Lexus LS: Fourth GenerationReviews

The Drive Review: The 2018 Lexus LS 500h

Lexus LS 500h Review The Drive

Lawrence Ulrich of The Drive has served up a scathing review of the 2018 Lexus LS 500h:

The [LS 500h] powertrain also boosts the Lexus curb weight to a porky 5,220 pounds, despite this being Lexus’s first lithium-ion battery hybrid system. The main electric motor emits a bothersome whine when the engine is shut down, and the car shudders when your right foot awakens those cylinders from their fuel-saving slumber. Ultimately, the hybrid system just doesn’t read as luxurious. And its intrusiveness—including the 3.5-liter V-6 that moans and moos in bovine fashion—is at odds with a flagship sedan that’s otherwise zen-like and naturally calming.

If all this negativity is harshing your mellow, let me be clear: I suspect that, as with the LC coupe, this LS sedan will feel infinitely healthier with this hybrid tumor surgically removed and a thumping engine transplanted in its place—even if that’s the twin-turbo V-6, rather than the coupe’s naturally-aspirated V-8. That engine won’t solve the maddening puzzle of the Lexus Remote Touch interface, so if you dig the LS anyway, you’ll have to live with it.

Comments
I feel like so much of this semi-autonomous tech is exactly what he says, "It works, but I'm not sure how worthwhile or useful it is."

Really cool to see it in motion though.
A really nice car, finally. I like the 'anonymous' side if the 4th gen pre-facelift LS. But I also like that this 5th gen LS stands out and makes not even the German and Korean, but also Jaguar, Bentley, Rolls and Maserati look bland and boring.

Regarding the engines, while the TTV6 does not have the sound of NA V8, I think the LS 500 powertrain is still an upgrade over the LS 460. As for the LS 500h, just as the number tells, it is a downgrade compared to the LS 600h. While both are NA, the V8 was still much more powerful and it had AWD. The good about the new LS 500h is the Li-ion battery instead of the Ni-MH battery, and the improved yet retained CVT that I really like. Just as some hope there will be new V8, I hope there will be a new LS 600h.


This new LS makes me eagerly look forward to the next Land Cruiser, with new IRS, but hopefully with the same capability and ruggedness as the current one.
Regarding noise and whatnot, Winding Road posted a beautiful 14 minute drive in an LS with no talking or other audio, just the sound of the car itself. The NVH does make itself known in Sport S+ mode, but in the regular mode it's as quiet as a Lexus. And holy cow, listen to the TTV6 rev and tell me you aren't in love.

I am wondering why there is such a wide gap between Japanese launch and that of U.S. launch? October 2017 and February 2018. For the previous generation, it was launched on September 19, 2006 in Japan and October 20, 2006. Last gen Toyota Celsior was in September 2000 and 2001 LS 430 in October 2000.

I'm a little confused, as I understand domestic markets are easier to deliver new assembled units to the dealers. But a 4-month gap seems not typical of Lexus patterns.

What I love about the U.S. marketplace for automobiles, is that, sales launch only counts when a customer can walk into a dealer and go home with their own paid-for example.

Europe and Asia's system of calling "sales launch", when someone can only order their new car, yet wait 6 months (because production hasn't even started yet), annoys me in being a little misleading. I don't consider a car on sale, until I can walk into a dealer, pay for it and go home with it that same day. Ordering doesn't really count for much.

I mentioned the above paragraph, as I don't think the new LS is really available to buy in showrooms in Japan. While in Tokyo, I didn't get to visit a Lexus showroom as I hoped, since I had to rush to Dallas last weekend for my sister's wedding. At this point, I am just convinced only the car can be ordered and production of parts is only getting underway. I am not sure Job #1 has taken place yet.

What did Toyoda allegedly delay this car for, as it was supposed to originally "launch" in Japan in the summer and then U.S. in the fall?
Ian Schmidt
Regarding noise and whatnot, Winding Road posted a beautiful 14 minute drive in an LS with no talking or other audio, just the sound of the car itself. The NVH does make itself known in Sport S+ mode, but in the regular mode it's as quiet as a Lexus. And holy cow, listen to the TTV6 rev and tell me you aren't in love.

After what lexus did with LC and LS am really looking forward to the redesign of all their cars. The exhaust note of the LC is just amazing so you can imagine what all future F cars are going to sound like (somewhere in the middle of an LC and LFA?). Also with the TTV6 in the LS given such note it should only get better in the sport focused cars RC/IS/GS. Now if lexus can just atleast drop a hint for the next GS.
H
They could have start below $100K CAD....
Seems lexus.ca is a spam site????
Oh...and only the Executive trim gets adaptive headlamps (note: auto high beam & auto-leveling is standard)???Hope this is just an omission as none of the trims have the Mark Levinson pkg.
Gecko
I feel like so much of this semi-autonomous tech is exactly what he says, "It works, but I'm not sure how worthwhile or useful it is."

Really cool to see it in motion though.
i guess useful part is the safety, which is all automated (auto brake) :). This new system can also brake faster than previous systems, and also it works much better for keeping in lane and keeping the distance.

Toyota announced month ago that according to their findings, first generation systems from 2 years ago dropped accident rate in Japan by around 50%... and this system has almost 2x stopping power compared to cheapest one used in most Toyotas, and it has backup safety that those did not have, so it likely approaches 60-70% now... going up more will likely happen when both cars in the "accident" have the system, which means 2x stopping power.

Rather cool... and i guess lane change is something you can show to your friends once.
spwolf
Rather cool... and i guess lane change is something you can show to your friends once.
Only if you live in Japan, I believe. Won't be available in other markets at launch.

Ian Schmidt
Regarding noise and whatnot, Winding Road posted a beautiful 14 minute drive in an LS with no talking or other audio, just the sound of the car itself. The NVH does make itself known in Sport S+ mode, but in the regular mode it's as quiet as a Lexus. And holy cow, listen to the TTV6 rev and tell me you aren't in love.

Man, what a great video idea. Fantastic.
krew
Only if you live in Japan, I believe. Won't be available in other markets at launch.



Man, what a great video idea. Fantastic.
Europe too, just not usa
spwolf
Europe too, just not usa
Oh, cool! Thanks for the tip. Hard to keep all the markets straight, conversation at the launch was this would be a Japan-only feature.
krew [​IMG]

What's it really like to drive the new Lexus flagship?
View the original article post
I've never wanted a VR headset more!
Black Dynamite
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
So about that 6 second zero-to-60 time from Caranddriver, that was an AWD model, which is usually quite a bit slower than its RWD counterparts. If they had tested the RWD version, expect that they would've gotten times closer to 5.4.
Notice how soft the door closes!
Few international ones



i would like to see a review of the LS350 in english
Hanging in a few spots where it seems the valet is just full of black S-classes a white LS F-Sport really will liven things up. Really courageous styling by Lexus here and I think it is going to really win some people over.

I now see the LS leaning to the Tesla/Panamera/Quattroporte side of styling and leaving the 7 series/S class A8. What a bold move!
bogglo
i would like to see a review of the LS350 in english
Agreed, would love to drive one myself. Hey Lexus China! :D
Not sure if anyone posted this yet. I know someone asked a few weeks ago, I have been waiting for the available packages to come out also. No Pricing yet though.
http://www.lexus.com/models/2018LS?cid=sf59682137+sf59682137
N
bogglo
The LS might be the first lexus that the non fsport grill is better than the f-sport IMO
Every Lexus is better looking in non F-sport versions.
Nouvel
Every Lexus is better looking in non F-sport versions.
I agree, even the non F-Sport models are too much sometimes, like the GS.
N
meth.ix
I agree, even the non F-Sport models are too much sometimes, like the GS.
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".
UK magazines 500h reviews

TOP GEAR
It’s a sensational looking thing on the move, a strikingly contemporary piece of sculpture with elements that verge on the abstract. The cabin is similarly audacious, and we’re totally down with the Japanese cultural immersion. But while down-sizing and hybridisation is the new order, this is a car whose best work would almost certainly be done in hock with a different engine altogether. There’s much to admire here, but as a package it’s currently out of synch.

AUTO EXRESS
In isolation, the LS 500h marks a significant step forward for Lexus’s flagship. It’s oozing with technology and driver assistance features, there are some stunning intricate design touches, and on the strength of this drive, the cabin feels even more beautifully screwed together than ever. But while the petrol-electric system might seem like the perfect powertrain for current trends, in reality its drive is still badly compromised in too many situations for us to recommend it over mainstream diesel alternatives. People after a left-field option will find plenty to like in the LS, just because of its different approach. But in this case, we struggle to get beyond the fact that their cash would buy a wider range of abilities with the latest S-Class or A8.

WHAT CAR ?
The new LS is certainly a big step forward from the old car. Its distinctive looks, high-quality interior and high level of standard equipment all appeal, but it’s still off the pace in terms of refinement, ride and handling. Unless you really have to stand out, we’d stick with one of the more obvious German rivals, particularly the Audi A8. Even if you take into account the benefits of the hybrid powertrain, it's worth remembering that the BMW 7 Series iPerformance emits just 49g/km of CO2 if you stick with rear-wheel drive. The BMW also has the advantage of being able to run on electric power alone for well over 20 miles if you recharge it from the mains.

AUTOCAR
But when it comes to cars that must transport a number of people over long distances, style is almost always a poor substitute for substance, and this is where the likeable but far too flawed LS500h comes substantially unstuck. The packaging is not good enough for such an enormous car, it is too heavy and too difficult to operate. But it is the engine that is its undoing: bluntly, it has no place in a car like this. Over a genial chat with its deputy chief engineer Shinji Kishida, I asked him why the hybrid system was not available with the twin-turbo V6 fitted to cars sold outside the UK. And he replied that the engine was new and there’d not been time to integrate the hybrid. When I asked him if that was work in progress, he grinned from ear to ear and simply said: "That’s a secret." Such an engine, far more refined in character and flooded with low-down torque as it would undoubtedly be, could genuinely transform this car. But I can report only as I find and, as it stands, the LS500h promises more than it delivers. Five generations on, I’d hoped for more..
So is the UK only getting the 500h?
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?
I think calling it a 500h sets up unrealistic expectations. It should be 450 or 400h since it has 360hp or so.

That said the hybrid is more appealing to me since the V-8 is gone. I just don't think we get a 500h F-Sport here in the states :(
Motor Trend
“If you're looking for a $100,000 luxury sedan, should you choose the BMW 740e plug-in, Lexus LS 500, Lincoln Continental 3.0, or Genesis G90 3.3T?”
http://www.motortrend.com/cars/gene...continental-30/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
White Beach
Motor Trend
“If you're looking for a $100,000 luxury sedan, should you choose the BMW 740e plug-in, Lexus LS 500, Lincoln Continental 3.0, or Genesis G90 3.3T?”
http://www.motortrend.com/cars/gene...continental-30/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
So the LS, the most fun to drive, which usually is the merit that counts most, suddenly doesn't matter most. Maybe one of the worst conclusions I've ever read. They keep trying to make the G90 like some 1989 LS and it isn't. The 1989 LS was better and cheaper. The G90 is cheaper, not better.

I don't know one person with the G90 anywhere on their radar. Absurd.

M
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