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2013 Lexus LS600h L: Plenty of Tech, but Short on Value

Rear Seat Amenities

Step into the backseat and you’re treated to a number of comfort-oriented amenities, typical of other long wheelbase executive sedans. Our press car came with the executive-class seating package, which is perhaps most notable for its power reclining chair for the rear-right passenger.

I enjoyed the adjustable and massaging seats in Audi's A8L and Hyundai's Equus. But the power recliner is in a league of its own. The chair is very comfortable, of course. Press the auto relaxation button, though, and the front passenger seat is pushed all the way forward as the rear chair reclines. Don't worry if you're sitting up front; the feature doesn't work with a passenger up there. Moreover, the rear chair returns to its usual position if the front passenger door is opened.

Flip open the back seat's center console and you’re presented with another treat: a wired remote to control the seat massager. The little motors do as much as they can; just don't expect a substitute for the real thing.

Reach up and release the nine-inch LCD display for rear seat entertainment, which flips down. Lexus doesn’t specify a resolution and the company makes no mention of it being HD-capable. Unfortunately, company reps were unable to help clarify for us.

There's a Blu-ray/DVD player with an SDXC slot driving the entertainment system. Lexus is to be commended for supporting Blu-ray media. We did try playing a couple of movies ripped to an MKV container format, but didn't have any luck. The system didn't have any trouble reading our 128 GB Patriot SDXC card, at least.

Lexus gives you three options for audio output. There’s playback through the car's speakers, of course, included wireless headphones, or you can bring your own headphones. The premium 5.1-channel Mark Levinson system responds well to movie soundtracks. The surround functionality works well, too.

You get a single set of RCA inputs for connecting your own video devices. HDMI is the interface of choice for home electronics and mobile devices though, so it's disappointing to see Lexus' technology trailing so far behind. For a car that sells for more than $100,000, I'd really expect more modern I/O, especially since you can find better on some rear seat systems from Honda and Chrysler.

Usually, the long wheelbase Lexus LS includes a refrigerator right below the Blu-ray player when it comes optioned with the executive-class seating package. However, due to the hybrid system's battery pack, the LS600h L doesn't have room. Rear passengers wanting to keep their bubbly chilled must look instead to the LS460L.

Lexus' LS600h L is rich with rear seat amenities. I sat in the reclining chair all of the way back, ate a Subway sandwich, and watched part of a movie in pure bliss.