2014 Lexus LS 460 F Sport

Lexus introduced the LS 460 luxury sedan more than 20 years ago, and it has remained true to its rear-wheel-drive luxury roots. It may be growing a little long in the tooth, but the LS 460 still has a lot to offer, particularly in the F Sport trim. For the 2014 model year, Lexus adds Siri Eyes-Free mode and a hands-free trunk opening system.

Powered by a 4.6-liter, 386-horsepower V8 connected to an 8-speed sequential shift automatic transmission, the LS 460 accelerates with gusto. Engineers at Edmunds brought the LS 460 to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 6.1 seconds. The impressive thing, however, about the LS 460 isn’t its power, which is about average for a car in its class. The thing that impresses us most is what we’ve come to expect from every Lexus vehicle: It’s as quiet as a church mouse. At a stoplight, it’s hard to even tell if the car is running (in the case of the LS 460 Hybrid, it isn’t running).

Our test car for the week was the 2014 Lexus LS 460 F Sport package, which “sportifies” the handling of this rather large sedan. Lexus engineers worked to find a balance between the required smooth ride of a luxury sedan with the stiffer suspension of a sport sedan, and struck a balance with the F Sport version. The F Sport sits lower to the ground on 19-inch forged alloy wheels and has an adaptive variable air suspension system. The driver can select from three driving modes: Normal, Eco or Sport.

Inside the cabin, the quietness is deafening. Lexus vehicles have always set the standard for noise reduction, and in this generation engineers came up special wheel designs that channel road and tire noise into hollow areas, further reducing noise that filters into the cabin. Designers focused on the details, right down to the available Shimamoku (striped wood) Espresso wood steering wheel and matching trim. Lexus says creating these exquisite steering wheels is a 67-step process that takes 38 days. The process involves layering dark and light veneers to create a one-of-a-kind custom steering wheel.

All LS models come with a navigation system with a large 12.3-inch screen. Many vehicle systems are controlled by a remote touch interface, an intuitive mouse-like system. If you’ve used a computer with a mouse, you can use the remote touch interface. The “cursor” of the mouse locks on each button, so delicate maneuvers with the mouse are not necessary. The LS460 also has a smart key and pushbutton start system that lights the interior and unlocks the car when you reach for the door handle while the key fob is on your person. Front seats are heated, ventilated and adjust endlessly.

Connectivity is via the Lexus Enform system, a voice activated system that allows access to Bing, OpenTable, MovieTickets.com, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Yelp and others. The quiet Lexus cabin makes the available Mark Levinson sound system sound like a concert hall. New for 2014 is Siri Eyes Free technology, which pairs iPhone 4s and 5 models and above with the vehicle for hands-free calls, music selection and navigation with Apple maps. Siri can also read notifications and calendar information, which allows the driver to add reminders and appointments while keeping hands on the wheel.

When it comes to safety, the LS 460 has a full suite of airbags, as well as standard and available technologies to prevent crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is in the process of crash testing the LS, but has already given it a “good” mark in the important moderate overlap front crash test.

Like most luxury sedans, the LS isn’t cheap. The base price of our test LS 460 was $72,140. The biggest option was the F Sport package at $8,350. The test car also had the upgraded sound package, intelligent headlights, a comfort package and blind spot monitor. The bottom line was $86,580, which included $910 in freight.

2014 LS 460 F Sport

Engine:

4.6-liter V8

Horsepower:

386

Transmission:

8-speed sequential shifting automatic

Price:

$72,140 ($86,580 as tested)

EPA mileage estimates:

16 mpg city / 24 mpg highway