2008 Lexus LS Hybrid Interior
This interior review was written when the 2008 Lexus LS Hybrid was new.
The 2008 Lexus LS 600h, with its long wheelbase and standard tech features, is well-appointed, comfortable and luxurious. The fit and finish inside the LS is high-quality, providing exactly what is expected for its class with more intuitive and easy-to-use controls. The Chicago Tribune calls the cabin "huge and cozy." Road and Track says that the "room inside is cavernous, the rear seating almost limousine-like, with the leather-wrapped dash, hourglass-shaped center-stack fascia and luminous gauges similar to - yet slightly evolved from - the previous LS." The San Jose Mercury News agrees, adding that the sedan has "an exceedingly quiet ride, and it offers a lushly comfortable interior."
Car and Driver also adds that interior of the hybrid is "extraordinarily quiet, with particular attention paid to suppressing noise wherever it's found."
The 600h L can seat five comfortably, in spacious and supple accommodations. Forbes reports the interior is "as regal as you'd expect in a car of this category, and then some." The Car Connection calls the interior space "vast, with plenty of room to stretch out, especially in back." Consensus shows the driver's seat is "all-day-comfortable" says Car and Driver, with "16-way power driver's seat, which is now quite supportive," With all these features, Consumer Guide says its "easy to find a comfortable driving position." Edmunds seconds that "the most discriminating backside" will find the seats supportive.
The rear seat in the 600h has a vast amount of space. The 600h L is the only trim and has an extended wheelbase that provides additional seating room. New Car Test Drive finds the 600h L has "almost five inches more legroom than the standard LS. This permits especially generous passenger seating options." Cars.com reports that the LS "spoils rear-seat occupants with its spacious accommodations" and AutoWeek reports the rear seat has "scads of legroom." Yet, Cars.com says that although "three people can sit back there, it's much more comfortable with just two, and there is a pull-down center armrest that takes up the space where the third person would sit."
The optional Executive-Class Seating Package II, available as a special order item only, pampers backseat riders with even more luxury such as accommodations for four, with leather-trimmed interior, four-zone climate control, an air purifier, smog sensor, a power-recliner with massager and leg rest, a wood-trimmed table and the Advanced Parking Guidance System. Forbes calls it a "throne for the boss," and Forbes says all that interior space in the back "might make you want to hire a chauffeur."
The LS 600h's interior is filled with luxury and a number of standard features. Cabin quality is first-class and the gauges and navigation are clear and easy to operate. New Car Test Drive says, "Interior details stand up to close inspection, even down to the stitching in the seats and uniform action of panel covers." To the Detroit Free Press, the interior is as "silent and plush as a velvet-lined box, adorned with creamy leather and contrasting dark wood trim."
The Car Connection says the "gauge cluster is absolutely high-tech, with a new tachometer so you can tell when the engine is running, not always easy with this hybrid. There's also a power meter so the driver can keep track of how the hybrid system performs." The Chicago Tribune adds that the controls are "conveniently placed so they are easy to see," yet "there are so many buttons you may have to stop and read the owner's manual every so often to remember what each one does." Cars.com mentions that while "the dash isn't as clean as a BMW's, the Lexus' learning curve is much shorter."
The 2008 Lexus LS 600h L comes standard with a premium leather instrument panel, wood and leather trimmed heated steering wheel, 16-way adjustable driver's seat and 12-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, a voice-activated HDD Navigation System with backup camera, Bluetooth, XM NavTraffic and a full-color display, remote keyless entry, a power tilt-and-slide moonroof, climate-control front seats and dual cup holders for the front and rear.
The Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound Audio System is phenomenal. The Mark Levinson System comes with 19-speakers, produces 450-watts of sound and has a six-disc CD/DVD auto-changer and DVD audio and video playback. CNET reports that the sound system has "[e]nough speakers for heavenly sound" with a "near-perfect audio quality" result. Forbes adds that the sound system "revealed its sophistication to me in a surprising way: as a middle-aged hearing-aid wearer, even the best in-car audio systems are ordinary-sounding, but the Levinson unit made me think I had the ears of an 18-year-old again."
A big buzz surrounds the LS' Advanced Parking Guidance System, an innovative new optional feature that assists the driver back into a spot or parallel park. Advertised as a car that can park itself, most find this feature a bit complicated, a hassle to use, and more of a gimmick than assistance.
With the Advanced Parking Guidance System, the LS' rearview camera, which appears on the dashboard screen, helps the driver position the car correctly. Then, the steering wheel moves and spins on its own as the car automatically parks itself. The driver must maintain a certain low speed while still keeping his or her foot on the brake pedal. Once the sedan is in the parking space, the driver finishes parking by pulling the car forward. AutoWeek reports, "Twelve sonar sensors take care of determining if there is enough room as the car approaches a likely place and stops in the usual fashion," and the "wheel cranks itself furiously, like an invisible drift driver is sitting in your lap, and the car maneuvers precisely into place, scratch-free." But AutoWeek concludes figuring out how to use the system "takes more time than simply parking the car yourself." Car and Driver "got the feeling that someone could nab your spot by the time you get everything dialed in. As with most new technologies, expect faster-acting versions in the future."
A vocal minority praise this feature. Consumer Guide calls it "a marvel for parallel parking" and says it "works as advertised." New Car Test Drive says anyone who knows how to parallel park "will consider this an unnecessary, slightly insulting adornment." But later adds "We found ourselves using it over and over. The trick is to scan in the exact size of the parking space, then keep a foot on the brake while the car automatically maneuvers itself into the spot. It takes about 10 seconds."
MSN reports the 600h "has one of the most easy-to-use Bluetooth hands-free phone systems. It was a snap to pair my BlackBerry with the system, although I was a bit disappointed that it doesn't also import the phone book. But as with the navigation system, it was easy enough to use voice commands to dial a phone number." The hybrid comes standard with a voice-activated HDD Navigation System with backup camera, Bluetooth and XM NavTraffic.
The 2008 Lexus LS 600h comes with a meager amount of cargo space, especially when compared to the standard LS or other cars in its class. The 600h has 11.65 cubic feet of cargo space, which is a significant reduction from the LS 460 because the trunk houses the hybrid battery. Many write that "you will give up considerable luggage capacity" when considering the hybrid model, according to Road and Track. Forbes says other cars in this class "typically have cavernous trunks, but the LS 600h L's is comparable to a midsize sedan's; it'll fit two duffels or moderate-sized golf bags, but that's about it."