This Starfire Pearl Lexus LS460 tester ($74,935) came with the optional full-time all-wheel-drive for all-weather safety and convenience. We tested the car for a week in and around Denver, and up into the mountains to try out the completely redesigned luxury sedan.
It keeps the same powertrain that it’s been using since 2006; a sweet and silky all-aluminum 4.6-liter V8. But the all-wheel-drive model is now making 360 horsepower, which is 26 hp less than the standard two-wheel-drive variant. It comes mated to the world’s first (in 2007) eight-speed automatic transmission. The LS460 AWD gets an EPA-estimated 16/23 mpg City/Highway.
What’s new for 2013?
Lexus claims there are 15 technology firsts for the 2013 LS, with 50 percent of its parts being totally changed from the outgoing model. Outside, the luxury sedan gets Lexus’ signature spindle grille. Inside, the LS460 sees new improved seats over the previous model and a more sophisticated (read: complicated) climate control.
The new climate control is too complicated for my tastes. Whenever it takes many pages in the owners manual to describe how the “Climate Concierge” works, it’s too complex. The system locks in the fan speed with the temperature setting and can’t be changed. Toyota engineers thought way too hard on this one.
Lexus did improve on the heated/cooled seats that heat 50% faster than before. They also have an automatic setting that links it to the temperature setting in the cabin. The driver can select a manual setting if they choose.
The LS460 also comes with a Remote Touch Interface, like a computer mouse, that controls things quickly and intuitively. The cabin of the LS460 is what you would expect from Lexus. It’s packed with luxury features and the quality is top notch.
The 2013 LS460 with all-wheel-drive comes in 418 pounds heavier than the standard drive sedan. It shows up in the driving dynamics. The AWD model also has 26 less horsepower thanks to a different exhaust system, and is understandably slower. We could tell the difference as we took the luxury sedan up I-70 into the foothills west of Denver. It took more gas to get the AWD car up the hill. The eight-speed gearbox work well, but it’s still can’t match the Germans.
Ride quality and cabin comfort are superb
The ride quality is where the LS460 shines. It has a silky smooth ride and the eerie level of quiet inside the cabin is superb. Lexus improved the sound isolation on the all-new LS and you can hear (or not hear) the difference at highway speeds. And to reduce exterior wind noise, engineers added small wings on the A pillar that are barely noticeable. The LS delivers a superb ride and impeccable silence. Five dynamic modes are also available to adjust ride and handling and other dynamics.
The LS460 comes standard with Intuitive Park Assist and Auto Door closer. This tester came with Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety systems ($500). The LS 460 and LS 460 AWD come standard with a coil spring rear suspension with electric power steering which contributes to the luxury feel. The optional Mark Levinson audio system ($1,580) with 19 speakers delivered excellent sound as we traveled during the week.
The 2013 Lexus LS460 AWD is all-new for 2013 with notable improvements. The luxury sedan is extremely quiet, offers an impeccable ride, and the V8 coupled to the eight-speed automatic transmission is silky smooth. It’s not the most powerful luxury sedan in the segment, but the all-wheel-drive provides excellent all-weather driving capability. If you’re looking for a luxury four-door sedan that offers a superb ride and impeccable silence then you will want to check out the 2013 Lexus LS460.
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