The Lexus Flagship – the LS460 4-door sedan – is freshened for the 2013 model year. This comes after an all new Audi A8 in 2011, a tweaked 2012 BMW 7-Series, and the new Cadillac XTS (which may not be in this class). A major change for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is due in early 2013 as a 2014 model year. The Jaguar XJ that was all new in 2009 as a 2010 model gets a much needed all wheel drive system for 2013.
2013 Lexus LS460 F SPORT
“The Lexus LS wins the 2009 Motorist Choice Award for the third straight year. The LS has not been bashful about receiving awards, also taking AutoPacific’s Owner Recommendation, Vehicle Satisfaction, and Ideal Vehicle Awards this year. Owners in the Premium Luxury Car segment keep placing the LS at pole position. Lexus comes through by consistently placing the ownership experience at the top of the priority list” – AutoPacific
“The Lexus LS was a 2009 BOVY Winner. The Lexus LS has best-in-segment ownership costs and by far the best retained value in the segment..” – IntelliChoice
Owner Satisfaction Highlights
• Ease of Getting in and Out
• Driver’s Seat Comfort
• Vehicle and Brand Reputation
• Exterior and Interior Styling
• Power and Acceleration
• Reliable / Dependable
• Vehicle’s Ride
• Safety Features and Feeling Safe While Driving
• 2009 BOVY Winner
• Best-in-Segment Ownership Costs
• Best Retained Value
“Lexus LS’ win of AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award for Premium Luxury Cars, combined with its win of the 2009 Vehicle Satisfaction Award, put the LS in a class of its own,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc. “Lexus LS owners are very satisfied with their vehicles and it is clear that Lexus designed and built a vehicle finely tuned to its target buyers.” In a third measure of excellence, the Lexus LS was most highly recommended by its owners in the Premium Luxury Car class. Owners consider the LS as having near ideal:
* Exterior Size
* Level of Technology
* Interior Storage
Standard and Optional Features Should Significantly Reduce Accidents Small and Large
Counterpoint – the Devil’s Advocate
Though not all of the details have been revealed regarding the fourth-generation Lexus LS sedan, at the Detroit auto show Lexus uncovered styling and gave us a peek at some new luxury features. In Geneva, more information on the big car’s safety systems was revealed. Just around the corner, at the New York auto show in April, the LS hybrid will be unveiled. Lexus has also announced that the new LS will be offered in two wheelbase lengths, something new to the Lexus strategy but which entries like the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class long have done (although Mercedes sells only the long wheelbase version of the S-Class in the USA). AutoPacific and Vehicle Voice give you a brief preview of some of the upcoming wow! systems Lexus buyers will soon get to choose from.
After you read the following summary of the technology coming on the 2007 Lexus LS, ask yourself these questions, “Is this technology necessary? Will this technology significantly enhance the driving experience? How expensive will all these wow! systems be? How reliable will they be? Are Lexus engineers answering questions no one is asking?”
In AutoPacific research there appears to be an undercurrent that some drivers are beginning to push back at technology that tries to do too much. “Why do I need that,” one Mercedes driver may ask. A 7-Series driver brags that they have mastered the audio functions of iDrive after owning the car for five months and is looking forward to now learning how to learn the navigation functions. A Mercedes driver complains that the “car is taking over control” and says he’ll buy something different next time. Then, there is the luxury car owner that asks, “Why is a $25,000 car like the Honda Accord never in the shop, but my $70,000 7-Series always there?” Technology needed? Or technology run amok?
Now that I have had a chance to digest the upcoming all new Lexus LS460 I have to conclude that it will be one formidable competitor. VehicleVoice and AutoPacific analysts concur.
In an auto show season when the USA audience has the chance to see an all new (to the USA) Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS460, there is an opportunity to do some deep soul searching about the group of flagship sedans that top the car market in the USA. We include the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Infiniti Q45, Jaguar XJ, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS in this group of excellent cars. We might reach downmarket a bit to the Acura RL and upwards a lot to the Bentley Continentals, but the key competitors are Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus and Mercedes. By far, the best seller has been the Lexus capturing 27% of the class in its last full year of production.
So, why would a Japanese luxury car now be worthy of becoming the benchmark of the Premium Luxury Segment? The Lexus LS has had the corner on durability, quality and reliabiliity consistently rating higher than the German marques in AutoPacific quality and satisfaction research. In fact, in most years the Lexus LS wins AutoPacific’s prestigious Vehicle Satisfaction Award (in 2005, the Jaguar XJ won by a nose over the Lexus). So, now, the new Lexus LS may clearly establish its mainstream models as the cream of the Premium Luxury Car crop because now the car will have distinctive styling arguably on a par with the best coming from Europe. No longer can the LS be described as boring and bland.