With the fifth-generation LS, Lexus has made a clear grab for a distinct identity for its flagship limousine. It was a bold decision, and it’s resulted in an unusual car that should appeal to anyone looking for a fresh take on a large executive saloon characterised by eye-catching design and the imaginative use of cabin materials.

However, when you’ve finally digested everything the LS is and begin to concentrate instead on what it does, the car’s appeal as a luxury product unravels a little. This is a relatively heavy car with a powertrain ill-suited to moving its mass in suitably low-effort style.

LS has never been more appealing, or less competitive in key areas

It’s also a car that handles better than it needs to but doesn’t ride nearly as well as it should, and one whose onboard technology roster is exhaustive but which often seems too complex for its own good when you’re engaged in the business of driving it.

Rated exclusively alongside other full-sized saloons, the LS might have just made it into our top five below. But ranked simply as a flagship vehicle, it’s not among the ways we’d recommend you spend a six-figure sum or thereabouts if you want the last word in luxury.

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