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FEATURES | 10 out of 10
a reclining, massaging rear seat that would put most business-class airline chairs to shame
The Mark Levinson audio system produces excellent sound quality.
A parking guidance system automatically handles the exasperating (for some) parallel parking chore.
Pairing my Bluetooth phone has never been easier — voice prompts walked me through the less than two-minute process.
The LS is a flagship in every sense of the word, at least in its Lexus interpretation. It's an excellent ownership experience, and effortlessly smooth performance--but it's also a tour de force of the latest technology in cars.
An ever more plush set of standard features greets buyers of the 2013 Lexus LS sedan, even if it's only the LS 460 they've signed on for. Of course, stepping up into long-wheelbase, F Sport, and Hybrid models tips the scales with more equipment--some of it absolutely decadent.
The lineup starts with the base LS 460, proceeding through the LS 460L, LS 460 F Sport, and LS 600h L models, with all-wheel drive available on most of the lineup. Standard equipment on all models includes power windows, locks, and mirrors; automatic climate control; keyless entry and pushbutton start; cruise control; a sunroof; leather upholstery; an AM/FM/CD/DVD player; satellite and HD radio; Bluetooth with audio streaming; a USB port and iPod connectivity; heated and ventilated front seats linked to the climate-control system; and a navigation system with voice control, 3D mapping, and a 12.3-inch-wide display that can show three side-by-side maps or functions, to avoid driver confusion, Lexus says.
Also standard is Lexus' Remote Touch system, a new addition to the sedan. It uses a mouse-style controller to operate audio, climate, navigation, and phone functions, and to tie into Entune, which is also standard. Entune links smartphones to the LS' infotainment system, so that drivers can operate its functions, including a handful of apps, via Remote Touch. Those apps now include streaming audio from Pandora; Yelp!; Facebook; MovieTickets.com; OpenTable; even Bing for local searches.
On all-wheel-drive models, Lexus adds a standard heated steering wheel and a heating system that warms the front passenger area more quickly; a windshield de-icer and headlight washers also are standard.
On the options list are features like power rear seats with climate control; an ottoman for rear seats that includes massaging functions for the seats, a control panel for the seats and entertainment system, a retractable table, and a refrigerated cooler box; a rear-seat entertainment system with a Blu-Ray DVD player, an SD card slot, and a nine-inch LCD screen; and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system with 450 watts of power and an 8GB hard drive for music storage. An Executive Class seating package on long-wheelbase cars turns the five-seat LS into a truly regal four-seater.
It never lacked for technology, but a wide touchscreen navigation system and rear-seat snack trays rival the finery from some ultra-luxe brands.