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STYLING | 7 out of 10
clean, conservative, yet absolutely contemporary shape
Hybrid "differs little from the LS 460
interiors are particularly impressive
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."
The 2010 Lexus LS sedans inches toward true beauty, with the fault-free cabin leading the way.