Our Cars: Lexus LS600hL – week 2&3
Button-mania, the real beneficiaries and serenely fuel-sipping
By Shahzad Sheikh
9-23 April 2012
After an initial glitch, the big Lexus limo resumes normal service.
After a service light came up and the wipers refused to work when it suddenly started raining, we took the car back to Lexus Al Futtaim to get it sorted. It was ready the very next day – which rather took us by surprise, and we weren’t actually able to collect it till a few days later.
The wipers? Apparently just a wiring issue. They work fine now, just like everything else on this incredible machine.
And there’s plenty of buttons to control stuff with – although most of them time, I’m not really sure what they all do. How many buttons? Well just in the front cabin – not counting the rear passenger compartment, but taking in the dashboard, centre console, instrument panel, doors, steering wheel and ceiling, I counted 97 buttons – and I might have missed a few!
That is truly extraordinary. What’s more extraordinary is that a whole bank of buttons on the centre console are there to operate functions for your passengers, ie you can move the passenger side front seat and the rear Ottoman chair.
Which brings me to another thing – that chair is amazing. At the press of a button the front seat flips forward, folding it’s headrest down so as not to obscure vision, the whole rear ‘throne’ chair then reclines. You can then choose from two types of messages and any number of intensity.
I wouldn’t know precisely how many of course, because I’m in the front – where there’s no massage function for the driver’s seat. So who gets to enjoy the throne chair? Not wifey, she sits up front with me, instead my 12-year old son gets to ride in it most of the time.
Then there’s the rear entertainment system – a decent sized telly sitting smack back in the middle of the rear compartment – almost creating a barrier between the front and rear parts of the cabin. And the kids can watch their DVDs on it.
The only problem is that it hooks up into the main sound system, so that means I can’t listen to the radio or my choice of tunes when in the car with them, instead I have to listen to the banal dialogue from childrens’ shows – or worst – the Power Rangers!
There may be a way of just hooking up headphones, but none came with the car, and I’m becoming too much of luddite to try and figure it out.
But the driving part does have its own rewards – the experience is serene and becalming… Too calming, and perhaps I’m not the domestic target profile for this car.
I feel very magnanimous and gracious in this car, and I keep stopping and slowing to give people and other vehicles way, except that they refuse to budge. They see a white range-topping Lexus and presume it’ll want to just barge ahead. But I don’t feel the need to barge anywhere.
Instead I just cruise everywhere, quietly gliding along. And the pay-off for all this calm-cruising? 11.9L/100km fuel economy, which ain’t bad considering this has a 5.0-litre V8 producing 440bhp and that the whole car weighs nearly 2500kg.