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Motor Trend Comparison: Lexus LS 500 vs BMW 740e vs Lincoln Continental vs Genesis G90

BMW 740E VS. LEXUS LS 500 VS. GENESIS G90 3.3T VS. LINCOLN CONTINENTAL 3.0

For its latest comparison test, Motor Trend has put the 2018 Lexus LS 500 up against the BMW 740e, Lincoln Continental, and Genesis G90 — the new Lexus flagship ultimately finished second behind the G90:

Sitting in second place by a nose is the Lexus LS 500. The new LS is worlds better than the version it replaces. It’s a compelling, fun-to-drive sedan that makes you feel special. “I’m very pleased with the way it drives, and I really like the design,” Cortina said. Yet three things sunk the LS: its tight rear seat, user-unfriendly technology, and sticker price.

In committing these errors, Lexus left enough room for our winner to sneak by—just as the German brands left a similar opportunity for Lexus back in 1989.

Comments
Gecko
There was some pretty good praise for the LS 500:

"Just like Republicans and Democrats have effectively swapped ideologies over the years, BMW and Lexus seemed to have changed M.O.s in the past five years or so. The Lexus LS used to be soft and cushy, but now it offers up damn near sports car levels of performance. Its new 3.4-liter twin-turbo V-6 makes 416 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque, and when combined with its new 10-speed auto, it hustles the LS to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and through the quarter mile in 13.7 second at 103 mph. Not enough evidence for you? The LS 500 lapped our figure eight in a test-best 25.7 seconds at 0.73 g, and it aced the 60–0 braking test with a 113-foot stop."

"Driven back to back with the BMW, Genesis, and Lincoln, the Lexus feels an order of magnitude sportier than the rest of the pack. The new V-6 maintains the Lexus tradition of buttery-smooth revs, with plenty of low-end torque, and the automatic happily shunts through its 10 cogs in the background. However, if you ask for moderate or more acceleration from the LS 500, the V-6 struggles to move the 5,103-pound sedan, and the transmission’s shifts get harsh."

"The LS 500’s steering is much more new-gen and away from the numb appliances of yore. Sporty, direct, and with a stiffness that will be unfamiliar to the Lexus legions, the LS 500 is a good set of tires away from being a true canyon carver. Our test car’s air suspension sorted out big bumps but struggled with small, high-frequency bumps such as the Botts’ dots that line California lanes. “We’re on pretty new pavement here, and I’m still getting lots of small vibrations from all the little bumps in the road you can’t see from the driver’s seat,” Evans said."

"The Lexus’ cabin matches the Lincoln’s for its distinctiveness but outstrips it in elegance. The LS 500’s interior perhaps isn’t quite as revolutionary as its LC sister’s, but it’s a huge step forward for the sedan, with beautiful wood, bright metallic trim running horizontally across the cabin, and a cool backlit piece of artwork on the passenger dash like in the new Rolls-Royce Phantom. The LS’ doors are also particularly noteworthy, with an artful origami-inspired finish."

“The Lexus blows the others away in making the owner feel rich and successful,” Gale said."

I'm not sure that a fully decked out $103k LS 500 AWD with the executive package was really necessary, especially since it weighs in at a morbidly obese 5,100lbs. A RWD LS 500 with a midlevel package would have brought the weight considerably down - as well as the price.

As I keep saying... this car is too heavy. And for all of Lexus' marketing hype about the TT V6 performing similar to the 750i and S550, I have yet to see a single independent test that is under 5 seconds for the car. Most are 5.3-5.5 seconds. Pretty unfortunate.
Yes 5,100 lbs is wow but it was AWD. Not sure why this spec was sent/chosen. Weird. I just don't understand the inclusion of the Continental.
L
mikeavelli
Yes 5,100 lbs is wow but it was AWD. Not sure why this spec was sent/chosen. Weird. I just don't understand the inclusion of the Continental.
All the cars in the comparison are AWD.
mikeavelli
Yes 5,100 lbs is wow but it was AWD. Not sure why this spec was sent/chosen. Weird. I just don't understand the inclusion of the Continental.
Weird, but probably the same reason why the S Class wasn't in this test either, it might have won their test too easily.
mikeavelli
Weird. I just don't understand the inclusion of the Continental.
Tragic Bronson
Weird, but probably the same reason why the S Class wasn't in this test either, it might have won their test too easily.
These excerpts from the Motor Trend comparison answer your comments and objections:
For decades, the default choice when buying an executive luxury sedan has been the Mercedes-Benz S-Class...

...We assembled four Mercedes S-Class challengers from each major auto-producing nation to see which has the best shot at challenging the Merc on its throne...

... Representing the stars and stripes is the 2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Black Label 3.0. Wait, you say, why isn’t the California-born and -bred Tesla Model S the American pick? After all, it is far and away the best-seller in this segment—it even outsells the Mercedes S-Class—so we reasoned we’d hold it back for a future test with this comparison’s winner and the S-Class. As for the “other” big American luxury car, the Cadillac CT6, well, it’s unimpressive, finishing third to the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90 in its last comparison. With no major changes to the CT6 since then, we thought we’d give the Continental, a proper flagship for the Lincoln lineup, its shot at glory.
Gecko
Yikes - those reviews are pretty tough. With so much of the world only getting the 500h, it seems like Lexus should have put more time, effort and thought into that powertrain.

It seemed to work so well in the LC 500h... what is different here? The weight? I think the 500h with executive package is around 5,000lbs, no?
Difference is that it is UK reviews, most likely. All UK reviews say it is a cruiser that cant do turns well, while MT tests show it handles the turns the best. But really nothing changes there, that has always been the case. Some Euro reviews also say some of the interior is cheap while MT says it is most opulent.
AutoExpress:
This wouldn’t matter so much, of course, if the LS felt light on its feet - in the same way that the A8 undoubtedly trades off a bit of overall comfort for an unusual level of dynamic prowess. But the LS still manages to deliver a fair amount of body roll in corners; in fact, it feels all of its 2.4 tonnes if you try to throw it around, and never shrinks around you in the same way as the Audi. The steering is light and inert, too, making it hard to feel any real sense of connection with what’s going on beneath you.
MT
"The LS 500’s steering is much more new-gen and away from the numb appliances of yore. Sporty, direct, and with a stiffness that will be unfamiliar to the Lexus legions, the LS 500 is a good set of tires away from being a true canyon carver. Our test car’s air suspension sorted out big bumps but struggled with small, high-frequency bumps such as the Botts’ dots that line California lanes. “We’re on pretty new pavement here, and I’m still getting lots of small vibrations from all the little bumps in the road you can’t see from the driver’s seat,” Evans said."
:-)

Euro specs vehicles are usually stiffer than US ones, just fyi.

And did people notice how real life mpg was 10% better than other vehicles on test? (except for BMW which wasnt tested without phev "free" mpg).
Seems to me Motor Trend was very fair with the Lexus, and if they got a $85k fleet copy, not a loaded-to-the-tits example, it might've won.
No V6 is worth $100k, so it was fighting with one arm tied behind its back. For the size of it, its back seat should be bigger, and it weighs more than a comparable S-Class, which again, with a V6, ain't gonna git it! And the infotainment......

It's a solid triple, but not going dethrone the S-Class anytime soon. Maybe Lexus was wise not to even try......
BD
Fair to complain about lack of rear seat room, but then the same complaint should be made for every other car that is more than 4.5 m.
That is something I don't quite understand. The new LS is longer than the previous LWB LS, and yet, now there is a lack of space in the back!?


And regarding the infotainment. It seems like an easy cop-out to simply dismiss it as "unintuitive", "hard to use", "poor graphics", etc. I would really like to know exactly what it is that is unintuitive. This should be easy: If a grouping of menues is unintuitive, then give us an example of this. Give us an example of what they find hard to use. Which graphics are lacking? Icons? Map displays? Transitions? Did the reviewer adjust the input settings? Are they automatically adjusted by the system? I don't want to know that a system is bad, I want to know why. Whe else waste the time on reviewing a car when you don't want to go in depth?
Nouvel
True, and I cant fathom why someone wants to be seen in an F-sport looking like some kind of race-car when actually what they are driving is a comfortable and slightly under-performing normal car. Lexus should focus on being elegant and solid, and not so pathetically "sporty".
Lol, are you trolling or delusional? I don't know a single soul that desires to have a "slightly under-performing normal car" in this segment. :joy:

Is that why F-sport variants are getting huge chunks of the overall sales per model?

In the end, that is the big difference between you, a single consumer, vs. an actual marketer who studies trends and what people want.
zeusus
Lol, are you trolling or delusional? I don't know a single soul that desires to have a "slightly under-performing normal car" in this segment. :joy:

Is that why F-sport variants are getting huge chunks of the overall sales per model?

In the end, that is the big difference between you, a single consumer, vs. an actual marketer who studies trends and what people want.
Nouvel is no longer on the forum because of his trolling.
"Our test car’s air suspension sorted out big bumps but struggled with small, high-frequency bumps such as the Botts’ dots that line California lanes. “We’re on pretty new pavement here, and I’m still getting lots of small vibrations from all the little bumps in the road you can’t see from the driver’s seat,” Evans said."

I think This is due to the Tire choice Lexus went with. They should have find a way to include a spare tire to eradicate the use of runflats. Am sure a Tire Update to that LS will produce a different result in all aspect of the driving review.
L
Nouvel
Every Lexus is better looking in non F-sport versions.
I respectfully disagree! The LS 500 F Sport variant looks great just like the standard LS 500, but why is one half of the F Sport exterior trim (window, rear lights & side mirrors) chrome while the other half (grille frame, rocker trim & trunk lip molding ) plated black? o_O IMO, this somewhat ruins the overall appearance of the F-Sport unless you choose Obsidian or Caviar as an exterior color.

Also, I like the F Sport's front fascia better, as the lower grill intakes match the main grill unlike the standard LS 500 contrasting plastic lower grill intakes which make the front end look less refined.
I do think back seat room isn't as amazing as one would think. That is my personal feelings having sat in the car.

Joaquin Ruhi
These excerpts from the Motor Trend comparison answer your comments and objections:
I still don't understand the logic. The Continental is big for its size but it is nowhere near a flagship. It STARTS at $45,000 and most are around $60,000 with the upper end trim. Should we include the XTS too?
I gotta agree, the Conti is clearly outclassed in that comparison. And there is no American-made LS/7/S-Class competitor, which kind of blows up MT's concept. The Model S dropped any pretense at luxury when they deleted ventilated seats, which for my money are the defining luxury feature of the late 2000s.
mikeavelli
I do think back seat room isn't as amazing as one would think. That is my personal feelings having sat in the car.
Well seems like the rumors from a few years ago came true. Lexus took a "panamera competitor" approach to the LS. Looks sporty, drives sporty, rear seating space reduced, low roof line.
Joaquin Ruhi
... Representing the stars and stripes is the 2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Black Label 3.0. Wait, you say, why isn’t the California-born and -bred Tesla Model S the American pick? After all, it is far and away the best-seller in this segment—it even outsells the Mercedes S-Class—so we reasoned we’d hold it back for a future test with this comparison’s winner and the S-Class. As for the “other” big American luxury car, the Cadillac CT6, well, it’s unimpressive, finishing third to the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90 in its last comparison. With no major changes to the CT6 since then, we thought we’d give the Continental, a proper flagship for the Lincoln lineup, its shot at glory.
Old money prefers traditional luxury nameplates, while "new money" folks AKA tech guys and younger executives have flocked to Tesla.
ew no, no, no. The LS and 7 Series should never be near a Genesis and a Lincoln.
DDas
ew no, no, no. The LS and 7 Series should never be near a Genesis and a Lincoln.
Too late...Lexus allowed MT to test the car against its competitors and this is what happened. As long as it sells, any news is good news?
Hi Guys,

And in a Head 2 Head at MT (YouTube: 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 vs. 2018 Lexus LC 500 - Head 2 Head Ep. 96), despite being almost a 100K cheaper, and at par or better than the competition, the Lexus (the LC 500) STILL doesn't win over the Aston Martin DB11!

How come Lexus never wins at MT!? This review for me was another surprising conclusion. Just when you think MT would tip in favour of the Lexus!
Hi Guys,

And in a Head 2 Head at MT (YouTube: 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 vs. 2018 Lexus LC 500 - Head 2 Head Ep. 96), despite being almost a 100K cheaper, and at par or better than the competition, the Lexus (the LC 500) STILL doesn't win over the Aston Martin DB11!

How come Lexus never wins at MT!? This review for me was another surprising conclusion. Just when you think MT would tip in favour of the Lexus!
I wouldn't say never. Remember when the NX won against its competition:

https://lexusenthusiast.com/2015/03...or-trend-luxury-compact-crossover-comparison/

This latest Head2Head, however, is really wonky. How can the styling of the LC500 not be quite there!? It seems like the LC is ahead in pretty much every aspect... but it has the wrong badge?
momers
Hi Guys,

And in a Head 2 Head at MT (YouTube: 2018 Aston Martin DB11 V8 vs. 2018 Lexus LC 500 - Head 2 Head Ep. 96), despite being almost a 100K cheaper, and at par or better than the competition, the Lexus (the LC 500) STILL doesn't win over the Aston Martin DB11!

How come Lexus never wins at MT!? This review for me was another surprising conclusion. Just when you think MT would tip in favour of the Lexus!
Yea they apparently had a hard time deciding which was the winner but they wore their bias like a romper.

They specifically said the LC was the more 'balanced' car, the better 'drivers' car and the Aston Martin was a better road car whereas the LC performed better on the track. They specifically stated they were NOT considering price (even though there is a clear 100k+ difference) and gave it to the AM for the sole reason that it was a better road car and in the GT category. To be honest, they couldn't just say no to the badge. The badge won the review but the LC won the real test that day.

If anybody watched that video and did not watch the conclusion, I think 90% would assume the LC won. Take a look at the comments, overwhelming positive remarks for the LC over the DB. No question in my mind Lexus made a great decision with the LC, it brought them so much street cred in terms of sex appeal.

See for yourself folks

This head 2 head is a clear indication that Lexus still not premium as Europeans, just not yet as Toyoda San want
Europeans are greater badge whores than Americans.
maiaramdan
This head 2 head is a clear indication that Lexus still not premium as Europeans, just not yet as Toyoda San want
Your deduction is flawed.

This review was all about perception and the fact that a Lexus literally won the review but lost the brand battle to a AM DB11 which is $100k+ more expensive. That is a clear indication that Lexus is closer than they've ever been to European premium reputation.
A
At least we can the GAL in action with this car. It did VERY well on the MT figure eight and nearly ties the 1 ton lighter Lexus GS 350 F sport in that measure. I'm just disappointed that they couldn't get RWD press cars.
@zeusus
I mean this from Europeans perspective, which from my view can be upside-down if Lexus bought a European car maker to be under it even if they will left it fully dependent

M
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