2018 Lexus LC Overview
Pros & Cons
- High-end interior quality
- Powerful V8 engine
- Refined ride
- Extremely comfortable seats
- Frustrating infotainment controls
- Small cargo space
Notable for 2018
- All-new model
Lexus LC Rankings and Research
The 2018 Lexus LC ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Sports Cars category. Currently the Lexus LC has a score of 9.4 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 9 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.
- #1 in Luxury Sports Cars
2018 Lexus LC Pictures
2018 Lexus LC Review
The 2018 LC is Lexus' brand-new luxury sports car, and it debuts with a bang. It has an incredibly luxurious interior, and its performance is impressive, even for its class.
Is the Lexus LC a Good Car?
The 2018 LC encompasses nearly everything that makes a luxury sports car great: performance, elegance, quality, and comfort. With a standard V8 engine that makes nearly 500 horsepower, the LC is a beast off the line.
Though performance is impressive, the LC's luxurious interior may be even more impressive. The cabin is swaddled in high-quality materials with an elegant design, and the seats offer all-day comfort. There are a few downsides, like poor cargo room and a meddlesome infotainment system, but they're not enough to take away from this coupe's appeal.
Should I Buy the Lexus LC?
The luxury sports cars class features some of the best vehicles on the road, including long-time superstars like the Porsche 911, as well as brand-new or relatively new offerings like the Acura NSX and Jaguar F-Type. However, the all-new 2018 Lexus LC is one of the best buys you can make in this stacked class.
Though its starting price ($92,000) is toward the high-end of the class, the Lexus LC represents a better value than its top rivals. The 911 has a similar base price but can get very expensive quickly. The NSX has one of the highest prices in the class at $156,000. The F-Type has an appealing starting price of around $60,000, but you'll have to pay much more to bring it in line with the LC.
We Did the Research for You: 9 Pieces of Data Analyzed
To help you decide if the all-new 2018 Lexus LC is right for you, we've compiled all the information you need in one comprehensive Lexus LC review. We analyzed reviews from professional auto journalists, EPA estimates, engine sizes, infotainment and safety features, and much more to help you make your decision.
Why You Can Trust Us
U.S. News & World Report has been ranking and reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs for a decade, and our autos staff has more than 80 years of combined experience in the industry. To ensure our analysis remains unbiased, we don't accept expensive gifts, incentives, or trips from car companies, and all advertising on our site is handled by an outside team.
How Much Does the Lexus LC Cost?
The 2018 Lexus LC 500 starts at $92,000. A hybrid version, the LC 500h, retails for $96,510. There are a handful of standalone and packaged features that can push the LC's cost north of $100,000. However, unlike some rivals, each LC model only features one available powertrain and drivetrain, so upgrades are focused on safety and convenience features.
In a class where base prices range from about $43,000 to over $160,000, the LC's base price is one of the more expensive. The 2017 Porsche 911, which starts at $89,400, is comparably in both price and performance. However, its price can exceed $200,000 for upper trims. The all-new 2017 Acura NSX starts at $156,000, and like the Porsche, it can cost north of $200,000 with added packages. The 2017 Jaguar F-Type has one of the lowest starting prices in the class at $61,400. However, it can end up costing far more than the LC depending on trims and options.
Lexus LC Versus the Competition
Which Is Better: Lexus LC or Porsche 911?
No car embodies the concept of a luxury sports car more than the 2017 Porsche 911. The 911 and Lexus LC are both exceptional cars, and deciding which is better comes down to personal preferences and priorities. The LC is more at home on swooping, winding roads, while the 911 is a beast that can acutely carve corners on the street and on the track. Both cars feature excellent acceleration, but the 911 has more than 20 configurations that up its speed and performance to near-supercar levels. Both have similar starting prices, but the 911 can cost far north of $200,000 depending on trim and options, while LC tops out around $110,000.
The LC has a more upscale and plush interior. Both cars have seating for four, with sturdy front seats, marginal second-row room, and extremely small cargo holds. While the LC's infotainment system is somewhat hard to use, the refreshed version in the Porsche is intuitive and comes with standard Apple CarPlay, which is not available in the LC. The 911 earns a perfect predicted reliability score, which is rare. There's no data yet for the LC's reliability, but Lexus has a very good track record.
Which Is Better: Lexus LC or Jaguar F-Type?
Compared to the Lexus LC, the 2017 Jaguar F-Type may seem like a steal at $61,400. That'll get you a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that is certainly fast but far behind the LC's standard V8. The F-Type is available with a supercharged V8, but it costs more than $105,000, which is more than the base LC.
For overall performance, the LC is the better bet. The Lexus has a smooth ride and confident handling, while the F-Type is agile through turns with direct steering. It also has a stiff suspension that doesn't ride as well as the LC over bumps in the road. You'll get more than double the cargo space with the Jaguar than the Lexus, enough for a couple to take their luggage on a short trip. However, the LC has seating for four while the F-Type is a two-seater. For its price, the F-Type is replete with quality materials inside, but like the 911, it comes up short when compared to the LC.
Which Is Better: Lexus LC or Acura NSX?
The 2017 Acura NSX (known worldwide as the Honda NSX) is an all-new vehicle in the Japanese brand's stable. It succeeds the original NSX, which ceased production in 2005. The NSX is the luxury sports cars for fans of the latest in automotive technology. It was solely designed as a hybrid, but for performance and not fuel efficiency.
The Acura has one of the most expensive starting prices in the class – nearly $160,000. With three electric motors mated to a twin-turbocharged V6, the NSX has instant breathtaking acceleration and more pure, raw, power than the LC. The NSX comes with standard all-wheel drive, which is not available in the LC. That makes the NSX one of the most formidable cornering cars in the class. However, for nearly any situation aside from a drag race, the difference under the hood (or behind the seats, in the case of the midengine NSX) is negligible.
Despite its high price tag, the NSX's interior is underwhelming. Most materials are high-quality, but the LC is more upscale overall. Technology and infotainment features are similar. The LC has a hard-to-use touchpad but physical buttons for common controls, while nearly all of the NSX's functions are controlled through a challenging touch screen. The NSX, though, comes with standard smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If you have the cash and want a vehicle that drives like a supercar and turns heads, the NSX is like almost nothing else. However, Lexus has built an overall superior car in the LC.
LC Engine: 1 Mean and 1 Green
While the Lexus LC is a brand-new car, its engine is not. This 5.0-liter V8 engine is also used in the Lexus RC F and GS F performance models. Horsepower was increased slightly from 467 to 471. A new 10-speed automatic transmission makes its debut.
From a standstill, power delivery is immediate and the transmission shifts exactly when you want it to. Standard paddle shifters and a manual mode also give you more control over the car.
The LC's exhaust note is piped into the cabin but not artificially enhanced in any way. It also reminds you that you're pounding a high-displacement, naturally aspirated engine, when many competitors are downsizing and turbocharging. However, it has a modest output of 398 pound-feet of torque.
Lexus pegs the LC's zero-to-60-mph time at 4.4 seconds. That's about on par with the base models of rivals such as the Jaguar F-Type (4.8 seconds with an automatic) and Porsche 911 (4.5 seconds). Both those cars feature less standard horsepower (340 and 370, respectively) than the LC, and they receive it from turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engines. Both the Jaguar and the Porsche have optional trim levels and engines with power that meet and surpass the LC. The all-new Acura NSX makes 573 horsepower from its twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine and three electric motor hybrid setup. With immediate electric power mitigating any turbo lag, the NSX can do zero-to-60 in under three seconds.
The new LC is also available in a hybrid version, with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and two electric motors. Together the system produces 354 horsepower. It'll still get you moving quickly, but the gas-only model's powertrain has a more exhilarating drive.
LC Gas Mileage: Good With the Hybrid
According to EPA fuel economy estimates, the LC gets 16 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Those numbers are a little below average for the class, but you're not buying a sports car to save at the pump, are you? The EPA hasn't tested the LC hybrid model yet, but Lexus estimates its efficiency at 26 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway.
Gas mileage varies slightly among the LC's rivals: the standard Jaguar F-Type gets 16/24 mpg, while the standard Porsche 911 gets 20/29 mpg. Even though it's a hybrid, the Acura NSX's powertrain is geared more toward performance than efficiency – it only manages 21/22 mpg.
LC Ride and Handling: Sporty, Yet Refined
Lexus says that LC stands for "luxury coupe" – this isn't a car that can hang with a high-performance 911 on a track, going full-speed and braking precisely into a turn. The LC maintains sophisticated driving manners with a comfortable ride quality, precise steering, and a confident sense of direction. It's easy to point it just where you want it to go, though you won't get as much steering feedback from the road as you might from some more athletic competitors. While other sports cars suffer from a rough ride and stiff suspension that focuses on agility, the LC melds its sportiness with daily driving pleasure. Parts of the LC's body are formed from high-strength steel, resulting in a stiff structure that exhibits little body lean and excellent weight distribution.
How Many People Does the LC Seat?
The all-new 2018 Lexus LC seats four people. The front seats are the place to be, with standard leather and 10-way power adjustments ensuring your comfort. These seats earn praise for the support they offer during spirited driving. Available sport seats cradle you even tighter, but they might be a little snug on the sides for some occupants.
While you'll likely have friends or family clamoring to go for a ride in the LC, this isn't a vehicle to pack full of people. Medium-sized adults might fit in the back seat in a pinch, but it's all but useless for taller passengers.
LC and Car Seats
There are two complete sets of LATCH attachments for car seats in the LC. However, the system hasn’t yet been evaluated for its ease of use.
LC Interior Quality
The Lexus LC's interior arguably outshines those of all its rivals, including vehicles from Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz. While the LC's cockpitlike cabin layout is focused on the driver, elegance and quality are everywhere. Most surfaces are covered in soft and plush materials and handsome metal accents. Leather upholstery is standard on the front seats, and can be upgraded with Alcantara suede inserts or wholly covered semi-aniline leather. Other optional touches include an Alcantara headliner.
LC Cargo Space
Luxury sports cars are not generally considered practical vehicles. Even so, you'll get just 5.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the LC – enough room for a few grocery bags. With its battery pack taking up some space in the rear, the LC hybrid only offers 4.7 cubic feet of room.
Most of the LC's top competitors have similarly paltry amounts of space. The Porsche 911 has a front trunk with only 4.76 cubic feet of space, while the Acura NSX offers 4.4 cubic feet. You'll get a decent amount of room in the Jaguar F-Type, with 11 cubic feet. An F-Type convertible has 7 cubic feet.
LC Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
The 2018 LC is packed with features and technology, including standard navigation, satellite radio, and HD Radio. Additionally, an 8-inch digital instrument display shows all of the car's vital info. The centerpiece of the dashboard is a wide 10.3-inch screen that houses the Lexus Enform infotainment system. You can also add cool features like a color head-up display and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system.
With Enform, you can access a suite of apps including Pandora, Facebook, Yelp, and more. However, the LC doesn’t offer support for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Many cars introduced or refreshed over the last few years, like the Acura NSX and Porsche 911, include one or both of these smartphone integration programs.
Though you can't control your phone through the LC, the Lexus Enform Remote app allows you to control various functions of your car through your smartphone. For example, you can remotely start, lock, unlock, or locate your vehicle. It also includes a guest driver program, which allows you to set limits and alerts for speed, distance, or driving proximity.
Unfortunately, the display screen lacks touch functionality, so most commands are performed on a central touchpad like you would find on a laptop computer. Compared to a touch screen or other interfaces that use a knob, the touchpad can be difficult to use. Luckily, there are also physical buttons on the dash for common controls like volume and climate control.
Is the Lexus LC Reliable?
The Lexus LC has not yet been rated for predicted reliability by J.D. Power and Associates. Lexus as a brand, though, along with its parent company Toyota, traditionally ranks as one of the most dependable marques.
The LC's rivals get admirable predicted reliability scores from J.D. Power: The Jaguar F-Type earns a slightly above-average 3.5 out of five, while the Acura NSX gets a solid four out of five. The Porsche 911 receives a perfect score of five, which means it's expected to be among the most dependable cars you can buy.
Lexus LC Warranty
Lexus covers the new 2018 LC with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Acura offers the same coverage terms for the NSX, though they add an additional eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for hybrid components. The Porsche 911 comes with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty, while the Jaguar F-Type has a five-year/60,000-mile warranty.
LC Crash Test Results
Like many luxury sports cars, the 2018 Lexus LC hasn't undergone crash testing by the major safety agencies. It also likely won't, due to the high costs of evaluating expensive vehicles.
LC Safety Features
Expensive sports cars usually don't include many advanced safety technologies, but, like many Toyota and Lexus vehicles, the Lexus LC comes standard with several driver assistance features bundled under Lexus Safety System+. This suite includes adaptive cruise control, which adjusts your preset speed to match that of cars in front of you, automatically slowing the car with traffic; lane departure warning and lane keep assist, which alerts you if you drift out of a lane and gently steers you back where you need to be; automatic high beams that dim themselves in the presence of other cars; and the Lexus Pre-Collision System with forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking, which alerts you of potential impacts ahead, including with pedestrians at low speed, and then automatically slows or stops the car if you don't apply the brakes.
The LC is also available with front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. The latter two features alert you when a vehicle is approaching in your blind spot as you try to merge or make a lane change or when a car passes behind you as you backup. An optional head-up display projects vital information like the car's speed onto the windshield, so you don't have to look away from the road.
Which Lexus LC Model Is Right for Me?
The 2018 Lexus LC comes in two versions: the standard Lexus LC 500 and the LC500h, which is a hybrid. There are no additional trim levels, and most optional features are grouped into packages. Go for the hybrid if fuel economy is a priority – you'll see a10-mpg improvement with the hybrid – but if you're looking for the best driving experience, go for the standard LC 500.
The Lexus LC comes well-equipped with features, so there's no need for many upgrades. Lexus offers amenities such as sport seats, an upgraded sound system, performance steering, and driver assistances features, among several others.
Lexus LC 500
The Lexus LC 500 starts at $92,000 and comes with a 5.0-liter V8 engine, rear-wheel drive, and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include leather front seats, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, an 8-inch LCD information cluster display, Lexus Enform Remote connectivity, proximity key entry, push-button start, a 12-speaker premium audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, navigation, a 10.3-inch infotainment system display screen, the Lexus Enform app suite, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and the Lexus Pre-Collision System with forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking.
Lexus LC 500h
The Lexus LC 500h hybrid costs $96,510. The main difference in the hybrid model is its powertrain, which consists of a 3.5-liter V6 engine, two electric motors, and a multi-stage hybrid transmission, which is a version of an automatic continuously variable transmission.
Lexus LC Packages and Options
Lexus offers several options and packages for the LC. The Performance package costs $5,960 and adds heated and ventilated eight-way power-adjustable front sport seats with Alcantara inserts, a black Alcantara headliner, a carbon-fiber roof and door scuff plates, variable gear-ratio steering, active rear steering, and an active rear spoiler.
For $1,790, the Touring package includes heated and ventilated semi-aniline leather front seats, a 13-speaker Mark Levinson premium surround-sound audio system, and a black Alcantara headliner. The Sport package only adds the front sport seats for $1,400, but you can add a carbon-fiber roof with it for a total of $2,960.
The Convenience package costs $1,000 and adds helpful features like front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. The $250 All-Weather package includes a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel and a windshield wiper de-icer.
Standalone options include a limited-slip differential ($390), a color head-up display ($900), and the Mark Levinson sound system ($1,220).
The Final Call
The 2018 LC 500 started life years ago as a Lexus concept car, the LF-LC. The LC rides on the brand new Lexus GA-L (Global Architecture – Luxury) platform, which will serve as the basis for many future Lexus models.
The all-new 2018 Lexus LC offers exhilarating performance and an impressive, high-quality interior. Though there are cheaper cars in the class, Lexus' top-of-the-line coupe is money well-spent.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.
- "At such low volume, the LC isn't going to redefine Lexus the way the original LS shocked the automotive world. But this car is hugely significant for another reason: It shows that Lexus can create an object of irrational desire. To put it another way, this is a car you want, not a car you need. And we lust after the LC 500. Not because it checks all the boxes, but because it's more than the sum of its specifications. It does most everything well, it has some flaws, but more than anything it has character. Welcome to the new Lexus." -- Autoblog
- "Purists will still be happier with a Porsche 911, and the 6 Series and S-Class Coupe are much better suited to long, leisurely drives (and actually putting someone in the backseat), but with the LC, Lexus finally has a relatively attainable flagship, and one that will certainly turn more heads than a Porsche or a Mercedes in the same parking lot." -- New York Daily News
- "In fact, after driving the LC, I'm done doubting Lexus. With cars like the LFA, RC F and GS F, it's difficult to pan the Japanese luxury brand for being soulless anymore. It's true that the Lexus of old was best-known as the builder of blandly styled, cushy and coffin-quiet automobiles that left a lot to be desired from behind the wheel, but things have changed. The LC is further proof of the company's sportier intentions, both from a styling and performance standpoint." -- CNET