Alas, even with lower horsepower and torque, the 2013 LS 460 isn't great on fuel. With a federal government rating of 16 miles per gallon in city driving and 23 mpg on the highway, the 2013 LS compares with the 17/28-mpg rating of the 2013 A8 with more powerful V-8.

The test LS 460 F Sport with all-wheel drive averaged just 16.3 mpg in travel that was 65 percent in the city.This translated into a range of just 360 miles on the 22.2-gallon tank. And, since Lexus requires premium gasoline, a fillup was more than $80.

The test LS 460 F Sport with all-wheel drive had the F-Sport's Drive Mode system that allowed changes to the electronic engine mapping, steering responsiveness and suspension settings.

The Eco mode was comforting to have, though it didn't seem to make an appreciable difference in the test car compared with the normal setting.

But the driver noticed more steering assist was needed and a stronger powertrain response when Sport-Plus was selected.

The Sport-Plus setting didn't change the LS into a BMW 7-Series, but it made a compliant-riding, 16.7-foot-long sedan feel more maneuverable and poised on twisty mountain roads.

The LS weighs more than 4,200 pounds, and no matter what speed it travels, it has a heavy, solid feel.

The test LS wasn't the long-wheelbase version, but the back seat still felt spacious, and legroom back there seemed much more than the reported 35.8 inches.

Legroom in front was nearly 44 inches, with the front seats back all the way on their tracks.

Standard safety items include knee air bags for both front passengers and adaptive headlights.

The 2013 LS is likely to follow in the tire tracks of its predecessors, in terms of reliability. Thus, it is a recommended buy of Consumer Reports, which says predicted reliability should be above average.

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Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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