Temptingly powerful and luxurious
Roseville, CA- We sampled the gas-powered LS 500 a year ago and this year we spent a week with the 2019 Lexus LS 500 hybrid.
The latest version of the LS has a rather bold exterior that Lexus never experimented with in four generations of producing the LS 460, which hadn’t received a major redesign in the past decade.
The Lexus LS 500 is wider, longer and sits lower than the LS 460. Weighing more than 5,000 pounds, the LS 500 features rather dramatically angled front headlights and the signature large spindle front grille. The styling also includes some sharp side angles and curvy areas, giving it an overall handsome appearance.
Lexus has equipped the standard LS 500 with a very powerful twin-turbocharged V6. The hybrid, also a twin-turbo, is no slouch in the performance area, either.
Connected to a pair of electric motors and a lithium-ion battery, the hybrid LS 500 has a 3.5-liter, Atkinson cycle V6 that produces 354 horsepower and goes 0-60 mpg in 5.3 seconds. The hybrid gets better gas mileage – ranging from 23-33 mpg, while the standard LS 500 gets 18-30 mpg.
2019 Lexus LS 500
- Performance: twin turbocharged hybrid, 3.5-liter, V6, 354 horsepower; twin-turbo 3.5.-liter, V6, 416 horsepower;
- Mileage estimate: 23-33 mpg; 18-30 mpg
- Price estimate: $79,950 to $83,300
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 6 years/70,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 6 years/unlimited
Last year, Lexus bid farewell to the popular LS 460 and unveiled the all-new LS 500, an elegant full-size luxury sedan.
The twin-turbo is a 3.5-liter, V6 that generates 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. It also has a 10-speed manual transmission. The rear-wheel drive LS 500 goes 0-60 mph in 5.0 seconds. With that kind of acceleration, we found the LS 500 exhilarating to drive on the open road. All-wheel drive is an option.
Either version of the LS 500 provides a very smooth, effortless ride that is quiet and serene at all speeds. We were also impressed by the handling in any driving situation. Depending on the mood, having the option of driving in Eco, Comfort or Sport drive modes is a nice touch by Lexus.
There’s a high tech feel that comes with the LS 500 interior. The technology includes Wi-Fi hotspot, Lexus Enform smartphone app integration, a 12.3-inch color display, and navigation system. The touch pad will be challenging for some drivers and can be a distraction due to its complexity. Apple CarPlay is now available for iPhone users, but Android Auto is still missing.
There’s practically no chance of feeling uncomfortable in the stylish LS 500 cabin. It has 16-way power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats that also includes an optional massage function. Seating is also comfortable in the back, although the low roofline could be an issue for taller passengers. Lexus replaced the previous wood accents with Kiriko-cut glass. Trunk space is 15.5 cubic feet in the gas-powered model and 15.2 in the hybrid.
Music lovers can pass on the standard 12-speaker audio system and go with the 23-speaker, Mark Levinson sound system. The cost for the premium sound is an extra $2,000.
The LS brand has been around for nearly 30 years and remains a top-notch luxury sedan. The overall improvements should make the new 2019 Lexus LS 500 or hybrid a tempting buy for luxury car shoppers. Note that the hybrid is pricier and only gets 5 mpg more than its standard gasoline-powered counterpart.