2009 Lexus LS 460 AWD Denver Cars Examiner com

25 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2009 Lexus LS 460 AWD Denver Cars Examiner com отключены
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2009 Lexus LS 460 AWD

Tactile Love for the Innocuous

After sampling the stunning, sophisticated, yet simple beauty of the Jaguar XF, I was somewhat apprehensive about receiving this new Lexus LS 460 AWD. You see, being objective with each car driven is hard enough on its own back to back comparisons with something that crawled under your skin is something else.

I mentioned the Lexus 460 AWD earlier this week on the Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/x-2102-Denver-Autos-Examiner

y2009m5d5-Cruising-to-Deli-Tech-in-a-Lexus-LS-460. In many ways, it fit in with the demographic that frequents this deli. That’s not a bad thing.

The big Lexus LS 460 is the largest, most luxurious vehicle in the Lexus fleet. There are three Lexus 460 vehicles to choose from. The normal, rear drive vehicle which I sampled a few years back (more on that in a minute), the “L” model which adds several inches to the back seating area for limo-like space and the all-wheel-drive (AWD) variant which uses the regular sized LS 460 and adds a full time AWD with Torsen® limited-slip center differential to maximize power transfer capability front and rear.

This package, along with the navigation package, brought the total to around $75,000. In this range, the Lexus presents itself as a bargain against the Mercedes Benz S class and BMW 7 series its main rivals. As a driving machine, the Germans win, but as a rider’s machine the Lexus is a compelling option.

When selecting “comfort” you will delight in one of the smoothest rides on the market. This, despite the heavy AWD system was a remarkable feat. When you select “sport” the ride stiffens and the handling sharpens. This is not a track machine to be sure and I recommend the Germans for any sporting pretensions; however, this vehicle holds up well to impulsive driving.

The AWD system was barely noticeable until I pushed so hard that the 4,730 lbs Lexus began to under-steer at that moment. The front end simply pulled itself into the direction I was pointing at and the traction control limited my abuse to insure a safe corner.

The Lexus LS 460 AWD will do whatever you ask of it with little complaint. The noise is extremely well muted, yet you can hear a smidgen of the wonderful 4.6 liter V8’s sound. Comfort is luxury-liner exemplary, the sound system is top notch and day to day handling is as easy as driving a Toyota Camry. Parking took some time getting used to as this is a massive car. Still, once learning the proportions, the Lexus was as easy to park as any other mid sized vehicle.

The backup camera truly helps in this endeavor.

One neat toy I played with was the height adjustable adaptive variable air suspension with electronically modulated damping. Simply put, it raises the massive sedan three to four inches at the push of a button. The juvenile in me began to scratch his preverbal beard when considering the possibilities.

AWD combined with a high ride height? This IS a rather powerful 357 horsepower 4.6 liter V8 that cranks out 344 lbs feet of torque, why not use it?

Imagine: a GIANT rally car!

I quickly came to my senses and remembered that this is an executive cruiser not a pavement bruiser. Thus, I opted to drive it as such and headed south on I25 to Colorado Springs. The 8-speed (yes eight) sequential-shift automatic electronically controlled transmission was seamless in operation.

High speed cruising was effortless and with so much room in the back for passengers, it made me wonder why anyone would select the “L” model.

It was during my testing loop that I began to find things that I questioned. I drove this vehicle before and loved the extremely comfortable seats but little else. The interior design is as lifeless as the exterior.

The dark oak and black leather interior looked less luxurious than the Hyundai Genesis I recently tested and was staid at best.

There was nothing invigorating in this techno-marvel. Yes, even the seatbelt anchors work electronically and the quality in all materials is undeniable. Still, I felt as if I was driving an older vehicle, in every way.

This is where Lexus is genius.

There are many consumers who do not want the flash of an ostentatious automobile; yet, they desire a technologically superior vehicle that rivals any automaker and won’t embarrass them at the country club. The Lexus LS 460 AWD is that car with the added piece of mind that foul weather and deep snow will not defeat its mission to coddle the driver from point A to point B year round.

Indeed, with this Lexus it is not about how it makes you look; it is about how is makes you feel.

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