Like one of our local Lexus dealer’s ads says, if luxury had an address, this 2014 Lexus LS 460 would be parked right out front. This Lexus is the epitome of what a luxury sedan should be. This week we’re testing the 2014 Lexus LS460 AWD Sedan that came with the exceptional air ride suspension to make it even more luxurious out on the road.
What’s New for 2014
Updates to the 2014 Lexus LS460 four-door sedan include the addition of Siri Eyes Free compatibility for newer iPhones and improved access to the trunk, which can now be opened without the key fob in range when the vehicle is unlocked. There are also minor interior trim revisions.
Stepping inside the LS460 we immediately knew we were in for a treat this week. The cabin of the luxury sedan features outstanding materials, including soft leather and high-quality vinyl, and padded surfaces are joined with elegant contrast stitching. The addition of the wood trim mixed with aluminum surfaces creates a modern and comfortable atmosphere.
The front seats are outstanding and provide plenty of support for long road trips without leaving the driver exhausted. The steering wheel is covered in wood and the instruments are clean and beautiful. A 12.3-inch display screen is mounted high on the dash near eye level for controlling navigation, audio, phone, and entertainment. The Remote Touch Interface, like a computer mouse, controls things quickly and intuitively. This tester came with leather seats and a wood heated steering wheel which worked perfect in the cold Colorado mornings.
The only complaint I have with the LS460 is the climate control is more sophisticated to a fault. It takes getting the owners manual out that has many pages to figure it out. The system from Lexus is called Climate Concierge and the engineers spent too much time on this one. The fan speed is locked by the temperature and you end up getting things you don’t want and can’t change. It needs to be simplified for the average user.
Out on the road
If you want your LS460 to feel like a Lexus luxury car, you need the optional Adaptive Variable Air Suspension system ($2,120) this tester came with. The package includes air suspension, variable gear ratio power steering, and five dynamic drive modes, from Eco to Sport Plus. The air suspension gave the luxury sedan a superb ride even after we left the pavement and got on the dirt road going to my house.
The air suspension gives the LS460 not only an exceptional ride but also impeccable silence inside the cabin. Advancements in sound isolation also aided the reduction in wind noise and reduced road noise. To reduce wind noise and improve aero stability, Lexus added small wings on the A pillar.
The 2014 Lexus LS460 AWD ($75,085) is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine that produces 360 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. The power figures drop 26 hp on models equipped with all-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive model is of course slower, being 418 pounds heavier and having 26 less horsepower thanks to a different exhaust system. The V8 comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Did we say the 2014 Lexus LS460 is a super quiet car on the highway? The 4.6-liter V8 is smooth and sounds terrific when you stand on the pedal. But compared to European luxury cars, it’s not very potent. Most of the competition in this luxury class and price range gets considerably more power and quicker acceleration out of their V8 engines. On I-70 west of Denver the eight-speed automatic transmission provided smooth shifts and fairly seamless gear changes.
If you are looking for a luxury sports sedan you will want to look elsewhere. The cushy suspension comes at the expense of handling, as the big Lexus felt lazy and imprecise going around the tight corners leading up to my house in the mountains west of Denver. But if you are looking for a luxurious ride, this is the car. If you want the softest-riding car in the ultra-luxury sedan class, you’ve found it in the LS 460.
If you want a high-end luxury sedan that is comfortable, serene and meticulously assembled, the 2014 Lexus LS 460 is certainly worth a look. This tester was extremely quiet, has an impeccable ride and the V8 was silky smooth with the 8-speed automatic. Equipped with the air suspension package, the LS460 has even extra luxurious ride dynamics.