2016 Lexus LS


$44,048 - $78,038

2016 Lexus LS Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Lexus LS was new.


Performance: 7.5

The 2016 Lexus LS has an exceptionally quiet and cushioned ride with plenty of V8 power, according to reviewers. Still, it doesn't offer the handling prowess or rapid acceleration of some competitors. Both the gas-only LS and the LS Hybrid earn subpar fuel economy estimates for the class.

  • "It glides over the road, the steering is precise but easy to the touch, the interior just might be the quietest in memory; this is luxury motoring at its most unobtrusively sublime." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Though extremely comfortable, the LS 460 can't match the power and dynamics of its best rivals." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "If I had never driven a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, I might call the LS 460 the best-riding car in the class. This big Lexus scores points from me mostly for not pretending to be sporty. It's fast, rides very well, coddles without complication." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
  • "After consulting with our co-driver about our intended route, we almost forgot that the engine was already running. Ah, yes, this is the level of quietness and isolation that so charmed luxury-car buyers when the original LS400 debuted." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

Acceleration and Power

A 386-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 comes standard in the rear-wheel drive 2016 LS 460. All-wheel drive models come with a 360-horsepower version of the same engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. The LS 460 earns an EPA-estimated 16/24 mpg city/highway, which is low for the class.

The hybrid LS 600h L comes with a 5.0-liter V8 engine and two electric motors that together make 438 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT), which you operate like an automatic, is standard. The EPA estimates the LS 600h L will get up to 19/23 mpg city/highway, which is less than what many gas-only competitors earn and much less than what the plug-in hybrid Mercedes-Benz S550e earns.

While the LS 460's V8 is refined and powerful, some competitors offer more power and better fuel economy with their six- and eight-cylinder engines. The eight-speed automatic transmission is slow to find the right gear. The hybrid LS 600h L is more powerful than the gas-only LS 460, but it is also heavier, so it accelerates more slowly.

  • "All these powertrains are as competent, powerful and buttery-smooth as you would rightfully expect." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The car's 386-horsepower V8 is no slouch, but it falls short in performance and fuel economy when compared to the latest turbocharged V8 engines, and even some turbo sixes, from Europe." -- Edmunds
  • "After stabbing the throttle at speed, there is typically a rather long delay while the transmission hunts for the proper gear. You can hear the engine revs pick up as the trans is downshifting, but actual accelerative movement is a heartbeat or two away." -- Consumer Guide (2014)
  • Under the hood, the LS 460's 4.6-liter V8 is a sweet-tempered motor, but it lacks the immediacy of the latest forced-induction engines from Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and others. On its own merits, it's awesome; driven back-to-back with any of those foes, its limited low-end torque becomes apparent. The LS 600h L solves the torque problem, but it also weighs more than 5,000 pounds, so its acceleration is ultimately weaker than in the LS 460." -- AutoTrader (2014)

Handling and Braking 

The 2016 Lexus LS comes standard with rear-wheel drive and Lexus Drive Select, which lets you choose between Normal, Eco, and Sport S driving modes. All-wheel drive and adaptive air suspension – with additional Comfort and Sport S+ driving modes – are optional. The LS has a cushioned ride that absorbs bumps in the road. Because its engineering is biased toward comfort, the LS is less composed around corners than some competitors, and it has numb steering. Still, the F Sport model is noticeably more nimble than other trims.

  • "If you want the softest-riding car in the ultra-luxury sedan class, you've found it in the 2016 Lexus LS 460. However, this cushy demeanor comes at the expense of handling, as the big Lexus feels lazy and imprecise going around turns. The steering has more weight to it than you might expect, but there's not much feel or any semblance of sportiness." -- Edmunds
  • "This big luxury sedan glides over bumps, with lightweight steering and a silent interior that isolates occupants from the outside world." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Driven with spirit, the current LS feels significantly less floaty than its predecessor, while engaging the driver like never before. That's particularly true in the F Sport trim, which makes the LS an intriguingly affordable substitute for performance-oriented German rivals. You'll never mistake this softly sprung car for a sport sedan, but you'll also be pleasantly surprised by how it hunkers down through the bends." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • Over the road, the F-Sport is more sprightly than the base car, but don't mistake it for a corner-carver. It's more a high-speed, long-distance transport." -- AutoWeek (2013)

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