The theory that the most cherished attributes in the ultra-luxury segment are still lavish amenities, passenger space and a serene driving experience is confirmed by the 2012 Lexus LS 600h L’s segment-topping Total Car Score.
The LS 600h L’s blend of hushed isolation, superior build quality and craftsmanship, sure-footed driving dynamics and a hybrid powertrain have gained it a loyal following. Big rear-seat space and a long list of high-end interior technologies/equipment bolster its standing alongside fuel efficiency that beats that of competitors’ V12 flagships.
Largely anonymous exterior styling matches a relatively bland driving character. Numb steering and muted body control signal the LS 600h L’s emphasis on comfort, though its straight-line acceleration is competitive. A small trunk is out of keeping with the generous volume of passenger cabin but the big hybrid’s most glaring deficit is fuel efficiency -- just one mpg better than its conventional LS 460 brother.
The LS 600h L remains entirely the same for 2012, with the exception of a new exterior color – Nebula Gray Pearl.
The 2012 Lexus LS 600h L is a four or five passenger full-size hybrid all-wheel-drive ultra luxury sedan.
Standard equipment includes a three-mode adaptive suspension, variable-ratio steering, 19-inch wheels, LED-projector headlights, power door/trunk closers, Advanced Parking Guidance, Advanced Pre-Collision safety system, hard-drive based navigation with Lexus Enform, real-time telematics, 16-way driver’s and 12-way passenger seats and heated/ventilated rear seats.
Optional Premium II and Executive Class Seating packages add separate rear climate control, reclining Ottoman-style rear seat with massage, rear air purifier and an entertainment system -- including a central headliner-mounted 9-inch video display.
The LS 600h L is motivated by a hybrid powertrain consisting of a 288 volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, two electric motors, a 389 horsepower 5.0-liter V8 and CVT transmission routing power to all four wheels. Combined output is 438 horsepower, good for a 5.5-second sprint to 60 mph. Safety features include up to 12 airbags and an Advanced Pre-Collision system.
Despite its 5200-pound curb weight, the LS 600h L returns 19 mpg city, 23 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined and meets SULEV-II emissions standards.
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