Reader Review: Lexus LS 460 Sport


Lexus LS 460 Sport Starfire Pearl

TLE reader Heimdall222 has put 1,800 miles on his brand new 2010 Lexus LS 460 Sport — here are his impressions of the sport-infused flagship sedan.

The 2010 LS 460 Sport is my second Lexus, following a GS 350, and I’ve also owned several Infinitis.

The basic Sport Package is, of course, what converts a standard LS 460 into an LS 460 Sport, and I’ve also got the Luxury Value Edition Package and Comfort Package with Sport, which I recommend as minimum Sport optional equipment. Here’s the full details on the various packages.

Lexus LS 460 Sport Starfire Pearl Rear Photo

Lexus avoided glitzing-up the exterior with Sport badges, racing stripes, a trunk-lid spoiler, etc. Instead, the LS Sport gets a unique blackout grille, those great 19-inch/20-spoke wheels, and a special body kit, which all contribute to an improved overall appearance compared to the standard LS 460.

My Sport’s exterior finish is Starfire Pearl, a semi-metallic white that literally glows in the sunlight. White also keeps the interior temperature lower in the summer than a darker color.

Lexus LS 460 Sport Interior

The interior is two-tone black/saddle tan leather, and all of the upholstery stitching is a contrasting tan color. Also, the perforated seat leather is aniline black over tan, and the tan shows through the perforations. Gotta love it!

The dark ash burl wood paneling has a very rich-looking matte finish, which is something Lexus should do for their entire product line. The standard wood trim is shiny and can easily be mistaken for that cheap plastic fake wood.

I’ve set the Mark Levinson sound system’s treble, midrange, and bass enhancements at plus one, plus two, and plus three bars, respectively. Set this way, it’s easily the automotive equivalent of a high-end home component sound system, combining the response of 19 speakers/7.1 channels with typical Lexus interior quiet, even at freeway speeds. Again, gotta love it!

The Advanced Parking Guidance System does indeed do parallel parking without bashing into anything. This isn’t something I’d use regularly, though, unless I suddenly lost the ability to parallel park the old-fashioned way. (APGS is included in the Luxury Value Edition Package, and I wouldn’t have paid for it separately.)

The number of position settings on the driver’s bucket will allow almost anyone to find a comfortable seating position. The bucket seats have more side-bolstering and support than standard LS 460 seating, but it certainly would put the “icing on the Sport cake” if Lexus were to provide Recaro-type front buckets. At the minimum, nonslip synthetic mouse hide (aka suede) inserts should be used on the seat and backrest of the driver’s bucket to keep you from sliding around during those 90-degree turns at 60 MPH!

Since cleaning floor mats isn’t my favorite thing, I bought a set of ExactMats. They’re a precise custom fit all around, very high quality, heavy clear vinyl. Got the full set, front seating, rear seating, trunk areas. These mats lie flat, stay put (no sliding around), and the front driver’s side mat does NOT interfere with the accelerator pedal! The mats are shipped rolled up, and unrolling to let them flatten out before installing is a good idea.

A couple of minor interior quibbles:


  • The lid on the center console storage compartment is hinged at the back end and does not open to vertical, only to about a 70-degree angle. This makes it a thorough PITA to find something that’s toward the back of the compartment. Don’t store anything sharp back there!
  • The leather-bound documentation package containing all of the manuals is so thick that it won’t fit in the obvious glove box pigeonhole. This means that the package either stays at home or takes up lots of glove box space that could be better used for other items.

Lexus LS 460 Sport Tachometer & Speedometer Photo

The Sport is a large car, no doubt about it. However, I think it handles like something much smaller. The suspension has selectable Comfort, Normal, and Sport settings, and although the differences aren’t huge, they’re very noticeable.

The Sport’s suspension is obviously much firmer than the standard LS 460. Cornering is much flatter than the standard mode. There’s minimal body lean on cornering, even in Comfort setting, and successively less lean in Normal and Sport settings. Steering apparently hasn’t been upgraded from that of the standard LS 460. It’s not UNresponsive, exactly, just sorta…well, numb. IMO, it could be – and certainly should be – lots better!

Even with firmer suspension tuning and low-profile summer tires, the ride isn’t at all harsh or choppy, even on bad pavement.

Throttle tip-in is smooth, no sudden acceleration points or jerkiness. Shifting is very quick and positive, with the advertised RPM-matching blip on downshifts. Tapping the downshift paddle once when in “D” results in dropping anywhere from two to four gears, depending on road speed.

Exhaust growl under heavy acceleration is very audible, but it’s also what you’d expect from a Lexus – tasteful and refined.

The Brembo brake system allows *extremely* quick stops. Pedal modulation is excellent, with no sudden grabbing at any point in pedal travel. Some minor downsides, however:

  • Since a Sport will stop more quickly than almost anything else on the road, suddenly standing on the brakes will likely put that Prius behind you in your back seat. If you can’t avoid tailgating, do NOT buy a Sport!
  • The high-friction front pad material makes lots of brake dust, which deposits on the wheels and bodywork and requires washing every couple hundred miles or so.
  • All that brake dust is the result of the pads getting thinner quicker, so pad life will be lower than that of standard pads. Lexus says that “Pad life may be less than 20,000 miles, and brake rotor life may be less than 50,000 miles depending on driving conditions.” I’d read “may be less” as “will be significantly less”, in both instances.

The PWR position of the Electronically Controlled Transmission (ECT) button is supposed to only hold the transmission in any gear longer before shifting, but it seems to me to also result in more power over the same RPM range in any gear. Downshifts seem to be quicker and the throttle more sensitive with PWR selected. (The PWR position also prevents the transmission from shifting into 8th gear at low road speeds.) And surprisingly, there’s no obvious loss of MPG.

The best of all worlds for me is suspension set to Sport, PWR selected, and tires at 35 psi cold. With all that, my rough measurements put 0-60 at closer to 5.0 seconds than the spec 5.4. This thing goes like a bat!

At around 1500 miles and being reasonably careful with the lead-foot action, my gas mileage is 16.5-17 MPG with about 80% city driving and 21.5-22 MPG with about 80% highway driving.

Lexus LS 460 Sport Front

Lexus LS 460 Sport Rear

My bottom line? The LS 460 Sport is very definitely not a low-budget vehicle, but you also very definitely get what you pay for. That is, a large sedan with luxury everything, decent gas mileage, and very good performance in the bargain. Did I mention it goes like a bat?

I’d buy the Sport again in a Texas second. Without hesitation!

Comments


  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    Thanks for sharing, Heimdall222! Absolutely beautiful car.

    :-)

  • WorldofLuxury

    Thanks Heimdall222!

    GS 350 to an LS 460 Sport… quite an upgrade, isn’t it?

  • WorldofLuxury

    WorldofLuxury wrote:Thanks Heimdall222!

    GS 350 to an LS 460 Sport… quite an upgrade, isn’t it?

    Are you enjoying the torque? :-D

  • http://TheLexusEnthusiast Shane From Australia

    Absolutely love that car … the LS460 Sport is defantly one of my favourite cars in the Lexus stable alongside the the IS350 F-sport, IS-F, RX450h and ofcourse the LFA. I like the GS450h and GS460 aswell.

    Keep up the good work Krew, love ‘ya site.

    Cheers

  • FreeSpirit

    Thanks Heimdall222

    nice review

  • wcoy

    Even though you might like those mats they really cheapen the interior a lot. Even if they are a custom fit they still are the same cheap $15 wal-mart style. Please go to the Lexus dealer and get some proper LS 460 mats. Apart from that your lS 460 sport is beautiful and I think the colors you chose for the interior are the best I’ve ever seen.

  • Travis

    Is it just me or does the front seem higher then the back ? Like the car is not leveled right….the back seems to sag….and I noticed this in a alot of lexus models.

    But this is a awesome car. I always loved the LS its a beautiful and well crafted car. Its high tech and flashy…but it doesnt show it. Unlike the S-Class, 7 series which all have way to much screens, a over kill of buttons and just scream look at me. The LS is just as flashy but does it in a more subtle and rich way.

    This LS Sport would SOOOOOO freaking good if you lowered it…no needed rims because these 19-inch/20-spoke wheels looks great and the body-kit is perfect.

  • TF109B

    I think with a car this big 19 inch wheels even look too small, one inch bigger would have been great. 20 inch wheels on the LFA don’t look too big. So on a car even bigger, the LS, 19 inch wheels just look a tad too small. 20′s in the same style would be great, but overall this is my favorite lexus non-F sedan.

  • Debbie

    What an exceptional article. A very discriptive picture of an awesome luxury car.
    It’s so refined, as seems the driver is, as well.
    Kudos to the acquisition in your garage. You are definetly one of the “lucky ones”
    Enjoy!!

  • alex_saldanha

    I don’t know if it applies to the LS but many of the 2010 Lexus line up have velcro on the side of the owners manual pouch.

    If yours does stick the pouch to the liner in your trunk, then you can free up some room in your glove box (for something like… Gloves :P)

  • DuDE

    oh this is a beauty!
    the exterior is picture perfect!
    love the upgraded interior except for the gauges….the car really need an upgrade on that….

  • http://lexusenthusiast.com krew

    alex_saldanha wrote:I don’t know if it applies to the LS but many of the 2010 Lexus line up have velcro on the side of the owners manual pouch.

    If yours does stick the pouch to the liner in your trunk, then you can free up some room in your glove box (for something like… Gloves :P )

    Good tip!

  • LEXUSBOY

    A very informative & well written review, but I strongly disagree with the writer’s opinion that the matte finish wood trim is better than the regular high gloss wood. Other reviews I’ve read say the former looks too fake. If its so great how come we don’t see it in any Rolls, Maybach or Bentley? The biggest disappointment for me is the fact that Lexus doesn’t let LS customers combine one’s choice of wood with any interior color. Merc, BMW & Porsche (Panamera) let you mix & match any wood with any interior color.
    I’ll take an LS460L in Obsidian/Parchment,Medium Brown Walnut over this any day.
    @Lexus : Bring back the beautiful Golden Maple wood that the LS430 used to have. >:-(

  • (Cj)

    @LEXUSBOY: Doesnt the camry have that golden maple trim now?

  • Heimdall222

    @WorldofLuxury – Yes, going from a GS 350 to an LS 460 Sport is really quite an upgrade. I wanted an 8 cylinder engine for the torque, didn’t like the way a standard LS 460 handled, shifted, etc., and the GS 350 was a “place holder” until I could get my hands on a GS 460. Then the LS 460 Sport became available – the rest, as they say, is history. And yes, I certainly am enjoying the torque!

    @wcoy – Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The ExactMats are so clear that one needs to look twice to see that they’re actually there. Go to a dealer for proper mats? Yeah, that’s the first thing I tried, but Lexus dealers are now apparently forbidden to sell ad-on floor mats. (Something about a recall due to floor mats jamming accelerator pedals.) Actually, I didn’t choose the interior colors – the two-tone black/saddle tan leather is the only combination available on the Sport – but I couldn’t have done any better!

    @Travis – Guess I don’t see what you’re seeing. In real life the front and rear appear to be well-balanced, and the car does sit level. I feel the same way as you about the Deutscher offerings, which is why I didn’t buy one. Too much of the boy racer tarted up with pseudo-Euro-luxo addons. Me, with the amount of money in play, I’ll go with subtlety and refinement every time. (‘Course, if you’re invading someone, you want to go with an AMG machine!)

    @alex_saldanha – My GS 350 owners manual pouch/documentation package wouldn’t fit in the obvious glove box pigeonhole, either. But it had the velcro strips and lived in the trunk. However, my LS 460 Sport version isn’t so equipped, and the pouch lives on a shelf in the house. (Maybe the standard LS 460 has velcro, didn’t notice when I drove one.)

    @LEXUSBOY – Again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You really do need to lay eyes on the matte finish wood trim in person (which is next to impossible, since the Sport is so rare). Why don’t we don’t see it on any Rolls, Maybach or Bentley? Could be because those makers are stuck in the past, when it wasn’t at all easy to produce a *durable* shine on wood, and shine was therefore equated to wealth. As in, your chauffeur would keep it polished. If you must “mix & match any wood with any interior color”, then by all means go with one of the Deutscher offerings. Or maybe buy a Camry?

  • Heimdall222

    Unlike other new cars I’ve owned, including the Infinitis, my Sport does NOT deposit a plasticizer film on the interior side of the windshield. Even after sitting in parking lots in the Texas summer sun.

    I find this to be nothing short of amazing, and one more feather in the Lexus cap!

  • Lexus Dreams

    All I can say is WOW. I want one :-(

  • http://LexusEnthusiast Jogger

    Heimdall222, You’re LS is beautiful and thanks for the great article. I just got mine 2 weeks ago, same as yours-2010 sport. Mine is black. The brakes produce a great deal of dust. Have you found any product that works to inhibit it? I am thinking of having my wheels chromed.. Any thoughts?

    Jogger

  • Heimdall222

    I almost bought a black Sport, but then remembered that a black car during Houston summers is also known as a bake oven. So, bought white.

    Regarding brake dust, this is a common problem with performance braking systems that use relatively soft firction material on the pads. I’ve tried every product available at the local auto parts stores (and some on-line) that purports to keep wheels clean of brake dust – haven’t found anything that works.

    Having your wheels chromed may (!) reduce the amount of dust deposited, but IMO not enough to justify the cost of the chroming. Plus, I believe that brake dust is more corrosive to chromed than to painted wheels.

    You could try pads with a harder, lower-dust friction material. Seems to me, though, that since the Brembos are carefully matched with their pads, doing so would significantly reduce braking efficiency. Plus, the harder friction material would significantly increase rotor wear, and replacement rotors ain’t cheap!

    There are those after-market brake dust shields that install between the wheels and hubs, which some folks use with no problems. It’s apparently extremely important for the shields to have slots to promote cooling air flow and be properly installed. However, there’ve been reports of shields causing brake cooling problems and excessive brake fade, as well as shields becoming entangled in calipers and rendering the brakes on that caliper inoperative. Me, I wouldn’t risk using ‘em!

    The only thing I’ve found that works 100% is using a good **non-corrosive** wheel cleaner with washing, whenever the wheels show dust deposits. So far, for me this is every 200-300 miles or so.

  • Wright Hanford

    what is the cost the machine, kindly let me know

  • Wright Hanford

    kindly email me the price of the Lexus LS 460 Sport to hanford.wright@hotmail.co.uk, thanks.