Lexus’ spindle grille goes supersize for new LM minivan

By Tom Wiltshire

Lexus is well-known for its saloons and SUVs, but the brand is now dipping its toes into the MPV water.

The new LM is based on the Toyota Alphard minivan, a Japanese-market people-carrier that’s often a ‘grey import’ into the UK. In true Lexus style, though, it’s been given a seriously eye-catching makeover.

This consists of possibly the biggest iteration of Lexus’ ‘spindle’ grille yet, adorning the LM’s front end with acres of shiny chrome. It’s flanked by Lexus’ distinctive headlights with blade-shaped daytime running lights, while the sides feature yet more chrome surrounding the doors, as well as intricate multi-spoke alloy wheels.

As with any MPV though, the real story is on the inside. In the LM’s case, that’s doubly true. While it’s possible to specify a standard, boring, seven-seat layout, the truly antisocial can instead opt for just four seats.

In this form, the rearmost passengers sit in comfortable, reclining armchairs, capable of heating, cooling and massaging the occupants. The middle bench, meanwhile has been replaced by a mammoth 26-inch display – and, of course, a 14-litre champagne fridge.

A 19-speaker sound system also features, ensuring that all four occupants can enjoy the music – though the rear-seat occupants do have the overriding controls on their feature-packed centre armrest.

(Lexus/PA)

The LM will be available with a choice of two powertrains – the LM350, with a 3.5-litre V6 petrol, or the LM300h, which uses a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol mated to an electric motor.

There are no plans to bring the LM to Europe – it’s currently Chinese-market only, though it may make its way to other markets in the future.