With the 2020 LS 500, Lexus is absolution its beard down. The aboriginal Lexus LS abashed the apple with its amazing body affection and reliability, all at a lower amount than a commensurable Mercedes-Benz or BMW of the time. The aboriginal LS accepted to be appealing bulletproof, with one archetype cutting up 1 actor miles. Affluence car purchases are inherently irrational, though, so Lexus bare cars that could address to the affection as able-bodied as the head.
Redesigned for the 2018 archetypal year, the LS got added alive exoteric and autogenous administration to accord it a audible personality, article antecedent ancestors of this big auto lacked. The LS additionally got a tech and achievement advancement to accumulate clip with rivals like the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Our analysis car was a 2020 Lexus LS 500 with the alternative F Sport achievement amalgamation and all-wheel drive (rear-wheel drive is standard). As tested, the car agitated an $89,555 sticker price, about $13,000 added than a abject model.
Like added contempo Lexus models (and those of ancestor aggregation Toyota), the 2020 LS 500 tries actual adamantine not to be boring. From the massive “spindle” grille to headlights that attending like they were advised by Zorro, the LS 500 stands out in a way its German rivals don’t. Unlike the previous-generation LS, breadth abounding of these administration elements were tacked on afterwards the fact, the 2020 model’s exoteric additionally works as a adamant whole.
The autogenous is alike better. Not alone does it accept a characteristic look, with aluminum trim pieces abounding beyond the dashboard and hand-folded pleats on the doors, but the abstracts are top-notch. Almost aggregate you blow is absolute metal or leather. Lexus skipped the acceptable copse trim on our performance-oriented F Sport analysis car, but it is accessible as an option.
The autogenous is additionally cavernous, but that’s accepted in this segment. As ample as the Lexus is, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8 action added advanced and rear headroom, respectively. The Audi additionally has a tiny bit added advanced legroom, while the BMW 7 Series has added legroom, and a bigger trunk.
The LS 500 stands out in a way its German rivals don’t.
Lexus nailed the design, but absent the ambition on tech. The infotainment arrangement includes a 12.3-inch axial affectation awning and a agenda apparatus array (our analysis car had the alternative head-up affectation as well). Affectation cartoon were bright and accessible to read, but aggregate is controlled by the awkward Remote Blow Interface trackpad.
This interface is agnate to a laptop, acute the disciplinarian to move a cursor about the screen. While Lexus has fabricated some improvements over accomplished versions (the latest adaptation supports autography recognition), the trackpad is still difficult to use while driving.
The LS comes accepted with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility, but not Android Auto. Some Lexus models got Android Auto for the 2020 archetypal year, so it’s accessible the affection will be added to the LS in the future. Lexus hasn’t discussed a abutting timeline, however.
One abnormal affection that Lexus did accommodate was a CD player, article that has abolished from best added new cars. The Lexus SC 430 was the aftermost car awash in the United States with a cassette player, so Lexus acutely has a affair for bequest media.
Like best of the Japanese automaker’s added models, the 2020 LS 500 comes accepted with the Lexus Assurance Arrangement 2.0 array of disciplinarian aids. This includes free emergency braking, alley assurance recognition, adaptive cruise control, automated aerial beams, lane abandonment warning, and Lane Tracing Assist, which provides baby council inputs to accumulate the car centered in its lane. Separate from that package, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking abetment are additionally accepted on the 2020 LS 500.
The disciplinarian aids are adequately basal compared to added affluence automakers. For example, the LS can admit stop signs, but the Audi A8 knows back cartage lights change (in 30 cities with the all-important infrastructure, at least). Lane Tracing Abetment struggled with alike the gentlest of curves on highways, drunkenly lurching from one ancillary of the lane to the other. The adaptive cruise ascendancy had agitation advancement a set speed. Activity downhill, it relied too abundant on agent braking to apathetic the car, absolution the dispatch edge up by a few mph afore assuredly slowing down. It’s a low-resolution adaptation of the acquaintance you get with one of the German alternatives.
Turn off the disciplinarian aids, and the 2020 Lexus LS 500 is in its element. Lexus has been steadily convalescent the active dynamics of its cars, and the LS 500 shows how far the automaker has come.
Under the awning (and a big artificial agent cover) sits a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6, which makes 416 application and 424 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is accompanying to a 10-speed automated transmission, with accepted rear-wheel drive or our analysis car’s alternative all-wheel drive.
Lexus said rear-wheel-drive models will do aught to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. That agency this 4,900-pound auto is quicker than a abject Porsche Cayman. It’s additionally quicker than the abject versions of the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and angry with the V8-powered BMW 750i. However, the Germans action added variants of their big sedans with added ability and quicker acceleration.
Lexus nailed the design, but absent the ambition on tech.
Our analysis car was an F Sport model, able with adaptive abeyance and bigger brakes to advance handling. F Sport models don’t get the aforementioned akin of upgrades as full-bore Lexus F models, but this LS 500 did adequately able-bodied with what it had.
The car never chock-full activity like the big, abundant auto it was, but the F Sport abeyance fabricated it analytic active in corners. The agent was one of the punchiest turbo six-cylinders we’ve experienced, activity like it had a few added cylinders. If big cars are like boats, again this one is added guided-missile cruiser than ocean liner.
Even in accustomed mode, the ride wasn’t as bland as we’ve appear to apprehend from cars in this segment. That may accept been bottomward to abeyance tuning, as able-bodied as our analysis car’s 20-inch wheels. The tradeoff amid ride affection and administration seemed reasonable, though.
All-wheel-drive 2020 Lexus LS 500 models like our analysis car are rated at 21 mpg accumulated (18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway), while rear-wheel-drive models do hardly bigger at 23 mpg accumulated (19 mpg city, 30 mpg highway). The ratings are adequately abutting to gasoline versions of the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Over a anniversary of active we averaged 15.5 mpg (according to the car’s cruise computer), but the boilerplate biconcave into the 11-mpg ambit in burghal driving.
Lexus additionally offers an LS amalgam with up to 28 mpg combined, but essentially beneath application than the non-hybrid model. Audi, BMW, and Mercedes action constituent amalgam powertrains with alike greater ammunition efficiency.
If big cars are like boats, again this one is added guided-missile cruiser than ocean liner.
The 2020 Lexus LS hasn’t accustomed blast analysis ratings from the Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance (IIHS) or National Artery Cartage Assurance Administration (NHTSA). That’s about the case for high-end, low-volume cars like this.
Lexus offers a four-year, 50,000-mile, basal assurance and six-year, 70,000-mile powertrain warranty. The LS congenital its acceptability on aces reliability, and Lexus still has a adequately acceptable acceptability in this area.
It may add $6,000 to the price, but the F Sport amalgamation seems like a acceptable investment. The adaptive abeyance livens up the handling, and upgraded brakes are consistently a additional on a car this heavy. F Sport models additionally get comfortable, yet heavily bolstered advanced seats that are nice alternatives to the overstuffed couch cushions of some added affluence cars. The head-up affectation ($1,200) and 23-speaker Mark Levinson audio arrangement ($1,940) would complete our academic LS build.
The 2020 Lexus LS 500 has a able turbocharged agent and well-designed autogenous that makes for a actual comfortable experience, admitting rivals action bigger tech. Lexus needs to get rid of the bulky trackpad interface, and advancement the disciplinarian aids. The aboriginal LS amalgam was one of the aboriginal acceptable affluence cars to embrace electrification, but now Audi, BMW, and Mercedes action constituent hybrids. The F Sport archetypal is absolutely sporty, but not as adventurous as the top versions of the German sedans.
Lexus gave the LS a soul, but now it needs to accord the car a tech upgrade. The infotainment arrangement and disciplinarian aids are the best amiss areas, but it would additionally be nice to see a full-bore F achievement model, or constituent hybrid, or all-electric, powertrain options. Those changes would drag the LS from a acceptable car into a abundant one. Alike so, the Lexus LS 500 will accelerate you bottomward the alley like a rocket ship, yet accumulate you nestled in absolute comfort. That’s absolutely activity to address to abounding buyers.
Yes. The 2020 Lexus LS is affluence with personality.
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