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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
  • krew
  • September 26, 2017
Here is my technical overview of the 2018 LS -- I'm saving my personal impressions for later in the week, as a full tech breakdown can be really useful in reading the more opinionated reviews on other sites.

Post up any reviews you read, I'll be putting together a mega-post with the best of the best later on today.

Enjoy the day, only happens once with a new model!
  • mwyf
  • September 26, 2017
This new LS is a technological smorgasbord. But whilst it's a marvel, I feel like it's not category-revolutionary/-revolutionising like the original LS was. Still there is no denying that it's the pinnacle of luxury in its class (IMO).
C
Noooo, Lexus!! 24GHZ radar on the rear?? K band radar is 24GHZ and it makes radar detectors go nuts. You were one of the few to stay away from that for blind spot monitoring, unlike Acura/Honda, Buick, and Chrysler.
Chase C.
Noooo, Lexus!! 24GHZ radar on the rear?? K band radar is 24GHZ and it makes radar detectors go nuts. You were one of the few to stay away from that for blind spot monitoring, unlike Acura/Honda, Buick, and Chrysler.
What kind of brand do you use? I think the fully installed K40 is able to block that. I know they changed technology because my father in laws car goes crazy w k band but mine which is newer does not go crazy w k band.
First video have seen. And I think am loving it already. The grunt from that engine is nice too.
Second Video from Alex.
C
James
What kind of brand do you use? I think the fully installed K40 is able to block that. I know they changed technology because my father in laws car goes crazy w k band but mine which is newer does not go crazy w k band.
I have an Escort Passport X80 and a Max 360. Both go off around new Acura's, Genesis G80's, etc.
Generally good sentiments regarding the TTV6 which is promising.

Part of me is still wishing for a 4.0L turbocharged V8 making ~500hp under the ~600hp LS F. Why not?


Be sure to read the comments... lol.

F Sport in Manganese looks amazing.
  • krew
  • September 26, 2017
bogglo
Second Video from Alex.
This video is astounding -- amazing work from Alex.
Gecko


Be sure to read the comments... lol.

F Sport in Manganese looks amazing.
This was the first video I Was going to post. But the way he started his review I knew he was set to condemn the car. It was irritating. The comments was awesome and exactly how I felt too.
B
1. That Maganese Luster looks like the best paint color. It takes a lot of the sporty edge off, and lets the design show through well.

2. This car has gained a lot of weight! Look up the current cars LWB weight and it is in the range of 300 lbs lighter. The current LS is one of the lightest cars in the segment. That said, it normally runs 6.0 0-60 when tested. How this cuts 25% off that with 300+ extra pounds is hard to believe. I guess we'll know the truth in future tests.

3. I like this, but I don't love it. It looks more like a stretched GS than a proper, conservative LS. I wanted the LF-FC Concept to reach production. It looked far more expensive and had a visual grandeur this lacks. It was the better design, clearly. This is sporty and youthful, relative to the German prestige class fare. It will get noticed, but will it jove with the 60+ demographic still buying such cars?

It is also interesting that Lexus avoids directly competing with the S-Class in power, or price. After 30 years, it comes across as fear, a lack of confidence. I expect more, at this point. If they had the concept's design, Lexus could go head-to-head with any S-Class and win. That was my dream, anyway. Oh well....

They will sell their 1000 units a month, then introduce the LSF model, with a TT 600HP V8 for $110k, and this generation will be generally a success story. It just will never be on the level of the Mercedes S-Class. It will never be the flagship of flagships. It will be a great "budget buy", a "smart money" option. My question is: When is Lexus going to be more than that? If not now, when?

Look at it this way. The S450, the V6-powered S-Class, costs $90 to start. It has 362 HP, a 9 speed transmission, is a half second slower and far less standard equipment. Why is Lexus charging $15k less for a car that, apples-to-apples, is a superior car, with more speed, power, and amenities? It comes across as afraid to compete, directly. That's my problem. I say grow a pair, and be that prestige brand, on par with the S-Class, not less than, but a better buy for the same $90k money? Unless you don't think you're worth it, or the market respects you enough.

I think they sell themselves short. After almost 30 years, why relegate yourself to second-tier in this class? No one else is doing it. Lexus is doing this to themselves.

I just question the vision of this model from the execs. They seem very happy to aim low with their greatest vehicle, and go after the lowest hanging fruit of the prestige class, and not let the LS be all that it can be. The LS was dreaming of looking like that LF-FC Concept car, and someone at Lexus said "Get back to scrubbing those prestige class floors, Cinderella!"

My problem is not with the car, which seems like a really great car where they sweated the details as only Lexus can, but the positioning and market strategy. And not employing the concept's superior design.

They hit a solid single up the middle when they needed to swing for fences, and have this new model propel the brand to new heights. And that is truly a shame.
BD
Oh come on! What a cover photo bait! There is no Ultrasonic Blue LS F-Sport in this video.
Sound system
enform app
The paint job on this car is so good. The LS might be the first lexus that the non fsport grill is better than the f-sport IMO
Black Dynamite
I wanted the LF-FC Concept to reach production. It looked far more expensive and had a visual grandeur this lacks. It was the better design, clearly.
The LF-FC was designed *after* this LS. It is the concept for the *next* LS, not this one. You *will* see a production car with those cues, but it'll be in 2021 or so probably.

And as a long-time LS owner I'm getting a little salty about people advocating that Lexus price me out of the car. Lexus just does not have the brand image that Mercedes and BMW have and making the car more expensive for no reason isn't gonna help.
  • krew
  • September 26, 2017
After reading reviews today, I decided to hold off on pulling together some recommended reading -- hopefully tomorrow turns up some more interesting takes.
Chase C.
I have an Escort Passport X80 and a Max 360. Both go off around new Acura's, Genesis G80's, etc.
I have a 360 as well and it can be quite annoying. The K40 is great but expensive without laser shifters it might be closer to a 1000 but fully loaded it's a couple grand...if you can afford it worth it!

On the actual note of the LS car looks amazing and while aV8 is probably needed if they actually do an LSF I think they did this all perfect and hopefully reviews around stay positive!
krew
After reading reviews today, I decided to hold off on pulling together some recommended reading -- hopefully tomorrow turns up some more interesting takes.
That seems like a good decision. The reviews I have seen are brutal. I had no idea a comfortable and isolated ride would count against the car. It really boggles my mind. I'm also curious to know why people seemingly dismiss the new LS as a worthy competitor of the S-class without providing arguments to back it up. I'm looking forward to the reviews where people have had time to experience the car.

Speaking of brutal reviews. I'm looking forward to what Autobild is going to say. It's obvious that they will claim all German cars (including the Volkswagen Golf) are better in every way, but I'm more interested in how they will compare it to the offerings from Korea given how Hyundai/Kia keeps increasing their market share.
So far have heard mixed reviews about the car. But the conclusion they always arrive at is "the car is excellent". I think one of the reviewers said the driving impression was also done to get some of the complains found on the pre-production cars corrected before the production cars go on sale in February. I hope they are able to correct them. The run flat might be the cause of the road noise. I guess its a good way for dealers to make some extra money(Tire option LOL).
Just a word on pricing. We all look at the price disparity between LS 500 and S Class and wonder why Lexus didn't go higher, are they cowering, etc.

The current LS 460 SWB - which is 90% of LS sales - started at $62k when new in 2007, and while it's now up to $72k base price, there are a lot of LS owners who hold onto their cars until the next all-new model arrives. The number of "$76,000" will probably be a bit of a shock for some of these folks and I think Lexus knows that.

Additionally, the sedan market is extremely soft right now, even more so for large flagship sedans. Pricing the car at $85,000 or $95,000 would have been a bad move for several reasons. Overall, this is a pretty big shift for the LS line and I think they played it conservatively with pricing to see what the reception would be like: the car drives completely different, looks completely different, has no V8 engine and is significantly longer than the car 90% of LS owners have historically purchased. Overall, this is relatively uncharted territory for Lexus and I think they're trying to appeal to a broad base of people despite the massive strategy shift.
Ian Schmidt
The LF-FC was designed *after* this LS. It is the concept for the *next* LS, not this one. You *will* see a production car with those cues, but it'll be in 2021 or so probably.
My assumption is that the ~2021 LS refresh will end up looking quite a bit like the LF-FC... for all the reasons you mentioned above. Lexus has been doing this with several models, where the production car is a bit more conservative vs. the concept, and then come time for a refresh, we get deja vu.
Gecko
Just a word on pricing. We all look at the price disparity between LS 500 and S Class and wonder why Lexus didn't go higher, are they cowering, etc.

The current LS 460 SWB - which is 90% of LS sales - started at $62k when new in 2007, and while it's now up to $72k base price, there are a lot of LS owners who hold onto their cars until the next all-new model arrives. The number of "$76,000" will probably be a bit of a shock for some of these folks and I think Lexus knows that.

Additionally, the sedan market is extremely soft right now, even more so for large flagship sedans. Pricing the car at $85,000 or $95,000 would have been a bad move for several reasons. Overall, this is a pretty big shift for the LS line and I think they played it conservatively with pricing to see what the reception would be like: the car drives completely different, looks completely different, has no V8 engine and is significantly longer than the car 90% of LS owners have historically purchased. Overall, this is relatively uncharted territory for Lexus and I think they're trying to appeal to a broad base of people despite the massive strategy shift.
+1
They are testing the water. I think the price is perfect. And there are still a lot of things that can be improve/added as time goes that would eventually bring the price up.
Gecko
My assumption is that the ~2021 LS refresh will end up looking quite a bit like the LF-FC... for all the reasons you mentioned above. Lexus has been doing this with several models, where the production care is a bit more conservative vs. the concept, and then come time for a refresh, we get deja vu.
I agree. Considering how close the LS500 is to the LF-FC. The front would be easy to achieve it's the rear end that would be interesting to see how they execute it.
  • krew
  • September 27, 2017
Hate to do this, but I can't believe this Autoblog review:

If you want to get into the more advanced safety tech, like front-cross-traffic alert, road-sign assist (the system can read speed limit and a few other road signs and display them to the driver), and a clever auto-steering assist to avoid pedestrians in the lane — you have to opt for the Lexus Safety System+ A (advanced) package.

We asked numerous Lexus representatives why the more advanced system wasn't offered standard on their flagship car, but never really received a satisfying response. Considering that Volvo offers tech that's nearly as advanced on its mid-$30,000's S60 sedan, we don't know that we can forgive Lexus here.
The Volvo S60 has an optional Technology package that costs $3,500 and adds the safety features that comes standard in the LS (along with pedestrian detection & road sign recognition). It does not actively avoid collisions with pedestrians or use the preceding car to draw a path to follow on the road, for instance. It does not include a massive heads-up display that provides information directly in your field of view.

The stereo is tremendous, and the climate control settings can basically be ignored thanks to an ingenious feature called Lexus Concierge that automatically manages the climate settings, including heating and cooling the seats as necessary. But the infotainment system is so terrible and difficult to use that it makes it difficult to recommend the car at all.

It doesn't have to be this way, Lexus. You have a fantastic luxury car here. And you've nearly ruined it with this stupid touchpad. Why?

Lexus thinks it can sell around 12,000 LS cars per month, snagging some 15 percent of the luxury sedan market. It made an aggressive case to us that there was a value proposition in the car, starting significantly below the S-Class, 7 Series, and A8 — but we wonder how much of a difference price really makes to someone spending more than $75,000 on an executive sedan.

To be sure, the Japanese style, especially of the interior, will help the new LS stand out from the Germans a little bit, and that alone will help move some units. But as nice as the new Lexus LS is, we're hard-pressed to come up with a reason why you would buy it over an S-Class without mentioning price. And if you're trying to be price-competitive around $80,000, you're probably in for a tough time.
  1. There's complaining about Remote Touch, and then there's Autoblog. To be clear, this writer suggests that the infotainment system is so bad that he can't recommend the car. I understand the annoyance, but Remote Touch is not that bad. Being this attached to your phone and its accompanying distraction tells me this guy should probably just Uber his way around.
  2. If Lexus sold 12,000 LS 500s a month, it would likely "snag" 100% of the large luxury sedan market.
  3. I'm pretty sure people that buy $75,000+ cars still care about getting value for their money. Guy has a distorted idea about the management of wealth.
krew
I'm pretty sure people that buy $75,000+ cars still care about getting value for their money. Guy has a distorted idea about the management of wealth.
+1. The answer to "Why do you drive an LS to Aldi?" is "That's why I can afford the LS".

I
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