The Lexus LS pretty much kicked-started Toyota’s luxury car brand back in 1989 – before then, the idea of Japanese cars was associated only with economy. So, the new Lexus LS has big boots to fill and quite the reputation to live up to. Lexus themselves dub it “a reimagined flagship vehicle whose mission is to go far beyond what the world expects from a luxury vehicle.”

But does it succeed? It’s a fusion of exquisite craftsmanship, innovative technology, and exceptional performance, but is it worth your money? Let’s find out.

Probably the first thing you’ll notice is the lavishness of the cabin. The test model was kitted out with beautiful black and crimson semi-aniline leather upholstery. It was perfectly stitched and wonderfully supportive, but keep in mind you’ll need the £7600 ‘Pleat’ upgrade package to get it. Regardless, everywhere your arms, hands, and knees seem to touch feels first-class.

The second thing you’ll notice is just how quiet the cabin stays, even when you’re travelling at speed on the motorway or through the hustle and bustle of the city. Lexus has made use of double-glazed windows, active noise cancellation technology, and noise-suppressing alloy wheels to create a cabin quieter than most larger sedans, including the Mercedes S350 Bluetec and the BMW 730Ld.

Technology is predictably first-rate, especially the now usual set of active driver assistance safety features. That said, critics have complained that the head-up display, while incredibly useful at times, is also busy enough to be problematic: “flashing up bright yellow arrows for potential hazards as well as the usual speed and navigation info. Sometimes this is useful, but it can also be distracting.”

But how about driveability? This is always going to be a central concern for any new Lexus, and we’re pleased to report that the combination of V6 engine with 251lb ft of torque and an electric motor with 221lb ft produces a keen and responsive ride that pushes the vehicle to 60 mph in less than six seconds.

However, it should be said that the electric motor isn’t quite as potent on the motorway as it is travelling at urban speeds, and throttle inputs sometimes feel a little lazy and uninspired. Overall, the Lexus is fantastic to drive in general but lacking in sufficient mid-range torque.

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