2009 Lexus LS Interior
This interior review was written when the 2009 Lexus LS was new.
The 2009 Lexus LS' best feature is its interior. A mix of supple leathers, fine woods and upscale electronics makes the LS a wonderful place to spend time. In standard trim, it is spacious. In long-wheelbase 460L trim, it earns comparisons to limousines. The optional Mark Levinson audio system, many critics say, is the best stereo in the super-luxury car class.
- "As expected from any Lexus, the LS 460 bathes occupants in sumptuous leather and rich wood trim, all fitted together with craftsman-like artistry. Even considering the endless list of features and accessories, the controls are intuitive and simple enough to keep the owner's manual closed." -- Edmunds
- "To climb into the left front seat of the Lexus LS is to climb into the near-ultimate of luxury cars." -- New Car Test Drive
- "One of the quietest cars on the market. The engine is nearly silent at idle and emits a subdued growl under aggressive acceleration. There is virtually no tire, road, or wind noise." -- Consumer Guide
- All the seats are "not surprisingly, hugely comfortable and roomy," and the LS 460 "has yet another awe-inspiring characteristic: absolute quietude." -- Forbes
Both LS trims comfortably seat five in an interior that is not only ample but comfortable and luxurious. The car's 16-way adjustable, heated and cooled seats impress many reviewers. Reclining rear seats are another bonus, but they are optional.
- "The front is spacious for adults, though taller drivers may need more headroom. A power tilt and telescopic steering wheel and wide, supportive seats with multiple power adjustments make it easy to find a comfortable driving position." -- Consumer Guide
- "The long-wheelbase LS 460 L adds 4.8 inches to the car's midsection, increasing rear legroom from ample to abundant... even NBA forwards will find plenty of room to stretch out" -- Edmunds
- "The seats are gloriously comfortable, and they are 16-way adjustable for travel and rake and tilt (12-way on the passenger side), with a three-way memory system for each front seat. All models come with perforated leather seats, with the option of semi-aniline leather with the Luxury Package option. The seat bolsters are just wide enough to retain your torso without trapping your torso or intruding on comfort. The front seats are climate-controlled on the standard car, with heated rear seats added to the L version." -- New Car Test Drive
- "All LS 460s pamper their passengers with superbly supportive and exceptionally adjustable front buckets, plus a roomy, comfortable rear bench." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "At 6'1" tall, I found ample headroom and all major controls were within reach." -- About.com
- The LS 460L "Spoils rear-seat occupants with its spacious accommodations." -- Cars.com
The passenger cabin of the LS is simply opulent. Reviewers praise the Optitron gauges for their beauty and ease-of-use. The LS lacks an iDrive-like driver interface device, but many reviewers cite that as a mark in the car's favor - its controls strike most as intuitive.
- "The instrument panel's electroluminescent gauges are stunningly clear and easy to read." -- Edmunds
- "The center stack of controls is beautifully integrated, as is every single piece of interior trim, and though there are lots of buttons, they are clearly marked in large type and lighted, so there will be little confusion after a couple of drives." -- New Car Test Drive
- "The broad sweep of the dash is integrated beautifully into the front doors and the center console, the latter set at the same level as the armrests for that extra measure of comfort." -- Road and Track
- "One of the priciest packages we chose included radar-based cruise control and a precollision system. The cruise control made several of us leery at first, tentative about trusting it. ‘The only thing I worked on was trying to feel comfortable with the radar cruise control,' said one staffer. ‘It feels unnatural to let the car brake for me.' As the year wore on--and as road trips got longer--folks appreciated its fatigue-reducing effects." -- AutoWeek
Many reviews say that the optional Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound Audio System, with its 19-speakers, 450-watts of sound and CD/DVD auto-changer, is simply one of the best car audio systems ever built.
- "Easily one of the best [sound systems] I've ever heard." -- About.com
- The sound system has "[e]nough speakers for heavenly sound" with "near-perfect audio quality...Bass came through strong, while the highest notes still stood out. With the digital signal processor placing the sweet spot for the music dead center in the cabin, the audio actually sounded best in the back seat." -- CNET
- "The sound system rocks; with all the choices of XM at your fingertips, finding something to listen to is easy." -- AutoWeek
- "The stereo system in the top-of-the-line LS has 19 speakers. It's insane." -- Mother Proof
A big buzz surrounds the LS' Advanced Parking Guidance System, an innovative optional feature that assists the driver with parallel parking or backing into a parking spot. 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 a help. A few reviewers liked it, but most found it more time-consuming than simply parking the car without it. This feature, available for both LS trims, requires purchasing Intuitive Parking Assist.
- "In the case of parallel parking, I first must find a spot. Then I position the vehicle just so. A box will show up on the in-dash camera, in between the front and rear car, right smack where I want my car to go. I can use arrows on the touch-screen to adjust the box if necessary. Then I put the car in reverse, let go of the wheel (uh-huh), the steering wheel turns, the car accelerates and brakes to put itself smack dab in the designated spot. All I have to do to finish the job is straighten out the wheel, put the car in Park and turn the vehicle off. If that makes no sense, just trust me and be astonished." --Mother Proof
- "Early buzz focused on the self-parking feature, but the truth is, it was so cumbersome to operate that few tried it. ‘The amount of time it takes to line up with a spot with the diagram is too long,' one editor said. ‘Oh, it did parallel-park me, but I was also really far from the curb and probably would have gotten a ticket if I'd left it there.' After the first couple of months, most of us forgot about the system completely." -- AutoWeek
- "We 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." -- Car and Driver
- The system is "a marvel for parallel parking, and works as advertised."-- Consumer Guide
Both trim levels of the 2009 Lexus LS and LS L offer 18 cubic feet of trunk space. However, options can decrease the trunk's size. An optional rear seat climate control system and reclining rear seats both rob space from the trunk - meaning that a well-optioned LS has one of the smallest trunks available in the super-luxury class.
- "The trunk is sufficient for most travel needs, but the rear air conditioning trims the volume by a full 6.0 cu ft. The trunk lid uses hinges that further rob useful space. In-cabin small-item storage is good." -- Consumer Guide
- "Trunk space is generous with a capacity of 18 cubic feet but drops to 15.5 cubes if equipped with the 460 L's rear-seat climate control." -- Edmunds
- "The reclining back seats eat a surprising amount of trunk space-a full third, in fact, compared with an LS with standard rear seats." -- AutoWeek