2020 Lexus LS 500 F Sport AWD evaluate: Cozy chair
“The 2020 Lexus LS 500 is as fast as a sports activities automotive, and as snug as your front room.”
- Spectacular acceleration
- Distinctive exterior
- Properly-designed inside
- Handles effectively for a giant automotive
- No Android Auto
- Awkward infotainment interface
- Unimpressive driver help tech
With the 2020 LS 500, Lexus is letting its hair down. The unique Lexus LS shocked the world with its superb construct high quality and reliability, all at a lower cost than a comparable Mercedes-Benz or BMW of the time. The primary LS proved to be fairly bulletproof, with one instance racking up 1 million miles. Luxurious automotive purchases are inherently irrational, although, so Lexus wanted vehicles that would attraction to the guts in addition to the pinnacle.
Redesigned for the 2018 mannequin yr, the LS bought extra expressive exterior and inside styling to present it a definite character, one thing earlier generations of this huge sedan lacked. The LS additionally bought a tech and efficiency improve to maintain tempo with rivals just like the Audi A8, BMW 7 Collection, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Our take a look at automotive was a 2020 Lexus LS 500 with the non-obligatory F Sport efficiency bundle and all-wheel drive (rear-wheel drive is customary). As examined, the automotive carried an $89,555 sticker worth, about $13,000 greater than a base mannequin.
Design and inside
Like different current Lexus fashions (and people of dad or mum firm Toyota), the 2020 LS 500 tries very arduous to not be boring. From the large “spindle” grille to headlights that seem like they had been designed by Zorro, the LS 500 stands out in a manner its German rivals don’t. In contrast to the previous-generation LS, the place many of those styling parts had been tacked on after the very fact, the 2020 mannequin’s exterior additionally works as a cohesive complete.
The inside is even higher. Not solely does it have a particular look, with aluminum trim items flowing throughout the dashboard and hand-folded pleats on the doorways, however the supplies are top-notch. Virtually every part you contact is actual steel or leather-based. Lexus skipped the normal wooden trim on our performance-oriented F Sport take a look at automotive, however it’s accessible as an choice.
The inside can be cavernous, however that’s anticipated on this phase. As spacious because the Lexus is, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8 supply extra entrance and rear headroom, respectively. The Audi additionally has a tiny bit extra entrance legroom, whereas the BMW 7 Collection has extra legroom, and an even bigger trunk.
The LS 500 stands out in a manner its German rivals don’t.
Tech, infotainment, and driver help
Lexus nailed the design, however missed the goal on tech. The infotainment system features a 12.3-inch central show display and a digital instrument cluster (our take a look at automotive had the non-obligatory head-up show as effectively). Show graphics had been clear and straightforward to learn, however every part is managed by the awkward Distant Contact Interface trackpad.
This interface is just like a laptop computer, requiring the driving force to maneuver a cursor across the display. Whereas Lexus has made some enhancements over previous variations (the newest model helps handwriting recognition), the trackpad remains to be tough to make use of whereas driving.
The LS comes customary with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility, however not Android Auto. Some Lexus fashions bought Android Auto for the 2020 mannequin yr, so it’s potential the characteristic will probably be added to the LS sooner or later. Lexus hasn’t mentioned a agency timeline, nonetheless.
One uncommon characteristic that Lexus did embrace was a CD participant, one thing that has disappeared from most different new vehicles. The Lexus SC 430 was the final automotive offered in the US with a cassette participant, so Lexus clearly has a factor for throwback media.
Like a lot of the Japanese automaker’s different fashions, the 2020 LS 500 comes customary with the Lexus Security System+ 2.zero bundle of driver aids. This contains autonomous emergency braking, street signal recognition, adaptive cruise management, computerized excessive beams, lane departure warning, and Lane Tracing Help, which gives small steering inputs to maintain the automotive centered in its lane. Separate from that bundle, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking help are additionally customary on the 2020 LS 500.
The motive force aids are pretty primary in comparison with different luxurious automakers. For instance, the LS can acknowledge cease indicators, however the Audi A8 is aware of when visitors lights change (in 30 cities with the required infrastructure, at the least). Lane Tracing Help struggled with even the gentlest of curves on highways, drunkenly lurching from one aspect of the lane to the opposite. The adaptive cruise management had hassle sustaining a set pace. Going downhill, it relied an excessive amount of on engine braking to sluggish the automotive, letting the pace creep up by a number of mph earlier than lastly slowing down. It’s a low-resolution model of the expertise you get with one of many German alternate options.
Flip off the driving force aids, and the 2020 Lexus LS 500 is in its aspect. Lexus has been steadily enhancing the driving dynamics of its vehicles, and the LS 500 exhibits how far the automaker has come.
Beneath the hood (and a giant plastic engine cowl) sits a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6, which makes 416 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is coupled to a 10-speed computerized transmission, with customary rear-wheel drive or our take a look at automotive’s non-obligatory all-wheel drive.
Lexus stated rear-wheel-drive fashions will do zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Meaning this 4,900-pound sedan is faster than a base Porsche Cayman. It’s additionally faster than the bottom variations of the Audi A8, BMW 7 Collection, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and tied with the V8-powered BMW 750i. Nevertheless, the Germans supply different variants of their huge sedans with extra energy and faster acceleration.
Lexus nailed the design, however missed the goal on tech.
Our take a look at automotive was an F Sport mannequin, outfitted with adaptive suspension and larger brakes to enhance dealing with. F Sport fashions don’t get the identical stage of upgrades as full-bore Lexus F fashions, however this LS 500 did pretty effectively with what it had.
The automotive by no means stopped feeling like the massive, heavy sedan it was, however the F Sport suspension made it moderately agile in corners. The engine was one of many punchiest turbo six-cylinders we’ve skilled, feeling prefer it had a number of extra cylinders. If huge vehicles are like boats, then this one is extra guided-missile cruiser than ocean liner.
Even in regular mode, the experience wasn’t as clean as we’ve come to count on from vehicles on this phase. Which will have been all the way down to suspension tuning, in addition to our take a look at automotive’s 20-inch wheels. The tradeoff between experience high quality and dealing with appeared cheap, although.
Gasoline mileage and security
All-wheel-drive 2020 Lexus LS 500 fashions like our take a look at automotive are rated at 21 mpg mixed (18 mpg metropolis, 27 mpg freeway), whereas rear-wheel-drive fashions do barely higher at 23 mpg mixed (19 mpg metropolis, 30 mpg freeway). The scores are pretty near gasoline variations of the Audi A8, BMW 7 Collection, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Over every week of driving we averaged 15.5 mpg (in response to the automotive’s journey laptop), however the common dipped into the 11-mpg vary in metropolis driving.
Lexus additionally presents an LS hybrid with as much as 28 mpg mixed, however considerably much less horsepower than the non-hybrid mannequin. Audi, BMW, and Mercedes supply plug-in hybrid powertrains with even higher gasoline effectivity.
If huge vehicles are like boats, then this one is extra guided-missile cruiser than ocean liner.
The 2020 Lexus LS hasn’t obtained crash take a look at scores from the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) or Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA). That’s sometimes the case for high-end, low-volume vehicles like this.
Lexus presents a four-year, 50,000-mile, primary guarantee and six-year, 70,000-mile powertrain guarantee. The LS constructed its repute on peerless reliability, and Lexus nonetheless has a reasonably good repute on this space.
How DT would configure this automotive
It could add $6,000 to the value, however the F Sport bundle looks like funding. The adaptive suspension livens up the dealing with, and upgraded brakes are all the time a plus on a automotive this heavy. F Sport fashions additionally get snug, but closely bolstered entrance seats which are good alternate options to the overstuffed sofa cushions of another luxurious vehicles. The pinnacle-up show ($1,200) and 23-speaker Mark Levinson audio system ($1,940) would full our hypothetical LS construct.
The 2020 Lexus LS 500 has a robust turbocharged engine and well-designed inside that makes for a really luxurious expertise, although rivals supply higher tech. Lexus must eliminate the clunky trackpad interface, and improve the driving force aids. The unique LS hybrid was one of many first conventional luxurious vehicles to embrace electrification, however now Audi, BMW, and Mercedes supply plug-in hybrids. The F Sport mannequin is certainly sporty, however not as sporty as the highest variations of the German sedans.
Lexus gave the LS a soul, however now it wants to present the automotive a tech improve. The infotainment system and driver aids are probably the most poor areas, however it might even be good to see a full-bore F efficiency mannequin, or plug-in hybrid, or all-electric, powertrain choices. These adjustments would elevate the LS from automotive into an important one. Even so, the Lexus LS 500 will ship you down the street like a rocket ship, but hold you nestled in whole consolation. That’s undoubtedly going to attraction to many consumers.
Must you get one?
Sure. The 2020 Lexus LS is luxurious with character.
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