7. Lexus LS – Still sane after all these years
Base price range: $73,445-$121,360 (2015 prices)
The large and luxurious Lexus LS full-size luxury sedan has never pretended to be anything more than a capable and accommodating luxury car. It’s cleanly styled inside and out, save for Lexus’ signature spindle-shaped grille up front, and deftly accomplishes its goal of getting the driver and passengers from one point on Earth to another as effortlessly and pleasurably as possible.
Sure, Lexus offers an F-Sport treatment on the LS that upgrades steering, suspension and braking components for incrementally better handling abilities, but you won’t find a hopped-up 600-horsepower barnburner at the top of the line as is the case with most flagship luxury sedans these days. Rather, LS counters with the costly, and modestly ecologically responsible LS 600h L that uses an electric motor generator as a sort of high-tech turbocharger to quicken the car (to the combined equivalent of 438 horsepower) without turning it into a gas-guzzler. As it is the LS gets along just fine with its 4.6-liter 386-horsepower V-8 engine in rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. Long wheelbase models add back-seat legroom and offer added amenities, including a power reclining Shiatsu massaging seat and a Blu-Ray high-definition entertainment system, for the privilege of those being chauffeured. Handling is effortless, though largely uninteresting, with a ride quality that shelters the car’s occupants from what seems to be all of the world’s harshness. Available features include a self-braking forward collision avoidance system that works at both highway speeds and around town, and a 450-watt audiophile-grade Mark Levinson surround-sound system.