2013 Lexus LS 460: Family Checklist

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It was only a couple of years ago that some said Lexus' aging lineup lacked luster and contributed to its diminishing sales. Lexus graciously listened to the criticism, made some changes and now boasts a lineup that is modern and more fun than ever.

The new 2013 Lexus LS 460 is a great example of this: This full-size sedan handles beautifully, has plenty of power and can even work for many families if — and that's a big if — you're willing to let your mess makers loose in the luxurious, expensive five-seater.

When it came time for a new look, Lexus opted to give the LS 460 a face-lift. Its new spindle grille looks fresh and ready for action. The car also seems to have realized that it's never too late to develop some muscle. A new 4.6-liter V-8 engine is matched to a smooth eight-speed transmission and provides 360 horsepower worth of muscle. I was easily able to blow by everyone on the road en route to the mountains for spring break.

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Moreover, the 18.0-cubic-foot trunk generously held all of the ski gear we needed for the week, thanks in particular to the trunk's pass-through that accommodated skis. I should note that I was able to use the pass-through because my three children were in another car with my husband and not in the Lexus' backseat. It isn't possible to fit three child-safety seats in the LS 460 since the rear seats have more bucket than bench design to them. There's a slight middle floor hump that makes things awkward and imbalanced for any middle-seat passenger whether they're in a child-safety seat or not.

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The cabin is dreamily quiet — unless the kids are in the car — with soft surfaces and lovely ambient lighting. The long, lean 12.3-inch multimedia screen showcases a standard navigation system; an available power rear sunshade lessens the glare, and optional quad-zone climate controls ensure that even the pickiest Goldilocks stays just right. There's even an optional Blu-Ray rear entertainment system.

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Finally, the LS 460 has one of my favorite features: automatic door closers, which are optional in the sedan. These are brilliant for folks with kids like mine who don't quite have the strength to shut a car door completely. The car will make sure the door seals shut safely after each chubby little hand's push without you having to reopen and reclose it every time.

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The Lexus may no longer be old and tired, but I am, so every little bit of help is a treasure.

Related
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2013 Lexus LS 460 Expert Review
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