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The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times Staff Writers

The Daily Drivers: The 2010 Lexus LS 460 is all about comfort and a smooth ride

The LS 460 is Lexus' flagship sedan. As such, it embodies the Lexus character: comfortable and stately. It won't wow you with its performance like some of its European competitors, but it could lull you to sleep — in a good way. The LS 460's list of features is long. And for a large luxury sedan, the entry price also is comfortable.

Appearance: No boundaries were pushed in the design of this vehicle. With Lexus, it's all about understatement. The LS 460 has elegant lines and curves, with only some minor chrome trim for a splash of bling. The lone extravagance is the distinctive look of the trapezoidal grille.

Performance: Allow us a bit of hyperbole: The LS 460 rides smoothly, like on a cloud. That said, we didn't find it to be great on slick roads, even with its stability and traction controls. In the rain, Lyra got the car loose on a turn. The 4.6-liter, 380-horsepower V-8, with three drive modes, pulls the car from 0-60 in 5.4 seconds — not bad for a 4,244-pound sedan. The automatic transmission has eight speeds, and all of them shift flawlessly; we could hardly detect the transitions. The braking — ABS with electronic brake distribution and brake assist — is solid. Notable: The Advanced Parking Guidance helps you parallel park. The steering is light, but we wouldn't call the car's handling nimble. The headlights are adaptive, swiveling to illuminate your path on curves.

Interior: The luxurious four-tone cabin is quiet, with hardly any road noise, and well-appointed. As we've come to expect from Lexus, the backlit gauges on the dash are crisp and easy to read. Details such as the matte finish for the wood trim give it a refined look that even many luxury cars lack. The perforated leather front seats — heated and cooled — are comfortable, but maybe not as plush as some other luxury cars we've driven. Still, the driver's side seat has a 16-way adjustment and the passenger gets 12. Elsewhere, the cabin is filled with thoughtful amenities: The seat belt height can be adjusted with a button on the door, so there's no need to reach back to lower it. The headrests adjust their height depending on the seat position: The farther back, the higher the headrest. Some padding fills the gap between the seat and the console so you don't lose your change or keys. (The one detail we would like to see: a blind-spot warning system.) Some of the AC controls are by touch-screen, like mode and fan speed. (We would prefer buttons.) There are four vents and heated seats for the rear passengers. The trunk is family-vacation large with a button to close it. The impressive, 10-speaker premium sound system has auto-sound leveling.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Transmission: Eight speeds that shift smoothly and probably helps out a bit with the highway mpg.

Cabin: Just like Lyra, I was impressed with the trim and details.

Suspension: It absorbs the bumps so you don't have to.

Lyra Solochek

Ride: One of the smoothest, quietest rides we've tested.

Trim: The matte wood trim proves it doesn't have to be glossy to be upscale.

Driver's seat: 16-way adjustment for a very comfortable ride.

The bottom line: There are no surprises with the Lexus LS 460 other than the level of detail. If comfort and ride are your top priorities, then the LS460 delivers.









2010 Lexus LS 460

Price: $64,680 start, $70,679 as tested.

Powertrain: 4.6-liter V-8 with 8-speed sequential automatic transmittion, electronic throttle control system, RWD

Horsepower: 380 at 6,400 rpm

Torque: 367 pound-feet at 4,100 rpm

0-60: 5.4 seconds

Curb weight: 4,244 pounds

Dimensions

in inches:

Wheelbase, 116.9

Length, 199.2

Width, 73.8

Seats: 5

Fuel economy:

16 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway

Safety features: Air bags and curtains, Dynamics Integrated Management, ABS, electronic brake distribution with brake assist, reinforced body with crumple zones, side-impact door beams, adaptive front lighting with auto leveling.

Website: www.lexus.com/

models/LS/

The Daily Drivers: The 2010 Lexus LS 460 is all about comfort and a smooth ride 11/26/10 [Last modified: Friday, November 26, 2010 3:30am]
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