This Flagship Sedan Nonetheless Believes in Buttons

Sitting at the back of the 2023 Lexus LS 500’s unfold of controls took me again to formative years. In particular Christmas 1998—after I delightedly pulled the wrapping off a stereo the dimensions of an engine block. Take into accout the ones? Such a lot of buttons, such a lot of lighting fixtures! I felt such energy and coolness. What an excellent sensation to stoke.

I’ve pushed a number of spectacular, high-end vehicles and whilst I’m not at all about to let you know the LS sedan is awesome to they all, there’s a uniquely compelling vibe to the human-machine interface right here. The cockpit appears high-tech with out being chintzy or gimmicky. It’s trendy, however I’m assured it’ll age somewhat gracefully.

Andrew P. Collins

Swish isn’t a phrase I’d use to explain the best way the LS 500 carries itself on an competitive assault of mountain roads, nevertheless it’s were given greater than sufficient juice to get out of its personal means—double the velocity prohibit within the time it takes you to tug a sip of espresso. You’ve were given your self a tremendous government categorical right here.

2023 Lexus LS 500 Specifications


  • Base worth (Government Bundle as examined): $80,785 ($110,535)
  • Powertrain: 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 | 10-speed automated | all-wheel power
  • Horsepower: 416 @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 442 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm
  • Seating capability: 5
  • Curb weight: 5,129 kilos
  • Shipment quantity: 17 cubic toes
  • Most sensible pace: 140 mph
  • EPA gas financial system: 17 mpg town | 27 freeway | 21 mixed 
  • Fast take: Supremely elegant and happy with a considerate internal that can glance excellent for years yet to come; however appears large and handles accordingly.
  • Rating: 8/10

The Fundamentals

The Lexus LC grand traveling coupe is flashier than this, and the LX SUV is heavier. However the LS 500, an immense old-school sedan, nonetheless appears like a emblem flagship. And it truly is big—at over 17 toes lengthy tip to tail, I saved pondering a star’s spaceship had gotten misplaced and landed in my driveway after I stuck glimpses of it out my window.

Lately’s LS design has been round for a couple of years, and naturally, the nameplate has been a staple of the Lexus lineup because it dropped in 1990. The unique automobile remains to be thought to be a excessive watermark of Jap luxurious, and whilst I don’t assume the present type will likely be as large of a bullet level within the annals of automobile historical past, this can be a rattling tremendous high-class conveyance.

Within the again, a small display screen for controlling local weather stuck my eye as I reduced myself into the again seat. That interface doesn’t appear completely important nevertheless it’s elegantly finished and no doubt illustrates the purpose that you simply’re using in one thing fancy. With it, you’ll be able to tweak temperature controls and fine-tune your seat’s orientation. If you happen to’re in the correct rear seat of an LS 500 with the correct choices package deal, you’ll be able to even use a deployable ottoman-style stool to truly power house the vibe that you simply’re flying top quality.

Andrew P. Collins

You received’t somewhat in finding the extravagance in presentation that you simply’d see in a Rolls-Royce, Bentley, or Maybach, however the room for rest is beneficiant and the inner design is soothingly blank. 

A three.4-liter V6 would possibly appear a little bit small for the sort of hefty (about 5,000 kilos) automobile. However with dual turbochargers boosting the output declare to 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, I will be able to’t say I ever discovered myself pondering “Shucks, I positive want this would transfer quicker in a directly line.” But it surely doesn’t precisely snap off shifts with the urgency you are feeling in a efficiency automobile, making the paddle-shift revel in a little bit unsatisfying.

The LS’s engine is totally lined, however a minimum of the overlaying is a little bit clever. Andrew P. Collins

The engine stays relatively quiet, even beneath onerous charging, and the feeling of pace is beautiful smartly muted bodily as smartly. It sort of feels transparent that the facility is solely a part of the LS 500 package deal for sensible functions. You need in an effort to make a move and merge boldly in a high-end automobile like this, which you unquestionably can, however everybody within the automobile is beautiful smartly insulated from the paintings the engine, transmission, and suspension are doing to make the mechanical device transfer.

For while you’re no longer going directly, Adaptive Variable Suspension is designed to offer max convenience whilst protecting grip and the automobile will also exchange its journey peak only a smidge at low speeds.

Riding the Lexus LS 500

To not stay harping at the automobile’s dimension, nevertheless it does really feel massive taking place the street. The tip of the expansive hood turns out some distance away, as do the rear seats. That’s no longer a foul factor—to the contrary, I discovered it felt roughly cool and gave riding the object a way of instance.

It made me need to power the automobile intentionally, and, at a brisk or modest tempo, the car makes its means down a street in outstanding convenience and serenity. 

Whilst you flip very onerous, without reference to power mode, the object truly tilts. Angrily punishing the LS 500 up and down mountain roads nearly had me feeling like I used to be in an ’80s film chase scene, the place the sedans all tip and dip dramatically. Aside from, grip used to be by no means missing. The automobile’s competent sufficient in spirited riding, however unexpectedly converting route simply felt discordant with the car’s vibe.

What I no doubt didn’t really feel have been potholes. My check loops round New York’s Hudson Valley characteristic many roads which are about as mangy because the deer that love to patrol them, and this automobile just about floated over they all.

The Highs and Lows

I completely underestimated how superior the present Lexus person interface is—the buttons, presentations, and basic controls of this automobile are without delay intuitive and cool-looking. I imagine that extraordinarily excessive reward for any automobile and truthfully, a excellent sufficient reason why by itself to need to power this kind of each day.

Now not solely does the LS have a excellent breadth of onerous buttons for important purposes, however they’re drawn somewhat artfully into the design of the dashboard and cockpit. In the similar vein, the absolutely virtual gauge cluster show is blank and cohesive with the remainder of the automobile.

Andrew P. Collins Andrew P. Collins

Whilst some trendy luxurious vehicles really feel a little bit like booths, with numerous empty surfaces and tacked-on monitors, the LS internal truly appears like that of a car, a significant other, a mechanical device with some character that you’ll be able to connect to as a driving force.

There’s a vaguely nautical vibe to the cabin—I feel it’s the ornamental sewing and light-weight coloring on one of the vital internal comfortable items optioned on my loaner automobile—bringing to thoughts issues I’ve noticed on high-end oceangoing automobiles. I’d additionally been enjoying numerous Bioshock appropriate across the time I check drove this, and nearly felt like one of the vital onerous trim components (particularly a billet grille-esque horizontal piece spanning around the sprint) had a whiff of that underwater-art-deco design genre that permeates the ones video games.

I truly favored this design component that spans the dashboard—it appears mild and powerful on the similar time. Andrew P. Collins

Again if truth be told—you’re almost certainly no longer going to finally end up working down tires attacking backroads in Recreation S+ mode all that regularly, however you’ll be sweeping your eyes and palms across the internal on each and every power. And when the cockpit appears this cool, it’s onerous to not have a great time without reference to your tempo.

The LS 500’s major weaknesses, as I used to be ready to infer in a few hundred miles of trying out, are truly simply the inherent barriers of a luxurious sedan. It’s pricey, it’s thirsty, and it’s too great for a muddy canine to journey in. I wager there are different reviewers who would additionally say it feels outdated, however I feel it’d be extra correctly described as growing old gracefully.

I’m no longer in particular electrified by means of Lexus’ present spindle grille or paper-creased bodywork, however I’m extraordinarily assured that the 2023 LS 500’s cockpit will nonetheless glance excellent (and be a laugh to make use of) in a decade.

Lexus LS 500 Options, Choices, and Pageant

The Lexus LS 500 has a decrease base worth than the Mercedes S-Magnificence or BMW 7 Sequence at round $80,000. However while you get started settling on the entire cooler options like hand-pleated internal trim and 28-way adjustable therapeutic massage seats, you’ll be ringing up at over $100,000.

The leanest you’d need to spec an LS could be with simply the Inner Improve Bundle, which provides $3,530 for your record worth however will increase the fanciness of virtually each and every internal floor.

The Government Bundle provides additional niceties that in particular turn out to be useful if the automobile’s getting used for limo responsibility—that’s while you get into options just like the right-rear “energy recliner” seat with a sliding ottoman and Shiatsu massager. In fact, such luxurious provides nearly $17,000 to the cost.

For absolutely the max-boss spec LS, you’ll be able to upload a $23,000 package deal that includes the inclusion of Kiriko glass. It is a Jap artwork type of etched glass that Lexus turns out very proud in an effort to promote you. I’ve to confess I’m a sucker for that roughly factor—why no longer inject a little bit summary artistry right into a luxe automobile internal?

The Genesis G90 is almost certainly this automobile’s closest actual rival. That automobile is much less cash, and I feel a powerful case may well be made that it’s higher browsing. Having pushed solely the smaller Genesis G70 I will be able to’t discuss to how the 90 stacks up precisely, however I will be able to’t deny that the switchgear within the Lexus did really feel significantly extra powerful than the closing Genesis I used to be in a couple of weeks in the past.

If I have been spec’ing out an LS 500 for myself, I might be tempted to splurge at the fancy glass however that’s solely to be had with a black internal. The seats and door panels seemed so beautiful in white leather-based on my loaner automobile that I’d need to suggest working a light-color internal.

Andrew P. Collins

I do know I’ve a dependancy of time out myself as a luddite in each and every overview, however, I’d skip the $3,200 Lexus Protection Device+ … no longer that I recommend for un-safety, I simply don’t like head-up presentations and seldom use cruise keep an eye on.


The electrified model of this automobile—the LS 500h—is an all-wheel power hybrid with a 7 out of 10 smog rating and an reliable EPA ranking of 25 mpg in mixed riding. This gas-only LS 500, with rear-wheel power and a twin-turbo V6 will get a 5 out of 10 smog rating and is anticipated to burn 567 gallons of gas in line with 12 months as opposed to the hybrid’s 500.

Andrew P. Collins

The ones figures (from are a little bit summary to me, however it sort of feels just like the hybrid doesn’t prevent all that a lot juice. Each variations are intended in an effort to get 29 mpg at the freeway, which is respectable for a automobile this dimension however no longer in particular exceptional typically.

Emissions, after all, is without doubt one of the causes a couple of Toyota and Lexus automobiles are pivoting from V8s to turbo V6 engines. However, frankly, in case your carbon footprint is truly one thing you’re going to inform folks you care about, it could be onerous to justify feeding a 400-plus hp engine. screenshot

Worth and Verdict

I unquestionably didn’t thoughts riding this automobile, however I truly liked being in it. For a big luxurious craft, that’s a superbly cheap position to land. It’s tremendous clean in on a regular basis riding and is able to unholster good enough acceleration when you wish to have to sneak in an competitive move or merge.

I’m positive you received’t be shocked that the most costly sedan in Lexus’ lineup is a pleasing luxurious automobile. However what cements it as truly price your consideration is the eye that used to be spent designing the interface and internal. 

I’ve noticed different reviewers lavish reward at the similar Genesis as attaining a lot of the similar luxurious objectives as this automobile for much less cash. However when you’re interested by six-figure sedans, don’t purchase one sooner than examining the LS 500’s inside of for your self.

Andrew P. Collins

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