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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.

  • blackmagnum
    It doesn't look stately and serious like the LS400 of old. Have they hired a new designer?
    Reply
  • cyb34
    This car, on the outside, looks like your average Mazda or Honda. So -1 there.
    I'm sorry for Lexus for Mercedes is years ahead with its new S class.

    This LS600 does not look premium enough and the inside is closer to an Audi A6.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    13745416 said:
    It doesn't look stately and serious like the LS400 of old. Have they hired a new designer?

    I'd assume so since the LS400 was a Toyota Celsior and badge engineered with premium only content for the US whereas the LS600h L and LS460 was designed solely to be a Lexus from the get go with its own styling.

    13745581 said:
    This car, on the outside, looks like your average Mazda or Honda. So -1 there.
    I'm sorry for Lexus for Mercedes is years ahead with its new S class.

    This LS600 does not look premium enough and the inside is closer to an Audi A6.

    Yea, the Mercedes S class is stunning inside and out. The Lexus looks bland and when you step inside, it doesn't give the same wow factor. Sure its functional, but its not what I'd expect from a luxury vehicle.
    Reply
  • edlivian
    if I had 100+k to spend on a luxury sedan car, i would never get this car, it would either be a A8/A7, S550 or 760i.

    And its not because I dont like Japanese cars, I used to have an Acura RL, but they too have dropped the ball. Their design looks bland, they drive is similar to mid class series high end cars, if you want high end you do not think Lexus anymore.
    Reply
  • edlivian
    who on Earth needs composite plugs for an infotainment system?! It is 2014!

    you are right, that is completely absurb, I think I threw all my composite cables away, its either HDMI or Displayport
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    Why would you review a 2013 model in 2014 when the 2015 cars are almost out??

    Or are we just recycling? I'm also for recycling - just not in my "News" section. ;)
    Reply
  • danwat1234
    I think 1 of the main reasons why this Lexus doesn't get much better fuel economy, and no better fuel economy than a regular Lexus is because the engine is not Atkinson cycle, but rather regular OTTO cycle.
    In most hybrid cars, the engine is Atkinson cycle, where the intake valves stay open part way up the compression stroke to increase thermal efficiency. Thus it is more efficient not only in the city where the electric motors aid efficiency, but on steady state highway driving too.

    But with this Lexus it is probably just plain OTTO cycle. If they were smart, they have camshaft behavior where it could change from OTTO to Atkinson and back on the fly, in millieseconds, so you can have more fuel economy and also the power when you get into it. But they don't.
    Part time HCCI (Sparkless diesel cycle ignition) is even more efficient, with OTTO cycle when you want power.

    Also if this car had a higher capacity battery pack with a more powerful electric motor, there'd be less need for engine displacement.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    13747142 said:
    who on Earth needs composite plugs for an infotainment system?! It is 2014!

    you are right, that is completely absurb, I think I threw all my composite cables away, its either HDMI or Displayport

    Yea its a bit odd. Even the Honda Fit and Civic have HDMI inputs now for the front infotainment system.

    13747365 said:
    Why would you review a 2013 model in 2014 when the 2015 cars are almost out??

    Or are we just recycling? I'm also for recycling - just not in my "News" section. ;)

    Because the higher end luxury vehicles are harder to come by. We got ahold of it towards the end of 2013. 2014 was mostly carryover minus one package change that added the driver assists to make it $135k, which doesn't really change our opinion of the vehicle at all. I assume 2015 will be another carryover year as well since the flagships run on 10 year product cycles.

    13749117 said:
    I think 1 of the main reasons why this Lexus doesn't get much better fuel economy, and no better fuel economy than a regular Lexus is because the engine is not Atkinson cycle, but rather regular OTTO cycle.
    In most hybrid cars, the engine is Atkinson cycle, where the intake valves stay open part way up the compression stroke to increase thermal efficiency. Thus it is more efficient not only in the city where the electric motors aid efficiency, but on steady state highway driving too.

    But with this Lexus it is probably just plain OTTO cycle. If they were smart, they have camshaft behavior where it could change from OTTO to Atkinson and back on the fly, in millieseconds, so you can have more fuel economy and also the power when you get into it. But they don't.
    Part time HCCI (Sparkless diesel cycle ignition) is even more efficient, with OTTO cycle when you want power.

    Also if this car had a higher capacity battery pack with a more powerful electric motor, there'd be less need for engine displacement.

    I think at the end of the day, its because its still a very heavy boat and they are trying to replicate a V12 with good fuel economy but ultimately end up with something that doesn't do much better than a turbo V8 that has more power and much more entertaining to drive.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    I don't know but they probably have something here. I believe their hybrid implementation is well suited for this niche since buyers of this class won't be able to use all the power of a V12.
    With the hybrid though, max torque would be available even at low RPMs which results in a more relaxed driving and that performance would not need an expert driver.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    Yes, that's ideally what they're going for. But it doesn't offer much more smoothness than the V8. Buyers in that class won't necessarily use all of that power, but they buy it to know they have all of that power. It doesn't give you the "I just dropped $130k on a car and its awesome" type of feel.
    Reply