2008 Lexus LS


$10,344 - $10,723

2008 Lexus LS Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2008 Lexus LS was new.


Interior: 8.4

The 2008 Lexus LS 460, in the standard or long wheelbase version, is well-appointed with luxury and tech features, and spacious with comfortable seats and ample room. The LS L's Executive-Class Seating Package, Mark Levinson sound system and the novel Advanced Parking Guidance System are standout features. The Detroit News reports "the interior of the LS 460 is roomy and supremely comfortable -- exactly the sort of environment you'd fantasize about for longer excursions."

The LS' interior fit and finish is high-quality, providing exactly what is expected for its class with more intuitive and easy-to-use controls. The Chicago Tribune calls the cabin "huge and cozy." The Arizona Republic calls the Lexus LS interior "[a]bsolutely gorgeous, with wood, leather, suede and plenty of space in the back seat." MSN says the fit and finish are "superb" and CNET agrees, calling the materials inside the LS "very luxurious." Forbes reports that while all the seats are "not surprisingly, hugely comfortable and roomy," the LS 460 "has yet another awe-inspiring characteristic: absolute quietude."


Both LS trims comfortably seat five in an interior that is not only ample but comfortable and luxurious. Consensus shows the driver's seat is "all-day-comfortable," says Car and Driver, with a "16-way power driver's seat, which is now quite supportive." Consumer Guide says, with all these features, its "easy to find a comfortable driving position." Edmunds adds that even "the most discriminating backside" will find the seats supportive. Kelley Blue Book concludes: "All LS 460s pamper their passengers with superbly supportive and exceptionally adjustable front buckets, plus a roomy, comfortable rear bench." An About.com reviewer adds that "At 6'1" tall, I found ample headroom and all major controls were within reach." Reviewers from Edmunds say that, in an "ergonomic sense, the cockpit's layout is perfection," and Cars.com concludes that while the sedan is low-slung, "visibility is good."

The rear seating inside the base LS sedan pampers riders with space and amenities. But reviewers unanimously agree that the 460 L, with the longer wheelbase and the optional Executive-Class Seating Package, is first-class luxury. The Executive-Class Seating Package, available for the LS 460 L for a hefty additional cost (MSRP of $12,675), fits the backseat with accommodations for four, and adds a host of interior features, but this opulent package is available as special order only. Edmunds says "comfort is taken to a whole new level in the 460 L."  Forbes calls it a "throne for the boss," and Car and Driver reports that "Lexus aims to replicate the environment of a business jet."

Regardless, the standard LS trim backseat is spacious, adding to the sedan's comfort and class. Cars.com reports that the LS 460 "spoils rear-seat occupants with its spacious accommodations." AutoWeek reviewers report that the rear seat has "scads of legroom." Yet About.com has some gripes, saying that "the standard-length LS 460 is a bit cramped for those of us over six feet tall."

Interior Features

The LS interior is both fitted with high-quality materials and intuitive to operate. Road and Track reports that the "broad sweep of the dash is integrated beautifully into the front doors and the center console, the latter set at the same level as the armrests for that extra measure of comfort." The Kansas City Star says the "cabin's elegance is ... understated." Cars.com says the LS's "new cabin is more contemporary and puts it near the top of the luxury sedan pack in terms of material quality and ergonomics." Reviewers from the New York Times, while finding the interior materials and finishes "fully on par," mention that "the cabin may lack the boutique dazzle of Audi or Mercedes." But Edmunds concludes that the interior is "brilliant" in the aesthetic sense.

Many agree the LS interior is easy to operate, simple and clear and well put together. Edmunds says there is "no great learning curve required to operate the climate controls, audio system and other features, and the Optitron electroluminescent gauges are especially handsome in design and effective visual messengers." The Chicago Tribune adds that the controls are "conveniently placed so they are easy to see," yet "there are so many buttons you may have to stop and read the owner's manual every so often to remember what each one does."

The base trim LS comes with a leather-trimmed interior, 16-way adjustable driver's seat, 12-way adjustable front passenger seat, the Lexus Memory System and Personalized Settings and dual-zone climate control. Optional interior features include climate-comfort front and rear seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel, and a rear power sunshade.


Both LS trims come with a Premium Sound System with Digital Sound Processor, an Automatic Sound Levelizer, and six-disc in-dash CD changers. The entertainment system comes with an iPod/MP3 WMA port. Reviewers rave about the optional Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound Audio System. The Mark Levinson System comes with 19-speakers, produces 450-watts of sound and has a six-disc CD/DVD auto-changer and DVD audio and video playback. About.com says audiophiles will appreciate this optional system, calling it "easily one of the best I've ever heard." CNET reports the sound system has "[e]nough speakers for heavenly sound" with a "near-perfect audio quality" result. Reviewers add: "Bass came through strong, while the highest notes still stood out. With the digital signal processor placing the sweet spot for the music dead center in the cabin, the audio actually sounded best in the back seat."


The optional navigation system, which includes a voice-activated HDD Navigation System, with backup camera, Bluetooth technology, XM Satellite Radio and real-trim traffic capabilities, comes in three different package options or as an individual upgrade. CNET reports the navigation screen "was big, bright, and easy to read. The destination input screen is well-designed, both for aesthetics and usability."

Additional Features

A big buzz surrounds the LS' Advanced Parking Guidance System, an innovative new optional feature that assists the driver back into a spot or parallel parks. Advertised as a car that can park itself, most find this feature a bit complicated, a hassle to use, and more of a gimmick than assistance. This feature, available for both LS trims, requires purchasing Intuitive Parking Assist.

With the Advanced Parking Guidance System, the LS' rearview camera and dashboard screen help the driver position the car correctly to automatically maneuver into the spot. The steering wheel will move and spin itself as the car parks, and the driver must maintain a certain low speed while still keeping his or her foot on the brake pedal. Once the sedan is in the parking space, the driver finishes aligning the car by pulling forward. AutoWeek reports, "Twelve sonar sensors take care of determining if there is enough room as the car approaches a likely place and stops in the usual fashion," and the "wheel cranks itself furiously, like an invisible drift driver is sitting in your lap, and the car maneuvers precisely into place, scratch-free." Yet AutoWeek concludes: "The gimmick has worked in generating buzz, as several staffers have been asked by friends and acquaintances, 'Is that the car that parks itself?' Well, yes, it is, but figuring out how to use it takes more time than simply parking the car yourself."

Car and Driver says test drivers tried it a few times and "got the feeling that someone could nab your spot by the time you get everything dialed in. As with most new technologies, expect faster-acting versions in the future." The Detroit Free Press adds that while its fascinating to watch the steering wheel moves itself, "the LS outraces its computer's ability to process information, and the system freaks out and warns you to apply the brakes." Test drivers from the Chicago Tribune say that the parking guidance system "makes your car the ultimate valet. Or so we thought. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 the easiest, we'd give automatic parking a 2, sky diving 3 and bullfighting 4."

A vocal minority praise this feature. Consumer Guide says it's "a marvel for parallel parking, and works as advertised." Yet the New York Times says that, as "the first self-parking system," it's "the equivalent of a cellphone so primitive that its only function is to make and receive phone calls."


Both the 2008 Lexus LS and LS L have 18 cubic feet of trunk space, but the LS L's room decreases when the Rear-Seat Upgrade Package or Executive-Class Seating Package is added. Many agree the LS does not have competitive trunk space, and that the LS L's diminished capacity with optional packages doesn't help. AutoWeek reports the "biggest complaint so far, however, has been the lack of trunk space," which according to them can hold "a couple of small golf bags." The reviewers continue on to say that "drivers with three aboard have stowed the third person's baggage in a rear seat. For four of you, pack lightly." The Detroit Free Press adds that despite the "spacious interior, the trunk is surprisingly small." Cars.com notes that the "rear-seat backrests don't fold, which is common in this class, but there's a pass-thru to the rear seats that can be used for transporting long, skinny items inside the car." Yet Consumer Guide calls interior small-item storage space "Good."

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