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2010 Lexus LS Hybrid Review

This review was written when the 2010 Lexus LS Hybrid was new.

The Lexus LS 600h combines the extravagant luxury of Lexus’ top-of-the-line sedan with a dash of environmental consciousness, thanks to its hybrid powertrain. It’s not a truly green car, managing fuel-economy just slightly better than average for a Super Luxury Car.

The Lexus LS 600h was the first Super Luxury Car to offer a hybrid powertrain, and though it has new competition, it remains one of a very small number of cars to combine the opulence of an ultra-premium sedan with the environmental benefits of hybrid technology. The LS is what Lexus calls a “no compromises hybrid”-- one designed to perform like a high-end luxury car, with few of the performance trade-offs typical of hybrid cars. That means it is a bit more fuel-efficient than most V8-powered cars, but only a bit. “The LS 600h L ends up delivering only 2 mpg more than a regular LS 460 L in the EPA's combined fuel economy estimate,” Edmunds notes. “[What it] does succeed at, however, is reduced tailpipe emissions (it's SULEV rated), an extraordinarily appointed luxury ride and the exclusivity ensured by its limited production.”

Reviewers are universally impressed with the LS Hybrid, citing its opulent and spacious interior, extraordinary advanced technology and massive power for a car with some green credibility. But few are certain that it’s worth the $40,000 price premium it commands over its conventionally-powered LS cousin. For the price of an LS 600h, a buyer could bring home a lavish LS460L and a top-of-the-line Toyota Prius V to soothe the conscience -- and still save money over the cost of the LS Hybrid. 

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Other Cars to Consider

The LS hybrid has new competition for the 2010 model year. Mercedes-Benz has released its S-Class Hybrid. Shoppers should note that the Mercedes hybrid is more efficient than the Lexus, but less powerful -- the Lexus offers a driving experience much closer to that of a traditional luxury car. More competition is coming. BMW plans to release a hybrid version of its 7-Series sedan for the 2011 model year, and a Jaguar XJ Hybrid may appear that year as well.

Details: Lexus LS Hybrid

The LS 600h is offered in only one trim level with few options, but few options are necessary -- the car comes with virtually every amenity imaginable. For 2010, Lexus has made a few updates to the car. The entire LS line gets a few minor exterior tweaks, including new jeweled headlamps and a revised front bumper. The LS Hybrid gets a new grille to more readily distinguish it from its gasoline-powered siblings. Engineers have managed to reduce the size and weight of the battery pack, which gives 2010 editions more trunk space than the car has offered in prior years. A new telematics system, Lexus Enform with Safety Connect, offers both added peace of mind (it will contact emergency services automatically in the event of an accident), and the convenience of a telephone concierge service. 

Be sure to check Lexus deals for possible discounts on the LS.

  • "The hybrid 600h remains an extremely pricey technological tour-de-force." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 2010 model year will bring the full-size Lexus hybrid more standard features and retouched styling.” -- Motor Trend
  • "The LS 600h L ends up delivering only 2 mpg more than a regular LS 460 L in the EPA's combined fuel economy estimate...What the 2009 Lexus LS 600h L does succeed at, however, is reduced tailpipe emissions (it's SULEV rated), an extraordinarily appointed luxury ride and the exclusivity ensured by its limited production." -- Edmunds
  • "To be honest, the best way to evaluate the LS 600h L is not against other hybrids, but against other high-horsepower luxury sedans. Its closest competition comes from the 12-cylinder Mercedes-Benz S600 and BMW 760Li." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "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
Review Last Updated: 3/9/10

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