In a way, the front-engined, rear-drive layout of the Lexus LFA is refreshingly simple. Although the compact V10 is placed behind the front axle line, you are aware of its presence ahead of you as you turn for a corner, as well as the fact that your backside sits just ahead of the rear wheels.

And yet for a car of this layout, the LFA displays a remarkable willingness to change direction – a consequence not only of the quick-geared steering but also the exceptional rigidity of the carbonfibre central structure.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The Lexus LFA displays a remarkable willingness to change direction

On a track or smooth-surfaced road, the LFA turns with a remarkable absence of slack, settling swiftly into bends and feeling controlled and planted, with plenty of grip from its bespoke Bridgestone tyres. If we were to make our assessment based purely on such driving, the LFA would score more highly than it does in the final reckoning here.

It doesn’t, though, and the reason is clear when the LFA tackles the bumpy, narrow roads typical of the UK. The problem is a lack of compliance. Although there is a comfort issue, this is a secondary concern for this type of car.

Our main beef is that the difficulty the LFA has in coping with an uneven road impinges on driver enjoyment. For example, under braking the LFA can be deflected easily if a bump affects just one side of the car, and mid-corner lumps can cause traction issues.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...

The biggest problem, though, comes from the combination of the uneven ride and the steering. Although the quick steering works well on smoother surfaces, maintaining accuracy can be difficult when it has to cope with kickback from the road surface as well.

The issue is exaggerated by the fact that the driver is both being jostled around and insufficiently supported by the seats.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • DS 3 Crossback 2019 road test review - hero front
    19 July 2019
    Car review
    French premium brand gets PSA’s new supermini platform first. Does it deliver...
  • BMW 318d front three quarters on the road
    18 July 2019
    First Drive
    Entry-level diesel is likeable addition to range but doesn't live up to...
  • MG ZS EV 2019 UK first drive review - hero front
    17 July 2019
    First Drive
    Cheap, spacious and all-round endearing electric version of MG's ZS soft...