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2021 Lexus LC Review

The 2021 Lexus LC finishes in the top half of our luxury sports car rankings. It's fun to drive, with a comfortable ride and a first-rate interior, as well as an outstanding predicted reliability rating. However, it doesn't have the blinding athleticism of some classmates.

Pros & Cons

  • Engaging driving dynamics and smooth ride
  • Posh interior
  • Terrific predicted reliability rating
  • Vexing, distracting infotainment controls
  • Miniscule trunk

New for 2021

  • New convertible body style
  • Android Auto debuts and now standard
  • Suspension updates

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Lexus LC's #6 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Sports Cars category. Currently the Lexus LC has a score of 8.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 21 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 8.9
Interior: 7.3
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Lexus LC?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Lexus LC a Good Car?

Yes, the Lexus LC is an excellent car. Available as a coupe and now as a convertible, this Lexus has punchy V8 and hybrid powertrain options, the latter of which gets great gas mileage for the class. The LC handles well and rides smoothly, making it enjoyable to drive. Inside, you'll find a first-rate interior with supportive seats and a lot of tech features. The LC also has the best predicted reliability rating among luxury sports cars.

Not everything is perfect with the LC, however. Some rivals have more powerful engine options or superior handling, and many competitors have more user-friendly infotainment systems. Also, the LC has an incredibly small trunk, making it hard to stow much more than one or two small bags.

Why You Can Trust Us: 21 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This 2021 Lexus LC review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2018.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

Should I Buy the Lexus LC?

Though it's a great car and there's plenty to like about it, the Lexus LC may not be the right choice for every buyer. That's because it's neither the most athletic nor the most opulent car in the class, and it still carries a starting price north of $90,000. That's not outlandish for a luxury sports car, but class rivals like the Porsche Boxster offer everything the LC does – and then some – for a significantly lower price, making it a much better value.

Other good options to compare against the LC include the Mercedes-Benz SL and the Jaguar F-Type.

Find a 2021 Lexus LC for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Lexus LC: What’s the Difference?

The LC sees one enormous change for 2021: the introduction of a convertible body style. The 2021 LC also gains an updated suspension and standard Android Auto, which previously was unavailable.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 LC »

Here are key changes for the Lexus LC over the past few years:

  • 2018: brand-new model
  • 2019: performance and handling enhancements; Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and a Wi-Fi hot spot added to standard features list
  • 2020: no notable changes
  • 2021: convertible body style debuts; updates to suspension; Android Auto debuts and now standard

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 LC, 2019 LC, and 2020 LC reviews to help inform your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

How Much Does the Lexus LC Cost?

The luxury sports car class is interesting from a cost perspective because almost every car in the segment has a starting price that either sits below $60,000 or above $90,000. The LC falls on the low end of the upper tier. The Lexus LC 500 starts at $92,950, while the hybrid Lexus LC 500h has a base MSRP of $97,510.

Other vehicles with starting prices that are comparable to, or a bit higher than, the LC's include the Mercedes-Benz SL, the Nissan GT-R, and the Porsche 911. These vehicles' top-trim prices all exceed $110,000, making them much more expensive on the high end than a fully loaded LC.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lexus dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lexus deals page.

Lexus LC Versus the Competition

Lexus LC vs. Mercedes-Benz SL

The Mercedes-Benz SL is a two-seat roadster with a starting price that's comparable to the LC's, and the better choice between these two comes down to personal preference. These cars have similar powertrains in terms of muscle, though the Mercedes has no hybrid offering. Both combine capable handling and terrific ride quality, though they lack the elite athleticism of some of their peers. The SL has more comfort and convenience features, including an infotainment system that's easier to use than the LC's. The SL has a larger trunk as well.

Compare the LC and SL »

Lexus LC vs. Jaguar F-Type

The Jaguar F-Type finishes behind the LC in our luxury sports car rankings, but many buyers may find it's a better choice than the LC. Available in coupe and convertible body types, the Jaguar's adept handling makes it incredibly fun to drive, and it has a more diverse engine lineup that ranges from a fuel-efficient and punchy turbo-four up to a brawny 575-horsepower supercharged V8 that's much stronger than any LC engine.

The two-seat F-Type carries a much lower starting price than the LC by roughly $30,000, but it still has a well-built interior and comfortable accommodations. It has more trunk space than the LC, and its appealing standard features list includes a straightforward infotainment system.

Compare the LC and F-Type »

Compare the LC, SL, and F-Type »

LC Performance: Animated and Smooth

LC Engine

There are two powertrain options in the LC: a 471-horsepower naturally aspirated V8 engine in the LC 500 and a 354-horsepower hybrid setup comprised of a V6 engine and two electric motors in the LC 500h. The V8 is mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrid comes with a variable hybrid automatic transmission.

Regardless of which powertrain you select, you’ll get an animated, lively setup. Acceleration comes swiftly, though not blisteringly so, and the V8's throaty exhaust note adds to the experience. The 10-speed automatic transmission makes smooth, timely shifts. The hybrid’s transmission is also responsive, though it sometimes hesitates when jetting away from a stoplight.

LC Gas Mileage

The nonhybrid LC gets 16 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Many rivals get better ratings because they have smaller base engines, but compared to V8-powered competitors, the LC's fuel economy ratings are about average. The LC hybrid earns better ratings of 26 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

LC Ride and Handling

This Lexus provides a cushioned ride, even over rough roads, which makes it a great cruising vehicle. But that smooth ride doesn't hinder athleticism. The LC has sharp steering and strong brakes, and there's little body roll around turns. It can't keep up with uber-athletic rivals like the Porsche 911, but you can have plenty of fun in the LC.

Read more about performance »

LC Interior: Much to Like

LC Cargo Space

Even by sports car standards, the LC has a tiny trunk. The LC 500 provides just 5.4 cubic feet of space, which is only enough room for about three shopping bags. The LC 500h has an even smaller trunk that measures 4.7 cubic feet.

How Many People Does the LC Seat?

The LC seats four people, in theory. The cramped rear seats are uncomfortable for adults for anything more than a short trip. The front seats are roomy, supportive, and comfortable, and the driver has terrific outward visibility. They're also easy to climb in and out of, despite the car’s low positioning.

LC and Child Car Seats

This luxury sports coupe comes with two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear seats.

LC Interior Quality

There's plenty to like about the LC's cabin. It's elegant and attractive, and there are top-shelf materials covering just about every surface. In other words, it looks the part of a luxury car.

LC Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Few infotainment systems are as troublesome as Lexus'. The touchpad controller is hard to operate, and it requires users to spend a long time diverting attention from the road. Smartphone connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are helpful, but they don't let you avoid the track pad entirely.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 10.3-inch infotainment display, a Remote Touch controller, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 12-speaker sound system, two USB ports, Bluetooth, HD Radio, and satellite radio
  • Available infotainment features: a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control,
  • Other available features: a panoramic glass or carbon fiber roof (coupe models), a power-folding soft top (convertible models)

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

LC Reliability

Is the Lexus LC Reliable?

The 2021 Lexus LC has an outstanding predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five.

Lexus LC Warranty

Lexus covers this car with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. There's also an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for hybrid-related components.

Read more about reliability »

LC Safety

LC Crash Test Results

The 2021 LC has not been put through crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

LC Safety Features

Standard active safety features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rearview camera
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Adaptive cruise control

Available advanced safety features:

  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Head-up display

Read more about safety »

LC Dimensions and Weight

This luxury vehicle is about 15.6 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,340 to 4,497 pounds.

Where Is the Lexus LC Built?

Lexus builds the 2021 LC 500 and LC 500h in Japan.

Which Lexus LC Model Is Right for Me?

Lexus offers the LC in two trims: the LC 500 and hybrid LC 500h. LC 500 models are available in coupe and convertible body styles. The LC 500h only comes in the coupe body style.

The main difference between the trims concerns the powertrain. Both have rear-wheel drive and a comparable list of features, including a 10.3-inch infotainment display, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, a 12-speaker premium stereo, and satellite radio. Heated and ventilated front seats and power-adjustable front seats also come standard.

Standard safety features in both models include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and the Lexus Safety System+ suite of driver aids. This technology suite adds a number of features, such as forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

The All Weather package ($250) adds a heated steering wheel. The Touring package ($2,540) includes a heated steering wheel, a 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, and front and rear parking sensors.

The Sport package includes front sport seats, a carbon fiber or glass roof (coupes), a limited-slip rear differential, performance brake pads, and front and rear parking sensors. Pricing for this package varies based on model and roof choice. It's $2,360 with the glass roof in the nonhybrid model and $1,900 in the hybrid. With the carbon fiber roof, prices jump to $3,920 in the nonhybrid and $3,460 in the hybrid.

The Dynamic Handling package ($9,570 in the nonhybrid, $8,290 in the hybrid) adds all of the Sport package's features plus active rear steering, a speed-activated rear wing, carbon fiber door scuff plates, and 21-inch alloy wheels.

Lexus also offers several stand-alone options with both models. Some of these include a Torsen limited-slip rear differential ($460), a head-up display ($900), front and rear parking sensors ($500), and the 13-speaker Mark Levinson stereo ($1,220).

Lexus LC 500

With a starting MSRP of $92,950, the Lexus LC 500 features a 471-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 engine mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The LC 500 is also offered in a convertible body style, but Lexus has yet to confirm pricing information for the LC convertible.

Lexus LC 500h

The hybrid Lexus LC 500h has a base MSRP of $97,510. It pairs two electric motors with a 3.5-liter V6 engine to produce 354 horsepower. It also has a variable hybrid automatic transmission and a lithium-ion battery.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lexus dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lexus deals page.

See 2021 Lexus LC specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Lexus LC doesn't lead the pack in any one area, but it does a lot of things well, which is why it places in the top half of our luxury sports car rankings. The LC is powerful, agile, and fun to drive, and it has a stylish, well-built cabin. There are plenty of worthy alternatives, some of which provide more bang for your buck, but buying an LC won't leave you disappointed unless you're looking for a serious car to take to the track.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Whenever we drive a Lexus LC, we're impressed – and the 2021 Lexus LC is no exception. With its beautiful styling and gorgeous interior, this 2-door Lexus proves its worth as a luxurious, grand-touring machine. It has the muscle, technology and swag to compete with European coupes costing much more." -- Autotrader
  • "With its outstanding build quality, absolute dependability, and traditionally strong resale values, the 2021 Lexus LC is a sensible automotive indulgence." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2020 LC is a stunning example of contemporary design, with sleek bodywork and subtle details that wouldn't be out of place on a concept car. While the Lexus sports car has a hefty curb weight and an uninspired hybrid powertrain, it also has a mighty V-8 that sounds great and one of the nicest interiors on the planet. The only other warts on this vehicular beauty are a frustrating infotainment system and a small trunk. Still, the LC is the most desirable Lexus in a long time. It accelerates on command and drives with a feeling of solidity. The 2020 LC could be lighter and a little more athletic, but it's guaranteed to make its driver look and feel like a star." -- Car and Driver (2020)
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