Lexus LS 500: It’s large, it’s high-tech, and it’s very, very glamorous.
- Year, make, model: 2019 Lexus LS 500
- Engine: 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 with 416 horsepower, all-wheel drive
- Seating capacity: Five
- Sets of car seat anchors: Two
- EPA-estimated MPG (as tested): 19 mpg city and 30 mpg highway (23 mpg combined)
- Price (as tested): $78,760 ($104,740)
- Related vehicles we’ve tested: Kia K900, Mercedes-AMG E 63 Wagon, Mercedes-Maybach S600
- In a nutshell: If there’s one thing I know about Japenese culture, is the attention to detail and gratitude for harmony amongst things. These two qualities couldn’t be more palpable in the mighty LS 500, a sedan so carefully crafted that one can see where the grain in the wood was matched so it’d look better on the dash, or the thin metalwork that adorns the doors and dash that was created with the utmost attention to detail. No, these delicacies come cheap, but then again, you get what you pay for.
Our Time Behind the Wheel
Of course, “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always compute in the automotive scene. However, the LS 500 does a great job at communicating to the driver and passengers that they’re driving/riding in something very special, very “hefty,” and definitely very expensive. It’s no surprise that the LS is compared to Mercedes-Benz’s S-Class because of its panache and not just because it’s a large sedan.
It takes time and appreciation to understand LS 500. For starters, it’s a massive car, measuring 206 inches long and nearly 75 inches wide, and weighing 4,707 pounds. As a result, it doesn’t drive like your average Honda Civic. Shocker. The LS feels big and powerful on the road, and any input from the accelerator and brake seem to be delayed by a second or two, unlike the steering, which even for a big car is quite quick.
Like in most Lexus vehicles, there are multiple driving modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, and Sport +. Driving on Normal mode definitely offers
During a quick trip to Michigan we had the opportunity to stretch the LS’ legs and experience its sumptuous backseat that’s filled with every ultra-luxury features (sans champagne cooler) you can imagine. While cruising at around 80 mph with its smart cruise control activated, the air suspension perfectly levels the LS and helps it glide down the road—even ones filled with potholes. Regardless of the envinronment outside, it remains quiet and calming in the cabin, but how could it not, when every seat (and steering wheel) is heated and cooled. Also, the seats all around feature massaging options.
|Some of the coolest options in the backseat include having full control of the sound and nav system, multiple powered blinds on the windows, rear windshield, and even overhead panoramic roofs, and reclining seats with powered ottomans. The rear half of the cabin is truly a place for dignitaries.
|Sadly, with all the moving parts and buttons all over the place, it’s not necessarily the best place for little ones to be, as they’ll want to push all the buttons at once and something is bound to go wrong. Aside from that, lounging in the back while someone else is driving for a couple of hours isn’t a bad gig at all.
Due to its eye-watering price tag, the Lexus LS 500 isn’t for everyone. But for those who can afford it, they’re guaranteed a first-class ride wherever they go. However, I have to admit that the best seat in the house is in the back, and quite far away from the steering wheel—so unless you can afford a private chauffeur, you should probably look for something with a bit more