2017 Lexus LS

Performance


$54,301 - $60,936

2017 Lexus LS Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Lexus LS was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 7.5

The 2017 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. It also earns 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 (2016)
  • "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)

Acceleration and Power

A 386-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 comes standard in the rear-wheel drive 2017 LS. All-wheel drive models come with a 359-horsepower version of the same engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. The LS earns an EPA-estimated 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, which is low for the class.

While the LS' V8 is refined and powerful, some competitors offer more power and better fuel economy with their six- and eight-cylinder engines. Additionally, the eight-speed automatic transmission is slow to find the right gear.

  • "All these powertrains are as competent, powerful and buttery-smooth as you would rightfully expect." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • 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 (2016)
  • "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)

Handling and Braking 

The 2017 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 an 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 effortlessly. Because its engineering is biased toward comfort, the LS is less agile around corners than some competitors, and it has numb steering. Still, the F Sport model is noticeably more nimble than other trims.

  • However, in the area of performance, more precisely handling, the LS still takes a back seat to the BMW 7 Series and Porsche Panamera. On the open highway, the LS glides effortlessly mile after mile. Its steering is precise and responsive and the cabin is whisper-quiet. … Order the F Sport Package and you'll get the LS in its most aggressive form. With 19-inch wheels, Brembo brakes and a sport-tuned air suspension, the F Sport trim brings the big LS a step closer to its European rivals, but not enough so to overtake them." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2016)
  • "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)

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