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Lexus LS600h takes last place in Motor Trend comparo


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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.

In the end, the Lexus strikes us as ideal for CEOs who've made their fortunes plundering the earth's resources and want to appear to be making amends. It said little to us beyond "Forgive me; I'm not quite the guzzler I appear to be." Its smugness irked us almost as much as its undeserved 600 badge.

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I have to admit, the LS600 has very nice rear accomodations. It's dead comfortable, and the controls for the seat/climate system were easy to pick up. But that wouldn't make me choose it over the Quattroporte...it's unholy how good that car looks.

I wonder how the A8 would've ranked in this...that would be my second choice in this segment.

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