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2018 Lexus LS

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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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2018 LS 500 Base 4dr Rear-wheel Drive Sedan
most popular
Price:   -  From $75,000
2018 LS 500 Base 4dr All-wheel Drive Sedan Price:   -  From $78,220
2018 LS 500h Base 4dr Rear-wheel Drive Sedan Price:   -  From $79,510
2018 LS 500 F Sport 4dr Rear-wheel Drive Sedan Price:   -  From $81,000
2018 LS 500h Base 4dr All-wheel Drive Sedan Price:   -  From $82,730
2018 LS 500 F Sport 4dr All-wheel Drive Sedan Price:   -  From $84,220


When Toyota pulled the wraps off their then-new Lexus luxury arm way back in 1989, Americans were left agape as they comprehended the debut brand's sleek and modern LS 400 flagship. That sedan, which was the result of Toyota's multi-billion dollar pursuit to build a better luxury car than anyone else, immediately established street cred for Lexus while sending competitors into a cold sweat. However, the world has since changed, and the ideals of the LS sedan are no longer quite as novel. To rekindle the fire, Lexus has introduced an all-new LS for 2018, with the hopes of recapturing that same quiet but distinctive elegance which separated it from the crowd thirty years ago.

What's New for 2018

The LS is all-new for 2018.

Lexus LS

Choosing Your Lexus LS

In a sign of the times, the big LS loses the eight-cylinder motivation which has been found under it's hood since time immemorial. In its stead are two V6 variants: the twin-turbo 3.5-liter which powers the LS 500 and the LS 500 F Sport, and a hybridized 3.5-liter for the LS 500h.

The LS 500's 3.5-liter V6 uses those two turbos to make a total of 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque - an improvement over the 360 horses and 347 lb-ft of the old V8. Also impressive is the bump in efficiency, with the new model garnering an EPA rating of 19 miles per gallon city and 30 highway for rear-wheel-drive versions and 18/27 for all-wheel-drivers. And to ensure there is no lingering doubt about the dearth of V8 power, the twin-turbo six will outgun the old LS in the 0-60 mph test by getting it done just 4.6 seconds.

The 3.5-liter V6 in the LS 500h swaps out the twin-turbos for dual electric motors and a 44kW battery. The resulting 354 combined horsepower and 5.1 0-60 mph time isn't as potent as the non-hybrid, but when it comes to fuel economy the hybrid will handily outdo the regular model. Specifically, the EPA rates the rear-drive version for 25/33, while all-wheel-drive models are good for 23/31. While the standard LS 500 uses a ten-speed automatic transmission, the 500h uses a traditional four-speed automatic that is paired with a CVT. It is intended to provide the "instinctive" feel of a traditionally-geared ten-speed automatic but with the efficiencies of a continuously variable unit.

Whether buyers purchase their big Lexus sedan in hybrid or non-hybrid form, they'll be getting a boatload of features and technologies. These include a heated and leather-trimmed steering wheel, 16-way power seats that are heated and ventilated, dual-zone climate control, sunroof, navigation, and a 12.3-inch infotainment display. To keep things appropriately hushed, there's active noise cancellation and active sound control. A standard 12-speaker sound system livens things up when the silence becomes overbearing. The Lexus Enform services are also complimentary for ten years and provides services such as maintenance information, roadside assistance, and smartphone-managed controls.

A number of packages can be added on to either the 500 or 500h, and they range from merely expensive to cash-in-the-401k absurd. The most sane upgrade for either model is the $3,730 Interior Upgrade Package. It includes semi-aniline leather trimmings and upholstery, as well as suede headliner, a wood-trimmed steering wheel and shifter, throne-like 28-way power front seats with multi-function massage, and heated rear seats. Unfortunately, Lexus does demand that anyone opting for this package purchase one of three available wood trims ($800) and the $410 heated wood-trim steering wheel. Additionally, 500h buyers must purchase the $220 Cold Weather Package. This bit of chicanery makes the effective price come up to $5,160 for the LS 500h or $4,940 for the LS 500.

Appearing deceptively afforable is the $3,000 Safety System Plus A. This packages includes a suite of active safety features, including all-speed adaptive cruise control, active steering assist and heads-up display integration, intuitive pedestrian detection alert, road sign assist, and a pre-collision system with front cross-traffic alert and automatic emergency braking. To get this, you'll need to also buy the $800 surround-view camera, $1,220 head-up display, nicer wood trim, heated wood wheel, $1,500 adaptive air suspension, $300 LEDs, $1,200 20-inch wheels, and the Interior Upgrade Package. The total price is $12,790 - a tad more than the advertised $3,000.

Taking things up a notch is the $12,290 Luxury Package. Checking this box off nets buyers a passenger-seat power cushion extender, the 28-way power front seats from the Interior Upgrade Package, a remote adjustment for the passenger seat, four-zone climate control, power rear window sunshades, a wood- and leather-trimmed rear-center console with a seven-inch touchscreen, rear-seat knee airbags, rear-seat touchscreen controls, semi-aniline perforated leather upholstery, and heated and ventilated front and outboard-rear seats that are also power reclining. Again, Lexus pulls a fast one and stipulates that buying this package means you need the adaptive air suspension, $1,200 20-inch wheels, $800 panoramic roof, and the heated wheel and fancier wood trim upgrades demanded by the Interior Upgrade Package. Total out-the-door price? A cool $17,000.

There's also the $17,100 Executive Package on tap. It includes a number of the Luxury Package goodies as well as 22-way power multi-function massaging rear seats, right-side power rear recliner with ottoman and shiatsu massage, and butterfly power-retractable headrests. Unsurprisingly, getting the Executive Package means buying the adaptive air suspension, fancy wood, and heated wood-trim wheel, as well as $2,450 20-inch rims and the $1,940 23-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. Out the door cost is $25,000.

That's steep for any automobile that isn't a Rolls-Royce, but it's not quite the most expensive choice on the menu. That honor belongs to the Executive Package with Kiriko Glass, with a price of $23,100 before any of the mandatory add-ons. This package enhances the contents of the regular Executive Package with hand-stitched pleated leather trim and - don't be too surprised - Kiriko glass. It demands the same additional extra-cost features as the Executive Package, along with the panoramic roof. Total cost is $30,200, or about what an average family car goes for these days.

Standalone options include a $1,000 panoramic glass roof, $1,500 adaptive air suspension, $800 surround-view camera, and a $1,940 Mark Levinson Sound System. To save a few bucks, there's a 19-inch wheel option that provides a $40 credit. Twenty-inchers are available for $2,450. Any other options alluded to above are unavailable by themselves - they can only be had as a mandatory upgrade to certain packages. AWD is $3,220 across the board.

Aesthetically, there's ten different paint colors as well as leather-and-trim combinations, though some of these hues and interior trimmings are only available with certain options and packages.

Lexus LS

LS 500

The base model LS 500 is powered by the twin-turbo V6 and has a price tag of $75,995 (including a $995 destination charge). The aforementioned standard features make up the brunt of worthwhile no-cost features, and all available packages and options are also mentioned above.

Lexus LS

LS 500 F Sport

Also powered by that twin-turbo V6 is the F Sport version of the LS 500, which stickers for $81,995. On top of standard LS 500 features, it includes specific 20-inch wheels, more aggressive bumpers, grill inserts, a rear diffuser, and special lower door trim. Performance hardware includes six-piston front brake calipers with 15.7-inch disks and a sport-tuned suspension.

Inside, drivers see LFA-inspired instrumentation while sitting in F Sport-trimmed 28-way power perforated seats that have enhanced bolsters and support. There's also embossed headrests, aluminium-trimmed pedals, an ultraseude headliner, and a specially-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob.

Of all the packages already mentioned, the only two available on the F Sport are the is the Cold Weather Package and the Safety System Plus A. Unique to the F Sport is the $9,700 Performance Package. It comes with variable gear-ratio steering, rear-wheel steering, and active stablizers for better handling. Not wanting to be an outlier, it also requires getting the adaptive suspension and surround-view camera, for a total cost of $12,000.

Lexus LS

LS 500h

Using the hybridized 3.5-liter V6, the 500h goes for $80,505. Standard features, available packages, and standalone options almost exactly match the regular 500; the only real difference is the driver-selectable suspension that is optional on the 500 but is standard issue here.

CarsDirect Tip

It might be hard to believe, but it wouldn't be too difficult to rack up fifty grand in extra with the LS. To avoid falling in that trap, we would recommend getting the Safety System Package and calling it a day. Even though it does cost a steep $12,790 after all is said and done, it comes with every feature you'll ever need and then some.

Get your price on a Lexus LS »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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Contributing Writer

Sharing a platform with the LC coupe, the all-new 2018 Lexus LS continues its luxury mission with an elegant design, opulent interior with plenty of rear seat room, and an abundance of luxury touches. But the V8 is gone, the steering system lacks precision, the LS 500 F Sport's ride is on the firm side, while the infotainment system is hampered by a distracting touchpad and lack of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability.

Best Value

Available in standard 500, 500 F Sport, and 500h trims, pricing for the 2018 Lexus LS begins at $76,025 (including destination) and rises to over $111,000 for a fully-optioned all-wheel-drive model equipped with such niceties as Kiriko Glass interior trim, hand-pleated leather upholstery, front and rear seats with Shiatsu massage, and a 24-inch color head-up display. A single engine and transmission are offered: a 416-horsepower, 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

At this price point, a high level of standard equipment is expected, and the LS doesn't disappoint. In addition to the usual power features, 4G LTE WiFi, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating (heated and ventilated in front), paddle shifters, auto-dimming outside mirrors with reverse auto tilt-down, a moonroof, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen with premium audio, a remote touch interface with dynamic, cloud-based navigation, traffic, and weather, and LED headlights, daytime running lights, and tail lights are all standard.

Safety features include a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, automatic headlights with high-beam assist, and adaptive front lighting.

Optional safety features include a 25-inch head-up display, Intuitive Pedestrian Alert, Front Lateral Side Pre-Collision System with Automatic Braking, Active Steering Assist, and Head-Up Display Integration, front cross-traffic alert, Road Sign Assist, and Lexus CoDrive (combining adaptive cruise control with lane keep assist – may apply a small steering correction).

Here's how we'd build it:

  • Model: 2018 Lexus LS 500
  • Engine: 3.5-liter twin turbocharged V6
  • Output: 416 hp / 442 lb-ft
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: 18 City / 27 Hwy (premium fuel)
  • Options: Adaptive Variable Air Suspension System with Rapid Height Function ($1,500), Heated Wood- and Leather-Trimmed Steering Wheel ($410).
  • Base Price: $79,245 (including a $1,025 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price: $81,155


Lexus LS

The new twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 is able to deliver maximum twist at just 1,600 rpm, where the extra enthusiasm – featuring a zero-to-sixty time of 4.6 seconds in rear-whee-drive LS 500 models – is welcome in a vehicle with a curb weight that ranges from 4,707 to 5,093 pounds.

The LS 500h pairs a 3.5-liter engine with two electric motors, a 44-kw lithium-ion battery, and a four-speed automatic transmission. They hybrid system is good for an EPA-estimated 25 miles per gallon city, 33 mpg highway, and 28 combined with rear-wheel drive or 23/31/26 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Our time behind the wheel was exclusively spent in the LS 500 F Sport with continuously active dampers, air suspension, active sway bars, rear-wheel steering, and driver-selectable Eco, Normal, Comfort, Custom, Sport, and Sport Plus driving modes.

The F Sport suspension works best on smooth roads, where it manages to effortlessly eat up mile after mile on the interstate in serene silence. Activate the adaptive cruise control for a small taste of the automated systems to come, and it maintains a set speed and minimum distance from the vehicle in front. Steering inputs are read accurately, while the brakes have a nice initial bite, are easy to modulate, and offer plenty of feedback.

At the same time, there's not much on-center weight to the steering, while the F Sport package doesn't do the suspension any favors. When it encounters uneven road surfaces, the stiffer damping and run-flat tires contribute to a ride texture that – even in comfort mode – is rumbly over low-frequency bumps and road imperfections and where tar strip-induced tire slap noise is even more evident given the extreme silence of the cabin.


Longer, lower, and wider, with an extended tapered roofline, and with model-first teardrop-shaped side windows behind its rear doors for improved visibility, Lexus' new flagship sedan, although not as stylistically ambitious, borrows a number of styling cues from its stunning coupe counterpart with a more elegant fastback silhouette, Z-shaped headlights, and a multi-faceted rendition of the brand's hourglass grille that's engineered to glint, even in low light.

That sensuous sheetmetal is wrapped around a driver-centric cockpit with a staggering number of trim choices ranging from bamboo and blonde leather to a hand-folded, pleated-fabric and Kiriko cut-glass package. Drivers face a low dash and wasp-waisted binnacle of electroluminescent gauges as well as a 12.3-inch infotainment screen above the center console, while front seat passengers see a backlit panel of glass etched with a Kiriko glass pattern. The opulence continues with LED ambient lighting, floating door arm rests and, on 500 F Sport models, heavily sculpted seats that squeeze wider hips.

Back seat passengers are equally cosseted – the Executive package kicks things up a notch with four-zone climate control, 22-way heated and cooled rear seats, and a right-side rear seat with a raised ottoman, massage functions, 48-degree backrest recline, an access mode that pushes the right front seat forward 40 inches, and a rear armrest with a touchscreen panel to control climate, entertainment, and lighting functions. Ingress and egress are improved on air suspension models, which can rise an inch, while trunk space is very good at 17 cubic feet. The LS 500h hybrid's trunk space drops to 15.2 cubic feet.

At the same time, we continue to be flummoxed by Lexus's choice of an infotainment interface. Here, the haptic-feedback joystick has been replaced by a touchpad similar to those found on laptops. Though an improvement, it's a slight one and remains irritating and often too distracting to operate while driving. In addition, despite a plethora of apps, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay remain MIA – even with the optional Mark Levinson audio system.

The Best and Worst Things

The Lexus LS' lovely design and spacious, striking interior represent a major step forward.

Unfortunately, the uber-annoying haptic-touch joystick has been replaced by a touchpad that's nearly as irritating and distracts from what is otherwise a useful and intuitive infotainment system.

Right For? Wrong For?

Lexus LS

A stunning design, luxurious interior, and a wide range of advanced safety features should appeal to safety-focused and style-conscious buyers.

Enthusiasts, however, will be turned off by a bounding air-sprung ride, a steering system that lacks precision, and handling that, even in the F Sport, can't hold a candle to German rivals.

The Bottom Line

Despite its performance limits and finicky infotainment interface, the 2018 Lexus LS is a solid choice for a big, relaxed luxury cruiser thanks to its stunning new design, supreme comfort, and opulent features.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Available
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
3.5L V-6 / 416 HP / 442 ft.lbs.
10-spd sequential shift control auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
19 / 30 / 24 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
3.5L V-6 / 416 HP / 442 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
19 / 30 / 24 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
21.7 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
17.0 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
99 Cu.ft. / 98 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
206.1 "
Exterior Width
74.8 "
Exterior Height
57.5 " / 57.1 "
Front Headroom
37.3 " / 36.8 "
Rear Headroom
37.3 " / 36.4 "
Front Legroom
41.0 "
Rear Legroom
38.9 "
Front Shoulder Room
58.8 "
Rear Shoulder Room
56.4 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
4,707 Lbs. / 4,751 Lbs.
Wheel Base
123 "
Turning Radius
9.4 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
19.0 " Silver Aluminum / 20.0 " Silver Forged Aluminum / 19.0 " / 20.0 " Chrome Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Pearlcoat Monotone / Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote W/tilt Down Heated
Body-colored With Chrome Insert
Grille Moldings
Metal-look W/chrome Surround
Rear Spoiler
Dual Stainless Steel With Chrome Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Semi-aniline Leather
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
(12-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
(8-way Power)
Front Armrests
(12-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
Bench / Split-bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Seek-scan
12 Pioneer / 23 Mark Levinson
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Power Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Express Open/close
Rearview Mirror
Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver And Passenger
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Rear Side-impact Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Lexus Safety System+ Forward Collision Mitigation / Lexus Safety System+ A - Front Cross-traffic Alert (fcta) Forward Collision Mitigation W/left Turn Assist
Blind Spot Sensor
Blind Spot Monitor Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Departure Alert (lda) With Steering Assist Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Pre-collision System (pcs) W/pedestrian Detection Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Driver Attention Monitor Driver Attention
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Auto High Beam Auto High-beam
Adaptive Headlights
Directionally Adaptive
Parking Sensors
Intuitive Parking Assist Front And Rear
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Major Components Months
72 Months / 70,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
12 Months / 10,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
48 Months / Unlimited Miles
Corrosion Perforation
72 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
48 Months / 50,000 Miles

Used 2018 Lexus LS for Sale

1 vehicles found within 100 miles of your area
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