has just about every electronic helper imaginable, either standard or as an option." The hybrid adds virtually everything that can be ordered optionally on the LS 460, including a navigation system with real-time traffic and dynamic rerouting; heated rear seats; a backup camera; ventilated seats; a DVD entertainment system; and the hybrid-only ottoman-style backseat, fold-down wooden trays, and rear cooler box. For those who opt for the additional space on Lexus's 2010 LS 460 L, ConsumerGuide says they will find standard "heated rear seats" and "heated steering wheel," along with a standard "navigation system w/ voice recognition" that offers the additional cool feature of live "traffic information." Edmunds adds in standard "19-inch alloy wheels, LED projector headlights with washers, keyless ignition," and "power door closers."

The standout feature available on the LS 460 and standard on the LS 600h L is a Mark Levinson audio system with 19 speakers, 19 audio channels, 450 watts of power, and 8GB of hard-drive space for music.

Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

1 Review
5 star
4 star
100%
3 star
2 star
1 star
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
April 28, 2015
2010 Lexus LS 460 4-Door Sedan RWD

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
In general, a well made automobile. Performance could be better as well as reliabilty. Have had electronic issues that Lexus has NOT resolved. Would NOT buy another Lexus but would now buy AMERICAN instead.
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
USED PRICE RANGE
$15,499 - $33,998
Browse Used Listings
in your area
8.4
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7.0
Performance 7.0
Comfort & Quality 9.0
Safety 9.0
Features 10.0
Fuel Economy N/A
Compare the 2010 Lexus LS 460 against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the Lexus LS 460?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used