2019 Lexus LS

2019 Lexus LS  – Following more than a decade of driving two Lexus LS sedans, my father switched brands in the late 2000s despite his trouble-free ownership experience. After he left the brand for something new, the LS became a snoozy yet dependable value-alternative to the class-leading Mercedes-Benz S-Class. With the ambitiously redesigned 2018 Lexus LS, that’s no longer the case. When it goes on sale in February 2018, can the new 2018 LS surprise and delight buyers who are new to the brand without alienating loyal Lexus buyers

2019 Lexus Ls review

2019 Lexus Ls review

2019 Lexus LS Engine

The bolder 2018 Lexus LS tries subtle shifts. The LS 500h is also responsive, though the hybrid powertrain—which produces a combined-system 354 hp—whines quietly in its sports modes.

About those sports modes—all Lexus LS cars have multiple driving modes that are easily activated by twisting a small stalk just above the instrument cluster. Even without twisting over to the eco mode, the quicker 2018 LS is also more efficient than the 2017 LS 460, with the 2018 LS 500 anticipated to receive fuel economy ratings of 19/29 mpg city/highway with rear-wheel drive and 18/27 mpg with all-wheel drive. Not surprisingly, the LS 500h is also more efficient than its eight-cylinder predecessor, with 25/33 mpg in rear-drive form and 23/31 mpg with all-wheel drive.

2019 Lexus LS engine

2019 Lexus LS engine

Though one tester we drove with 20-inch wheels (19s and 20s are available) had some tire noise. If you insist on sportier driving experience, Lexus offers the LS 500 F Sport, which noticeably changes the driving experience compared to the non-F-Sport model most buyers will choose. The F Sports made a 2018 LS, I’d merely tailor the custom setting of the multimode driving system to how I want it to respond.

2019 Lexus LS Series

Sports model’s darker trim with different detailing. The headlights are oddly shaped, but the spindle grille is a highlight. Lexus isn’t shy about that grille—take a look at the cover of a 2018 Lexus LS brochure:

2019 Lexus LS interior

2019 Lexus LS interior

As Lexus’ flagship sedan, the 2018 lexus LS also offers a rear-seat package that your millionaire clients should find very comfortable. They probably won’t know that the seat behind the front passenger can be reclined up to 48 degrees (a best-in-class figure, Lexus claims), but they might get a kick out of watching the front seat move toward the dash and fold up, providing more than enough room to stretch out. One very minor inconvenience with this package—if you get an Executive-package car and actually plan on using the front passenger seat, that passenger might end up stepping on the extended-length seat track as they get into the car.

2019 Lexus LS Safety

A full package of advanced active safety tech (including a feature that can provide a bit of steering assistance if it detects the car is about to hit a pedestrian), S, no way around the touchpad smooth, the similar functionality I didn’t have a chance to test including single

2019 Lexus LS exterior

2019 Lexus LS exterior

 

Despite that feature omission, the 2018 lexus LS provides a much-improved overall experience compared to its predecessor. The new car is more interesting, quicker, more efficient, and more spacious for rear-seat passengers than the outgoing model. Unlike the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, there’s no 12-cylinder model to solidify top-tier luxury-brand status, but the Lexus still has its own appeal.

2019 Lexus LS

2019 Lexus LS

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