2020 Lexus LS 500

STYLING

Luxury cars can be ostentatious by design. The exact opposite of that is subdued luxury, and the 2020 Lexus LS 500 is a compelling example. This doesn’t mean the car isn’t exciting, however. Its curves are smooth all around. Between its gigantic, detailed spindle grille and narrow headlights, gander at it from the front and you’ll instantly realize that a no frills, performance-oriented engine is under the hood.  

The LS standard features include 19’ tires and well-designed alloy rims. Upgrades are available to 20’ split 5-spoke forged alloy wheels ($2,450) and a panorama glass roof ($1,000) that make it appear like the roof and rear windshield are one piece. Even with these additions, the 2020 Lexus LS costs less compared to the European rivals in its segment.   

The latest LS is offered in one wheelbase length, which allows for plenty of legroom for rear passengers. The seats and door interiors feature exquisite stitching and Lexus’ craftsmanship shines throughout the sedan. Lexus’ aim for the lap of luxury is heightened in the Executive Package ($17,000), which equips the car with individual rear-seat climate controls, 22-way power-adjustable seats — providing heating, cooling, recline, and massage. Another amenity includes an ottoman for the right-side passenger, a touchscreen to control audio and climate functions, and more.

For the driver and front passenger, there’s no fall-off in luxury trims. The standard seats are adjustable in 28 directions — from the touchpad in the middle of the console. The steering wheel and the door panels are available with an attractive wood trim ($800).

For the audiophiles, a top-notch Mark Levinson audio system with 23 speakers ($1,940) is a treat. Another fun extra is the Panoramic View Monitor ($800). The LS’ trunk is spacious. Whether golf clubs or several large pieces of luggage, fitting them in is not an issue. The cargo area measures at 17 cubic feet for the standard sedan and 15.2 cubic feet in the hybrid, with the battery taking up space. 

FUEL ECONOMY

The 2020 Lexus LS 500 is rated by EPA at 19 mpg city and 30 mpg city, averaging 23 mpg combined. 

PERFORMANCE

The 2020 LS is a sprawling sedan yet it somehow manages to conceal its size. With a 416 hp V-6, its performance, however, is unimpeachable. Stepping on the gas pedal brings the power to life, with the twin turbos generating the sort of kinetic energy you’d expect in an 8-cylinder engine. The 10-speed automatic transmission offers smooth gear transitions. For extra fun, the driver can turn to the paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel.

The turbo engine and gearbox get the job done with finesse and the chassis and suspension are synced up perfectly. The engine is quiet, and virtually can’t be heard at cruising speeds. This is Lexus engineering at its finest, as Active Sound Control and Active Noise Cancellation lessen cabin noise in the LS 500.

Passengers and the driver can chat without any extraneous sounds interfering with their ride, and count on the Adaptive Variable Air Suspension with rapid height ($1,500) to provide an uninterrupted, bump-free experience.  

CONCLUSION

The 2020 Lexus LS 500 has a starting price of $75,450, which is thousands less than its mostly European rivals. With the available options mentioned in the review tacked on, the price climbs to $108,490.

Competition

The big luxury sedan segment has divided itself up along preferences and taste for years. That’s no longer the case today, in large part thanks to the Tesla Model S disrupting the pecking order. 

While BMW and Mercedes are considered the dominant brands, with Audi not far behind, Lexus has been seen as the pragmatic buy. Another serious offering is from Hyundai spin-off Genesis, whose G90 model is a head-on competitor for Lexus and the Europeans. 

While the BMW 7-Series and the Mercedes S-Class are the de facto leaders of the luxury sedan segment, offering powerful engines and style, the LS is an appealing alternative. 


Photo Credit: Copyright 2020 Victor Mosqueda / Car Fanatics Blog

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