The 2020 Lexus LS is riding high off a 2018 redesign and a couple strong sales years. It returns with only one major change: a new Inspiration Series edition, which adds a unique and eye-catching color combination to the base LS 500 trim. The LS is the third model in Lexus’s lineup to receive the treatment, following the LC coupe and the LX SUV.
Choosing Your Lexus LS
The Lexus LS is available in three varieties: LS 500, LS 500h, and LS 500 F Sport. Pricing starts at $76,475 including destination for the LS 500 and only rises to $82,475 for the LS 500 F Sport.
The LS comes with two available powertrains. The LS 500 and LS 500 F Sport feature a traditional gas engine, an impressive 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6. The LS 500h hybrid keeps the V6 architecture, but drops the turbos and adds electric power for better fuel efficiency.
|Fuel Economy (Combined)
|3.5L Twin-Turbo V6
|3.5L V6 Hybrid
The gas engine uses a 10-speed automatic transmission, while the LS 500h gets a nifty four-speed automatic designed for its hybrid powertrain. All trims come standard with rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available for $3,220 extra.
The hybrid is down on power compared to its twin-turbo stablemate, but that doesn’t mean it’s slow. The 500h hustles from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds, a half second slower than the LS 500. Given the substantial bump in fuel economy, that’s impressive.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The 2019 redesign stretched the LS’ wheelbase by more than in inch, resulting in a cavernous interior that seats five passengers in comfort. Lexus goes above and beyond to make occupants comfortable – an optional air suspension raises the car more than an inch to make ingress easier.
Cargo capacity is an impressive 16.95 cubic feet, which is excellent for the class and compares favorably against rivals like the Genesis G90 or Audi A8. The hybrid loses some capacity thanks to its batteries, but still manages 15.19 cubic feet.
The Lexus LS hasn’t been crash tested, but its safety résumé is impressive. A full suite of active safety tech comes on every car, which includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, road sign assist, and automatic high beams.
The optional Lexus Safety System Plus A package ($3,000) adds front cross-traffic alert, an active steering assist system, and lane change assist.
Every LS comes with a 12.3-inch infotainment screen running Lexus’s touchpad-based software. This system has gotten better over time, but it’s still a little clunky compared to the touchscreens of some competitors. If you’d rather not bother, the system is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Echo.
Don’t let the LS 500 fool you: this is no ordinary base trim. Included with every LS 500 is leather upholstery, heated and power adjustable front seats, a power moonroof, and navigation. The wheels are 19-inch alloys, and the cabin comes with active electronic noise cancellation.
A host of packages can take the cabin to the next level, covering everything from four-zone climate control to exotic trim materials. If you prefer to ride in the back, the Executive Package ($17,100) will turn one chair into a shiatsu massage-capable throne with an ottoman, 22-way remote adjustment, and a four-zone climate concierge. The bundle also brings heated and ventilated front and rear outboard seats, butterfly power-retractable headrests, 28-way power front seats, and a 7.0-inch rear touchscreen.
Among the options, standouts include a panoramic glass roof ($1,000), the adaptive air suspension ($1,500), a 24-inch head-up display ($1,220), and a remarkable 23-speaker Mark Levinson sound system ($1,940).
The 2020 Signature Series is a version of the LS 500. It comes in a striking red-brown Lexus calls “Deep Garnet” with 20-inch black chrome wheels and a white leather interior. For those features, mirror-mounted puddle lights, and handcrafted glass interior trim, Lexus will charge you $22,215 over the standard car. The Signature Series will be limited to just 300 units in the U.S.
Commanding a $4,510 premium over the gas-powered LS 500, the LS 500h earns back the money at the gas pump. Other than its hybrid powertrain, it closely resembles the LS 500, sharing nearly identical packages and options.
For unknown reasons, the Executive Package on the hybrid is only available with elaborately patterned Kiriko glass, which is hand-pleated in geometric patterns on the interior door trim. The price? A cool $23,080.
The LS 500 F Sport is Lexus’s gesture toward performance, but it doesn’t add any power. The suspension does get a sharper tune, and the F Sport gains new drive modes for more spirited pilots.
But the LS is still a cruiser, and the F Sport is about aesthetics as much as anything else: 20-inch wheels, suede headliner, aluminum trim, and an exclusive gauge cluster.
If you’d like to double down, the Performance Package ($9,700) adds variable gear-ratio steering, active stabilization, and four-wheel steering.
The 2020 Lexus LS 500 F Sport doesn’t fundamentally change this model's comfort-first persona. Instead, we’d stick with the hybrid, which combines sumptuous luxury with miserly fuel economy.