- The 2024 Lexus LM debuts as the latest version of the brand’s luxury van, but it’s only sold overseas.
- The new LM wears snazzier sheetmetal, features a stiffer structure, and boasts an even ritzier interior.
- Inside, the LM offers seating for up to seven, but the four-seat option includes lounge-like chairs facing a 48-inch screen.
Imagine it’s late and you’ve had one too many adult beverages. So you open the Uber app, summon a ride, and soon after a 2024 Lexus LM luxury van rolls up outside the Taco Bell where you just crushed an entire taco party pack.
The LM’s sliding side door opens to reveal a palatial interior complete with a pair of lounge-like chairs facing a 48-inch screen on a partition that separates passengers in the back from those in the front. All you have to do is raise the privacy glass, sink into the comfy-looking seats with their body-temperature-sensing tech, raise the ottoman that’s been redesigned for more range, and likely fall asleep as the new van’s quieter cabin cocoons you from the outside world.
Not Coming to America
Unfortunately, for those of us who live in America, luxuriating in the new second-generation Lexus LM that debuted at the Shanghai auto show can only be done in our imagination. While the U.S. has ultra-luxurious sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S-class and extravagant SUVs such as the Bentley Bentayga, in this country we don’t have their van equivalents like the LM.
Lexus is even expanding availability of the new LM by launching it in over 60 countries, which for the first time includes Europe and Japan. Those lucky folks can enjoy the myriad improvements that accompany the van’s second generation, including a structure that’s said to be 50 percent stiffer and a new suspension designed to make the ride more comfortable and reduce vibrations. There’s also a new drive mode dedicated to rear-seat comfort by altering the dampening forces and limiting sensations caused by accelerating and braking.
To help keep the LM’s cabin as serene as possible, Lexus says it prioritized quietness by reducing various noise sources—namely those caused by the road and the wind. Along with beefing up the sound deadening, the available engines and their mounts were tuned to limit noise and vibrations. Those engines are both hybrids, with one using a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and the other presumably offering more power thanks to its 2.4-liter turbo-four gas engine.
Unlike Any Influencer’s Van
There’s no mistaking the LM for anything but a Lexus. The company made sure of that with what looks like one of the wildest interpretations yet of its spindle grille. Instead of outlining the shape with a defined border, Lexus lets the body color spill into the grille while also reducing the gaps between different elements. Overall, the LM measures 201.8 inches long, 74.4 inches wide, and about 77 inches high. While all of those dimensions are bigger than before, the wheelbase remains 118.1 inches.
No one has to bust out the tape measure to see that the Lexus LM is a big van, and that size contributes to a similarly large interior, with considerably more space for activities than any Mercedes or Bentley. While business executives and other rich types who like to be chauffeured will want the four-seat option, the LM also offers seating for six to seven passengers.
Whether basking in the glow of the van’s myriad ambient lighting themes or manipulating the climate and sunshades with one of the two available touchscreen controllers, the 2024 Lexus LM looks to provide an experience Americans won’t get to enjoy and something this country’s obnoxious influencers can’t replicate with an obligatory #vanlife. Instead, we’ll just have to settle for fantasizing about the luxurious van and its potential to be the ultimate Uber.
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Eric Stafford’s automobile addiction began before he could walk, and it has fueled his passion to write news, reviews, and more for Car and Driver since 2016. His aspiration growing up was to become a millionaire with a Jay Leno–like car collection. Apparently, getting rich is harder than social-media influencers make it seem, so he avoided financial success entirely to become an automotive journalist and drive new cars for a living. After earning a degree at Central Michigan University and working at a daily newspaper, the years of basically burning money on failed project cars and lemon-flavored jalopies finally paid off when Car and Driver hired him. His garage currently includes a 2010 Acura RDX, a manual ’97 Chevy Camaro Z/28, and a ’90 Honda CRX Si.