The large luxury sedan segment has always been for the richest of the rich. With prices starting well over $75,000, large luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, and the Lexus LS have become synonymous with the wealthy that drive these iconic vehicles, or are driven in them.
While Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7-Series have always led the pack, the Lexus LS hasn’t been too far behind. However, it seems the Lexus LS has always been playing catch-up to the segment leaders. And when you think about it, that’s really not a bad thing. As Mercedes-Benz and BMW spend hours of research and development to figure out what the rich want in these large luxury sedans, Lexus keeps and eye on its competition, learns from their hits and misses, and focuses on making its cars as reliable as they are luxurious.
So when we found out that we would be spending some time in the all-new 2018 Lexus LS 500h we were thrilled to experience all the amenities and luxuries that came with a vehicle of this segment.
2018 Lexus LS 500h Exterior
There is no doubt that the 2018 Lexus LS lineup is the most aggressive and robust looking large luxury sedan in the segment. While Mercedes-Benz and BMW opt for a more elegant and simple design language, Lexus focuses more on making the LS a sleek and sporty vehicle.
The major highlights include the brand’s enormous signature spindle grille, stylish headlamps that add a lot of character, a sleek four-door-coupe-like silhouette, and sharp LED tail lights. The 2018 Lexus LS 500h hybrid has a few model exclusive touches like a blue ‘L’ emblem on the front and back along with a couple of ‘hybrid’ badges so you can flaunt the fact that you care about mother nature.
Size wise, the 2018 Lexus LS 500h is longer, wider, and lower than the outgoing model. Sitting on a wheelbase that measures 123-inch, the 2018 Lexus LS 500h stretches a total of 206-inches in length and spreads a total of 74.8 inches in width. The height of the LS 500h comes in at 57 inches.
Overall, we consider the 2018 Lexus LS 500h the sharpest looking of the bunch, as it really stands out in a segment that often picks a humble and elegant design over something daring and sleek.
2018 Lexus LS 500h Interior
Now here is where things get a little exciting but let’s get the dull stuff out of the way first. Since the new 2018 Lexus LS 500h is longer than the outgoing model, the interior has received some extra cabin space. Legroom for front passengers comes in at a total of 41-inches while rear passengers enjoy a massive 39-inches.
The 2018 Lexus LS 500h also comes with a long list of standard and optional luxury appointments and amenities so bear with us while we go through them. Standard options on the 2018 Lexus LS 500h include a navigation system that goes along with a 12.3-inch display, a remote touchpad to control the options on the screen, Lexus’ Enform infotainment system with App Suite 2.0, a 12-speaker premium sound system, power rear sunshade, ambient lighting, heated steering, dual-zone climate control, 16-way power adjustable heated and cooled front seats, soft-close doors, Bluetooth (with audio streaming), USB, Lexus Enform WiFi (with 4GB one-year trial complimentary) and a range of driver assist features we’ll get into later.
Buyers of the 2018 Lexus LS 500h can add on a bunch of extra options like a 23-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, heated wood/leather steering, a 24-inch heads-up display, and a panorama glass roof. The 2018 Lexus LS 500h also offers a wide range of exciting packages like the Interior Upgrade Package which adds heated rear seats, a suede headliner, leather-trimmed door armrests, and a 28-way power front seats with a massage function. The Luxury Package adds a 28-way power passenger seat with massage, passenger-seat power cushion extender, 18-way heated and ventilated power-reclining outboard rear seats with memory, remote adjustment for the passenger seat, four-zone Climate Concierge and a 7-inch touchscreen display that controls all those functions. The Executive Package will take things to the next level by adding onto the Luxury Package with 22-way power adjustable rear seats with butterfly headrests, multi function massage with heat, an ottoman for the right rear passenger, and much more.
There really isn’t anything you’ll miss in the 2018 Lexus LS 500h, but beware that the price tag can easily crest $100,000.
2018 Lexus LS 500h Performance
The 2018 Lexus LS 500h is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that is mated to the brand’s Atkinson-cycle hybrid system. Total output comes in at 354 horsepower which allows the larger luxury sedan to go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 136 mph. Now of course, since this is a hybrid we’re concerned with fuel economy figures. The 2018 Lexus LS 500h gets a total of 23/31 mpg* (city/highway) for the AWD, which is what we tested.
Overall, the ride quality on the 2018 Lexus LS 500h is remarkably comfortable, and you can pop it in Sport or Sport+ mode to give you some extra throttle response when you’re in a bit of a hurry. The handling on the 2018 Lexus LS 500h is also superb, as it takes corners like a champ. But since this is a large luxury sedan (not to mention a hybrid) we highly doubt you’ll be hitting up the track anytime soon.
2018 Lexus LS 500h Safety
The 2018 Lexus LS 500h comes with a long list of standard driver assist technologies including a pre-collision warning system, pedestrian detection, radar cruise control, lane departure alert, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, rearview camera, pre-collision braking, and much more. Of course, the optional 23-inch heads-up display is pretty helpful as well.
2018 Lexus LS 500h Overall
The 2018 Lexus LS 500h proves not that only large luxury sedans can be sporty and stylish, but also that a hybrid doesn’t have to be boring. With the long list of standard and optional tech and comfort features, you can spec the 2018 Lexus LS 500h any way that fits your lifestyle. Prices for the 2018 Lexus LS 500h start at $79,510** for the rear-wheel-drive model or $82,730** for the all-wheel-drive model. If you’re in the market for a super luxury large sedan visit your local AutoNation Lexus dealer for a test drive today.
*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.