2013 Lexus LS 460 F-Sport : Review
We recently had the chance to spend a week with the luxurious and sporty 2013 Lexus LS 460 F-Sport. As you can see in the photo above, we took the Lexus LS on a road trip to the Chesapeake Bay for a day of fun in the sun. The LS 460 F-Sport is the top of the line sedan from Lexus, and reminded us of a super model. She is so damn sexy that we couldn’t stop ourselves from taking ridiculous amounts of photos. So this review contains many more photos than our normal reviews, as there was just so much goodness to show you.
What follows are our observations of the vehicle after spending a week immersed in its luxury.
The Lexus LS is a real head turner, especially in the Matador Red Mica color that we drove. We pulled it into FedEx Field for some preseason tailgating, and Redskins fans around us swooned towards the vehicle to ask questions. There were plenty of other luxury vehicles in the same lot, but ours seemed to attract the most attention.
The signature spindle grille on the front has now been implemented across the entire Lexus line, and it grows on us every time we see it. We’re particularly fond of the styling on the F-Sport model. Unfortunately that ugly New Jersey license plate soils the look, and for the first time we realized how designers must feel when they see their vision ruined when the DMV gets a hold of their vehicles.
The LED headlamps are just exquisite and fit beautifully into the sculpted front end. The exterior styling and accents all went together well with the entire package. The side profile is our least favorite angle of this car and not coincidentally was the least updated exterior feature from the previous model.
The interior is luxurious and spacious, and didn’t give us the same ingress problems we had with the new IS. The 2013 Lexus LS was easily the most comfortable sedan we’ve ever driven. We’re not sure how many cows had to die to bring us such wonderful leather, but we appreciate their contribution to this vehicle. The LS included the comfort features that you would expect in a model of this class, with dual climate zones, seat memory, heated and cooled seats, and finely adjustable front seats. Even with the driver seat fully back, the rear seat had plenty of room for adults, and a sun shade for the rear window, but oddly none for the sides.
While certainly sophisticated and sharp-looking, the interior styling wasn’t suited to our tastes with the black on black. Unfortunately that is the only option offered on the LS F-Sport. The piano black finish on the center console both in the front and the rear showed scratches from previous journalists. With less than 8000 miles on the car, that material is obviously not resilient enough to place where jewelry and keys can scratch it easily.
The wide leather arm rest on the center console was a welcome feature, however overall the LS seemed to lack storage for the driver, with no place other than a cup-holder to place your cell phone. While everything connects wirelessly, many drivers like to remove objects from their pockets while driving, and Lexus doesn’t seem to account for that.
Everything about this vehicle screams quality, even beyond the softness of the leather and fine stitching on the dashboard. The weight of the doors were a perfect example, giving them a nice solid feel when opening and closing. There isn’t a flimsy cheap part to be found on this vehicle and the craftsmanship is highly noticeable whether you’re driving or just a passenger.
The 2013 Lexus LS is packed with technology, the centerpiece of which is the high-resolution 12.3 inch screen. The screen seems perfectly sized for the other elements on the dash that are found below it, and the split screen interface takes perfect advantage of the extra real estate. Unfortunately the controls are operated by the jumpy Lexus Remote Touch Interface, which is a good idea that is implemented poorly. Between the steering wheel controls, regular buttons below the screen, and voice commands, Lexus offers you alternate ways to get the job done if you want to avoid their remote touch interface.
Most any technological feature that you could think of is offered for the LS, and you can find most represented in the photo gallery above. All worked well in our testing, but one feature stood out in the crowd. The 19 speaker (yes 19!) Mark Levinson audio system was simply ridiculous. As a $1,580 option, it will awaken your love of music and allow you to hear your collection as you’ve never heard it before. Combining the Levinson system with the Lexus signature quiet ride would lead you to believe you were in a concert hall if you closed your eyes, but we don’t recommend that while driving.
The Lexus LS 460 F-Sport packs a 4.6 Liter 386HP V8 Engine with an 8-Speed sequential automatic transmission and full-time All-Wheel drive. That all sounds great, and we’d love to show it to you, but Lexus decided to cover all that awesomeness with plastic to maintain their quiet ride.
All models feature the Lexus Drive Mode Selector, which allows you to adjust throttle response, suspension and steering with the turn of a dial. Modes offered are Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S or Sport S+ and they provide a very noticeable array of driver experiences as highlighted on the screen. It’s almost like having 3 cars in one, and the system allows you to choose what fits your mood each time you drive it, or each time a different driver sits behind the wheel.
While it was a tad sluggish to respond to throttle in comfort mode, it was also whisper quiet, which we suppose was the idea. Normally we might tell you about gas mileage in this space, but we were driving an F-Sport, so gas mileage be damned, we’re turning the dial to Sport S+ and hauling ass down the road. We really couldn’t tell you what the Eco setting was like, because when we turned the dial to the right and the dash turned red, we never wanted to go back to those other modes again.
In Sport S+, the LS F-Sport was incredibly powerful and fun to drive. It would probably lead to many moving violations if we had access to this car daily. We’ve experienced the significantly lighter IS and GS F-Sport models at the track before, but the power of the LS was on a different level. Honestly I made my wife sick going around the first turn out of our neighborhood, that is how awesome it was.
The 2013 Lexus LS 460 F-Sport is an amazing combination of style, luxury, performance, comfort, and technology. The model we drove priced out at $89,560, but it was easy to see where the money goes when compared to lower Lexus models that we’ve driven in the past.
While it has much to offer, the LS 460 is not without its flaws though and it has some very strong competitors in the same class. The signature quality, quiet ride and reliability of Lexus are still here with this new offering, but the F-Sport model gives buyers a new wrinkle from Lexus to consider when making their buying decision.
Additionally, Philip has served as Rally Director for the Washington Automotive Press Association, Speaker at IMPAcon and Blogs with Balls, Chairman of the Relay For Life of North Anne Arundel County, Examiner Team Leader for the Maryland Performance Excellence Awards, and Credentialed Founder of Capitals Outsider.