ComparisonsLexus LS: Fourth GenerationReviews

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
Carmaker1
There is still a chance, but it gets so much more narrow with each "announcement" of pointless drivel like that TJ.

I think I have discovered what the mystery concept is, but had since forgotten last month. The next IS is being pushed up it seems, to get GA-L. Not sure what LS-FC will be though.
If the next IS concept is displayed then I guess that would be even more interesting than a supra reveal.
Carmaker1
There is still a chance, but it gets so much more narrow with each "announcement" of pointless drivel like that TJ.

I think I have discovered what the mystery concept is, but had since forgotten last month. The next IS is being pushed up it seems, to get GA-L. Not sure what LS-FC will be though.
BMW has already announced their Z4... so Supra is going to be shown very soon.
bogglo
If the next IS concept is displayed then I guess that would be even more interesting than a supra reveal.
I would like to see the next IS. The current one needs an update, anyone know the timeline for the next one? Thanks
MichaelL
I would like to see the next IS. The current one needs an update, anyone know the timeline for the next one? Thanks
facelift started production in July 2017... so at minimum 2019 production start and more likely 2020.
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  • October 22, 2017
So now that the LS has officially launched in Japan, a revised press release was issued with virtually no new information.

It now seems like there probably won't be any new surprise or hidden world-first or world class features announced at this point.

I'm still disappointed and frustrated that Lexus has not released any specific information pertaining to this:

http://pressroom.lexus.com/releases/lexus-reimagines-global-flagship-sedan-2018-ls.htm

The original Lexus LS won acclaim by anticipating what luxury customers would want, rather than simply amplifying what established luxury automobile brands offered at the time. In that spirit, the 2018 LS sedan’s spacious cabin, unique appointments and visionary technology will once again surprise customers by resetting expectations for a global flagship sedan.

We set previously unheard of targets and resolutely pushed ahead towards these ambitious goals,” said LS chief engineer, Asahi. “The customers who are going to want to own a Lexus flagship are already surrounded by luxury on a daily basis, people who have a sharp eye for authenticity to begin with. We wouldn’t turn their heads with a conventional premium product.”
As the S Class is the class leader here, most expectations for a global flagship sedan are based around what the S Class offers. Also that second bolded part from chief engineer Asahi is a very bold claim, as I have previously mentioned here on TLE.

Exactly what were these "unheard of" targets Chief Engineer Asahi? Lexus, exactly what expectations did you reset for a global flagship sedan?

The new LS has a number of world firsts, but I feel not quite enough to go toe-to-toe with the S Class.

Where are the technical, specific details on quality, reliability, and craftsmanship improvements made over the 4LS? For example, the 3LS press release from way back was famous among Lexus enthusiasts for the specific technical details that were included about how quality, reliability, and craftsmanship was improved.

How many total hours were spent testing the 5LS? How long was the R&D process? How many engineers were involved?

The full press release for the 5LS, while mentioning some details and lots of superlatives, still lacks many specific technical details.

Lexus, if you're going to make bold claims and profound statements like those bolded above, you better be ready to back that up with concrete information. Otherwise you will frustrate and alienate Lexus enthusiasts such as myself.

Krew, mikeavelli, are you able to shed light or share anything regarding this matter?
I think it's pretty clear that Lexus isn't playing any of those traditional marketing games this time. It's a much more direct "here's the car, take it or leave it". And that's fine with me; I don't care about flowery statements or endless XLS files, I care what you feel driving the thing.
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  • October 22, 2017
Ian Schmidt
I think it's pretty clear that Lexus isn't playing any of those traditional marketing games this time. It's a much more direct "here's the car, take it or leave it". And that's fine with me; I don't care about flowery statements or endless XLS files, I care what you feel driving the thing.
That's perfectly fine, there's nothing wrong with that.

I totally agree with you in theory. I just think that Lexus should have kept quiet then and not made such boasts in the press release. :)
CIF
Where are the technical, specific details on quality, reliability, and craftsmanship improvements made over the 4LS? For example, the 3LS press release from way back was famous among Lexus enthusiasts for the specific technical details that were included about how quality, reliability, and craftsmanship was improved.

How many total hours were spent testing the 5LS? How long was the R&D process? How many engineers were involved?
I don't believe that a massive press release is the proper way to tell these stories any more. Instead, we're going to keep seeing smaller articles that highlight specific elements of the LS -- here are three examples:

http://newsroom.lexus.eu/2018-lexus...ip-stories-chapter-1-origami-fabric-pleating/

http://newsroom.lexus.eu/2018-lexus-ls-takumi-craftsmanship-stories-chapter-2-kiriko-glasswork/

http://newsroom.lexus.eu/2018-lexus-ls-takumi-craftsmanship-stories-chapter-3-art-wood/

All three of these "Takumi Craftsmanship Stories" have the kind of detail you're looking for.
@Ian Schmidt posted this in the Lexus/Genesis thread originally and as I kept typing my reply, I realized that it probably belonged more here, so here are some random thoughts:

Ian Schmidt
PS: anyone notice Mercedes cut the S-Class base price in the US by $5000?
I didn't see this until you mentioned it... 362hp S450 now starts at $89,900. Didn't the S550 start at like $98k before? New S560 starts at $103k and includes AWD as standard.

Also, BMW seems to be only offering one wheelbase on the 7 series now. Did anyone notice that?

I think LS 500 vs. S450 is a no brainer - there's no way I'd consider the S over the LS at that price point, and the Lexus starts $15k lower. LS 500 vs S560 is a $28k question and while some will say "People shopping in this price bracket don't care about value," that price difference is roughly 1/3 to 1/4 of the value of the car. We're not talking about a few thousand dollars of difference. That's significant (IMO).

I do look forward to someone doing a comparo that's something like:

LS 500 vs. 740i vs S450 vs A8 3.0T and also LS 500 vs 750i vs S560 vs A8 4.0T

History has proven that it's very easy for journalists to drive something like a S560 and 750i back to back with an LS 500 and disregard the $25-30k price difference when it's not their money and you're driving the cars for 2-3 days trying to figure out which one you like most. This is when things like being the fastest, most fun to drive, or highest tech really shine... and the "price" factor isn't really considered until the conclusion is being written and they add "value" to the end of the argument. Then the headlines will become that LS isn't as good and it's not worth your time (if you're a buyer). Is that really the case in the real world, day to day? I highly doubt it.

Let's be honest - Mercedes offers a lot of tech in the S Class that it doesn't seem like LS has countered or included with the LS... but I'm not sure those things really make that much of a difference to the average shopper. GPS-controlled suspension that can make adjustments based on the road ahead? Very cool, but is that a selling feature that would get you to fork over $25k more? For me, no. For a journalist with no skin in the game, that's a pretty cool feature and gives you something neat to hype up in reviews. Day to day for the average shopper, I think 5LS is just as much car as the S560 up to probably 8/10ths. If you're extremely tech savvy and HAVE to have the latest and greatest, or you really desire a V8, then in that last 2/10ths, LS falls behind and is not the right car for you. It's that last 2/10ths that journalists will focus on without worrying about the price difference or making the payment with your own checkbook - or what the car will be worth in 2, 3, 4, 5 years when you're ready to get rid of it. Lexus buyers are much more conscious of these things, which will be good for the brand.

I think of this segment in three tiers:
Tier 1: Base V6 engines
Tier 2: V8 engines
Tier 3: High performance variants like AMG, R, P100D, etc.

The competitive set breaks out as follows:
Model S 75D: $74,500
LS 500: $75,000
A8 L 3.0T: $82,300 (TBD on pricing for the new model)
740i: $83,000
XJ L 3.0: $84,500
Panamera: $85,000
Panamera 4: $89,500
S450: $89,900
A8 4.0T: $92,000 (TBD on pricing for the new model)
S450 4Matic: $92,900
Model S 100D: $94,000
750i: $96,000
Panamera 4 Executive: $96,300
XJ L 5.0: $96,300
750i X Drive: $99,400
S 560 4Matic: $102,900
Panamera 4S: $103,000
Panamera 4S Executive: $113,900


I've made the comments that 1) I think Lexus made the right call with the new base 3.5L TT V6 and 2) that I think there should be a V8, non-F option. When you look at the prices and models above, I really believe that Lexus had an opening around $85-90k for an LS "550" with around 500 horsepower V8. To my earlier point, LS 500 will be more than enough engine for 90% of buyers, but there is a lot of competition at the middle of this segment as well, with S560, 750i, Panamera, Model S, XJ - models that are more emotional and driver-focused with bigger engines and more output. I know the argument can be made that the volume here is small and the juice isn't worth the squeeze, but I believe it would have looked good for Lexus to have a horse in this race. As it stands now, Lexus is straddling tiers 1 and 2 with LS 500 and I think it would have been great for them to solidly offer something in both, short of LS F.

While it's not the magazine racer or Youtube commenter who often buys cars in this class, once you start talking about Panamera (who Lexus execs have referenced as a consideration in LS redesign), XJ L 5.0 and others, it's just unfortunate that the LS isn't really mentioned in that company because the LS 500 lacks the muscle to go that extra 2/10ths. Perhaps when the LS F shows up, nobody will even care that there's no "middle" V8 car. Time will tell.
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  • October 23, 2017
Gecko, some good points. While I'm personally not in the market for any sedan at all, I just strongly believe it would have been nice for the LS to have had a competitive counter to Benz features like Magic Body Control and Crosswind Stabilization. Do these matter to the average buyer? Maybe, maybe not. However I will strongly argue the prestige luxury sedan segment is not filled with average buyers. I think by its very nature, this market is filled with extraordinary buyers. Also by its very nature, this market isn't simply about "need to have" features. Much of the market is about "want to have" and "nice to have" features.

Personally though, if I was in the market for a prestige product like an LS or LX, then features with the functionality of Magic Body Control and Crosswind Stabilization would definitely be things I would want to have. Personally I would want these features far more than all the autonomous nanny systems that all automakers are shoving into their vehicles.

krew
I don't believe that a massive press release is the proper way to tell these stories any more. Instead, we're going to keep seeing smaller articles that highlight specific elements of the LS -- here are three examples:

http://newsroom.lexus.eu/2018-lexus...ip-stories-chapter-1-origami-fabric-pleating/

http://newsroom.lexus.eu/2018-lexus-ls-takumi-craftsmanship-stories-chapter-2-kiriko-glasswork/

http://newsroom.lexus.eu/2018-lexus-ls-takumi-craftsmanship-stories-chapter-3-art-wood/

All three of these "Takumi Craftsmanship Stories" have the kind of detail you're looking for.
That's fair, and again I totally understand that. I'm still waiting though for a response from Lexus regarding "unheard of" targets set for the 5LS. The fabric pleating, kiriko glass, and art wood I don't feel are adequate enough answers for "unheard of" targets. So far, that's been a bold and nebulous claim. I don't have a problem with the claim; I have a problem with lack of answers and information for that claim. If Lexus doesn't plan to substantively answer that claim in any form, be it press release, video, stories, etc. I would suggest then that they remove it from their press release :).
The RWD S550 previously started at $94,999, I believe, which is why I said it's a $5k cut. I may be mis-remembering though.

They could probably sell a ton of an $85k F-Sport with an upgraded engine. The question of where they'll find that engine then comes up though: the LC's 2UR has the horses for the part, but it's down significantly on torque from the TTV6.
Ian Schmidt
They could probably sell a ton of an $85k F-Sport with an upgraded engine. The question of where they'll find that engine then comes up though: the LC's 2UR has the horses for the part, but it's down significantly on torque from the TTV6.
Agree - and I've always said that in the LS, the 3.5L TT V6 is the superior engine compared to the 5.0L V8. This car needs torque for smooth, seamless operation... and that's not a strong point for the 2UR-GSE. Revving to 5-6k RPM for power in a car like this isn't exactly kosher.

I have to think a detuned 4.0L TT V8 would be a pretty simple tune apart from whatever is used for the LS F and LC F. Mercedes and others have multiple tunes of their 4.0L TT V8s... Lexus could do the same.

They'll need something like this for the LX, anyway.
Gecko
I have to think a detuned 4.0L TT V8 would be a pretty simple tune apart from whatever is used for the LS F and LC F. Mercedes and others have multiple tunes of their 4.0L TT V8s... Lexus could do the same.
View attachment 2611
Gecko
@Ian Schmidt posted this in the Lexus/Genesis thread originally and as I kept typing my reply, I realized that it probably belonged more here, so here are some random thoughts:



I didn't see this until you mentioned it... 362hp S450 now starts at $89,900. Didn't the S550 start at like $98k before? New S560 starts at $103k and includes AWD as standard.

Also, BMW seems to be only offering one wheelbase on the 7 series now. Did anyone notice that?

I think LS 500 vs. S450 is a no brainer - there's no way I'd consider the S over the LS at that price point, and the Lexus starts $15k lower. LS 500 vs S560 is a $28k question and while some will say "People shopping in this price bracket don't care about value," that price difference is roughly 1/3 to 1/4 of the value of the car. We're not talking about a few thousand dollars of difference. That's significant (IMO).

I do look forward to someone doing a comparo that's something like:

LS 500 vs. 740i vs S450 vs A8 3.0T and also LS 500 vs 750i vs S560 vs A8 4.0T

History has proven that it's very easy for journalists to drive something like a S560 and 750i back to back with an LS 500 and disregard the $25-30k price difference when it's not their money and you're driving the cars for 2-3 days trying to figure out which one you like most. This is when things like being the fastest, most fun to drive, or highest tech really shine... and the "price" factor isn't really considered until the conclusion is being written and they add "value" to the end of the argument. Then the headlines will become that LS isn't as good and it's not worth your time (if you're a buyer). Is that really the case in the real world, day to day? I highly doubt it.

Let's be honest - Mercedes offers a lot of tech in the S Class that it doesn't seem like LS has countered or included with the LS... but I'm not sure those things really make that much of a difference to the average shopper. GPS-controlled suspension that can make adjustments based on the road ahead? Very cool, but is that a selling feature that would get you to fork over $25k more? For me, no. For a journalist with no skin in the game, that's a pretty cool feature and gives you something neat to hype up in reviews. Day to day for the average shopper, I think 5LS is just as much car as the S560 up to probably 8/10ths. If you're extremely tech savvy and HAVE to have the latest and greatest, or you really desire a V8, then in that last 2/10ths, LS falls behind and is not the right car for you. It's that last 2/10ths that journalists will focus on without worrying about the price difference or making the payment with your own checkbook - or what the car will be worth in 2, 3, 4, 5 years when you're ready to get rid of it. Lexus buyers are much more conscious of these things, which will be good for the brand.

I think of this segment in three tiers:
Tier 1: Base V6 engines
Tier 2: V8 engines
Tier 3: High performance variants like AMG, R, P100D, etc.

The competitive set breaks out as follows:
Model S 75D: $74,500
LS 500: $75,000
A8 L 3.0T: $82,300 (TBD on pricing for the new model)
740i: $83,000
XJ L 3.0: $84,500
Panamera: $85,000
Panamera 4: $89,500
S450: $89,900
A8 4.0T: $92,000 (TBD on pricing for the new model)
S450 4Matic: $92,900
Model S 100D: $94,000
750i: $96,000
Panamera 4 Executive: $96,300
XJ L 5.0: $96,300
750i X Drive: $99,400
S 560 4Matic: $102,900
Panamera 4S: $103,000
Panamera 4S Executive: $113,900


I've made the comments that 1) I think Lexus made the right call with the new base 3.5L TT V6 and 2) that I think there should be a V8, non-F option. When you look at the prices and models above, I really believe that Lexus had an opening around $85-90k for an LS "550" with around 500 horsepower V8. To my earlier point, LS 500 will be more than enough engine for 90% of buyers, but there is a lot of competition at the middle of this segment as well, with S560, 750i, Panamera, Model S, XJ - models that are more emotional and driver-focused with bigger engines and more output. I know the argument can be made that the volume here is small and the juice isn't worth the squeeze, but I believe it would have looked good for Lexus to have a horse in this race. As it stands now, Lexus is straddling tiers 1 and 2 with LS 500 and I think it would have been great for them to solidly offer something in both, short of LS F.

While it's not the magazine racer or Youtube commenter who often buys cars in this class, once you start talking about Panamera (who Lexus execs have referenced as a consideration in LS redesign), XJ L 5.0 and others, it's just unfortunate that the LS isn't really mentioned in that company because the LS 500 lacks the muscle to go that extra 2/10ths. Perhaps when the LS F shows up, nobody will even care that there's no "middle" V8 car. Time will tell.
Great post...I agree a V-8 option should be AN OPTION. Being in Miami which is a city that just drowns itself in luxury cars the S-class is supreme by far. You then see a 7 series/LS and then a A8. But they pale in comparison to how many S-classes are around. And when the initial rush died off, you can lease a S-class for a bit over $1,000 which is considered attractive and will help keep it dominating.
Consumer reports was less than charitable in their quick review today. They're usually more upbeat on Lexus products:

^That was fairly brutal. Ouch.
Consumer Reports has a bit of tarnish on their reputation after they recently bought the popular website The Consumerist and shut it down to end the competition.
Serpens
Consumer reports was less than charitable in their quick review today. They're usually more upbeat on Lexus products:

All reviewers seem to focus on the infotainment system as the one item that makes the Lexus unacceptable . First off it seems to me, you only go into the multi levels to do the initial settings and after that items like temps and audio items are adjustable with the knurled knobs or buttons. Their anger is overplayed, spread the word.
Serpens
Consumer reports was less than charitable in their quick review today. They're usually more upbeat on Lexus products:

Complain about the seat and steering wheel heater, fail to mention Climate Concierge and its ability to control all HVAC functions based on the desired temperature.

¯_(ツ)_/¯
krew
Complain about the seat and steering wheel heater, fail to mention Climate Concierge and its ability to control all HVAC functions based on the desired temperature.

¯_(ツ)_/¯
What do you expect? They have to complain about something to make sure the Germans stay on top! Can't wait to start seeing the LS on the road!
James
What do you expect? They have to complain about something to make sure the Germans stay on top! Can't wait to start seeing the LS on the road!
This is CR we’re talking about, they definitely do not have a love affair with German automakers.

I too can’t wait to see this in person. I have very mixed opinions about the exterior styling so I’m looking forward to continued exposure.
krew
Complain about the seat and steering wheel heater, fail to mention Climate Concierge and its ability to control all HVAC functions based on the desired temperature.

¯_(ツ)_/¯
all the UK reviews mentioned LS is loud, bumpy and has poor interior quality compared to the Germans.

Then we read US reviews and we wonder what are they smoking.
spwolf
all the UK reviews mentioned LS is loud, bumpy and has poor interior quality compared to the Germans.
The LS is not perfect, but those criticisms are insane.
spwolf
all the UK reviews mentioned LS is loud, bumpy and has poor interior quality compared to the Germans.

Then we read US reviews and we wonder what are they smoking.
I would be shocked if the LS is that bad, can't believe it. Can't wait to see more US reviews and customer reviews. The British do love their German cars though....
MichaelL
I would be shocked if the LS is that bad, can't believe it. Can't wait to see more US reviews and customer reviews. The British do love their German cars though....
Krew's driven a new LS. I think he would've noticed :)
Serpens
I too can’t wait to see this in person. I have very mixed opinions about the exterior styling so I’m looking forward to continued exposure.
LS is impressive in real life -- the exterior design is cohesive, with the lines of the spindle grille carrying through the rest of the body. Detailing in the angles and curves makes it unlike anything else on the road. Lexus has really embraced its outsider status, and it's all on display with the new LS.

MichaelL
I would be shocked if the LS is that bad, can't believe it. Can't wait to see more US reviews and customer reviews. The British do love their German cars though....
There are some ride comfort differences between the standard and F SPORT models, but no way would I classify either as noisy or bumpy. New LS has different priorities than the outgoing model, but it's still a Lexus at its core.
The “Configure/Build Your LS” feature on the Lexus site should be coming soon? Krew?
After seeing it lowered on wheels at SEMA I'm sold.... lol
mikeavelli
After seeing it lowered on wheels at SEMA I'm sold.... lol
I think lowered on wheels make it look seroiusly good.

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