The Lexus LS600h is by far the most expensive production hybrid
yet and it has just gone on sale in Europe
. To date hybrids have not been as popular in Europe as the dominant diesels
. AutoSpies has decided to pit the big Lexus against the established Mercedes-Benz S420 CDI and the BMW 745d. The Germans are both propelled by diesel V-8s while the Lexus uses the latest version of Toyota's hybrid synergy drive. If this test is any indication, the Germans have little to worry about for now. As expected the LS came out on top in urban fuel economy
with 24mpg compared to 19.4 and 20.3 for the BMW and Mercedes. On the Autobahn, though, and cruising at 111 mph, the hybrid plummeted to 9.6 mpg while the Germans still managed 14.1 and 15.3 mpg respectively. In overall driving the Lexus also trailed. The hybrid battery pack also takes a toll on the trunk space of the Lexus. In spite of the LS600h's size, the trunk measures a mere 11.4 cu.ft while the BMW can hold 17.6 cu.ft and the Mercedes trunk measures 19.8 cu.ft.