Motor Trend assembled some super saloons in their latest ultra-luxury sedan comparison test, pitting the Lexus LS 600hL against the Jaguar Super V8, Mercedes S550 & Maserati Quattroporte Sport. The LS 600hL didn’t have a great showing, at least in the driving department:
The all-wheel-drive Lexus exhibited pigheaded understeer in most corners, often attended by the beep-beep nagging of the stability nanny. Switching it off kills the beeps, but never allows one scintilla of chassis slip angle. And despite being fitted with $3000 worth of active anti-roll bars, the LS 600hL seemed to roll as much or more than the other cars here, even when set to “sport” mode (it’s borderline nautical in “comfort”). Charging hard up the hill depleted the battery quickly (actually, pressing the gas pedal on any type of road kills the battery quickly), and horsing the CVT through its eight virtual gear ratios with liberal doses of carpet-crushing throttle provoked an unseemly “hybrid system overheat” warning. We didn’t find the hybrid gear equal to sacrificing a golf-bag’s worth of trunk space for and, after this session, all editors were ready to red-pencil the 600 badge down to a 500.
I’m of two minds with the review and its emphasis on driving performance, as I see it as a secondary consideration in this class. That’s hardly a justification for its fourth place finish, though.