The Van-Like Lexus LM Is More Luxurious Than You Might Think | The Green Lane
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The Van-Like Lexus LM Is More Luxurious Than You Might Think | The Green Lane

It may not be a looker, but this Lexus is luxurious

Van-like proportions and questionable looks, yet motoring editor Jeremy Taylor and sustainable fashion expert Jessica Saunders discover a hybrid Lexus LM is as luxurious as a Rolls-Royce.

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Car Review: Lexus LM

The front of the Lexus LM

JS – So, that’s LM for ‘luxury mover’ rather than ‘looks nagnificent’ then?

JT – OK, let’s try and be kind here. Indeed, the Lexus is unlikely to win a beauty contest – that bizarre front end could be built from Lego. However, there’s a lot more to the LM than meets the eye.

I really hope so, because it’s not cute. Some might say it’s cool for daring to be different, but anyone driving an LM should be aware: people are staring at you and smiling for all the wrong reasons!

Thankfully, it’s a different story inside. The rear cabin is as swanky as first-class on an airliner – the most luxurious, over-the-top mode of transport for two I can think of, starting with those back seats.

That’s an understatement. The whole cabin is swathed in sustainable, artificial leather, with the four-seat version we tested (there’s a seven-seater, too) featuring two captain’s chairs in the rear that adjust in every direction. They even lay flat for a nap, on those chauffeur-driven drives to the next VIP location.

Inside the car with white faux leather seats

I guess if you love tech, the LM is unbeatable. Who wouldn’t want to play with that 48-inch HD ultra-wide screen set behind the front seats. It’s massive and is matched up with two iPhone-style tablets that control most of the rear cabin functions.

And then there’s the must-have fridge, an incredible Mark Levison hi-fi system, the 360-degree camera system, dimmable rear glass and, well, just about everything you could possible need on a journey, apart from a loo…

Lexus is probably working on that. Realistically, there are few limos to compete with the LM for space and features, as well as novelty value. The Lexus starts at £90,000, climbing to £113,000 for top spec versions.

A giant screen inside the Lexus LM

And what about the engine?

Things are pretty good for the driver, too. The LM is powered by a 2.5-litre, self-charging hybrid engine that returns around 40mpg, in most circumstances. It’s smooth and effortless but lacks punch. Push the accelerator too hard and it whines accordingly. It’s also all-wheel drive.

Being a Lexus, it’s ultra-reliable, too. Although, we did have a, ahem, ‘issue’ during our loan, didn’t we?

True, the auxiliary battery ran flat! The problem with technology is it requires power. If you don’t leave the LM engine running while your kids spend an hour playing Minecraft on the big screen, be prepared to call roadside assistance.

So, a vehicle best used as a hotel courtesy car for VIP guests and influencers then?

Probably – but also a welcome return for the MPV (or multi-purpose vehicle) that all but died out, thanks to the rise of the SUV. Well done Lexus, for daring to be different – a novelty in car design these days.

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Prices start from £89,995. Discover more about the Lexus LM at lexus.co.uk

Jessica Saunders is Director of Programmes at London College of Fashion, studying for a PhD in sustainable e-textile design.