Lexus LM desires you to have the back-seat experience of your life

by Editorial Team

Luxurious MPVs are a brand new(ish) sector in Europe, although the concept of a monobox multi-purpose automobile can hint its origins to vehicles just like the 1984 Renault Espace (which had its origins in Fergus Pollock’s work for Matra within the late Nineteen Seventies) and even Mario Bellini’s 1972 Kar-a-Sutra idea. 

The brand new Lexus LM luxurious MPV

(Picture credit score: Lexus)

Whereas Bellini’s counter-cultural imaginative and prescient recommended we change to sprawling, well-upholstered dwelling rooms on wheels, the MPV actually got here into its personal as a household automotive. Folks movers and minivans ensured a journey was a shared expertise, for good and for unhealthy, all wrapped up in a type issue that allowed a number of offspring, baggage, pets and damaged biscuits to inhabit the identical house. 

MPVs gave method to SUVs, with their added layer of obvious impregnability luring households away from the way more sensible physique kind. Though monobox automotive designs had been left to minicab house owners, it didn’t cease the event of a micro-niche, the posh MPV. Mercedes continues to supply its V-Class in a spread of various guises, whereas Volvo is quickly to launch the China-only EM90. 

Lexus LM

Lexus has gone massive on its grille design

(Picture credit score: Lexus)

Actually, Asia is the place minivans nonetheless rule the streets. In addition to numerous mass-market fashions for the Japanese, Chinese language and Korean markets, you’ll additionally discover luxury-spec fashions, together with the Hongqi HQ9, the Zeekr 009 (the Volvo’s sister automotive), the Denza D9, the remarkably named Trumpchi M8 and the Buick GL8 Century. All of the latter are very a lot China-only and replicate a cultural give attention to the significance of the passenger, relatively than the motive force. 

Lexus LM

Based mostly on the Toyota Alphard, the Lexus LM is a luxurious MPV

(Picture credit score: Lexus)

Lexus is due to this fact making a daring assertion by bringing the LM to Europe. Based mostly on the vastly profitable Toyota Alphard, the LM takes inspiration from traditional limousines of previous, in addition to final decade’s official Alphard ‘Royal Lounge’ mannequin. Tall, broad, slab-sided and never precisely good-looking, the LM is definitely an imposing automobile. A standard two-seater cab is positioned near the entrance axle, with a rakish windscreen set removed from the motive force, beneath which is a baleen-esque instance Lexus’s already bountiful entrance grille: ‘Darth Vader’ was one of many kindlier comparisons. The entrance seats provide wonderful visibility, an excellent navigation system, as effectively distant door operation for the rear and positively gained’t depart your chauffeur in any discomfort.

Lexus LM interior

Up entrance, the Lexus LM’s driving place

(Picture credit score: Lexus)

Whether or not the styling ticks your bins or not is irrelevant, for all of the motion is within the again seat, accessed through twin sliding electrical doorways. All LMs include simply 4 seats, with house within the rear for 2 unbiased fully-reclining, first-class airliner-style chairs. 

Lexus LM is all concerning the back-seat expertise

Lexus LM reclining seats

The reclining rear seats of the Lexus LM

(Picture credit score: Lexus)

On this top-of-the-range LM LM350H Takumi mannequin you additionally get an electrically operated, dimmable glass partition between entrance and rear, in addition to full therapeutic massage capabilities on the electrical rear seats, a fridge, plus a 23-speaker stereo and 48-inch rear leisure show. Armrests include folding tray tables, every seat will get its personal touchscreen controller, and there are sufficient blinds and lighting choices to maintain you busy for hours.

Lexus LM window

The roof-mounted home windows can be electrically screened

(Picture credit score: Lexus)

For the businessperson on the transfer, the LM is with out direct equal. Throw within the firm’s ruthless high quality management, reliability and all-round effectivity (helped right here by a hybrid 2.5-litre petrol engine and four-wheel-drive), and you’ve got an unrivalled cell workplace (and/or cell leisure pod). The downsides? It’s lots of house to offer over to 2 seats, no matter how particular they’re. And may a minivan actually maintain its personal alongside the LM’s equivalents?

Lexus LM

The LM contains a 48-inch rear leisure display and electrical privateness blinds

(Picture credit score: Lexus)

This is the place the facility of branding is available in. An extended wheelbase Vary Rover SV with the non-obligatory SV Signature Suite two-seat rear configuration is £207,260, round about the identical worth as a Bentley Flying Spur hybrid. The Mercedes S580 will seat an additional passenger and prices from £123,105. If the massive display is the massive draw, your solely different possibility is BMW’s all-electric i7, with its 31-inch Theatre Display (£127,495).

Lexus LM controls

Fingertip management for rear capabilities within the Lexus LM

(Picture credit score: Lexus)

In its most fully-laden specification, the Lexus is cheaper than all of them. It’s additionally decidedly completely different, although it lacks the assorted USPs of those rivals (off-road potential, craftsmanship, heritage, efficiency, driving dynamics, magnificence, and so on, and so on). As a cossetting company carapace, the LM’s type issue makes whole sense, nevertheless it doesn’t converse to the feelings just like the others, for higher and for worse. Nevertheless, when you tone down the styling a contact, maybe the LM represents the true way forward for stealth wealth mobility. 

Supply: Wallpaper

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