Lexus LS Interior
The materials used to construct the cabin of the Lexus LS are exceptional even by the standards of its lofty class. Reviewers are universally awed. In Asia, the long-wheelbase L version of this car is often treated like Rolls Royce or Bentley sedans, with their owners riding in the rear seats behind a chauffer. Because of that trend, available upgrades can make the back seat the best place in the car to sit. A small refrigerator is offered for rear seat occupants, and an upgraded rear seat comfort package includes an infrared sensor that measures the body temperature of rear seat passengers and changes the cabin’s temperature in order to keep rear passengers comfortable. The optional Mark Levinson audio system, many critics say, is the best stereo in the super-luxury car class.
- "One of the quietest cars on the market…Top-quality materials with numerous soft-touch surfaces highlight the understated design. Numerous options and option packages allow a degree of personalization and deliver some extra-opulent features." -- Consumer Guide
- "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
- For 2010, "The cabin gets a mild refresh as well to integrate a night vision system into the instrument cluster, right in the middle of the speedo.” -- Autoblog
Buyers who don’t bother to upgrade their seats will find six-way adjustable, heated and cooled seats for front seat passengers, with comfortable fixed-position rear seats. Buyers who opt for “Executive Class Seating” will find power-adjustable heated and cool rear seats with footrests, four-zone climate control and a shiatsu massage setting. These options give the LS the most comfortable rear seats available, but those who expect to drive themselves may want to experience the extraordinary Drive Dynamic multi-contour front seats of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class before making a commitment.
- "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
The passenger cabin of the 2010 Lexus LS is sumptuous, with creamy-soft leather and walnut, maple or ash trim. The standard cabin technologies appear competitive with other super-luxury cars, but most reviewers have tested cars that featured significant upgrades. Available equipment includes a voice-activated HDD navigation system, said to be faster than the DVD-based units most luxury cars provide. It offers live traffic and weather updates, as well as stock quotes and sports scores. New for 2010, Lexus offers an OnStar-like telematics system, Lexus Enform, which connects drivers to a call center with concierge services. One year of service is included in the purchase price, after which users face a monthly fee.
Reviewers, however, are as impressed with what’s missing as they are with what’s offered. Every other super luxury car uses a single interface device to control all climate and entertainment functions. These systems, like BMW’s iDrive or Mercedes’ COMAND interface, can be cumbersome to learn -- and they’re often the only way to change the radio station or input a destination into the navigation system. The LS still doesn’t have one. Instead, each system has its own separate controls -- and most reviewers are happier with that approach than with an iDrive-like controller. Buyers should note, however, that Lexus has developed its own interface device, which debuted this year on the RX SUV. It’s reasonable to expect it to appear on future versions of the LS, but Lexus engineers have not yet confirmed for us that it will. If you intend to avoid an iDrive-like experience in a super luxury car, this year may be the last opportunity you’ll have.
- "LS sets itself apart from its rivals by foregoing a complicated control interface. Main audio and climate controls are separate from the navigation system. A few functions require interacting with the navigation screen, thus complicating those adjustments." -- Consumer Guide
- "On the inside, some new technology is added as optional, including a pedestrian avoidance system, which applies the brakes if you're approaching a passer-by too quickly, and a driver alertness warning system that monitors a driver's face for signs of sleepiness.” -- Cars.com
- "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
Extraordinary sound systems are the rule in the Super Luxury Car class, but the LS’ optional Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound Audio System stands out even in that group. With its 19-speakers, 450-watts of sound and CD/DVD auto-changer, reviewers say it is simply one of the best car audio systems available. This year, it is integrated with the car’s Bluetooth system so that Bluetooth-enabled portable audio players can be controlled using the car’s audio controls, without the need for cords.
- The sound system has "enough 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 stereo system in the top-of-the-line LS has 19 speakers. It's insane." -- Mother Proof
One of the most heavily-advertised features of the LS is its optional Advanced Parking Guidance System. It enables the car to virtually parallel park itself. Reviewers say it works as advertised, but few would buy it. They report that the system is complicated to program, and most drivers can parallel park the car more quickly and easily than they can program the self-parking feature. In the hyper-competitive super-luxury sedan market, automakers almost always copy one another’s new features within a year -- yet the self-parking system has been available for three years, and no other automaker has attempted to build one. That may be the biggest sign that the system is an expensive gimmick.
- "Advanced Parking Guidance System is a marvel for parallel parking and works as advertised. It will also back the car into a parking-lot space, but that function takes too long to program." -- Consumer Guide
- "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
Without its optional upgraded rear seats, the LS has one of the largest trunks in the Super Luxury class, offering 18 cubic feet of storage space. With the optional reclining rear seats and four-zone climate control, it has one of the smallest, at just 15.5 cubic feet. With that package, Lexus locates a second air conditioning system behind the rear seats, robbing space from the trunk. Reviewers say small-item storage space inside the cabin is good -- something virtually never said about this car’s German rivals.
- "The trunk is sufficient for most travel needs, but the rear air conditioning trims the volume by 2.5 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