2011 Lexus LS 600hL Road Test

The following is a journal of my time with a 2011 Lexus LS 600hL, which is on loan to me from Lexus Canada until February 21st.

February 22nd, 2011

Lexus LS 600hL Interior

Yesterday was my last day with the LS 600hL, and it wasn’t a moment too soon — I was really starting to develop an attachment.

Never have I driven a car so effortless, and it’s not a far stretch to say that it practically drives itself. The Dynamic Cruise Control & Lane Keep Assist essentially form an invisible barrier around the LSh, with sensors able to keep you moving with very little conscious thought. Scary, in a way.

And even when the weather reached blizzard proportions, the LSh remained unfazed — the All Wheel Drive system brings a real sense of security that’s very easy to get used to. Only once was I able to get the traction control to come on, and it took an empty parking lot with a fresh sheet of snow.

In the end, the LS 600hL surpassed my expectations. There’s no describing the thrill of cruising around in Lexus’ flagship sedan — it’s an untouchable experience. I’m really looking forward to finishing my proper review, stay tuned!

February 19th, 2011

As luck would have it, the weather warmed up somewhat and the snow started melting, so I took the LS 600hL to the car wash and then proceeded to the nearest parking lot for some quick photos — though if you click an image to see the larger version, it’s pretty clear the spray wash didn’t really do much:

Black 2011 Lexus LS 600hL

Black 2011 Lexus LS 600hL

Black 2011 Lexus LS 600hL

Keeping any car clean in this weather is basically impossible, but this black LSh has been particularly challenging. No other way than a hand wash, and it’s just not warm enough for that yet.

(As a side note, these are the first photos I’ve published from my new camera, the Canon 60d. Very excited to start shooting some HD video.)

February 15th, 2011

As much as I try and ignore it, there’s something a bit funny about driving around in this LS 600hL. It’s not the size or the price tag — no, the thing that always makes me laugh is this:

Lexus LS 600hL Ottoman

So hard to believe I’m driving around in a car with a full reclining back seat that can give you a shiatsu massage. My family & friends just love it, and for good reason — it has to be the single best chauffeured experience this side of a Rolls Royce.

I tried it out for the first time today — for the full effect, I moved the front passenger seat right out of the way. Here are some photos:

February 12th, 2011

Lexus LS 600hL Interior Detail

Now that I’m settled into driving the LS 600hL, I’ve started to notice the more subtle details, especially when it comes to the interior controls.

Anything that’s used in everyday driving, all the switches & buttons & handles, they all have a level of noticeable craftsmanship — it’s obvious every single detail was intensely considered. Take a look:

February 10th, 2011

Lexus LS 600hL Gas Stop

After five days and 595 kms (369 miles), I decided to gas up the LS 600hL. My average fuel economy’s been 10.6L/100km (22.1 MPG), which is pretty good considering the brutal sub-zero temperatures.

In some ways, I’m surprised how easy it is to navigate such an immense vehicle — even in thick, rush-hour city traffic, I never feel nervous or unsure behind the wheel. The seemingly limitless power from the engine doesn’t hurt, either.

One big thing that’s really impressing me is the LCD instrument panel. I have a plan to make a video to show the display animations — this thing is seriously beautiful.

February 8th, 2011

Considering the weather here in Ontario, I brought my camera along to pick up the LSh — I knew it would be the only time I would see it clean over the next two weeks:

The 2011 Lexus LS 600hL

As proof, the very next day:

Lexus LS 600hL in Snow