2019 Lexus LS 500 Review

LS 500

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2019 Lexus LS 500 Overview

Since the late 1980s, the Lexus LS has been the company’s flagship luxury sedan, serving as a tempting alternative to its more expensive German rivals. For 2018, Lexus introduced an all-new fifth generation LS, with three models available. Covered here is the most popular model, the LS 500.The LS 500 is available with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), and there is an available performance-oriented F Sport package. As it’s a pretty fresh design, the car goes into 2019 unchanged.

There is only one powertrain available for the 2019 LS 500; it’s a 3.5-liter V6 with two turbochargers that makes 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. This V6 drives either the rear wheels or all four through a 10-speed automatic transmission, sipping premium fuel. It will get 19 mpg city and 30 highway with RWD or 18 and 27 with AWD. Those are pretty respectable figures for a big sedan, but fuel-conscious shoppers might be interested in the hybrid model that gets up to 33 mpg. The LS 500 is a luxury car first and foremost, but the available F Sport package adds rear-wheel steering, an active stabilizer, stickier staggered tires, and variable ratio steering in the interest of better handling.

Both in front and back, the LS 500 is a roomy car; trunk space measures an impressive 17 cubic feet. Power features and high-quality fit and finish abound, while models equipped with the F Sport package receive sportier seats, a different gauge cluster, a suede headliner, and aluminum pedals and trim. Lexus’s infotainment system is centered on a 12.3-inch display screen and operated by a touchpad, which has been criticized for being a bit clumsy. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay aren’t included.

An Executive package emphasizes rear-seat comfort with 22-way heated and cooled seats that have shiatsu-style and hot-stone massage functions, an ottoman for the right side rear seat, four-zone automatic climate control, and a touchscreen panel in the rear armrest that can adjust climate control settings, lighting, and the stereo.

The Lexus LS hasn’t gone through crash testing, but the optional Lexus Safety System+ suite of safety features includes automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, active steering, front cross-traffic alert, road-sign detection, and semi-autonomous driving on marked highways. Blind-spot monitoring, meanwhile, comes standard, along with 10 years of the Enform Safety Connect with telematics services.

The Lexus LS competes with high-tier European models like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Jaguar XJ, and Audi A8. While not quite as sporty or sophisticated, the LS is among the freshest designs of the group and a solid value. And for those looking for a little more excitement, the F Sport package should liven things up plenty.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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