5th Generation (2018+) Lexus LS 500 & LS 500h Megathread

pacman1

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But you think the gimmicks baked into the G90 that don't matter in day to day driving make it so? As a driver's car, drivability absolutely matters. But there's more to that. Jason had 3 major issues with the G90, 2 of them being the garbage chassis tuning and lacking powertrain. It barely beat the hybrid LS in a drag race.

Not in the areas that matter. It doesn't even have wireless CarPlay or AA in 2023! The V35A and the 10AT have proven to be reliable over the years. Kirk had a check engine light pop up at 600 odd miles on the G90. The craftsmanship and build quality are light years ahead on the LS.

The next LS, whether it goes hybrid V35A or fully electric, will put it in the dirt. I can't wait.
Exactly. Is the G90 a good looking car? Sure. You go past that and it gets questionable whether they have a compelling product.

I really don’t care if my car has a setting to play ambient sounds from a cafe. I do care if my engine catches on fire.

Lexus traditionally is behind on tech. The trade off is that usually what IS equipped in the car is refined and ironed out. Is that exciting? No, it isn’t, people want the newest stuff but I think Lexus is actually correct here. They have solid powertrains, hybrid engines light years beyond the competition and no one can really question their reliability. Now that Genesis has to divert more resources into managing more than one product their reliability is starting to take a hit.

The LS is ready for a new redesign so these comparisons aren’t really entirely in Lexus’ favor.

This segment is interesting because more manufacturers are moving up so they can get higher margins. Very few will succeed and most will fail. Mazda has successfully established itself as a premium brand although I don’t think they will ever have a product that can compete with an LS. Their CX90 is a home run and at the upper trims look better than some legacy luxury makers. Oddly enough, I wouldn’t be surprised if Genesis slips their main competition becoming Mazda (if their current momentum allows them to creep up even higher) and Audi(which I feel has been losing out against BMW & Benz). All three are going for that sporty Euro-style luxury.

As far as YouTube reviewers there are very few that I think are reputable. SG is one of the few I trust that can deliver a fair assessment.
 

Gecko

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To my eyes, the G90 looks like an overstyled mashup between a Lincoln Town Car and an Infiniti J30... I just don't think any of the design cues actually work together. I love the design of the G80 and would say it's the best looking car in that class, but the G90 design does not hold up to me at all.

As for the LS, I don't really know what to think anymore -- and I don't think Lexus does either. After the extended lifecycle of the 4LS and the flop of the 5LS, I think the car is on life support and probably following the Infiniti Q45 and Acura RL into the history of Japanese executive sedans, short of some drastic effort by Lexus. Looking at sales of the S Class, new 7 (ugh) and Model S, you can't tell me there isn't still life in this class of cars... Lexus just lost the plot.

Once the "crown jewel of Lexus," the LS is now the most forgotten vehicle in the lineup. The LS 430 and LS 460 (at the beginning of it's lifecycle in 2007) were at the top of their game, leading in sales, and swapping 1st/2nd places in most comparisons with the S Class. How far we have fallen from grace now with a car that doesn't drive how it looks, or look how it drives, and that has struggled so badly with LS hallmark strengths like unrivaled space and comfort, luxury, technology, and NVH.

Without a competitive LS in 10+ years, the car has become irrelevant even for the people who would be interested - they've gone to competitors like the S Class or Model S, downgraded to the ES because it offers 90% of what the LS does for 50% of the cost, or transitioned to SUVs. You just can't go this long with such an outdated product and expect to jump back in the game like you never left. Furthermore, technological innovation hasn't really been Lexus’ strong suit in recent memory and unfortunately for them, it has also become a core expectation among flagship vehicle buyers. If Lexus had been more proactive in evolving the car with powertrains and options, they wouldn't be in the position of needing a revolution to be competitive. That's where they are, and I don't think they're actually capable of that now.

No sense in rehashing all the same arguments, but what Lexus has done (or not done) to the LS nameplate is unfortunate. In a vacuum, it's still a pleasant and enjoyable car - not saying it isn't - but in a broader context, it's a hard vehicle to justify.
 

mikeavelli

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G90 is like a LS 430. Big cushy car. Nothing wrong with that. LS runs circles around it driving wise especially F sport.. Both nice interiors and tech, G90 is roomier, I think where Genesis absolutely blew it was offering a V-6 with LESS power than the LS. They should have offered a V-8 which would have been a segment buster at 100k.

Wild to me people say it’s better and it has no answer for the LS F Sport or the LS 500h.
 

sl0519

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It's seriously not that hard. Just look at what the S class is doing. It rides best in class yet does not sacrifice any handling capabilities (in fact it drives almost like BMW G12 as proven by Chinese slalom test). Best in class tech and seat comfort. Best in class safety features and NVH. Best in class I6 powertrain (almost there with B58) and MPG. You are not selling because you are trying to do a bit of everything but failed to accomplished the core basics. Get the fundamentals right, price it where you think it will sell and don't put blame on SUV craze.
 
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Ian Schmidt

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The LS 430 and LS 460 (at the beginning of it's lifecycle in 2007) were at the top of their game, leading in sales, and swapping 1st/2nd places in most comparisons with the S Class.
All true, but customers started fleeing the LS as soon as the 460 went on sale and accelerated from there. I've heard it from several dealers now. The 460 was stuck in a no-mans land where it cornered like a barge but lacked the sofa on wheels quality of the 430, so customers went elsewhere.

It's seriously not that hard. Just look at what the S class is doing. It rides best in class yet does not sacrifice any handling capabilities (in fact it drives almost like BMW G12 as proven by Chinese slalom test). Best in class tech and seat comfort. Best in class safety features and NVH. Best in class I6 powertrain (almost there with B58) and MPG. You are not selling because you are trying to do a bit of everything but failed to accomplished the core basics. Get the fundamentals right, price it where you think it will sell and don't put blame on SUV craze.
The thing with the S Class is that you're paying at least $20k more than the LS to get comparable equipment. Even BMW's cheaper. Luxury SUVs are generally a better value at that point, and that's why the market's gone that way. Also, I've said it before: the shift to CUVs/SUVs has gone on long enough that it's not a craze, it's the state of things. That's why Lexus makes 6 of them now, and it's why I haven't seen an S Class on the road in the last month but I've seen dozens of high-spec Land Rovers.
 

pacman1

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It's seriously not that hard. Just look at what the S class is doing. It rides best in class yet does not sacrifice any handling capabilities (in fact it drives almost like BMW G12 as proven by Chinese slalom test). Best in class tech and seat comfort. Best in class safety features and NVH. Best in class I6 powertrain (almost there with B58) and MPG. You are not selling because you are trying to do a bit of everything but failed to accomplished the core basics. Get the fundamentals right, price it where you think it will sell and don't put blame on SUV craze.
But…it is that hard. Making a product that rides well, has best in class powertrain, good mpg, etc. in one package isn’t an easy feat.

Everyone striving to become a luxury carmaker wants to have the prestige and recognition of Mercedes. Every luxury carmaker wants their product to be viewed as the new “S-class.”

Mercedes didn’t get there by accident. It’s not as simple as having a bucket list of “I’ll have the best mpg. The best inline-6 and best ride quality.” Mercedes is synonymous with being the gold standard for luxury because they had to invest in that kind of upkeep for decades. Having a wishlist of features versus actually marketing a product that would not financially destroy a company are two very different things, usually antagonistic to each other.

Consider for a quick second:
1. Sedan market has been shrinking and continues to shrink, to the point that established manufacturers have abandoned making sedans at all. Example: FORD.

2. Take the remaining consumer market still willing to pay for a sedan, then subtract 90% of them. The remaining 10% are willing to pay $90,000+ for not just a sedan, but a luxury sedan. For the sake of conversation I realize that I’m being extremely generous with 10% of the market being able to afford a $90,000 purchase.

3. Now try adding all the features we think a competitive LS would be and sell enough that it isn’t likely to be financial suicide for the company. Keep the price low enough that your consumers wouldn’t just say “f it” and get an S-class instead.

I think the world’s largest auto manufacturer has the resources to do that. I think they have the technology and distribution line, logistical savviness to do that. But it probably makes very little financial sense for Toyota/Lexus when they consider the break even point for the investment it will require. Mercedes had the benefit of securing the brand image for the S-class when the sedan market was bigger.

It wasn’t that long ago when Lexus had the stigma of being a car for grandparents. Lexus probably figured it was smarter to shed this image and go for a livelier crowd and adopted a lot of sporty and polarizing designs. Unfortunately, that alienated a lot of prior LS owners while Mercedes was able to retain their market by keeping their more stately image. You know what? I think it worked for Lexus. I haven’t heard a lot of the grandparents haters lately.

I would not be able to tell you if that was the best choice for Lexus, but together with Toyota this is a company that has a track record for smart decisions which led them to become the juggernaut they are today.

I sincerely hope that Lexus doesn’t abandon the LS because ditching the sedan market is such a financially attractive move. I’m optimistically cautious that they can deliver something that can wow people like they did with the GX. I suppose time will tell.
 

mikeavelli

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In addition the LS and this class are now battling some really well done luxury SUVs that didn’t exist before. 20 years ago there wasn’t much in that space. Today people rather buy say a X7 over a 7 series. Cadillac gave up and dropped the CT6 for the Escalade. Porsche is working on a larger SUV as well. The Model S also didn’t exist and took sales from everyone. Now there is an i7 etc. Lexus doesn’t participate in that space yet, still offering the LS 500h which now starts at like 113k. Ouch.

In other words it feels like the next LS could be the second coming of the original LS 400 and it might not matter as people in this segment have moved to SUVs. The appealing part to me is, owning a D class flagship is truly a way to show you are being different.
 

RAL

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In addition the LS and this class are now battling some really well done luxury SUVs that didn’t exist before. 20 years ago there wasn’t much in that space. Today people rather buy say a X7 over a 7 series. Cadillac gave up and dropped the CT6 for the Escalade. Porsche is working on a larger SUV as well. The Model S also didn’t exist and took sales from everyone. Now there is an i7 etc. Lexus doesn’t participate in that space yet, still offering the LS 500h which now starts at like 113k. Ouch.

In other words it feels like the next LS could be the second coming of the original LS 400 and it might not matter as people in this segment have moved to SUVs. The appealing part to me is, owning a D class flagship is truly a way to show you are being different.
Hoping for the second coming ...
 

Ian Schmidt

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Mercedes had the benefit of securing the brand image for the S-class when the sedan market was bigger.
Right. And the LS400 and 430 rode on the coattails of that brand image because they were fine with being defined as less expensive versions of the S Class formula. Lexus marketing never tried to establish the LS as its own thing, and that became a problem starting with the 460 when the car began to diverge from the S Class formula.
 

Ali Manai

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Also now the midsize sedans are the same size as larger sedans from 30 years ago and at around 200 inches long that is the most ideal size people go for and now the ls, s class, 7 series although may sell but cannot match the sales of their predecessors because they are just a limo now and these cars will mostly purchased by corporates, some bosses who can't afford a rolls or don't want to dish out that much and fans/enthusiasts, thats where the gs should have come in but it was cannibalized by the es and now the es is the best seller in that segment for that very reason ideal size, reliable, spacious and affordable with excellent build quality
 

Levi

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Also now the midsize sedans are the same size as larger sedans from 30 years ago and at around 200 inches long that is the most ideal size people go for and now the ls, s class, 7 series although may sell but cannot match the sales of their predecessors because they are just a limo now and these cars will mostly purchased by corporates, some bosses who can't afford a rolls or don't want to dish out that much and fans/enthusiasts, thats where the gs should have come in but it was cannibalized by the es and now the es is the best seller in that segment for that very reason ideal size, reliable, spacious and affordable with excellent build quality
S Class, ES and Superb (sedan and estate) are the best value non CUV cars. Unbeatable.
 
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ssun30

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Apparently the LS500 loses some acceleration tests to the new Prius, and the response is way worse than the 2UR V8.

LS500/Prius/LC500, starting from D, normal mode. I also added the 2nd gen IS350 which was known to be a rocket in the straight line.

80-100km/h (50-62mph): 3.06s/2.80s/2.20s/2.20s
80-120km/h (50-74mph): 4.86s/5.26s/3.66s/3.82s
100-120km/h (62-74mph): 3.40s/3.56s/2.70s/3.00s
100-140km/h (62-87mph): 5.40s/6.80s/4.52s/4.86s

The LS500h was also faster in these tests despite having 62hp less. That 2UR response is just beautiful despite that 10AT having super long gears.

Do we have dyno results of the LS500? I am really doubtful if the V35A-FTS really reaches its rated output given Toyota was recently accused of faking engine certifications. The advertised acceleration performance had not been replicated once in real world, and the actual performance is way worse than cars of similar power-to-weight ratio.
 
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Gecko

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I think the V35A does churn out its advertised power rating but the LS 500 is heavy (several hundred pounds more than the LC 500 on the same chassis) and also suffers from awful turbo lag. That must be a 2018 - 2020 model which had the worst turbo lag and throttle response, so really no favors done for the LS here IMO.

Looking at those numbers, based on my experience with the car, probably one whole second of those times is “pedal down, car is doing nothing” before the transmission decides to downshift and the turbos spool up and provide boost. For pure numbers, the turbo lag and transmission delay are not your friends.
 

sl0519

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I think the V35A does churn out its advertised power rating but the LS 500 is heavy (several hundred pounds more than the LC 500 on the same chassis) and also suffers from awful turbo lag. That must be a 2018 - 2020 model which had the worst turbo lag and throttle response, so really no favors done for the LS here IMO.

Looking at those numbers, based on my experience with the car, probably one whole second of those times is “pedal down, car is doing nothing” before the transmission decides to downshift and the turbos spool up and provide boost. For pure numbers, the turbo lag and transmission delay are not your friends.

0-60mph in 4.6s is false advertisement lol. I swear to god no media outlet is able to reproduce their claimed performance number. Like even if we forget about the "community beloved B58" for a sec, the fact that it still struggles to compete against Mercedes' M256 in terms of refinement or sound shows how uncompetitive their turbo engines are.

On a side note, why aren't they adding launch control in their cars to mitigate this launch delay issues?
 

ssun30

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I think the V35A does churn out its advertised power rating but the LS 500 is heavy (several hundred pounds more than the LC 500 on the same chassis) and also suffers from awful turbo lag. That must be a 2018 - 2020 model which had the worst turbo lag and throttle response, so really no favors done for the LS here IMO.

Looking at those numbers, based on my experience with the car, probably one whole second of those times is “pedal down, car is doing nothing” before the transmission decides to downshift and the turbos spool up and provide boost. For pure numbers, the turbo lag and transmission delay are not your friends.
From the interior layout this indeed seems to be an early model year LS500. In your experience how much better is 2021+ in normal mode D?

For reference this is the GSE21 IS350. I wish all modern Lexus ICEVs have powertrain calibrations as good as this. Look at how quick and smooth those downshifts are. The JDM GSE21 also had more power (318PS vs 310PS) due to higher Japanese fuel quality and lighter weight (1570kg vs. 1620kg) since it lacks certain crash structures required for other markets. Its overall power-to-weight ratio is 7% higher than the international model and was able to achieve a sub-4.5s 0-60mph time, almost as quick as the IS-F.
 
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From the interior layout this indeed seems to be an early model year LS500. In your experience how much better is 2021+ in normal mode D?

For reference this is the GSE21 IS350. I wish all modern Lexus ICEVs have powertrain calibrations as good as this. Look at how quick and smooth those downshifts are. The JDM GSE21 also had more power (318PS vs 310PS) due to higher Japanese fuel quality and lighter weight (1570kg vs. 1620kg) since it lacks certain crash structures required for other markets. Its overall power-to-weight ratio is 7% higher than the international model and was able to achieve a sub-4.5s 0-60mph time, almost as quick as the IS-F.

Like... WTF happened from then to now? They were doing so well in terms of performance. 😭😭
 

Gecko

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From the interior layout this indeed seems to be an early model year LS500. In your experience how much better is 2021+ in normal mode D?

You can also tell from the older headlight design.

In my experience driving a 2018, 2019, and 2021, there's a little improvement but not much. 2018-2020 were awful, 2021+ are pretty bad but somewhat improved over the earlier models. I have a friend who works at Lexus and currently has a 2024 LS 500 demo. I asked him if the powertrain tuning is any better and his response was, "Every year they say they've fixed it but I've never noticed any improvement."

To your earlier point, 0-60 in 4.6 seconds would only happen down hill with a 1/4 tank of gas and a tailwind. Lexus was wild for that.
 

Falcon

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Lexus did the opposite with the LX. 6.9s is the official number but it can do sub 6 second easily. LS hovers around 5.5 but I've seen a 5.3 and even 5 flat but perhaps it's a fluke.