Lexus LM review

Lexus LM review

We experience the epic Lexus LM luxury people carrier – from the driver’s seat, and as a pampered passenger…

Lexus appears to have pulled off a masterstroke with its LM (luxury mover). An exclusive niche market has been identified and LMs will soon be seen shuttling the wealthy between airports and plush hotels, depositing celebs on red carpets, and generally ferrying movers and shakers around the country.

The ubiquitous Mercedes-Benz V-Class isn’t for everyone and limousines are a little ostentatious, so Lexus is on to a winner with the LM. What’s more, the price range of £89,995 to £112,995 doesn’t appear to have put off buyers. Orders are already way above expectations.

Lexus LM review
Lexus LM four-seater

The secret of the LM is that it’s not too flash and it offers a flexible space that can be used as a sumptuous people mover, spacious mobile office, or somewhere to simply relax in abject luxury on the move.

Two versions are offered, with four or seven seats. The flagship four-seater features two “captain’s chair’ rear seats (inspired by those found in first class airline cabins) which can also be fully reclined.

The seven-seat model has two seats with massage functionality, plus a third row of flip-up seats which can be folded away when more load space is required.

Lexus LM review
Lexus LM seven-seater

The standard Lexus LM is front-wheel drive (AWD is optional) and comes with a 14.0-inch screen in the rear, dual sunroof, a 21-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, and a goodies list as long as your arm.

The top-of-the-range Takumi gets the wow factor with a partition between the front and rear cabin housing a 48-inch screen, plus a fridge and 23-speaker 3D surround Mark Levinson sound system.

First impressions count, and it’s fair to say that the Lexus LM is more of a statement than a looker. The designers have done their best to make it special, and not just another slab-sided MPV.

Lexus LM review

The combination of clever contours, bold creases, massive signature ‘spindle’ grille with slim LED headlights, plus the illusion of a floating roof, result in a people mover with serious road presence.

And at 5.1m long, 1.9m tall and 1.89m wide, it’s no shrinking violet. Though weirdly, behind the wheel it’s far more manageable than you might think, as long as you steer clear of narrow country lanes.

Built on the GA-K platform shared with the NX and RX SUVs, Lexus is keen to emphasise that the LM has more in common with a car than its rivals, which tend to be van-based.

Lexus LM - Gareth Herincx
Lexus LM seven-seater

The driving experience proves the point. The front cabin and seating position have the feel of a big crossover.

We suspect most LM buyers and users are unlikely to get behind the wheel themselves, but for the record, here goes…

From a driving point of view, all-round visibility is best in the seven-seater without the partition and widescreen (a rear-view digital mirror helps), but otherwise it’s a comfortable, spacious and well-equipped place to be, with a car-like dashboard layout.

Lexus LM review

There’s no shortage of power, thanks to the same 247bhp self-charging hybrid system you’ll find in the NX 350h and RX 350h models, combining a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with electric assistance.

Acceleration from rest to 62mph can be accomplished in 8.7 seconds (9.1s for the FWD model) and maximum speed for both models is 118mph. CO2 emissions are in the 152-163g/km range, while fuel economy is as high as 42.1mpg.

Like the NX and RX 350h models, the LM uses a CVT gearbox which spoils the ambience of the cabin if progress is anything but stately. You see, the revs shoot up if you’re anything but soft with the right pedal, producing a temporary din.

Lexus LM review

It may not be possible, but I’d suggest fitting the hybrid powertrain from the RX 500h F Sport which uses a six-speed automatic gearbox and is far more relaxed.

That said, chauffeuring is all about smoothness, so the LM is still a delight to be driven in by a professional, even with the CVT.

At nearly three tonnes (gross weight), it’s a substantial vehicle, yet it’s easy to drive and surprisingly manoeuvrable. It would be an exaggeration to call it agile, but it floats around nicely, switching seamlessly between petrol and electric modes at lower speeds.

Lexus LM review
Lexus LM four-seater

I can’t help feeling that a plug-in hybrid or 100% electric version might further boost sales where regular journeys take in ultra-low emissions zones, but maybe that’s one for the future.

However, the Lexus LM is all about the rear compartment. Both the four-seater and three-row options are a treat to travel in, though being able to fully recline in the former is particularly relaxing.

Each of the main two seats in both versions get individual digital handsets to control everything from the audio to the window blinds (they all close), while the seats are super comfy. There’s also an overhead console with some storage and controls for features such as the power-sliding doors.

Lexus LM - Gareth Herincx
Lexus LM four-seater

Overall, as you’d expect from Lexus, the materials used in the cabin are top notch and the quality is faultless.

A special mention for the panoramic screen in the top spec version which can also be split so that one passenger could be watching a movie, while the other is scrolling through a presentation.

A ‘Rear Comfort’ drive mode has also been developed to further refine the passenger experience with new braking and body control systems. There’s also tech to counter cabin noise and vibration, which worked particularly well.

Lexus LM review
Lexus LM four-seater

I’m very sensitive to travel nausea and I managed perfectly well as a back-seat passenger while in a normal sitting position, but not so much when I was lying down on anything other than smooth, straight roads.

The two versions have their plus and minus points. As a passenger I prefer seeing out front, so the seven-seater without the partition works best, but nothing can quite match the opulence of the widescreen, two seats and extra space of the top-of-the-range Takumi model.

Verdict: The bold new Lexus LM luxury people carrier recaptures the feeling of flying on a private jet, offering a winning combination of superb comfort, quality, practicality and privacy.

Lexus UK

2023 Rolls-Royce Spectre: extreme weather testing

Gareth Herincx

7 hours ago
Auto News

The all-electric Rolls-Royce Spectre has concluded winter testing in Arjeplog, Sweden – just 55km from the Arctic Circle.

Temperatures dropped to -40˚C temperatures and Rolls-Royce estimates 25% of a 2.5 million km testing programme (simulating 400 years of use) is now complete for the “Electric Super Coupé”.

“The announcement of every new Rolls-Royce motor car carries a great weight of expectation, but Spectre is unquestionably the most anticipated product in the marque’s modern history,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

“This is because it is much more than a product. It is a symbol for our bright, bold electric future, and it represents a seismic shift in our powertrain technology.

“It is for this reason that we have created a testing programme that is as significant and historical as Spectre itself.”

There are several reasons for subjecting the marque’s products to such extremes. When the first prototypes are built, engineers perform very basic tests in extreme conditions to ensure that each system is operational and functions at a basic level in a cold weather environment.

This test is combined with the beginnings of the refinement process, focusing on noise and vibration, for instance. The variables that affect this include the materials selected for major hardware components to the density of the door rubbers, bushing compounds, fastening materials and even properties of bonding agents.

The performance of these variables can change considerably when subjected to extreme temperatures – likewise the efficiency of the motor car’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling systems.

By driving on low traction surfaces, such as snow and ice, and wilfully destabilising the car, the engineers can create dynamic circumstances at low speeds that would ordinarily occur at high speeds.

This can be reviewed and guided in situ and in slow motion, in doing so parametrising and finessing cold-weather vehicle performance in areas such as handling, controllability, stability, predictability and the “waftability” that defines the Rolls-Royce experience.

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Rolls-Royce’s ‘Flying Lady’ reimagined

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
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The iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figurine has been redesigned for the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever.

The streamlined mascot will grace the bonnet of the upcoming all-electric Spectre, 111 years on from when it was was first registered as the intellectual property of Rolls-Royce.

The figurine has been remodelled with a lower, more dynamic stance that brings her much closer to the drawings made by her original creator, the illustrator and sculptor Charles Sykes.

The new Spirit of Ecstasy stands 82.73mm tall, compared to her predecessor’s 100.01mm. Her robes, which flow behind her in the slipstream – often but erroneously characterised as ‘wings’ – have been subtly reshaped to make them more aerodynamic and realistic.

The most visible change is her stance. Previously, she has stood with her feet together, legs straight and tilting at the waist. Now, she is a true goddess of speed, braced for the wind, one leg forward, body tucked low, her eyes focused eagerly ahead.

These changes have both practical and stylistic benefits, contributing to Spectre’s remarkable aerodynamic properties. The earliest Spectre prototypes have a drag coefficient (cd) of just 0.26, making it the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever created.

“The Spirit of Ecstasy is the most famous and desirable automotive mascot in the world,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

“More than just a symbol, she is the embodiment of our brand, and a constant source of inspiration and pride for the marque and its clients.

“Like our brand, she has always moved with the times while staying true to her nature and character. In her new form she is more streamlined and graceful than ever before – the perfect emblem for the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce ever created, and for gracing the prow of our bold electric future.”

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3 days ago
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BMW is conducting driving dynamics evaluation of its upcoming i7 – billed as the world’s first pure-electric luxury saloon.

The team is based at the BMW Group’s winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden.

Situated just a short distance from the Arctic Circle, the freezing environment and snow-covered roads present the perfect conditions for engineers to fine-tune the performance of all drive and suspension systems.

The intensive winter testing programme also focuses on the components of the all-electric drive system, including the motor, high-voltage battery, power electronics and charging technology.

The BMW i7 (pictured in heavy camouflage) is due to launch in 2022.


Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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New Lexus ES 350 F-Sport is a Speedy and Stylish Package

If you’re looking for a speedy new luxury car, the updated Lexus ES 350 F-Sport might just be the car you’ve been searching for. This car has intuitive and stylish features and an incredible sound system. Plus, the brand is synonymous with reliability.

Better described as classy than sporty, the 2022 Lexus ES350 F-Sport is still an impressive machine that is a pleasure to take out on the road. 

Notable Features of the New Lexus ES 350 F-Sport 

The new Lexus ES 350 F-Sport offers functionality and design. Further refining the Lexus style, the upgraded headlight and taillight housing and design give the F-Sport a sophisticated first impression. 

This luxury car features a cherry red and black interior. There are many sporty details such as the functional tailpipes on both sides of the rear and 19-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels with a luxurious satin-black finish on the hubcap. The spoiler on the Lexus ES 350 F-Sport is another one of the stylish features that sets it apart from other ES 350 trims. 

The interior combines comfort and style in ample portions. Bolstered heated and ventilated front seats offer superior comfort in any weather condition.  The comfortable driver’s seat has three memory seat settings with easy-to-access controls. Even the pedals have been better optimized for foot stability. Classy aluminum finishes spruce up the brake pedal and throttle. 

It’s a combination of speed and smarts that make the new Lexus ES 350 F-Sport a dream to drive in.  The reason it is called a 350 is due to the 3.5-liter V6 powertrain. This naturally aspirated engine produces 302 horsepower. Assisted by an 8-speed automatic transmission, it’s carefully calibrated to avoid turbo lag during acceleration.

For superior road handling, the new Lexus ES 350 F-Sport features a Dynamic Handling Package (DHP) and an adaptive suspension.  Sport and Custom Drive modes let you sharpen the response for greater personal pleasure behind the wheel.

Other key features include: 

  • A 12.3-inch touch screen with intuitive technology 
  • Dual climate control 
  • 2-stage heating on the steering wheel 
  • A Mark Levinson sound system  
  • Wireless charging station 
  • Front and backseat USB ports. 
  • 17 cubic feet of trunk space
Safety Features: 

All 2022 Lexus ES trims, including the 350 F-Sport, have more safety features than ever since Lexus upgraded its standard Lexus Safety System 2.5. Intuitive parking assist is a special favorite for those who must deal with tight parking situations.

With sensors that measure everything from master cylinder pressure to vehicle speed, the technology of this car is designed to give you peace of mind. The LED turn signal lighting on the mirrors and reverse camera give you that additional level of safety. 

Why this car could be your next new luxury car: 

Fighting against cars like the BMW5, Audi A6, and Mercedes E-Class, the 2022 Lexus ES 350 F-Sport doesn’t live up to the name of sports cars like the others. This, however, shouldn’t detract from the smoothness, precision, functionality, and spectacular safety features of this impressive new Lexus trim.