Lexus LM 350—The Unparalleled Luxury of Space

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Manny De Los Reyes
Manny De Los Reyes
Manny de los Reyes, motoring editor of wheels.ph as well as its print edition, has been writing about cars since 1995. His life has been deeply intertwined with cars, having cleaned and maintained the family cars as a teenager, operating a paint shop and entering national car shows in college, before joining Nissan after graduation. He handled car brands as a copywriter afterwards. Today, when he's not testing or writing about cars or attending motoring events, he is home reading novels or playing with his shih tzu.

It has a 2+2 seating arrangement and accelerates from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in a brief seven seconds. But it’s neither sports car nor coupe.  

It has a big 26-inch high-definition TV screen and a power glass divider that separates the driver from the rear passengers at a touch of a button. But it’s not a stretch limo. 

What car is this? It’s the incomparable Lexus LM—and it’s one category-defying automobile that combines the cavernous space of a generously dimensioned minivan with the utmost luxury and comfort of the most opulent executive sedans. The LM is the first Lexus model that is not a sedan, coupe, or SUV—it is the first minivan in the company’s 32-year history—but is already among the most in-demand in the whole range. 

Simply put, the LM 350 was designed to represent the pinnacle of people movers. Lexus likens it to a canvas where designers and engineers were given free rein to dramatically elevate the passenger-riding experience.

SUPERLATIVE COMFORT—LIMOUSINE PRIVACY AND CINEMATIC LUXURY

Picture a vast interior, stretched over an expansive 3,000 millimeters of wheelbase, that not only showcases the best of what the Takumi craftsmen of Lexus have to offer, but also gives you space to stretch your arms and legs. At the centerpiece of the richly appointed cabin—right in front of the fully adjustable captain’s seats (in semi-aniline leather) with built-in power ottoman—is a 26-inch HD screen paired with an audiophile-quality 19-speaker Mark Levinson Apple CarPlay/Android Auto-enabled sound system (17 speakers for the seven-seater variant) that delivers a full-bodied concert-quality sound stage.

Enter the spectacular four-seater LM 350, and you will be welcomed by its Reclining Massage seats that give you seven massage options and five levels of pressure. Each passenger seat is also lined with a unique AdaptiPedic foam that absorbs road vibration and also conforms to the body. While luxuriating in the seats (and the triple-zone airconditioning system), gaze up at the sky through twin power moonroofs and revel in the airy and spacious greenhouse.

Even the smallest tactile interior details weren’t left out, as seen—and felt—on every interior surface. The LM 350’s subtle yet distinctive Gin Sui Boku ornamentation takes inspiration from Japanese paintings, harmonizes with the cabin, and easily identifies the LM 350 as a Lexus. It is craftsmanship of the highest order.

But it’s not all seating comfort and visual art. Typical Japanese thoughtfulness can be seen in the design and placement of assist grips, side steps, and sliding doors, which allow passengers to enter and exit with blissful ease. There is plenty of clever cabin storage for handbags and briefcases on the lower partitions of either side of the cabin. And for the ultimate in mobile convenience—especially on long drives or in traffic—there is also an onboard refrigerator. Despite all of these luxury accoutrements, the LM 350 is also eminently practical thanks to the easy-to-configure interior arrangements even when in seven-seater guise.

Other advanced features include an onboard navigation system, Smart Entry with Push Start button, Engine Start-Stop, steering wheels switches for audio and mobile phone with voice recognition, electric sliding door and a power tailgate. 

MOBILE ART

The exterior is no less stunning. Lexus’s trademark bold Spindle grille exudes a sense of power while triple-LED headlamps (with Adaptive High Beam), LED daytime running lights, and sequential turn signal lamps project a bold visage.

Arrowhead accents complement the side profile while three-dimensional 18-inch spoke-design wheels wrapped with generously sized 235/50R18 rubber enhance road presence, and the L-shaped LED taillights (with sequential turn signal lights) emphasize the LM 350’s wide stance and low center of gravity. On the road, the LM 350 projects an assertive and compelling presence, unrivalled among people movers.

STATE-OF-THE-ART PERFORMANCE AND SAFETY

The heart of the LM 350 is an ultra-smooth and refined 296-hp 3.5-liter Euro 4-compliant DOHC 24-valve V6 (mated to a superb eight-speed automatic transmission) that accelerates the luxury van to 100 km/h in a brisk seven seconds. Luxurious comfort and responsive handling are achieved by intelligently tuned MacPherson struts in front and a high-performance double-wishbone (instead of the common torsion bar or multi-link suspension) at the rear. 

Advanced safety features include Adaptive High-Beam System, Pre-Collision System, Lane Tracking Assist, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Hill Start Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Panoramic View Monitor, Blind-Spot Monitor, Parking Support Brake, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, rain-sensing wipers and a tire pressure monitoring system. The suite of airbags includes dual front, front-side, as well as front and rear curtain airbags. 

Staring with a price tag of P5,408,000, the Lexus LM 350 breathtakingly and beautifully redefines the concept of luxury mobility. As it is, the LM 350 stands alone in its class. It is, simply and sublimely, the best seat in the house.

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