One’s general idea of limousines is often limited to American TV shows, where they either carry high school students who have pooled money for their prom ride or wealthy individuals such as movie stars and CEOs who can afford the luxury of a chauffeur-driven vehicle. At the back of my mind, however, all I could think of was how difficult it would be for people to climb in and out of those low and long vehicles; there is just no way to do it gracefully. Also, nothing about the seating in those limos seemed comfortable at all. It was not until I saw the Lexus Luxury Mover (LM) 350 that I thought, “Ah, a limousine that makes sense”.
At a glance, the Lexus LM 350 resembles the Toyota Alphard, a very popular car on Malaysian roads. However, it features the signature Lexus spindle design on its large radiator grille. There is nothing petit about this vehicle; its length is 5,050mm while its width and height are 1,850mm and 1,895mm respectively. A metallic frame and flowing accents streamline this beast. It also features the Lexus Daytime Running Lamps, which are slim LED headlamps with a sophisticated arrow-head shape.
Available in Black or White Pearl Crystal Shine, the LM 350 is enhanced with 18in noise-reducing alloy rims that are finished in a hyper chrome metallic. For maximum comfort, this car is powered by a 3.5-litre 24-valve DOHC naturally aspirated V6 petrol engine that ensures a smooth and quiet drive, as well as low-speed torque.
Embodying the car brand’s renowned omotenashi (exceptional Japanese hospitality), the LM 350 caters for the needs of busy professionals. This is evident when you look at the interior. In this spacious MPV, there are only two seats, allowing for maximum space for the two VIP lounge seats to fully recline when you need to have a little kip. Crafted with semi-aniline leather, the seats are suited to long drives as they include AdaptiPedic rate-sensitive response foam, developed specially for this model. And they come complete with an ottoman configuration and massage function.
Having the opportunity to explore the interior of the LM 350, I was able to fully take in all of the little elements and enjoy the brand’s focus on comfort. The seats are perfectly shaped to keep your back at ease, but the massage function — which features seven massage programmes and five pressure levels — was a little soft for my taste. However, when you put the seat in full recline, it is easy to imagine being comfortable on long journeys.
From these premium lounge seats, there is a centre console that allows you to access all the exceptional features included, such as the Twin-Moonroof, cabin lighting (which can be illuminated in 16 different colours and four brightness levels) and the adjustment of your chair. The LM 350 also has a specially placed Mark Levinson audio system with 19 speakers. You also have access to a 26in high-definition 720p display panel with a Blu-Ray Disc and connectivity options.
This Lexus MPV allows passengers to have private space as there is a handy glass partition (as any good limo would have) that can be elevated or dimmed to one of three settings — open, privacy and full privacy. This model is fitted with a wireless charger port and an automatic three-zone air-conditioning system that includes a pollen filter and nanoe negative ion generator. Top that off with the 14-litre refrigerator conveniently placed in the centre of the lower partition, and you have the ultimate luxury vehicle to be chauffeured in during a busy work week.
Lexus Malaysia president Ravindran K says, “With its outstanding comfort, sophisticated beauty and exceptional functionality, the Lexus LM 350 has single-handedly redefined the luxury MPV segment by taking fine automobile experiences where no luxury automobile has been.”
That’s definitely true as this car takes chauffeur-driven luxury to a whole new level.
This article first appeared on June 14, 2021 in The Edge Malaysia.