Lexus brings rep­u­ta­tion for sat­is­fac­tion to UK mod­els

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS -

LAST cen­tury Toy­ota star­tled the mo­tor­ing hi­er­ar­chy with its Lexus LS 400 ex­ec­u­tive saloon which beat Mercedes-Benz and BMW for re­fine­ment, qual­ity and value for money.

Oddly, it did not launch in home­land Ja­pan un­til 2005.

In the US, Lexus has been a best-seller and, there and else­where, a reg­u­lar top vote for cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion for the range of sa­loons, coupes, hy­brids and SUV.

The flag­ship LS 460 and 600h have been re­vised for launch later in the year. They are joined by an F Sport model. Prices and per­for­mance fig­ures are not re­vealed but we learn there are more than 3,000 changes re­spond­ing “to cus­tomer feed­back throughout ev­ery as­pect of the car’s de­vel­op­ment,” says Lexus.

“The aim has been to raise the bar even higher in terms of re­fine­ment, com­fort, driv­ing per­for­mance, tech­ni­cal ex­cel­lence and, above all, qual­ity.”

Among three world-firsts is an in­te­grated heat­ing of the steer­ing wheel and front and rear seat­ing in a “cli­mate concierge” sys­tem. The body has a sharper de­sign. We are promised “im­proved driv­ing dy­nam­ics, bet­ter sound in­su­la­tion and more so­phis­ti­cated and ef­fec­tive pre­ven­tive safety sys­tems” – in­cludes the lat­est crash avoid­ance giz­mos. The lane-keep as­sist sys­tem has been up­graded so that it can re­spond to fac­tors such as road cam­ber changes and cross­winds. All the lights are avail­able with LED. The in­te­rior is lit by the world’s first “ad­vanced il­lu­mi­na­tion sys­tem” with soft white lamps and dy­namic in­stru­ment panel lighting that moves and changes in in­ten­sity with ve­hi­cle start-up and switchoff. The rear-wheel-drive F Sport is low­ered by 10mm, has Brembo brakes, a Torsen LSD and noise en­hance­ment of the engine in­duc­tion.

icon has also had an up­date. The Mercedes-Benz GL is a lux­ury all-roader ready for moor or mall. The re­vised model with a raft of tech­ni­cal and qual­ity im­prove­ments ar­rives early next year. Prices are expected soon. A spe­cial off-road pack brings low ra­tio gears, un­der body pro­tec­tion and a ford­ing depth of al­most 24 inches. Most eco­nom­i­cal is the GL 350 diesel.

COM­PET­ING: The Lexus LS F Sport and Mercedes-Benz GL, above, should ap­peal to sim­i­lar driv­ers if the de­sign and mar­ket­ing are right.

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