2018 Lexus LS 500

Pros: Smooth, quiet ride; quality cabin materials; ample rear legroom

Cons: Automatic transmission is slow to downshift; some drivers dislike joystick interface of the infotainment system

CG Says: Lexus’s flagship large sedan is redesigned for 2018. The all-new, fifth-generation LS is slightly lower and wider than the previous model. It’s significantly longer, too: The LS line previously offered both standard- and long-wheelbase versions, but the new LS is only available on a 123-inch wheelbase—it’s 1.3 inches longer in wheelbase and 2.1 inches longer overall than the previous long-wheelbase model. A host of new safety features are available, including pedestrian detection with both brake and steering intervention; Lane Trace Assist, a lane-keep-assist feature that can trace the path of a preceding vehicle rather than solely relying on road markings for guidance; front and rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking; and Road Sign Assist, which reads stop, speed limit, and yield signs and displays them on a screen. The Executive Package includes reclining and massaging rear seats and an ottoman that can be extended to support the legs of the right-side rear-seat passenger. Powertrains are all-new; the 386-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 is replaced by a 416-hp twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 that is paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission in LS 500 and sporty LS 500 F Sport models. The LS 500h hybrid is powered by a non-turbo version of the V6 paired with two electric motors, for a total of 354 hp. The LS 500h’s transmission is also a “hybrid,” in that it combines a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a conventional 4-speed-automatic gear set. All models offer a choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive except for the LS 500 F Sport, which is RWD only. The redesigned 2018 LS brings voluptuous new styling, a long list of cutting-edge technology features, and an impeccably luxurious cabin that can be personalized via an impressive array of trim options. It’s not without its shortcomings—the infotainment interface is complicated and doesn’t include Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and some argue that the twin-turbo V6 doesn’t feel quite as smooth as the old V8 despite the new engine’s superior power. Still, the LS continues its tradition of splendid isolation from noise and road irregularities, and it now feels more agile than before. It’s still a compelling alternative to its European rivals.

The Facts
Class Premium Large Sedan
Body Style(s) 4-door sedan
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Lexus
Nation of Manufacture Japan
Base Prices LS 500: $76,025
AWD LS 500: $79245
LS 500 F Sport: $82,025
AWD LS 500 F Sport: $85,245
LS 500h: $80,535
AWD LS 500h: $83,755

Base Engine
turbocharged 3.5-liter V6
Std. Transmission
10-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
EPA City Range (mpg)
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)

Optional Engine
3.5-liter V6/electric motor
Std. Transmission
CVT/4-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
EPA City Range (mpg)
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)

2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport
2018 Lexu LS 500h
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - NA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - NA
Side Crash - NA
Rollover - NA

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