LAST WORD

Torque (Singapore) - - MERCEDES-BENZ S320L 3.0 VS BMW 740LI 3.0 LEXUS LS3 -

The Lexus LS has to­tally shed its con­ser­va­tive im­age. Its ag­gres­sive styling may put off tra­di­tional clien­tele, but its tremen­dous pres­ence means it’ll al­ways be vis­i­ble in a com­pany carpark.

We reckon that the LS350 will also be highly vis­i­ble in many rear view mir­rors given its new­found drive­abil­ity. It is more nim­ble than ever, and its nat­u­rally as­pi­rated pow­er­train, com­plete with a rorty sound­track, en­cour­ages more spir­ited driv­ing, too.

The LS350 is so im­pres­sive that we for­give its com­par­a­tively limited back­seat space and rather small boot. But we couldn’t over­look the car’s in­stru­ment clus­ter (too com­pact) and Re­mote Touch In­ter­face (too clumsy). But if you’re a mod­ern CEO who wants a limo that re­flects your non-con­form­ist per­son­al­ity, look no fur­ther than the lat­est LS.

The Mercedes-Benz S320L is the ar­che­typal towkay’s choice of car and might thus be seen as bor­ing. But it’s hard to ar­gue against the saloon’s strong points that in­clude a su­per-cushy ride, a daz­zling dash­board and a roomy back­seat.

Our big­gest com­plaint about the S320L is its lack of verve. Be­cause it’s the least pow­er­ful of the three sa­loons, the boss rush­ing to his board meet­ing might ar­rive late. But he’ll def­i­nitely be cos­set­ted dur­ing the jour­ney and ar­rive with his feath­ers un­ruf­fled.

The 6-cylin­der limo that best caters to towkays who love to drive is the BMW 740Li. It has the nip­pi­est per­for­mance and nicest han­dling, fur­ther en­hanced by the rear-wheel-steer­ing. More­over, the 7’s in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is the most pleas­ing to use, and the ve­hi­cle has so many stan­dard fea­tures that we’d run out of page space try­ing to list them all.

But bean coun­ters, take note – the 740Li is the costli­est limou­sine in this com­pany. Its cur­rent price of $470,888 is $35k dearer than the LS350 and a whop­ping $60k more than the S320L.

The towkay who also wants to feel like a boss when­ever he’s be­hind the wheel, how­ever, might feel that the $470k 740Li is money well spent.

(Left to right) S320L’s key has the fewest func­tions, but the big but­tons are the most “pres­ti­gious” to press; 740Li’s de­vice is the most ad­vanced and is utilised for the Re­mote Park­ing func­tion; LS350’s curvy fob has the most el­e­gant look and feel.

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