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2015 Lexus LS 600h L

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/2/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Lexus LS 600h L gains a new multimedia system with improved navigation features, LED dome lamps, Lexus Enform Remote, and an upgraded Lexus Enform App Suite with Slacker and iHeartRadio 4.0. Dynamic gridlines have been added to the car’s rearview camera and on LS 460 models, F Sport models now have “F Sport” badges in the rear.

Research

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Lexus LS 600h L is the top-of-the-line hybrid variant of the LS lineup that's priced above $100,000 to compete with 12-cylinder luxury cars from German automakers. The LS 600h L is only available with the long wheelbase and rear-wheel drive, with a 5.0-liter V-8 and an electric motor for a combined output of 438 hp and routed through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Due to its size and focus on 12-cylinder competition, the Lexus LS 600h L’s fuel economy isn’t impressive even though it’s a hybrid, at 19/23 mpg city/highway. A non-hybrid model, the LS 460, is available with a 360-386-hp 5.0-liter V-8 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Overview

While it accelerates relatively well, the 2015 Lexus LS 600h L lags behind in terms of performance especially against 12-cylinder German competitors. Handling is a weak point because the car tends to default to understeer when driven spiritedly through twisty roads while the steering doesn’t offer much feedback to the driver.

Interior fit and finish is good for the class, with the 2015 LS 600h L featuring high-quality materials and real wood accents. Buyers can also opt for executive-style seating with the Executive Class Seating Package, which replaces the three-place bench with two reclining seats with a foot rest, massaging function, and butterfly rear headrests. This also adds power rear window and windshield sunshades, a rear-seat entertainment system with a nine-inch screen, air purifier, and an ottoman for the right rear seat. However, the extra components of the hybrid powertrain take up trunk space, shrinking it down to 10.1 cubic feet from 18 cubic feet.

What We Think

Even though it remains a decent option among full-size luxury sedans, the 2015 Lexus LS 600h L is in need of improvements. In a 2011 First Test review, we said that the car is best driven at an easy pace since hustling it causes a default to understeer. Throttle response is very good thanks to the electric motor, making the car feel quicker than it actually is. Its interior is a pleasant place to be, with a long list of available features and a user-friendly infotainment system on a 12.3-inch screen.

You’ll Like

  • Luxurious interior appointments
  • Good throttle response
  • Easy to use infotainment system

You Won’t Like

  • Not as quick as competitors
  • Steering doesn’t offer much feedback
  • Small trunk

Key Competitors

  • BMW ActiveHybrid 7
  • Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
  • Audi A8 W12
  • BMW 760Li
  • Mercedes-Benz S600

Rating

2 star

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