2009 Lexus LS

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2009 Lexus LS Review

Note: This review was created when the 2009 Lexus LS was new.

The flagship sedan of Lexus and the luxury badge of Toyota, the LS has one of the finest interiors in a class famous for its fine interiors and an extraordinary list of technological innovations. It performs admirably but doesn't offer the driving excitement of a BMW 7-Series or Audi A8.

Pros & Cons

  • Opulent interior with legendary noise isolation
  • Soft, supple ride and sufficient acceleration
  • Optional Mark Levinson sound system is one of the best available
  • Industry-leading added safety features
  • Not an athletic performer
  • Self-parking feature is complicated and slow
  • Slightly dated exterior styling

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Lexus LS has a score of 9.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 105 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 8.9
Interior: 8.9
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Lexus LS Overview

Reviewers who bother to register complaints about the LS often cite its soft suspension, which tends to create a floating sensation that dulls the connection between driver and car. A few reviewers also say the acceleration is not on par with the best of its class.

However, at this price point, these are largely matters of taste. With a 4.6-liter V8 engine that delivers 380 horsepower, the LS is hardly an underpowered car. Likewise, the suspension that some cite as too soft is the key to what others call one of the most comfortable cruising rides available.

Many reviewers say most drivers won't notice any lack of athleticism because they'll be too comfortable in the opulent cabin to care. The interior of the LS is exemplary, with soft leather, polished woods and an exhaustive list of entertainment and climate technologies. The technophiles at CNET write that the 460L "is the best car we've seen. We can't put it any more bluntly than that. It checks off all the tech boxes, then goes and adds some new ones." They go on to call the car "Four Seasons hotel on four wheels." 

The LS is also a good value among super luxury cars. Many reviewers note that its base price can be tens of thousands of dollars below that of similar cars from Mercedes and BMW.

The LS is available in well-equipped base trim and extended-wheelbase 460L trim. For 2009, All-Wheel Drive is now available on both trim levels, and the passenger's side front seat now has a memory function. A hybrid model, the LS 600h, is reviewed separately. 

Be sure to check for current Lexus deals that may be available on a new LS.

  • "The Lexus LS line may be the quietest, most serene luxury car available. It offers an excellent combination of comfort, space, quietude, and features. It's also the most electronics-intensive luxury car we've ever experienced and, if it weren't a Lexus, that would give us pause. The LS 460 offers all anyone might want in a luxury car, and at a price that cannot be considered exorbitant." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "With a list of features longer than my leg, the LS460 is Nirvana for those who know and for those who are ready to believe that a ride in the car can be good for the soul." -- Mother Proof
  • "The 2009 Lexus LS 460 is a top choice for a luxury sedan thanks to its blissful comfort, exceptional refinement and value. Maintaining the Lexus LS line's reputation as an all-star are such exemplary traits as a silent and super-smooth ride, commendable engine performance, stalwart reliability and undeniable value among competing large luxury sedans." -- Edmunds
  • "Lexus's LS-series sedans have long been highly regarded for their effortless ease, brilliant silence, and impregnable build quality. They've also been disparaged for being somewhat soulless. Technology lies at the core of that praise and that criticism." -- Car and Driver
  • "LS base prices start below those of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8. It is less sporty and more comfort-oriented than those German rivals, but Lexus' flagship is a Best Buy for its power, refinement, standard features, and optional gadgets." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The foremost vehicle in Lexus's lineup, not to mention the model that introduced the brand to America back in 1989, the LS is the epitome of Toyota's luxury division. Now in its fourth generation, the LS" is a showcase of the brand's most innovative technology." -- Motor Trend

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