The 2018 Lexus LS 500h is the most sophisticated luxury hybrid sedan on the market and, for $82,730, has a very competitive price advantage for its class of vehicle.
If you have the resources and want to expand the technology and extend the comfort, upgraded features are available. Some of these add-ons include 28-way power-adjustable front seats with multifunction massage, Kiriko glass interior door trim, and a 7-inch rear armrest touchscreen controller. However the cost of these extras can easily add up to an additional $20,000.
The hybrid model of the LS sedan features a new multi-stage hybrid system that’s capable of 354 total horsepower. The system includes a 3.5-liter V8 Atkinson-cycle gas engine with dual-mode electronically controlled CVT.
The LS 500h ensures comfortable and worry-free driving, even in tough environments, with an AWD Torsen limited-slip center differential, drive mode select (with Eco, Normal, Comfort, Custom, Sport S, and Sport S+ modes), and an electronic steering system. Admittedly, this is a powerful car that achieves 0–60 in 5.2 seconds and comes with a 22.2-gallon gas tank to let you journey from Dallas, Texas, to the Rio Grande River without having to refuel. Not bad, since the LS seats five comfortably, has superb cargo space, and moves its 5,000-pound weight with ease. However, as the LS 500h is a hybrid, I expected a little better fuel economy than 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
Looking at the interior, the sedan’s cockpit is like something found in a fighter jet. It has a multitude of remarkable technology features, notably a navigation system displayed on a 12.2-inch high-resolution touchscreen that includes a remote touchpad and a backup camera.
There is also a 24-inch head-up display that provides all kinds of essential information on the windshield. You must be cautious, however, because when the seat is pushed too far forward, information cannot be fully seen on the windshield.
However, the touchpad will take some skill, practice, and time to master. The pad is terribly sensitive, and I found that it often displayed what I didn’t want after I accidentally hit the wrong spot on the pad.
Other features worth mentioning on the LS 500h include a power rear sunshade, which automatically lowers when the car is in reverse and then rolls up when the vehicle is placed in drive, and a power-tilt/slide moonroof, which proved ideal for star gazing.
The sound system in the LS 500h makes for a pleasant cabin environment and a refreshing comforting atmosphere, with a 23-speaker Mark Levinson Reference surround-sound audio system with digital sound processor, an automatic sound levelizer, a single-disc CD player, and Bluetooth technology. All of this equipment makes for a satisfying driving experience.
Safety is paramount to the Lexus brand. This is apparent in the seemingly unlimited number of safety features. Some of these items include dynamic radar cruise control, lane-departure alert with steering assist, intelligent high beam, and vehicle dynamics integrated management (VDIM). VDIM is an integrated vehicle handling and software control system that adds all kinds of advanced controls to improve braking, traction, brake-force distribution, and other functions.
The 2018 Lexus LS 500h sits low to the ground, so a man of my age may take a little time to enter and exit the vehicle. But the sheer excitement of driving this beautiful vehicle made up for this old man’s minor struggle.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at email@example.com