Lexus LS: Fourth GenerationReviews

CAR Magazine Review: The 2018 Lexus LS 500h Hybrid

Lexus LS 500h Hybrid

Ben Oliver at CAR Magazine has written a balanced review of the new Lexus LS 500h hybrid:

I’d usually let you decide for yourself about a car’s exterior design but as you’re unlikely ever to see an LS in the metal, here’s what I think. I love it. In proportion if not in detail, this is how the Maserati Quattroporte (not a fan) should have looked.

It’s a 3.5-litre atmo V6 with the new Lexus Multi-Stage hybrid system and a CVT transmission, first seen in the LC coupe and retuned slightly for the saloon. Its system total of 354bhp is worked hard by the 2340kg mass of the car. Exiting a roundabout at the pace of a chauffeur just starting to get worried about delivering you to the airport on time easily sends the needle to 3000rpm or beyond to deliver the required torque, and an unpleasant moo-whine-thrash into the cabin.

Also buried in the review is this technical tidbit to file for future reference:

The car’s deputy chief engineer told me there hadn’t been time to hybridise the twin-turbo version of the V6 before this car was launched, but the job was now in hand. More torque lower down would probably solve both the refinement and the engagement issues, and make the LS a much better car.

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!
M
  • M
  • 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).
M
  • M
  • 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.
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.
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.
First video have seen. And I think am loving it already. The grunt from that engine is nice too.
Second Video from Alex.
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.
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?
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.


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.
  • 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.
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
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.
Oh come on! What a cover photo bait! There is no Ultrasonic Blue LS F-Sport in this video.

T
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