Review: 2007 Lexus LS
This 2007 review is representative of model years 2007 to 2012.
By Dan Jedlicka of MSN Autos
A car that parallel parks itself should get the attention of even those who have no more feeling for cars than they do for a city bus.
The redesigned 2007 Lexus LS 460 sedan has that $500 feature, called the Advanced Parking Guidance System. It's a "first" in the automotive world.
But is that intriguing system just a headline-grabbing feature for this new fourth-generation Lexus? With today's mostly drive-in parking spots, there's not much need for it outside of congested residential city areas.
Those drive-in spots at such places as shopping centers and 7-Elevens are a good thing because many drivers seemingly have terrible parallel parking abilities. (Last I looked, parallel parking is no longer taught during many high school driving courses.)
How It Works
But a good amount of room is needed behind the LS to automatically steer itself into a parallel parking space. Programming the parallel parking feature can be bothersome and shouldn't be done hastily. A driver might have time to drink a latte before the car finishes parking.
Incidentally, Mercedes-Benz offers a similar parallel-park feature for its revamped 2007 S-Class flagship sedan, but it calls for more driver involvement.
More Aggressive Styling
But this new Lexus still doesn't stand out much from the Japanese luxury car crowd because the LS has always been a winner and radical styling changes might cause potential loyal LS fans to look elsewhere.
However, the LS is so aerodynamic that it has an astonishing low drag coefficient of .26, while a .30 reading is good even for a sports car. There thus is little wind noise and fuel economy is enhanced.
Superb Fit and Finish
Lexus even worked to make the sound of the doors opening and closing reminiscent of skillfully crafted wood doors in a home.
The smooth, quiet V8 provides very fast (0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds), seemingly effortless acceleration that just goes on forever. The engine works with the world's first production car 8-speed automatic transmission; it shifts so smoothly you'd never know it had all those speeds. (Lexus trumps Mercedes here because the S-Class is offered with "only" a 7-speed automatic.)
New Long-Wheelbase Version
The regular-length LS is priced at $61,000. Add $10,000 for the long-wheelbase version. And figure on higher prices for a gasoline-elecric hybrid LS that arrives next year and will be the first vehicle with a full hybrid V8 powertrain.
Lots of New Technology
A fully optioned LS has a so many airbags and surround-sound speakers that you can almost lose count. It's also got a 30-gigabyte hard drive (storage for 2,000 music files) and a bunch of powered sunshades. Mercy!
A Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management stability system integrates a new electronically controlled brake system, electronic power steering, vehicle stability control, anti-lock braking system and electronic brake force distribution.
Decent Fuel Economy
An available electric power steering system does away with a hydraulic system's weight and complexity. It provides a natural effort level, which is something not all electric steering systems possess.
The package also provides variable gear ratio steering and brakes with larger rotors for superior stopping during hard driving.
The LS 460 doesn't speak to car buffs and is nowhere with the hip-hop crowd—at least not so far. Rather, it's for practical luxury sedan buyers who want a solid, reliable, prestigious sedan.