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2011 Lexus LS Hybrid Review

The 2011 Lexus LS Hybrid wowed reviewers with its luxurious interior and long list of standard features, but if you seek sporty handling, its comfortable ride may disappoint.

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet, seamless hybrid powertrain
  • Smooth ride
  • Extraordinary stereo
  • Brisk acceleration
  • Large price increase over non-hybrid Lexus LS when it was new
  • Fuel economy increase is small




Critics' Rating: 8.0
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 9.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.5
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Lexus LS Hybrid Overview

A growing number of hybrids are entering the class of super luxury cars, but the LS Hybrid was the first on the scene. It’s nowhere near as green as the iconic Toyota Prius, but Lexus’ hybrid flagship does pose an interesting alternative to its rivals – offering a slight fuel economy advantage and more power than its gas-only sibling, the Lexus LS. Additionally, the LS 600h comes standard with all-wheel drive, an adjustable air suspension and a continuously variable transmission that reviewers say makes for an ultra-smooth ride. The automotive press says that it’s one of the quietest, most comfortable cars on the market, but if you’re looking for a large car with sporty handling, you might want to look elsewhere – the LS Hybrid can’t outrun more nimble competitors like the BMW 7-Series Hybrid or the Porsche Panamera on a winding road.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, and Lexus complements the LS Hybrid’s comfort-oriented ride with one of the most opulent interiors in the class. The LS Hybrid is roomy, with a sleek cabin design, comfortable leather seats and a long list of standard interior features. However, taller passengers may want a touch more headroom, and cargo space is robbed by the electric motor’s battery. The LS 600h has just 10.1 cubic feet of cargo space. 

Other Cars to Consider

Super luxury automakers have stepped their game up when it comes to hybrid cars, and many rivals offer similar features at a lower price. Starting at about $102,000, the BMW 7-Series Hybrid is a viable alternative for shoppers who are willing to trade a slightly less-opulent interior for blistering acceleration and nimble, sport sedan handling. 

If fuel economy is your end-game – and why wouldn’t it be in the super luxury class – you have two choices: the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid and the Porsche Panamera V6. Both have an EPA-estimated annual fuel cost of $2,877, which is the lowest cost among super luxury cars, but choosing between the two will likely depend on your driving style. At $91,000, the S-Class Hybrid offers a ride that’s just as posh as the LS Hybrid, but it can’t match the Lexus in terms of power. But what the S-Class lacks in performance it makes up with better 19/25 mpg city/highway fuel economy and a sticker price that’s nearly $20,000 less than the LS Hybrid.

Lexus LS Hybrid: The Details

Unlike the gas-powered model that it’s based on, the 2011 Lexus LS Hybrid comes in just one trim level: the LS 600h L. It starts at about $111,000, and shares a platform with the extended-wheelbase Lexus LS.

  • "The few positives do little to dissuade us from recommending a long list of other luxury sedans over the 2011 LS 600h L -- including its own LS 460 L cousin. For the eco-conscious buyer, BMW's line of Active Hybrid sedans are priced well below this Lexus, as is the Mercedes-Benz S400 hybrid. For the performance-minded shopper, models like the BMW Alpina B7, Jaguar XJ and Porsche Panamera are all considerably better choices." -- Edmunds 
  • "In addition to its high-tech drivetrain, the 2011 LS 600h L is loaded with enough gadgets to keep any techie grinning from ear to ear. Remarkable fuel economy for the segment, a sublime ride and plenty of power are the most notable of this sedan's attributes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Lexus LS 600h is more than just a stretched LS460. It's an advanced, intelligent, premium vehicle with numerous environmental benefits. It's fun to drive, but back seat passengers get the royal treatment." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The hybrid 600h remains an extremely pricey technological tour-de-force." -- Consumer Guide

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