LS Hybrid

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2021 Lexus LS Hybrid Overview

The Lexus brand has enjoyed hybrid technology for the last 15 years and generally uses the technology to make its cars quieter, smoother, and more efficient. The hybrid version of the brand’s flagship LS sedan, then, is perhaps the ultimate expression of what it means to be a Lexus. The most recent LS family was introduced for the 2018 model year, so 2021 marks a mid-cycle facelift.

It’s pretty difficult to distinguish the LS Hybrid from its gasoline-only counterpart. Both share the same updated front and rear bumpers, redesigned exterior lights, and a new darker grille for 2021. You’ll also find that some of the exterior chrome trim is now piano black.

Inside, Lexus took special care to address interior comfort with additional padding for the armrests, seat cushions, center console, and various other touchpoints. The seats themselves are newly redesigned to relax occupants while preventing muscle fatigue. The steering wheel switchgear is now black, and certain frequently-used controls now reside in the center console. All of this comes in a couple of new design options, like the Palomino Leather option, and the new Black Laser Special and Open Pore Black trim options.

All LS Hybrids are badged LS 500h. That package comprises a 3.5-liter V6, an electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) paired with a four-speed automatic transmission, two electric motors, and either standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) or optional all-wheel drive (AWD). That nets fuel economy of 25 mpg city, 33 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined with RWD, and 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined with AWD. Those are impressive numbers for a large luxury sedan, although the LS Hybrid is rated for premium fuel.

The LS Hybrid does not disappoint when it comes to standard features. Each one comes with 19-inch wheels, keyless access and start, triple-beam LED headlights, LED taillights, a power moonroof, heated front and rear seats, semi-aniline leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a 23-speaker and 2,400-watt Mark Levinson surround sound system, and a hands-free power trunk. For 2021, the LS Hybrid also gets Lexus’ latest-generation infotainment system, which still measures 12.3 inches, but now includes touch functionality, as well as Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and Android Auto connectivity.

From there, Lexus lets you specify various 20-inch wheel options, leather and trim upgrades, and packages for the LS Hybrid. The Luxury package adds four-zone climate control, an air purifier, 28-way power seats with massage and cushion-extension functions, a rear 7-inch touchscreen controller, power side-window sunshades, an Ultrasuede headliner, and power front seatbelt adjustment. Meanwhile, the Cold Weather Package gets you a windshield-wiper de-icer, an uprated heater, and headlight washers.

Standard on every LS Hybrid is the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, comprising forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-tracing assist, lane-departure alert with steering assist, traffic-sign recognition, full-speed adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. The Safety System+ A enhances these features. You can also add a digital rearview camera and a 24-inch head-up display. Neither the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has evaluated the current-generation LS family for safety.

The LS Hybrid represents the pinnacle Lexus experience and puts up guilt-free fuel economy numbers while doing it.

Updated

Kyree has always been fascinated with the automotive world, especially when it comes to premium European cars. But regardless of the vehicle—whether it's an efficient hybrid or the latest luxury sled—he's always ready to dispense information and advice. These days, he enjoys doing that here at CarGurus.

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