Lexus LS

The Essentials

  • Price from £90,636
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 30.4mpg
  • What is it? Ultra-refined hybrid luxury car is comfortable to drive but it's hardly a green option.

Great

  • Smooth and quiet enough for chess games in the back
  • A huge range of safety kit to deal with every eventuality
  • Excellent reliability record

Gripes

  • You could buy a house for the same money
  • Interior doesn't feel as sumptuous as we'd like
  • Automatic gearbox gets itself confused
  • Drive

    Pacy, comfortable at speed and almost eerily quiet

  • Inside

    Loads of instruments but the finish has all the pizzazz of rice pudding

  • Safety

    An enormous range of safety kit plus smart key entry systems to deter thieves

  • Reliability

    When the world ends, it'll be a pristine Lexus found standing in the smoking ruins

  • Space

    Positively luxurious upfront, but rear passengers will need to squeeze up

  • Standard and extras

    If it isn't here, it probably doesn't exist; upgrade to a long-wheelbase version for extra space

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Lexus LS is a high-performance hybrid car which provides a superbly comfortable ride at speed. It's not quite so good at handling urban potholes, however, and the automatic gearbox isn't always on the front foot when you want to pick up the pace. It makes up for any failings with its fabulous refinement ? from near-silent at low revs to whisper-quiet on the motorway, it's the perfect place to meditate on your next cabinet reshuffle.

  • What's it like inside?

    If you like lots to play with you won't be disappointed; there's enough adjustment to precision engineer your seating position as well as plenty to stave off boredom on long journeys. Sadly the overall effect just doesn't feel all that expensive.
    Up front there's lots of room but if you're sitting in the back while your driver takes the wheel you might feel a bit hard done by (or wish you were shorter). There's not a lot of foot room under the seats and a central rear passenger pulls the short straw for comfort.
    The LS is beautifully equipped: every model has voice-operated sat-nav and air-conditioned seats.

  • How reliable is it?

    Lexus has a legendary reliability record and sets the standard for quality and dealer service so you shouldn't have any worries on that front.
    Safety kit is impressive, too. As well as eight airbags and active headrests to prevent whiplash in a crash, the car will do its best to spot potential problems and prevent an accident before it happens.

  • Should I buy one?

    Not only is the LS mind-bogglingly expensive to buy, but running costs aren't what you might hope for from a hybrid. The engine returns will carry you just over 30 miles per gallon, which isn't impressive - a diesel Mercedes S-Class is more efficient. Emissions are high, too, so this isn't a hybrid to boast about.