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2010 Lexus LS Review

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

The Lexus LS offers one of the finest interiors available anywhere, and an options list longer than any of its major rivals. It’s powerful, but clearly trails European rivals in driving excitement. 

In the rarified class of Super Luxury Cars, every car does most things very well. Still, the Lexus LS has a distinct personality within that group. The only non-European entry, it offers the quietest, smoothest ride, the longest option list, and, to some reviewers, the most luxurious cabin. However, it can’t hold its own against its German rivals as a performance car.

The LS is driven by a powerful V8 engine (reviewers love its rumbling exhaust note, but you can only hear it from outside the car), and is available with a sport package that includes paddle shifters and a re-tuned, firmer suspension. But its electronic power steering still lacks the road feel most cars at this price point offer, its standard suspension settings give the impression the car is floating over the road, and the big V8s from Mercedes and BMW still out-accelerate this car. 

The LS is an outstanding highway cruiser and a lavish place to spend a commute, not an Autobahn-storming rival for Germany’s flagship sedans. For many, that will make it the best choice -- the LS may be the best of the group at the things most owners need their car to do each day.

And its interior is simply opulent. All super luxury cars offer supple leather, but some reviewers say the grade of upholstery found in the LS is actually a step up from what other manufacturers build into their six-figure cars. Its cabin technologies also raise the bar, including what may be the best sound system available in a car, period. 

But perhaps the most important note in its favor is the car’s value -- the LS has the lowest starting price of any super luxury car.

Other Cars to Consider

Driving enthusiasts will want to consider the sharp-cornering BMW 7-Series, or the physics-defying Porsche Panamera, at this price point.

In terms of luxury, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a fitting rival, with its exemplary Drive Dynamic multicontour seats (they’re optional), and some reviewers say the Audi A8’s interior boasts craftsmanship equal to the Lexus. 

Details: Lexus LS

For 2010, Lexus has made minor exterior changes -- but even experienced auto writers say they’re hard to spot. A new sport package is offered, but while reviewers say it clearly firms up the car’s suspension and makes it sharper in the corners, it still won’t turn this car into a BMW.

The LS is available in a well-equipped base trim and extended-wheelbase 460L trim. A hybrid model, the LS 600h, is reviewed separately. 

Be sure to check for current Lexus deals that may be available on a new LS.

  • "LS base prices start below those of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8. It is less sporty and more comfort-oriented than those German rivals, but Lexus' flagship is a Best Buy choice for its power, refinement, standard features, and optional gadgets." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Lexus has been mildly - one could even say tepidly - updating many of its 2010 models with slight design revisions and new content to keep them fresh. The LS flagship gets some of these same tweaks, the most significant of which is a new Sports Package for rear-wheel-drive models that includes an upgraded suspension, 19-inch wheels and a unique body kit." -- Cars.com
  • "The Lexus LS line may be the quietest, most serene luxury car available. It offers an excellent combination of comfort, space, quietude, and features. It's also the most electronics-intensive luxury car we've ever experienced and, if it weren't a Lexus, that would give us pause. The LS 460 offers all anyone might want in a luxury car, and at a price that cannot be considered exorbitant." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "A top choice for a luxury sedan thanks to its blissful comfort, exceptional refinement and value. Maintaining the Lexus LS line's reputation as an all-star are such exemplary traits as a silent and super-smooth ride, commendable engine performance, stalwart reliability and undeniable value among competing large luxury sedans." -- Edmunds
  • "Lexus's LS-series sedans have long been highly regarded for their effortless ease, brilliant silence, and impregnable build quality. They've also been disparaged for being somewhat soulless. Technology lies at the core of that praise and that criticism." -- Car and Driver
Review Last Updated: 7/26/10

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