Here in the third quarter, however, we've noticed the car showing its age, just a bit. "After getting out of a fresher example of the Lexus LS 460 L last weekend, I noticed that our door panels creak every time you start accelerating and brake," noted one staffer. "I guess 13,000 miles will do that to you, but you would figure that this Lexus flagship would stay tighter longer."

Our news editor didn't get much help from the cruise control: "I gave the active cruise control a workout, and I still would take Mercedes-Benz's Distronic Plus over this system," he said. "The Mercedes system slows down to 0, while the Lexus quits at speeds below 20 mph. Just when you're closing in on the car in front and slowing down, the system gives up and leaves it up to you to quickly mash the brakes to bring the car to a halt. As a result, I find the M-B system more inherently 'trustable,' because I can count on it all the way down to a stop, unless the stop is very severe. The M-B is the future-the Lexus isn't quite there yet."

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