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2012 Lexus LS Hybrid Review

This review was written when the 2012 Lexus LS Hybrid was new.

Critics love the 2012 Lexus LS Hybrid for its opulent interior and powerful hybrid drivetrain, but it isn’t the only choice when it comes to hybrid luxury.

Not too long ago, the Lexus LS 600h L was the only hybrid super luxury car on the market. However, some newer vehicles have hit the streets in the past few years, and while the LS Hybrid remains a stellar flagship sedan, it may have some catching up to do – especially in terms of price. Consumer Guide says, "The hybrid 600h remains a technological tour-de-force, albeit an extremely pricey one." 

While the non-hybrid LS is one of the more affordable super luxury cars on the market, the LS Hybrid is the complete opposite. It’s currently the most expensive hybrid in its class, and unfortunately, newer entries trump the LS Hybrid with better fuel economy, more engaging performance.

However, the 2012 Lexus LS Hybrid isn’t without its pluses. Its long wheelbase means that it’s incredibly spacious and comfortable, especially in the back seat. Additionally, test drivers appreciate its user-friendly electronics and numerous standard features. Although its hybrid moniker might conjure up images of underpowered econoboxes, the LS Hybrid has more power than a Mercedes S550 and an ultra-comfortable ride.

Still, with so many newer competitors in the segment, the 2012 Lexus LS Hybrid is no longer the clear-cut choice when it comes to hybrid luxury.

Other Cars to Consider

Although the Lexus LS Hybrid has received some updates since its introduction in 2008, newer super luxury cars often deliver better performance and fuel economy at a lower price. If you like the LS 600h’s comfortable, opulent interior, and don’t mind a car that’s less powerful, consider the Mercedes S350 Bluetec diesel. Like the LS Hybrid, the S350 also comes with standard all-wheel drive, but it also gets better fuel economy and has a significantly lower price.

However, if an athletic, powerful hybrid sedan is what you seek, consider the Porsche Panamera Hybrid. It costs less than the LS Hybrid, though it doesn’t have all-wheel drive. Still, the Panamera offers an elegant, comfortable cabin as well as good performance and fuel economy.

Lexus LS Hybrid: The Details

The 2012 Lexus LS Hybrid comes in just one well-equipped trim: the LS 600h L. Its hybrid drivetrain consists of a V8 engine and two electric motors, which are paired to a continuously variable transmission and all-wheel drive. The LS 600h L sees no changes for 2012. See the full 2012 Lexus LS Hybrid specs.

  • "The Big Green comes with going green; Lexus wants over $113,000 for the hybrid on the LS platform. That $40K difference would, coincidentally, buy one well-equipped Prius." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The few positives do little to dissuade us from recommending a long list of other luxury sedans … including its own LS 460 L cousin. For the eco-conscious buyer, BMW's line of Active Hybrid sedans are priced well below this Lexus, as is the Mercedes-Benz S400 hybrid. For the performance-minded shopper, models like the BMW Alpina B7, Jaguar XJ and Porsche Panamera are all considerably better choices." -- Edmunds 
  • "The Lexus LS 600h is more than just a stretched LS460. It's an advanced, intelligent, premium vehicle with numerous environmental benefits. It's fun to drive, but back seat passengers get the royal treatment." -- New Car Test Drive
  • “If you want a stimulating luxury flagship car, try a BMW 7 Series or Jaguar XJ. The Lexus LS 600h L wants nothing to do with fast-paced excitement, and that's why it excels.” -- Motor Trend
Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

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