I think we’d all agree that Plays With Cars doesn’t devote enough attention to staid, quiet Japanese luxury sedans. So I’ve decided at this moment to change that fact with a piece about everyone’s favorite full-size Japanese luxury car: the LS 600h L.
For those of you who don’t know the LS 600h L, allow me to explain. Take a normal LS 460, then stretch it (now you have an “LS 460 L”), then add a hybrid motor, and it becomes the LS 600h L. I’m not sure how they arrive at “600” considering it’s a 5.0-liter motor, but I do know it involves a lot of spaces in the model name.
So why am I bringing this up? Obviously the LS space 600h space L is a heinously overpriced luxury sedan, considering it starts at something like $121,000. Who would buy that? The answer is: no one. And that’s why it’s a great used car.
Go to AutoTrader.com right now and look for used L S 60 0h Ls. Even though they use a hybrid V8, they follow the same depreciation curve as V12-powered Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series models. The result is that you can pick up a 2008 model – that’s still the current body style – for something like $45,000. Some high-mileage ones are in the thirties.
Not only is that a good price, the car isn’t so bad either: it’s got 440 horsepower, you can lie down in the back seat, and the EPA says it gets 20 mpg combined and up to 23 mpg highway. By comparison, the S600 gets 19 mpg highway and only 14 mpg combined although, to be fair, you can still lie down in the back seat.
The result: if you wanted a luxury car, you could get a new 3-Series. Or you could be just like your favorite environmentally conscious hotel and buy a five-year-old L S 6 0 0 h L.
Yeah, I’d pick the BMW, too.