Lexus LM review

Category: Luxury car

The LM does exactly what it says on the tin, but could do with more power options

Lexus LM front cornering
  • Lexus LM front cornering
  • Lexus LM rear cornering
  • Lexus LM test drive
  • Lexus LM boot open
  • Lexus LM interior infotainment
  • Lexus LM right driving
  • Lexus LM front cornering
  • Lexus LM front right driving
  • Lexus LM front right static
  • Lexus LM front detail
  • Lexus LM headlights
  • Lexus LM alloy wheel detail
  • Lexus LM side detail
  • Lexus LM rear roof detail
  • Lexus LM interior dashboard
  • Lexus LM interior front seats
  • Lexus LM interior back seats
  • Lexus LM interior back seats
  • Lexus LM interior detail
  • Lexus LM rear infotainment screen
  • Lexus LM interior detail
  • Lexus LM rear touchscreens
  • Lexus LM front cornering
  • Lexus LM rear cornering
  • Lexus LM test drive
  • Lexus LM boot open
  • Lexus LM interior infotainment
  • Lexus LM right driving
  • Lexus LM front cornering
  • Lexus LM front right driving
  • Lexus LM front right static
  • Lexus LM front detail
  • Lexus LM headlights
  • Lexus LM alloy wheel detail
  • Lexus LM side detail
  • Lexus LM rear roof detail
  • Lexus LM interior dashboard
  • Lexus LM interior front seats
  • Lexus LM interior back seats
  • Lexus LM interior back seats
  • Lexus LM interior detail
  • Lexus LM rear infotainment screen
  • Lexus LM interior detail
  • Lexus LM rear touchscreens
What Car?’s LM deals
New car deals
Target Price from £90,030
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £109,999

Introduction

What Car? says...

There are few better examples of the phrase "It’s what's on the inside that counts" than the Lexus LM. You see, while the exterior looks like a Lexus MPV with a rather radical grille, the interior is inspired by the world of private jets.

There are two versions to choose from – a four-seater and a seven-seater – and each serves a slightly different purpose. The more you pay, the fewer seats you get, so the range opens with the seven-seat LM model, which has similar appeal to the Mercedes V-Class. In other words, it should be ideal for providing very comfortable transfers from airports.

The top-spec four-seater – called the Takumi – is solely concerned with trying to be the most luxurious MPV you can buy, treating you to huge reclining seats and a whopping great 48in entertainment screen. Much like the BMW 7 Series, the Mercedes S-Class and the long-wheelbase Range Rover, it aims to transport VIPs in private-jet style without leaving the ground.

To help it achieve that, Lexus has equipped the LM with a myriad of standard equipment, including a pair of huge reclining and massaging captain’s seats, a built-in fridge and a whopping great 48in entertainment screen for the pampered back-seat passengers.

It’s fair to say that the Lexus LM’s main appeal will be to companies chauffeuring the rich and famous around, but can it really compete with the established competition from Mercedes and Range Rover? Read on to find out...

Overview

The Lexus LM is a comfortable car to be driven around in, with unmatched interior quality. The raucous CVT gearbox is its only real vice, and a plug-in hybrid or all-electric version would be welcomed by company car drivers.

  • Fantastic interior materials
  • Loads of space
  • Great reliability and warranty
  • CVT gearbox can be noisy
  • No plug-in hybrid or full electric version
  • Controlling the rear screen can be fiddly
New car deals
Target Price from £90,030
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £109,999

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The Lexus LM comes with a 247bhp 2.5-litre hybrid engine as standard. If you go for the seven-seater, you can choose whether you want that power to go to two or four wheels, while the top-spec Takumi four-seater is only available with all-wheel drive.

Given the weight of the LM, it’s not surprising that neither version is quick, with a 0-62mph sprint time of 9.0 seconds – or 8.7 seconds for the Takumi.

That's not really an issue, though, because it’s not the kind of car that makes you want to put your foot down (you wouldn’t want your passengers to spill their champagne, after all), and there's enough power for smooth driving.

This bias toward smooth and comfortable driving rather than pace can be felt through pretty much every part of the LM. For example, the brakes use a system called "braking posture control", which actively spreads braking pressure between the front and rear wheels, to ensure those in the back are not jostled around. 

Lexus LM image
Skip the showroom and find out more online

Likewise, the soft suspension has been designed for maximum comfort. It does a good job at it, too, taking the sting out of potholes and imperfections and limiting vertical movement well when driving normally. It doesn’t have the body control of the firmer BMW X7 and you’ll feel your head being gently swayed from side to side over undulations but, provided you don’t chuck it around corners, it’s never unpleasant. 

You get lots of different driving modes to help, including the usual comfort and sport modes, which change the firmness of the suspension and the engine’s response. For the first time in a Lexus, there's also a "rear comfort mode", which prioritises the comfort of back-seat passengers over the driver. 

The LM has well-weighted steering that gives you a good sense of what the wheels are up to, but doesn't feel even slightly as dynamic as the X7 or the Range Rover. Of course, that’s not really the point of the LM and you won’t find that it puts you in the mood to drive with any particular vigour.

Refinement wise, the LM is, for the most part, very relaxing thanks to wind and road noise being brilliantly suppressed. Around town, there’s often no engine noise because the LM's hybrid system allows it to run on electricity alone at slow speeds.

The problem comes when you need to speed up and the engine kicks in. The LM uses a CVT automatic gearbox which causes the revs to soar when you put your foot down and then remain high until you ease off again. The result is lots of engine noise as you accelerate, shattering the calm atmosphere. It's arguably the only thing about the LM that doesn’t fit the brief.

Driving overview

Strengths Road and wind noise well suppressed; comfortable ride; well-weighted steering 

Weaknesses CVT gearbox causes lots of engine noise; not even slightly dynamic

Lexus LM rear cornering

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

As you might expect, it’s when you sit inside the Lexus LM that it really shines. Every surface is covered with either supple leather or quality-feeling wooden trim, and you’ll have to search exceptionally hard to find any kind of scratchy or cheap-feeling plastic. 

In short, you’ll be hard pressed to find any other car that’s more pleasant to be in. Indeed, the Mercedes S-Class could learn a thing or two from the LM – and not just when it comes to material quality.

The LM’s construction feels far sturdier than that of the S-Class, with switches that feel satisfying to press and surfaces that give the impression they'll endure years of VIP chauffeuring.

Naturally, along with all the plush materials, Lexus has placed a lot of focus on rear-seat comfort. In the back of the LM (or the middle row of the seven-seat version), you’ll find two seats that seem to have come straight from the first-class cabin of a swanky airliner.

They’re big, especially in the four-seater, and have loads of electrical adjustability, including for lumbar support. The four-seat version is the most impressive, giving you the ability to lay them flat like a bed. You can adjust the seats in both with traditional physical buttons or by using the iPhone-style control tablets on the rear centre console.

While we’re on the subject of those tablets, they do more than just adjust the seats. In fact, you can use them to control pretty much everything in the back of the LM – from the climate control and seat massages to what’s playing on the all-singing, all-dancing entertainment system. 

The size of that system's screen depends on which version you’re in. Iin the seven-seater you’ll find a 14in screen that folds down from the roof, while in the four-seater you’ll find a vast 48in high-definition widescreen.

That’s even bigger than the 31in screen you can get in the BMW 7 Series (and the all-electric BMW i7) – and because you're further away from it than in the i7, it’s more comfortable to watch for long periods.

Both screens in the LM allow you to stream content from your smartphone or via an HDMI cable, but getting them to work can be a little fiddly – especially when it comes to connecting your device wirelessly. Once it is sorted, audiophiles will be delighted by the standard 21 or 23-speaker bespoke Mark Levinson surround-sound stereo fitted to every LM. 

So, it’s no secret that the LM is catering for those in the back seats, but what about the driver? Well, for starters, the high driving position gives a commanding view of the road ahead and cut-outs in the front pillars ensure you can see out easily at junctions. In that respect, it’s very reminiscent of the VW ID. Buzz

You don’t see much over your shoulder, but big wing mirrors and standard-fit blind-spot assist help to combat that issue. You can’t see anything out of the back window either, so all versions come with a digital rear-view mirror that shows a clear view of what’s behind you from a camera on the rear.

On top of that, standard-fit front and rear parking sensors, rear-view camera and handy top-down view make parking a doddle. A 14in infotainment touchscreen with built-in sat-nav, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring ensures you’ll always know where they’re going. 

Annoyingly, the seven-seat LM gets a steering wheel with touch-sensitive pads to control the cruise control and audio, and they’re both far fiddlier than the proper physical buttons that you’ll find in the four-seater.

Interior overview

Strengths Excellent interior materials; impressive 48in rear screen; comfortable seats

Weaknesses Rear screen can be fiddly; annoying touch-sensitive steering wheel buttons in the seven-seat version

Lexus LM test drive

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Up front, the driver and passenger are treated to loads of head and leg room, so even those over six feet tall won’t complain that they don’t have space to spread out. Likewise, the Lexus LM is wide, so there’s loads of shoulder room between the two.  

Front storage is generous, providing those up front with a wireless charging cubby for a mobile phone, large door bins, a big glovebox and a deep cubby underneath the central armrest. 

Again, though, it’s in the back where the LM impresses most. You see, the LM’s shape gives it an advantage over its saloon rivals because the roof doesn’t slope to the rear or encroach on head room. No matter which version you’re in or how tall you are, you’ll never feel cramped. 

Leg room depends on which version you go for. Neither will be cramped for a six-footer, but the four-seater’s rear seats are set closer to the rear of the car and give you loads of rear space – more than you’ll find in the BMW 7 Series and i7, the Mercedes S-Class or the long-wheelbase Range Rover. What’s more, the large windows and boxy shape of the body make for a space that feels generally cavernous.

Even those sat on the seven-seater’s third row will find that there’s plenty of head, leg and knee room, and certainly more than in the X7’s third row. You get three seats back there, but realistically there’s only enough space to fit two people side by side – three would be a real squeeze. 

There’s loads of rear storage space in both versions of the LM. The four-seater even has a decent-sized fridge hidden in one of its cubbies. 

The two rear seats in the four-seat version can’t slide them back or forth, and because they're set further back than in the seven-seater, there's less boot space – 752-litres against 1,191-litres. Either way, that's still a lot of space for luggage. 

Better still, there’s only a very small drop down to the boot floor, which itself is perfectly flat. Our only demerit would be that the boot lid is massive, opening out a long way and sitting high when fully opened.

Practicality overview

Strengths Loads of interior space; lots of storage

Weaknesses Seven-seater is more of a six-seater; huge boot lid

Lexus LM boot open

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

As a cash purchase, the entry-level seven-seat Lexus LM looks pretty punchy, costing quite a lot more than the equivalent Mercedes V-Class. It is, however, not that much more expensive than the BMW X7 and will cost you much less than a seven-seat Range Rover. 

The four-seater is far more expensive, getting closer to the Range Rover’s price tag and costing around the same as a well-specced Mercedes S-Class. You can’t avoid the fact that it’s much more expensive than any other MPV out there, although none of them will offer the same amount of luxury. 

What’s more, the LM is predicted to depreciate quite slowly, helping to protect your investment and ultimately meaning you’ll likely get more of your money back if you decide to sell in three years. That said, the Mercedes V-Class is predicted to lose its value slower, so make sure you take a look at our Lexus LM deals to get the best initial price. 

Lexus currently has no plans to create a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or electric car version of the LM, which could be a problem for companies hoping to operate them as VIP transport in the middle of cities. Indeed, with clean air zones appearing more and more throughout the country, those companies might instead prefer an electric luxury car such as the BMW i7 or the upcoming all-electric Mercedes EQV.

Likewise, despite the LM’s hybrid engine managing to keep CO2 emissions down, company car drivers chasing low benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax payments will be better off with the Range Rover PHEV or, again, an all-electric rival. 

Which version of LM you go for will largely depend on your needs, but you can be sure you’ll get lots of standard equipment whichever you pick.

Even the entry-level version comes with 19in alloy wheels, a head-up display, a 21-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, a 14in drop-down rear monitor with HDMI, dual-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel and lots of other kit. 

For ultimate luxury, though, you’ll want to step up to the LM Takumi version. That adds the upgraded 23-speaker stereo and 48in widescreen rear monitor, two folding tables in the rear, a dimmable glass partition between the front and rear, and the two airline-style rear seats with seven massage functions.

When it comes to reliability, the LM is too new to have featured in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey but Lexus as a brand did exceptionally well (as it has done for several years). For the seventh year running, it claimed first place out of 32 manufacturers ranked. 

Better still, if anything were to go wrong, Lexus offers an extremely generous warranty of 10-years/100,000-miles, providing you always service at an approved service centre. Only Hyundai’s five-year warranty and Kia’s seven-year warranty get anywhere close to that offering. 

The LM is yet to be tested by the safety experts at Euro NCAP but it has plenty of standard safety features to put your mind at ease.

All versions come with automatic emergency braking (AEB), a driver monitor, lane-keep assist, lane-change assist, front cross-traffic assist, blind-spot monitoring and road-sign assist.

Costs overview

Strengths Lexus reliability record; lots of standard kit; slow depreciation 

Weaknesses No plug-in hybrid or all-electric version; expensive

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Lexus LM interior infotainment

FAQs

  • How much you’ll spend depends on which version you go for, but no LM is particularly cheap. The entry-level seven-seater will cost you about the same as a BMW X7 and more than a Mercedes V-Class while the top-spec Takumi demands a six-figure price tag.

  • In the case of the Lexus LM, LM stands for ‘luxury mover’ and refers to it being the luxurious new Lexus flagship car.

  • Yes it is, with a starting price of £89,995 complete with a warranty of up to 10 years/100,000 miles if it's serviced by a main dealer.

  • The Lexus LM is available in both seven-seat MPV and super-luxury four-seater forms, powered by a hybrid engine and billed as a new take on luxury travel. LM stands for Luxury Mover.

At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £90,030
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £109,999
RRP price range £90,030 - £113,030
Number of trims (see all)2
Number of engines (see all)1
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)hybrid
MPG range across all versions 39.2 - 42.1
Available doors options 5
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £6,073 / £8,086
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £12,145 / £16,172
Available colours