2018 Lexus LS new car review

Not everyone is going to like the way the new Lexus LS looks (even its designer has admitted that), and it lacks many of the semi-autonomous features found in the latest German flagships.

Some too will mourn the V8, missing from this model series for the first time since it saw the light of day in 1989. However, beneath the new lines are improvements to almost every aspect, and the new car is vastly more enjoyable to drive than the previous model.

2018 Lexus LS sedan. Photo: Supplied

Its sophisticated chassis has adaptive air suspension and, on certain variants, an active stabiliser, rear-wheel steering and a choice of seven drive modes. This makes it surprisingly nimble on twisty roads, with excellent turn-in and enough give in the stability control to allow you to gently hang the tail out.

It’s quite a long tail though. There is only one model on offer for now, and it’s 5235mm bumper to bumper, exceeding even the extended wheelbase model of yore.

Inside is an excellent high resolution instrument panel with virtual gauges, plus a massive central control screen. However, the huge new heads-up display mostly negates the need to look at either. It is excellent, giving the impression that almost all the info you need (you can tailor it to suit) is floating at eye level half way along the bonnet.

Similarly, the car is packed with features that on some competitors would be an arm-and-leg special build option. For example, the Sports Luxury has reclining massage chairs with Ottomans (or perhaps Ottomen) in the back, and a rear passenger, twin screen entertainment package.

Materials are first rate. The use of aniline leathers is one example. These are dyed but not coated leathers, which put the original grain on display, showing that only the highest quality leathers have been used. New wooden laminates with complex man-made patterns are also on offer, along with a wide range of interior colour combinations and external paints.

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