You won't find emu leather or knurled carbon fiber inside the cabin of the Lexus LS. Its finishes are more traditional, but its sleek new interior is very roomy, and fitted with exquisite care.
With a 116.9-inch wheelbase on standard versions, seating room is in ample supply in the Lexus LS, and downright regal in the long-wheelbase versions, which ride on 121.7 inches of wheelbase. The spacious cabin is immediately noticeable in front, where Lexus' redesigned seats also distance themselves from the flatter, less shapely chairs of last year's version. The redesigned seats are really great, with lots of bolstering where needed, and heating and ventilation standard. Multi-adjustable 16 ways for the driver and 12 ways for the passenger, the seats have lumbar support and three-position memory and a firmer feel that's still more plush than the stiffer cushions of a big BMW or Mercedes-Benz. They also have the longest bottom cushions in recent memory, extendable with power assistance. Even the seatbelts have power height adjusters.
It's somewhat narrower inside the LS than in those premium German luxury sedans, and the center console's fairly wide, which gives an impression of less elbow room. Nonetheless, knee and head room in front are still good.
In the back, the big Lexus does its best impression of the top-drawer German megabuck four-doors, especially in the L long-wheelbase models. Both body styles give tall passengers plenty of head room, and the more tidy proportions of the standard car don't cramp the style. Passengers won't have any issues with space or comfort. That said, the long-wheelbase cars truly are impressive: their five extra inches of wheelbase give them limousine-like leg room, and available seating options that omit the middle seat and include massaging functions and ottoman-style footrests, as well as power adjustment for the backrest, up the decadence a few notches. The back seats can be heated and cooled, and fitted with lumbar adjustment; the rear glass can be covered with sunshades.Trunk space is good at 18 cubic feet, and hybrids now have 10.1 cubic feet of trunk space, thanks to a recent repackaging of their batteries. Interior storage is also dandy: the glovebox is pretty slim, but the center console is deep and has an elegantly damped lid that slides and pivots backward. The cool box offered on four-seat models is deep enough for our favorite beverages; you'll have to test out your own.
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 glovebox lid that used to be damped with effortless feel now feels light and insubstantial.
The cabin isn't extravagant with over the top materials, but it's dazzling in its obvious attention to finish and fit and detail. On top of it all, trims remain impressive even when matched up with those in top Mercedes and BMW flagships, and the top-notch aniline leather is supple and delicate compared to what you get in other Lexus models. Wer're not in love with Lexus' printed aluminum F Sport trim, though, and we'd love to see the Hybrid's bamboo trim offered on the non-hybrid sedan.
The cabin of the LS models, no matter which one you get, is tight and hushed from wind and road noise more than nearly any other model. You only slightly hear the engine when accelerating. Lexus has gone to extra lengths this year to mute the cabin even more than in the past--and then added some ambient exhaust noise back into the cabin on F Sport models.