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2023 Lexus LS Assessment, Pricing, and Specs




Overview

No other car in the Lexus lineup has the heritage of the 2023 LS luxury sedan. It’s been around since the dawn of the brand but its competitive edge and desirability have waned since the first LS disrupted the luxury-car market in 1990. Unlike that original LS, which aped a Mercedes-Benz S-class, this latest LS is a rugged individualist that has its own way of doing luxe. While most other large luxury sedans at least offer a V-8 engine, the LS does without—going instead with a twin-turbo V-6 and an unrefined hybrid powertrain option. In the past, the LS has worn a conservative, businesslike set of clothes but this latest generation has gone with a more expressive and aggressive style. That look, though, doesn’t match the LS’s soft-riding demeanor, and even the F Sport model doesn’t dial in any discernable athleticism. While its rivals—such as the Audi A8, the BMW 7-series, and the Mercedes-Benz S-class—offer more well-rounded packages, the Lexus feels like it’s maker has simply misjudged what’s needed to compete at the top of this expensive segment.

What’s New for 2023?

Lexus’s new user interface has made its way to the LS luxury sedan this year. The new software is more logically laid out and features snappy response. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included and can be connected via a wireless signal. Lexus also says its flagship sedan now features more USB ports—up to six—throughout its cabin.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

$77,525

LS500 F Sport

$81,135

LS500h

$113,435

We’d stick with the standard twin-turbocharged V-6 engine and rear-wheel drive if only to reserve funds for optioning the LS’s coolest features. We’d spring for the Luxury package—it’s expensive but worth it—as it adds heated-and-cooled front and rear seats with semi-aniline leather upholstery; 28-way power-adjustable front seats with massage; rear buckets; a rear center console with touchscreen controls for climate, audio, and seat functions; four-zone automatic climate control; and power sunshades in the back. The optional adjustable air suspension, 20-inch wheels, a 360-degree camera system, real wood interior trim, and a wood- and-leather-trimmed heated steering wheel are all required to add the Luxury package.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The standard engine in the LS is a twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6 that delivers a silky-smooth 416 horsepower. It sounds refined and powerful while under heavy throttle but hushed when cruising. A 10-speed automatic handles gearchanges unobtrusively. Performance is more than enough for this car’s luxury mission, but V-8-powered variants of the BMW 7-series and the Mercedes-Benz S-class proved to be quicker at the test track. Models badged LS500h feature a hybrid powertrain that uses a 3.5-liter V-6 and two electric motors to make 354 horsepower. While the standard twin-turbo V-6 operates smoothly, the hybrid arrangement feels unrefined and altogether not luxurious. The engine sounds raspy and coarse, and the transmission—a mashup of a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and a regular four-speed automatic—steps through preset gear ratios with all the crispness of a soggy cornflake.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Fuel-economy estimates for the hybrid are indeed better than the nonhybrid LS500’s figures, so if you’re looking to save a buck at the pump, we suppose that’s the one redeeming quality of the LS500h’s powertrain. Whereas the rear-wheel-drive LS500 claims 30/19 mpg highway/city, the rear-wheel-drive LS500h earns 33/25 mpg ratings from the EPA. In our real-world testing, an all-wheel-drive LS500h managed a 30-mpg result on our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test. An all-wheel-drive nonhybrid model managed 29 mpg. For more information about the LS’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

A combination of flowing lines, intricately patterned fabrics, and rich leather upholstery fills the cabin of the LS, but the interior design isn’t cohesive. To maximize the luxury, spec the real wood trim, artful glass inserts, and pleated door panel fabric. Passenger space is generous for four adults. Adding a fifth person in the standard three-across rear bench would deny passengers a true luxury experience, so we recommend selecting the optional rear bucket seats. The rear seatbacks are fixed, so bulky cargo items may not easily fit in the LS. The trunk, however, is generously sized, and can hold six carry-on suitcases. Both the Audi A8 and the Genesis G90 accommodated the same amount of luggage.

Infotainment and Connectivity

All LS models come with Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay capability, navigation, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, all controlled through a new 12.3-inch touchscreen. That means the fussy touchpad on the center console is no longer the only way to adjust vehicle settings, switch audio sources, or set a destination in the navigation menu. The system also recognizes some voice commands. That said, is it too much to ask for physical buttons for things like seat heating? Lexus apparently thinks so. To activate this feature, users must turn to the screen.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

As with most other Lexus models, the LS comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 suite of driver-assistance features. A more advanced semi-autonomous driving-mode feature is an option. For more information about the LS’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
  • Standard adaptive cruise control with lane-centering assist

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Lexus offers longer powertrain coverage than BMW or Mercedes but doesn’t match up to Genesis’s plan of 100,000-mile coverage. At least the first maintenance visit is provided free of charge.

  • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 miles

Specifications

Specifications

2022 Lexus LS500 AWD
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE

Base/As Tested: $80,500/$110,030
Options: Executive package (semi-aniline leather trim, massaging front seats, and power-reclining and massaging rear seats, suede headliner, four-zone climate control), $17,380; Lexus Safety System (pre-collision with pedestrian alert, intersection turning assist, front cross-traffic alert, lane-change assist, active cruise control, lane assist, road-sign assist, active high-beam headlamps, lane-departure alert), $3200; Mark Levinson stereo, $1940; adaptive air suspension, $1400; head-up display, $1200; 20-inch 10-spoke wheels, $880; premium wood interior trim, $800; illuminated door sills, $450; wood and leather heated steering wheel, $410; carpeted trunk mat, $120

ENGINE
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, port and direct fuel injection

Displacement: 210 in3, 3445 cm3

Power: 416 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque: 442 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm

TRANSMISSION

10-speed automatic

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: multilink/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 14.0-in vented disc/13.1-in vented disc

Tires: Bridgestone Turanza EL450 RFT
Size: 245/45R-20 99V M+S

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 123.0 in

Length: 206.1 in

Width: 74.8 in
Height: 57.5 in

Passenger Volume: 99 ft3
Trunk Volume: 17 ft3
Curb Weight: 5129 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 5.4 sec

100 mph: 12.8 sec

1/4-Mile: 13.7 sec @ 104 mph
130 mph: 22.3 sec

Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.2 sec

Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.4 sec

Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.1 sec

Top Speed (gov ltd): 140 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 185 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 371 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.83 g 

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Observed: 22 mpg

75-mph Highway Driving: 29 mpg
75-mph Highway Range: 620 mi 

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Combined/City/Highway: 21/17/27 mpg

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

More Features and Specs

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