2018 Lexus LC

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MSRP: $92,000 - 96,510

2018 Lexus LC Review

The brand-new Lexus LC, with its sophisticated cabin and striking performance, ranks high in the luxury sports car class. However, it doesn't quite match the acceleration and handling of some high-performance competitors.




Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 9.2
Interior: 8.4
Safety: N/A
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • High-end interior quality
  • Powerful V8 engine
  • Refined ride
  • Extremely comfortable seats
  • Frustrating infotainment controls
  • Small cargo space

Is the Lexus LC a Good Car?

The 2018 LC is an outstanding luxury sports car. Not only does it have a robust 500-horsepower V8 engine, but its elegant cabin is flooded with lavish materials. A frustrating infotainment system and poor cargo space are not enough to hinder this coupe's appeal.

Should I Buy the Lexus LC?

The all-new 2018 Lexus LC is one of the best luxury sports cars you can get, so long as you're willing to spend almost six figures on a vehicle. It manages to stand out despite being in the same class as icons like the Porsche 911.

Its starting price of $92,000 is steep, but the LC has more value than many of its rivals. At $156,000, the Acura NSX has one of the highest starting prices in the class. The 911 has a similar base price, but it can easily double that price with higher trims. The Jaguar F-Type's $60,000 starting price is appealing, but you'll have to pay a considerable amount to bring it to the level of the LC.

Compare the LC, 911, and F-Type »

Should I Buy a New or Used Lexus LC?

The LC is brand new for 2018, so there are no previous model years to choose from.

We Did the Research for You: 12 Reviews Analyzed

We researched and analyzed 12 professional reviews and combined that analysis with information like EPA estimates, performance specs, available safety features, and much more to create our comprehensive 2018 Lexus LC review.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking and reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, 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 an outside team handles all advertising on our site.

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 Porsche 911, which starts at $91,100, is comparable in both price and performance. However, its price can exceed $200,000 for upper trims. The all-new Acura NSX starts at $156,000, and like the Porsche, it can cost north of $200,000 with added packages. The Jaguar F-Type has one of the lowest starting prices in the class at $59,900. However, it can end up costing far more than the LC depending on trims and options.

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

Which Is Better: Lexus LC or Porsche 911?

The Porsche 911 sets the bar for what a luxury sports car should be. The 911 has more than 20 configurations that up the ante to near-supercar levels. While the LC is more of a grand touring vehicle that is most comfortable on swooping, winding roads, the 911 is at home carving corners on the street or track. Both vehicles have excellent acceleration and similar starting prices, though the 911 can surpass $200,000, while the LC tops out around $110,000. However, for the extra money the 911's performance significantly improves, while the LC's remains largely the same as the base model.

The 911's infotainment system is more intuitive than the LC's. It comes with standard Apple CarPlay, which is not available in the LC. There's seating for four in both models, but the LC has a more lavish cabin. Nonetheless, both vehicles have cramped second-row seats and extremely small cargo holds. Both the LC and 911 are fantastic cars, so choosing between the two comes down to personal preference.

Which Is Better: Lexus LC or Jaguar F-Type?

At $59,900, the base Jaguar F-Type is significantly less expensive than the LC, but it doesn't match the Lexus in our rankings. The F-Type doesn't lack power by any means, but the LC comes with an even more powerful base engine. You can get an optional supercharged V8 in the F-Type, but it exceeds the LC's base price.

The F-Type delivers the type of agile handling you expect from a sports car, but its stiff suspension doesn't handle bumps in the road as well as the LC's. The F-type has more than double the cargo space of the LC but less passenger space and only two seats. The LC's interior also has a higher level of opulence than the F-Types. Additionally, the Jaguar gets a bottom-of-the-barrel predicted reliability score. The LC is the superior choice.

Which Is Better: Lexus LC or Acura NSX?

The all-new Acura NSX (known as the Honda NSX in other parts of the world) succeeds the original NSX, which ended production in 2005. It comes with one of the highest starting prices in the class ($156,000). Acura designed the NSX to be a hybrid for performance as opposed to fuel efficiency. It has three electric motors mated to a twin-turbocharged V6 that's more powerful than the LC's V8. The Acura's powertrain delivers immediate and breathtaking acceleration, and its standard all-wheel drive makes it one of the most formidable corner carvers in the class.

The NSX’s cabin doesn't match the LC's level of luxury. Both vehicles have similar infotainment and technology features, but they also have equally frustrating infotainment controls. However, you have to use a challenging touch screen for nearly all of the NSX's functions, while the LC has some physical buttons. On the other hand, the NSX has standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, neither of which is available in the LC. If you want a vehicle that turns heads and drives like a supercar, the NSX is a fine choice. Otherwise, the LC is the overall superior car. 

Compare the LC, 911, and F-Type »

LC Performance

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.

Read more about performance »

LC Interior

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.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

LC Reliability

Is the Lexus LC Reliable?

The Lexus LC receives an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

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.

Read more about reliability »

LC Safety

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.

Read more about safety »

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).

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 2018 Lexus LC specs and trims »

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
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