2019 Lexus LS – Review and Road Test

2019 Lexus LS – Review and Road Test


If you’re looking to buy a full-size
luxury car why would you choose a Lexus LS versus all these guys? Lexus’s
historically high resale values are one reason but man this is a luxury car
maybe we can dig up some reasons that have a little more emotion. Design is one
place to mine emotion. In recent years Lexus has injected lots of visual
interest into its lineup, as evidenced by the LS’s sharp, athletic, yet stately
exterior. Huge grilles are all the rage these days but at least this oversized
spindle is intriguingly intricate. I think Lexus’s design efforts are most
successful inside. With these organic flowing lines and universally
outstanding materials the cabin feels fresh, inviting, and properly luxurious. Standout details include stylish
floating arm rests, wood trim that gracefully imitates the arc of the door
stitching, and a dual-action center armrest that, to be honest, is no more
functional than one hinged at the rear. But it’s still kind of neat and, most
importantly, well-padded. Of course a luxury car ain’t a luxury car without
excellent seats. In that spirit the Lexus LS has superbly comfortable seats that
are extremely adjustable and offer a massage function that actually feels
like a massage. Awesome but accessing the seat’s full abilities is not simple. Seat-based controls handle the basics but for deeper adjustment along with heating
cooling and massage functions, which are oddly labeled “refresh”,
you have to push a button then dig through on-screen menus using the Lexus
remote touch interface. Doing so while driving could be dicey. On
that note the Remote Touch interface uses this pad to control a cursor on
that 12-point three inch screen. When the cursor reaches a selection point the pad
gives a little tap to my finger. I personally have no problem with the
interface but some of my KBB compadres really do. Smart move: try before you buy. One universal complaint is a lack of
modern smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While most car
makers offer these technologies Lexus and parent company Toyota remains
stubborn holdouts. On a more positive note, Lexus has a knack for sculpting
comfortable, supportive, pressure point free seats, a skill clearly applied in
the LS. In back outboard headroom is great but legroom, while 3.4 inches larger than the previous LS, could be greater, especially considering the
absurdly roomy back seats in non-luxury midsize cars like, let’s say, the Honda
Accord. That said, the legroom issue has a solution. Sit on the right side and
with a few presses you can shuttle the front seat forward to exploit the rear
seat’s 48-degree recline and optional ottoman. Control for these highly-adjustable seats occurs through a simple touchscreen housed in the center armrest. So if you want to adjust your seat do it before someone steals the middle spot,
which is, by the way, a marginal place to sit thanks to a large center tunnel and
limited headroom up front. The previous generation V8 engine has been replaced
by a 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission
sporting three overdrive gears that do their part to improve fuel economy. It
might not sound as cool as a V8 but the turbo 6 can thrust the LS from zero to
60 in about four and a half seconds. Are you not amused? Red lights! There’s also an LS 500 H hybrid that
blends an efficient Atkinson cycle 3.5 liter V6 with two electric motors, a
lithium-ion battery pack, and the odd combination of a planetary continuously
variable transmission and a four-speed automatic gear set. This set up delivers
zero to 60 acceleration a mere half second slower than the normal LS and
fuel economy that’s really good for a big ol luxury sedan. FYI, while the standard LS offers up to 17 cubic feet of trunk space, that number
drops to as little as 14 cubic feet with the hybrid, smaller than a Toyota Camry’s
trunk. From a driver engagement standpoint…oh hey…this cord just fell on my pants. From a driver engagement standpoint the steering wheel does not convey a strong
sense of intimacy with the front tires. If you want a large luxury sedan that’s
also a top tier driver’s car there are better options. I did pass that guy
pretty quickly though. One being the Lexus LS 500 F Sport, offering a 0% bump in power but bigger brakes, quicker shifts, and increased agility versus the
non F Sport LS. Even so, when asked the regular LS can hustle itself through
corners quickly and with minimal body roll. Hustle a little bit too much and the
brake pedal responds to your desperate stabs with a firm confident feel. Didn’t
hit that big cement mixer. Really though, a large luxury sedan’s
prime responsibility is to smooth the world’s rough edges. To that end bumps and potholes are greatly lessened by the standard adaptive variable suspension. Flip the drive mode selector from comfort to
sport or Sport+ and the suspension and drivetrain sharpen their responses in
the ways you’d expect. The selector is kind of a reach from the driver seat but
there is no confusion about where to find it. Also if you like knurled
surfaces this little guy is super knurled. In standard roughly $76,000 form
including destination the Lexus LS features LED headlights, passive entry
and push-button start, a power rear sunshade, a power trunk, active noise
cancellation to maintain a serene driving environment, and Lexus safety
system plus, which bundles adaptive cruise control, intelligent high beams,
pre collision with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and lane keep
assist. With the advanced package the LS gains front cross traffic alert, road
sign recognition, Lane Trace Assist that uses the vehicle ahead to help judge
where the lane is, and active steering assist that can intervene to avoid
collisions with people and objects. On the non-safety option roster are
all-wheel drive with a Torsen limited slip center differential, a smooth riding
air suspension that raises the ride height for easier boarding, a head-up
display that greets the driver in spectacular fashion, a cool 360-degree
camera system that lets you scan around the vehicle prior to departure, and a
variety of interior motifs including hand pleated upholstery and spectacular
Kiriko-cut glass ornamentation, though I personally prefer the beautifully
restrained and cheaper wood trim. Reserved for the rear-drive
gasoline-powered LS F Sport is a handling package with variable ratio
steering, active rear wheel steering, and a sport-tuned air suspension. As
mentioned, there are plenty of German, American, English, and even Korean
competitors in the full-size luxury sedan space offering varying levels of
luxury performance and technology. But even among this crowd the Lexus LS
makes a strong case for itself where reliability, comfort, and style are
concerned. And hey, if none of that stuff moves your needle remember, we’ll always have resale values.

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. The interior of this Lexus looks too much like the S-Class, from the seats to the dashboard design … However, the exterior is quite exceptional.

  2. The rear console in the Audi and Porsche looks better than the Lexus front console. Lexus front console is way outdated.

  3. Car is absolutely amazing. I've driven it and it has a WALL of torque. 23 speakers when you get the mark levinson sound system, in which I have never heard a better stock sound system ever. Suede and alcantera every where. The LS500 FSPORT is a dream on wheels that gets 30 mpg on the highway.

  4. I don’t think Lexus give a damn about u guys review they could do better with interior color that is a old man fav color and that remote touch thing will take 30 mins to get to radio lol

  5. Please look my channel, la bomba food, mini review for many culinary and food https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R51ER7H1pWQ

  6. it's 2018 and still no android/apple carplay support? Wtf

    I can't get this car i hope from 2019 it comes as standard as it should have already

  7. The car looks great but the smart phone thing is inexcusable but hopefully no one is on their phone while driving I hope…

  8. Don’t buy a Lexus , they tear they customers like shit , they refuse to fix an exhaust flaw on the RX 350 which vibrates the car at low RPM , fuck you lexus

  9. Voice command… learn it… it will make most of the perceived problem/shortcoming of the touchpad disappear.

  10. I love EVERYTHING about the Lexus LS and Lexus in general apart from ONE thing, that stupid mouse mat thing, just give it a touch screen it'll be far better! If I was in the market for a luxury saloon, I would not buy German marques anymore. In the past, yes, not now. For me, it'd be a toss up between a Jaguar and a Lexus.

  11. I drive a 99 LS. For the age of the car it’s really ahead of its time. My buddy has a 91. Both of our cars still run and drive amazing. The seats are crazily comfortable for being 20+ years old. I can’t imagine what it’s like to drive a brand new LS

  12. A masterpiece and pinnacle of craftsmanship and artisanship of the entire LEXUS TEAM.

    Each and every member of our LEXUS Team was able to accomplish something that is extremely hard to do, which is to FLAWLESSLY execute the balance between handling, fun to drive, visually appealing and dynamic (sporty) feel elements on one hand, and comfort, luxury, serene "library quiet" ride, perfectly assembled air suspension for the smoothest ride possible and, of course, all while to be able to maintain the famous LEXUS reliability, on the other.

    The LS 500 instantly became an undisputed leader in its segment, a benchmark for other auto manufacturers to try to follow. The bar has been set darn sky high by the LEXUS Team.

    I appreciate Micah's honest, straightforward, thorough, very well-done review of this utterly sexy, premier luxury sedan.

  13. If i had the money to buy the flagship Lexus LS or the flagship Mercedes S class, i would always choose the Lexus. It has been voted most reliable vehicle manufacturer for many years in a row beating Mercedes and the level of comfort and luxury in the LS model is amazing. You get many features as standard in the Lexus whilst Mercedes comes with very little standard features and will break your wallet when you add all the options you need.. It”s disappointing that the flagship Benz looks exactly the same as a C class. This is not acceptable. Driving a german car used to mean something.. a sense of prestige, refinement and luxury. Mercedes-Benz and the other german manufacturers need to step up their game.

  14. They were doing so well…My God what is all that shiny grill…. unbelievable ridiculousness
    Looks like a 60's car with all that chrome. . although chrome seems to be in again

  15. “…makes adjusting the seat while driving difficult.” Yeah, don’t adjust any seat while driving. At least around me.

  16. Adjusting the seats through the menu while driving could be dicey?? Doesnt the car have collision avoidance systems & lane keep assist?

  17. Nothing like Toyota or Lexus they are a piece of mind, and that pad is not bad either you can use it while the car is standing still.No a problem and it also stands out from rest of the competitors which is a great thing nobody uses glass trims in their cars.Jaguar,bmw and Audi are crap in front of it lexus has predator style spindle grille which looks great on their cars.lexus should be awarded about the hard work and effort they do in their exterior design and interior design.lx 570 and Ls,in fact all lexus and Toyota cars are great.

  18. Why drive it like a sports car man this car is good when you want to be passenger I hate it when you reviewrs do that spread wrong information to people

  19. Never have I really care fot this car ( or brand), but the LS Hybrid fuel economy figures are outstanding for a car this size.

  20. Thinking about buying a used GS or LS in the future but can’t really tell on the differences between the two. They seem very similar engine and feature wise.

  21. You Guys need to talk about highway/cabin noise on these Luxury cars. That is where they will be used. What is the decibel reading on the highway?

  22. Tbh I could get over the infotainment system. Honestly how often will I use it? I listen to the same radio station and never adjust my seat. Who needs factory navigation? Phone apps offer much better options. It will never bother me. The quality and comfort easily trump the infotainment system

  23. Their interference display system looks and feels like an old PlayStation 2 menu screen…that's not what I would want on an $80k+ sedan that's in the super luxury category. Competitors have a more super luxury feel. Lexus always wins in reliability thought…which isn't that important in the luxury category since people still buy the Range Rover

  24. Well when comparing the LS hybrid to the Avalon hybrid, the Avalon wins by a landslide! 43 MPG vs 25 MPG (for a hybrid?! Wow…), more trunk space, and an easier to control infotainment system. Lexus is really expensive but with such luxury comes a big price. I feel the 2019 Avalon Hybrid Limited is a better bet compared to the LS Hybrid.

  25. I want to start this off by saying I like Lexus, I even own a 2017 LS460. I’m not sure it was taken right, but I think he said this nearly $80,000 car has 1” less rear legroom than a $25,000 car. I could have misunderstood though. I know I sat in one recently when I brought my LS460 in for service and I first put the front seat in my position then sat behind myself and it was really quite a crammed feeling in the rear seat. Especially since new cars are going to that slanted rear type design it really cuts into the rear headroom.

    I just feel Lexus missed the mark here. No V8, no LWB option, less rear headroom, smaller seats etc etc. I believe all of their competitors offer a LWB option and more rear headroom. I don’t know who or what market this was designed for but probably not for people driving others around. If you have $80,000 you have a lot of options. These go beyond the $100,000 mark, and for that much you can get even more interesting cars, heck for a car with minimal rear legroom, $100,000 I’d rather go for the LC500 at least you get a V8 and a much nicer well built interior and you still have cramped rear seats since the new LS doesn’t really seem the chauffeur type car anyways.

  26. You should have someone drive you while you are in backseat. Cant tell anything from just sitting still and car not moving

  27. with cvt transmission you can not compete the rivals.Toyota materials with different name want to sale luxury but they cant.

  28. This was my dream car but a more affordable and just as luxurious option is the 2019 ES. However if I get insane amounts of money, I'll be putting a 2020 7 Series PHEV in my driveway. A more practical option would be the 2019 Accord Hybrid Touring. Still, Lexus is doing an amazing job with their vehicles!

  29. I had a chance to seat inside this car but I was shocked by its headroom being so small. I am 5ft 11in and my head touches the ceiling of this car.

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