The Lexus LS flagship comes in a regular length and a long-wheelbase L version. Its V8 is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission -- the first ever in a passenger car. Other options include a precollision system with radar-based cruise control, a 19-speaker stereo with an eight-gigabyte hard drive, cooled rear storage, a reclining rear seat with massage, leg rests and rear seat heaters.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
NA
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
NA
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
NA
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
NA
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags standard. ESC standard from 2000. Head protection air bags standard from 2001. Rear side air bags available from 2007.
Road Test

The Lexus LS flagship comes in a regular length and a long-wheelbase L version. Its V8 is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission -- the first ever in a passenger car. Other options include a precollision system with radar-based cruise control, a 19-speaker stereo with an eight-gigabyte hard drive, cooled rear storage, a reclining rear seat with massage, leg rests and rear seat heaters. The end result is a supremely pampering car that isolates its occupants and is fuss-free in every way -- but it is not a driver's car. All-wheel drive is optional for non-hybrid models.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 4.6-liter V8 (380 hp)
  • 4.6-liter V8 (357 hp)
  • 5-liter V8 hybrid (438 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Lexus LS owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Electronic or air suspension

"Had to replace the Pneumatic air suspension system on driver's side - it was expensive."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

"Upper front left control arm and front left damper replaced. Damper is expensive."

Dale P., ON (2012 Lexus LS 460.0 4.6-L V8)
Shocks or struts

"The ride wasn't as smooth as when first bought. Suggested replacement during routine maintenance. Made a difference when replaced. It is like riding on a cloud."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"Turning the steering wheel wasn't a smooth operation. it sort of clicked as it turned."

Anonymous, VA (2012 Lexus LS 460.0 4.6-L V8)
Tire wear is uneven

"Lower control arms were worn out and caused tire to ware on the outside."

Anonymous, AZ (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveline vibration

"DEALER REPLACE BOTH FRONT DRIVE SHAFTS BECAUSE OF VIBRATION"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

"Vibration in vehicle at all speeds. Seems to be corrected after over 10 repair visits and over a year. Many items replaced - the ones I remember right off include replaced, tires, replaced drive shaft, swapped wheels with another car, finally replacing the front axles seemed to correct the problem - at least for now"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

"Vibration for the entire time I have owned this vehicle. Numerous attempts to correct - new tires, new drive shaft, new axles. So far no relief"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)
Transfer case

"Grease leak"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Normal routine brake wear

"I did not notice the problem. It was discovered during a routine inspection."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

"Expected wear for use"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Lexus LS 460.0 4.6-L V8)
Rotors

"FRONT ROTORS WERE RESURFACED AND STILL HAD A PULSATING. THEY THEN REPLACED BOTH ROTORS AS A COURTESY"

Anonymous, NY (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

"OUT OF ROUND ROTORS- ALL 4 REPLACED AT DEALERS EXPENSE"

Robert A., NY (2012 Lexus LS 460.0 4.6-L V8)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Like with recall on front brakes it is taking months to get new exterior door trim. Lexus has problems with supply line issues"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Lexus LS Sport 4.6-L V8)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"The front and rear bumpers had a car lot paint job which had to be re-done at my expense and after being precertified at 15000 miles the tires were totally worn out by the time I used them another 5000 miles and had to be replaced at my expense."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Lexus LS 460.0 4.6-L V8)

"Interior leather dash, door panels and center console had to be replaced. Lexus replaced them all without cost"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"a/c would not come on when car was started"

Anonymous, (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)
Blower (fan) motor

"fan would not come on when car started"

Anonymous, (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

"Front headlight had to be replaced."

John M., WA (2012 Lexus LS 460L 4.6-L V8)

"Low beam front left went out."

Anonymous, (2012 Lexus LS 460L 4.6-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel injection system

"Fuel injection system leaked which was considered dangerous. Replaced system at my cost."

Anonymous, ON (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

"Gasoline leaked from the Electronic Fuel Injection into the engine - replaced part # 23860-38010 pipe assy, fuel D - expensive."

Dale P., ON (2012 Lexus LS 460.0 4.6-L V8)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Not current"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Lexus LS Unsure 4.6-L V8)
Routine software updates

"System not up to date also hard to learn and use."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Lexus LS Unsure 4.6-L V8)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Overheating

"Lexus Dealer Mechanic failed to tighten oil filter during oil change. Drove 350 miles, no dash oil light, when car suddenly covered with smoke. Lexus service has deteriorated in recent years"

Anonymous, GA (2012 Lexus LS Sport 4.6-L V8)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Weather seal on driver door"

Anthony M., TX (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

"Surging under light acceleration - replaced torque converter awaiting return of vehicle"

Anonymous, KY (2012 Lexus LS 460 4.6-L V8)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

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