Edmunds gets a First Drive of the all-new 2018 Lexus LS 500.

Take a spin in the all-new 2018 Lexus LS 500 with Edmunds Senior Writer Mark Takahashi to see if this fifth-generation evolution lives up to expectations. The previous LS was praiseworthy for its comfort and craftsmanship but was knocked for its dull driving feel and slow acceleration. The new LS maintains the best parts of its predecessor and overcomes its drawbacks with engaging driving dynamics and an appropriate amount of power for a car this size.

The old V8 has been replaced by a 416-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that is both more powerful and more efficient. It's paired with a 10-speed automatic to make the most of all available power and the differences are telling. The new LS 500 can now mount a challenge against the German sedans that are renowned for driver engagement without affecting comfort. There's also the LS 500h hybrid model that goes without the turbos but adds two electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack for a combined output of 354 hp. It's estimated to achieve 28 mpg combined, 4 mpg better than the LS 500. Mark says the LS 500h is the way to go since the difference in power is negligible and both models have impressive handling. He even hints that it can actually be fun to drive.

As expected, the interior is impeccable and all-around comfort is commendable. Taller drivers and passengers might notice a lack of headroom, however, so we recommend spending a decent amount of time inside if you test-drive one. The biggest complaint is unfortunately one that Lexus has not addressed with the redesign: the infotainment controller. As Mark put it, "It's probably one of the worst systems, quite honestly." For technophiles, it could very well be a deal-breaker.

Otherwise, the redesigned 2018 Lexus LS is a significant step forward and there's a lot to like about it.

Q: When will it go on sale?
A: Sometime around February 2018.

Q: How fast is it?
A: The LS 500 is estimated to reach 60 mph in 4.6 seconds (1.5 seconds quicker than the previous LS 460). The hybrid LS 500h should reach 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.

Q: How much will it cost?
A: Pricing hasn't been officially announced yet, but it should start right around $75,000 for the base LS 500. That's just a few thousand more than the 2017 model.

Q: What kind of options are offered?
A: There are all the typical safety and convenience options available, along with an executive rear seat add-on that gives the right-rear passenger accommodations that rival what the front seats offer.

Q: What are its main competitors?
A: The less pricey Genesis G90 and Lincoln Continental are strong rivals with the new Lexus LS. Of course the more expensive German sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 can also be considered.

Read our review here: www.edmunds.com/lexus/ls-500/2018/review/

Edmunds – we help you find your perfect car with unbiased and useful reviews, advice, pricing and tools. Visit us at www.edmunds.com.


    • Patriot

      I can't get with the Front end design. yuck. Other than that I'm certain it is a great car.

      about 9 days ago
    • Islandsun Ed
      Islandsun Ed

      The hybrid in the Ls500 and the LC 500 is horrible and slow and sounds terrible Lexus made a big mistake with the hybrid putting a CVT with the hybrid and it does nothing for this beautiful stunning sporty elegant appealing Luxury Car Lexus needs to re-engineer the Hybrid for the LC 500 and the LS500 , because no body would want to drive them or buy them sounding that bad with the fake gear shifting of the CVT Lexus these Beauties Need a Hybrid in the engine compartment the CVT is killing the performance of the car it’s too slow and sounds horrible, and It going to cost sales problems

      about 24 days ago
    • USNVET

      This gentleman is truthful I have the Lexus 460 L AWD and the BMW 750 I L X drive and there are things I would like to take out of the BMW and place in the Lexus . Such as twin turbo 8 cylinder , BMW navigation with heads up display , BMW extra seat extender and the BMW cool and hot seats buttons BUT the Lexus is much more comfortable, much more dependable and for $10,000 the lexus is the better of the cars for rear seat passengers

      about 1 month ago
    • jetdr

      This is how the other half lives!! I could live in this car...

      about 2 months ago
    • E Meyer
      E Meyer

      Nice review.Beautiful car.I had a 95' and have regretted it since I sold it.$7500 rebates on the 2018's now and am seriously thinking about grabbing one now.

      about 4 months ago
    • asdflkjh

      Thumbs DOWN to Lexus starting 2007+

      about 6 months ago
    • wholeNwon

      "There's" is not a grammatically-correct substitute for "there are".

      about 7 months ago
    • Troy Truong
      Troy Truong

      Stop the debate about japanese n german cars. First, german car is a pos. 2nd, german is a pos. 3rd, german car is a pos. 4th, resale value is a pos for a reason. Only rich and ignorant folks buy german cars! U only lease that pos. Popular products does not mean its best bang for bucks!

      about 8 months ago
    • Camilo Gomez Keep
      Camilo Gomez Keep

      Yes it is. It's overly done.

      about 8 months ago
    • Jay RYU
      Jay RYU

      I love lexus ls500 my dream car...his voice insane...

      about 9 months ago
    • PoolBoy

      Once I get my car accident settlement I’ll be having to choose between this and the Audi A8, will be tough granted I know Lexus will last me many many years.

      about 9 months ago
    • truebeliever

      Great review. Love the car

      about 9 months ago
    • Bmwryder

      This car ruined the LS line. I’m 6’2”. I cant sit upright in the back. I can’t have the front seat in my position and get into the rear seat without turning my feet sideways but somehow the car is slightly longer than the pervious long wheel base LS460L. How did they do that? The arm rests on the doors move side to side if any force is applied to them. Everything feels cheaper than the old LS460.

      about 10 months ago
    • indomitable reasoning
      indomitable reasoning

      Lolol Chinese "opposition" opinion to a great Japanese piece of engineer , I would love to see Chinese make it lexus car quality patterns and of course ORIGINALITY lol

      about 10 months ago
    • Wilfredo Paz
      Wilfredo Paz

      I thought the speakers were folding mirrors

      about 10 months ago
    • James He
      James He

      I like this guy!

      about 11 months ago
    • C. Johnson
      C. Johnson

      I didn't know you could kick-close the trunk as well as open it. The engine noise is too much. I liked the quieter shifting much much better. The room in the cabin is disappointing. A lot tighter than my 2013 600 h L.

      about 11 months ago
    • Lilrick96
      Lilrick96 In reply to C. Johnson

      How do you like your 600hl?? I'm thinking about getting one in a couple years

      about 2 months ago
    • Joaquim LLOREN
      Joaquim LLOREN

      Good review very comprehensive and entertaining joyride

      about 1 year ago
    • Happy Engine
      Happy Engine

      Finally an honest review. I like this guy. It seems like a lot of commenters here are Lexus fanboys who cannot stand a constructive criticism.

      about 1 year ago
    • Atheeb Ahamed
      Atheeb Ahamed

      nice review .

      about 1 year ago
    • 747-pilot

      Just the other day, I extensively test drove this vehicle and was extremely impressed by it, *EXCEPT THE MARK LEVINSON SOUND SYSTEM, which is the WORST I have ever heard, especially for older music. It is HORRENDOUS with badly balanced sound, overwhelming and inaccurate mid range, and horrid, resonant, tinny bass*

      By comparison, the Nakamichi system in my 2000 LS 400, blows this system out of the water. This sound system is not even as good as the 4-speaker system in my cousin's Toyota Corolla!!! It is _THAT_ bad! Also the JBL sound systems, I listened to, in the new 2019 Toyota Avalon Limited and the 2018 Camry, are simply FANTASTIC!! (tested my music on them).

      The vehicle itself is EXTREMELY QUIET with literally no ENGINE AND EXHAUST noise below 3000 RPM in *COMFORT* mode. (a *huge* improvement over the LS 460!!!, and back to the DEAD-SILENT, LIBRARY-QUIET days of the LS 400 and LS 430)!! And, in the same comfort mode, it maintains the neck-snapping engine responsiveness and acceleration too, which is an added bonus!! Ride comfort with the air suspension was pretty good too with the *19 inch wheels* - The 20-inch wheels may not be as comfortable!

      Sadly, the sound system may be a deal breaker, unless a way can be found to change it out, without destroying the vehicle's ACTIVE NOISE CONTROL system, which makes it so silent.

      about 1 year ago
    • D LG
      D LG

      No one has hated that damn spindle grill more than me, but I have to admit to me this new LS is the only Lexus ever that this grill looks good on. Honestly, I love this LS. Its beautifully bold and well thought out design and excellent twin turbo V6 make it more than competitive with the Germans, maybe even preferable, from a price and reliability perspective. Nevermind the overweight, unresponsive hybrid trim, I'd go for the F Sport trim with RWD.

      about 1 year ago
    • Ab sr. van de Pol
      Ab sr. van de Pol

      What an underwhelming review, I fell asleep.

      Lexus has done a great job with this LS, excellent car, fit and finish on par, if not better, than S-class and certainly BMW 7 series.
      It is quite a step to offer only a 6 cilinder engine however, but an excellent one it is.

      The car looks far better then the dull 7 series and A8.

      about 1 year ago
    • japanwatchconnection
      japanwatchconnection In reply to Ab sr. van de Pol

      Keep on dreaming!

      about 1 year ago
    • CastrejonHDTV

      I don't like the Shrek horns.

      about 1 year ago
    • bashir6789

      My 2012 Camry hybrid is better! Best car ever.

      about 1 year ago
    • Jose Paulo King
      Jose Paulo King

      You're too far from the steering wheel.

      about 1 year ago
    • ShotsFired andMissed
      ShotsFired andMissed

      Lexus’ taste on the interior seems better than Mercedes to be honest

      about 1 year ago
    • Sojourn RnR
      Sojourn RnR

      "The athletic sounding engine is too loud for me, i prefer the hybrid toyota". 😨😵

      about 1 year ago
    • Retired Early 53
      Retired Early 53

      ONE UGLY OVERPRICED TOYODA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      about 1 year ago
    • SL twentyeight
      SL twentyeight

      Does it have driver massage seat as well? Also hope they add touch screen. Even cheap cars have touch screen. Why this 120k car 20 years behind in tech?

      about 1 year ago