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2017 Lexus LS: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer Lexus LS, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Lexus LS Review

The 2017 Lexus LS approaches the end of its current generation with the same tranquility it has always enjoyed. A new wave of this large flagship sedan is scheduled for the 2018 model year.

In the meantime, this 2017 model continues to excel in quiet efficiency. It’s the car for people who want to think about things other than driving. This is not meant as a criticism. Driver involvement is all well and good, but it’s not always appropriate. When you’re pondering how to take your company to the next level, you may not want to be distracted by razor-sharp dynamics and a blaring exhaust note.

Which is where the LS comes in. It’s a place of calm between home and the office. It makes no demands other than gas in the tank and regular servicing (Lexus even helps in that respect). It enables you to get on with things.

What’s New for 2017?

The hybrid version has been discontinued. See the 2017 Lexus LS models for sale near you

What We Like

Impeccable build quality; supremely serene cabin; a ride that glides; generous amount of standard equipment

What We Don’t

Odd front-end styling; low on fun

How Much?


Fuel Economy

The LS 460 has a 4.6-liter V8 rated at 386 horsepower and 367 lb-ft of torque (359 hp and 347 lb-ft with all-wheel drive). The transmission is an 8-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is the default setup; all-wheel drive is optional.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the rear-drive LS 460 returns 16 miles per gallon in the city, 24 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in combined driving; the all-wheel-drive model achieves 16 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 Lexus LS is available in regular- or long-wheelbase form (denoted by the L suffix).

The LS 460 ($73,495) is comprehensively equipped, with 18-inch wheels, adjustable drive calibrations, xenon headlights, LED running lights and fog lights, heated power-folding mirrors with integrated LED turn signals and puddle lamps, dual exhaust tips, rain-sensing wipers, power-closing doors, a sunroof, keyless entry/ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, wood and aluminum interior trim, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and 10-way power-adjustable front passenger seat with 3-position memory settings, a power-adjustable tilt-telescopic steering wheel with wood and leather trim, a 12.3-in central display screen linked to the Remote Touch controller, a rearview camera, a hard-drive-based navigation system, Bluetooth phone and audio, Siri Eyes Free for extra voice control with iPhones, Lexus Enform mobile-app connectivity and a 10-speaker audio system with HD Radio, satellite radio, an auxiliary input and iPod/USB integration.

Options include 19-in wheels, a heated steering wheel, a 5-mode air suspension with variable-ratio steering, a 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, adaptive cruise control, various other active safety features, LED headlights, upgraded leather and a powered trunk lid. The Ultra Luxury package brings quad-zone climate control, power rear seats with lumbar massage, rear audio controls and rear-seat side airbags. The F Sport package (for the regular 460) adds 19-in wheels of a different design, aluminum pedals, Brembo front brakes, a limited-slip differential (rear-drive versions only), paddle shifters (with rev-matched downshifts on rear-drive models), a sport-tuned air suspension, sport seats and special interior trim.

The LS 460 L ($79,795) is similarly equipped but comes with heated and ventilated front seats, a power rear sunshade, a power trunk and the heated steering wheel. It also offers an exclusive Executive-Class Seating package that includes extended leather trim, a rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system and a passenger-side power reclining rear seat with massage functions.


The LS features active front headrests, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, stability control and eight standard airbags (front, front-side, front-knee and full-length side-curtain).

The numerous high-tech safety features include an optional advanced adaptive cruise control system that utilizes automatic braking to mitigate or prevent forward collisions.

The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the LS its top rating of Good in all crash tests.

Behind the Wheel

As always, the LS is a haven for those seeking respite from the outside world. The seats are gloriously supportive and highly adjustable to suit individual body shapes, while the ride is creamy. There’s a distinctly modern feel thanks to elements like the high-resolution 12.3-in display screen, and rear passengers have it better than those in front when the Executive-Class Seating package is specified.

The LS 460’s V8 is sweet-tempered but lacks the low-end punch that many rivals enjoy. Despite the F Sport package, this generation of LS is still far from a driver’s car.

Rear legroom in a regular 460 is 35.8 inches. Compare that with the 36.7 inches of its long-wheelbase sibling. Admittedly, the latter comes with extra features and the chance to have even more luxurious appointments, but it’s worth thinking about the choice. The regular car might be just fine.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 Audi A8 — A new generation debuts for the 2018 model year.

2017 BMW 7 Series — Beyond brilliant. And there’s now a plug-in hybrid version. It’s not possible to tell from the badges, but only the long-wheelbase versions are brought into the United States.

2017 Cadillac CT6 A serious contender, but not as roomy. And no long-wheelbase version.

2017 Jaguar XJ Surely a new generation is due soon. But it does give the impression that Jaguar invented the word "waft." And yes, there’s the option of a long wheelbase.

2017 Mercedes-Benz S-ClassThe major performer in this class. Sophisticated, superb and tech-rich. Like with the 7 Series, the United States gets only the long-wheelbase version.

Autotrader’s Advice

Some people don’t like to get the first year of a new generation, just in case there are teething troubles. That’s hard to imagine with Lexus, but if you’re adamant that a 2017 LS is preferable, then avoid the F Sport package and give serious consideration to the Mark Levinson audio system. Find a Lexus LS for sale


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