First revealed back in April last year, the Lexus LM has now gone on sale in Thailand, with two variants of the ultra-luxurious MPV being offered to customers there. Prices start at 5.5 million baht (RM738,655) for the seven-seat version, while the four-seat option is a lot more at 6.5 million baht (RM873,457).

You might be thinking just how much more expensive is the LM compared to a regular Alphard. Well, in Thailand, the Alphard in range-topping 3.5 VIP grade with the Executive Lounge spec goes for 5.429 million baht (RM730,405), the 2.5 Hybrid for 3.939 million baht (RM529,910), and there’s also the sportier 2.5 Vellfire that goes for 3.809 million baht (RM512,421).

In Malaysia, we only have the Alphard in 3.5 guise (for now) that retails at RM464,000, with pricing for the Executive Lounge version yet to be revealed; the estimated pricing for the Vellfire 2.5L is RM383,000.

For the Thailand market, both four- and seven-seat variants come in LM 300h guise, which features a hybrid powertrain that uses a 2AR-FXE 2.5 litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine that develops 154 PS at 5,700 rpm and 206 Nm of torque from 4,400 to 4,800 rpm.

The mill drives the front wheels via an E-CVT and is augmented by an electric motor, which is rated at 143 PS (105 kW) and 270 Nm. Adding to the mix is a separate 68 PS (50 kW)/139 Nm electric motor at the rear that forms the car’s E-Four electric all-wheel drive system.

The e-motors draw power from a 224.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery, and together with the combustion engine, provides a total system output of 197 PS. Performance-wise, the MPV will get from zero to 100 km/h in 10.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 180 km/h. It also has an average fuel consumption of 6.4 l/100 km (15.6 km/l) and emits 150 g/km of CO2.

The main highlight of the LM is undoubtedly its interior, and the four-seat version is the one that VIPs would want to have. Building upon the Royal Lounge specification for the Alphard, you get just two chairs behind the cockpit that can be reclined to become flat beds. They also feature AdaptiPedic foam beneath the semi-aniline leather trim and are power operated with massaging functions.

The rear passenger space is kept separate from the front via an electrically-operated partition for privacy, and comes equipped with an entertainment system that consists of a 26-inch screen, a 19-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound system and a remote touchpad to operate it.

If that isn’t enough, there’s also an onboard refrigerator to keep your drinks cool and a dedicated storage area for your briefcase. Other luxuries include an S-Flow climate control system, an enlarged moon roof and Gin-Sui-Boku (Silver Ink) ornamentation inspired by the art of Japanese ink wash painting.

Should you prefer the more affordable seven-seater, you’ll lose nearly all the fancy items that the four-seater gets. More akin to the Alphard’s Executive Lounge specification, you get a pair of captain seats (also with a powered Ottoman function) in the second row and a third-row bench instead; these provide more flexible seating and cargo arrangements.

As for the rest of the kit list, the LM 300h gets 17-inch wheels, LED headlamps, a 4.2-inch Optitron display, dual-zone climate control for the cockpit, power-sliding doors, a 12.3-inch primary display, a wireless charger, as well as a range of safety and driver assistance technologies.

These include Lexus’ Pre-Collision System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, Lane Change Assist with Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive High-Beam System, Parking Support Brake and a digital rearview mirror.

To make sure you can spot an LM, the Alphard body wears Lexus’ trademark spindle grille at the front, which is chrome plated with flowing accents. This is flanked by sharp triple-beam headlamps bearing the brand’s signature ‘tick’ daytime running lights. Down the sides, there are additional chrome bits on the centre pillar and an elaborate design for wheels, while the rear sports full-width lights and a chrome bridge.

Now comes the big question, would you pay the premium for the LM over an Alphard should the Lexus MPV be introduced in Malaysia, especially when you consider all the additional luxury items you stand to gain?