THE RIDE: Four-door, up to seven-passenger 2007 Lexus LS460L full-size luxury sedan.
DOWN THE ROAD: The fourth-generation rear-wheel-drive sedan has been completely redesigned for 2007. On top of it all, the L (as in long) wheelbase is a fresh and welcome addition to the LS model. For a 4,000-pound plus vehicle, the LS460L moves quickly and quietly down the road, with excellent ride and firm handling.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: The 4.6-liter V-8 engine cranks out 380 horsepower at 6400 rpm and 367 pounds-feet of torque at 4100 rpm. Mated to an effortless 8-speed auto transmission - a first for any car maker - the LS460L can reach 0-60 in just 5.5 seconds. Lexus has installed an electronic power-steering system in this luxury sedan, nixing the use of pumps and hoses. The four-wheel independent multilink suspension delivers a comfortable and accommodating ride coupled with remarkably composed cornering that will leave a lasting impression on passengers. The ventilated disc brakes with aluminum calipers are up to the task of bringing this full-size car to a stop or slowdown with extreme confidence.
LOOK & FEEL: The redesigned Lexus flagship sports a thrust-forward grille surrounded by swept-back xenon headlights and integrated fog lamps. In the rear, wraparound L-shaped tail lamps, high-mount stop lamp and integrated dual-chrome exhaust tips enhance the stylish appearance. Peek inside the cabin and you will be raving about the numerous luxury goodies. Notable is the steering wheel decked in superb wood and leather; temperature-controlled front seats; heated rear seats; power rear sunshade; 16-position power driver seat and a 12-position power passenger seats; wood on center console, dash and door panels; and a three-position memory seat for the driver. Rear-seat passengers have an astonishing 38 inches of head room, 56.4 inches of shoulder room and 55.5 inches of hip room. The materials and craftsmanship on the LS460L are first-rate, as expected of a Lexus.
SAFETY FIRST: Dual front and side airbags, side curtain for both rows, driver- and front-passenger knee airbags, traction control, antiskid system, antilock brakes, electronic brake distribution with brake assist are standard.
OUT THE DOOR: $71,000, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges. Take the $700 advanced parking guidance system if you would like help with parallel and back-in parking. It helps you to guide the sedan into a parking spot with instructions displayed on the navigation screen.
BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, 235/50R18 V-rated; wheelbase, 121.7 inches; length, 202.8 inches; weight, 4,330 pounds; fuel capacity, 22.2 gallons; highway, 27 mpg; city, 18 mpg.
WHY DIG IT: You can't beat this package, which is a perfect blend of performance, power, style, luxury and technology. Lexus deserves kudos for a job well done with the redesigned LS460 and the addition of the longer wheelbase model.
Nitish S. Rele is an advertising staff writer for The Tampa Tribune.