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As TheCarConnection.com’s experts assembled this review covering the Lexus LS 600h L, they consulted a wide range of review sources. Then the editors at TheCarConnection.com added their own driving experience with the LS 600h L to make this review especially useful.
- Perky hybrid powertrain
- Impressive fuel economy for a vehicle this size
- Limousine-like space in back
- Glassy-smooth ride quality
- High-tech features—it can park itself!
- Doesn’t command the scene like German rivals
- Styling inside and out isn’t especially distinctive
- Wide center console in front
The 2008 Lexus LS 600h L is the most expensive Lexus model and the technology flagship of the luxury brand's line. It's powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 engine mated to a new hybrid drive system that altogether aims to provide power and refinement that rivals competing V-12 models; at the same time, it delivers better fuel economy than many V-8s, at 20 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. The system dispatches its power through a full-time all-wheel-drive system.
The gasoline V-8 makes 389 horsepower on its own, but altogether the system kicks up as much as 438 horsepower, released smoothly through a "shiftless" continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 2008 Lexus LS 600h L can bolt to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds, with especially quick passing power. For more control during sporty driving, the CVT can simulate eight manually shifted gears.
It's a full-hybrid system, meaning that the 2008 Lexus LS 600h L 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 electric power only for several minutes. It recharges its nickel-metal-hydride battery packs either via the engine or through a regenerative braking system.