2012 Lexus LFA

2012 Lexus LFA Review

Note: This review was created when the 2012 Lexus LFA was new.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine
  • Nimble handling
  • Highly-customizable, opulent interior
  • High price
  • Minimal cargo space
  • Unrefined automated manual transmission

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Lexus LFA has a score of 7.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 7 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 7.1
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.6
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Lexus LFA Overview

Test drivers write that there’s a lot to like about Lexus’ first exotic sports car, but unfortunately there are also quite a few areas where the 2012 Lexus LFA doesn't do well. From a performance standpoint, the LFA earns recognition for its strong V8 engine, which was derived from Toyota’s now-defunct Formula 1 efforts. The LFA also has a carbon-fiber and aluminum body structure to reduce its weight and increase structural rigidity. Combined with its performance-tuned suspension, reviewers say that the result is a car that handles, steers and brakes with impressive poise.

Unfortunately, most auto writers dislike the LFA’s six-speed single-clutch automated manual transmission. They say it lacks the refinement of the dual-clutch transmissions available on many of its competitors, and that it has trouble finding the right gear if you’re just cruising around in automatic mode.

The cockpit of the Lexus LFA is both luxurious and high-quality. LFA buyers can choose from a multitude of available fabric and color combinations to personalize their LFA, and with just 500 planned for production, the added personalization only adds to the LFA’s exclusivity. And while getting in and out of the LFA can require a bit of contortion, reviewers generally agree that the seats are comfortable. Still, cargo space is minimal, and while some test drivers say that the Lexus’ interior tech has a leg up on its European rivals, others counter that the LFA’s controls still require some attention to master.

Still, with a base price of $375,000, perhaps the biggest complaint about the Lexus LFA is its price tag. “The LFA is behind the current crop of supercars in certain areas, one of them being performance per dollar,” writes Motor Trend. “Several of them match or beat the LFA's performance at half or less the price.” 

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re not put-off by the LFA’s high price, the Lamborghini Aventador is worth serious consideration. The Aventador starts at almost $380,000, but its 700-horsepower V12 engine means that you’ll get a lot more performance. With a zero to 60 mph time of just 2.9 seconds, the Aventador is also 0.7 seconds quicker to 60 mph than the LFA.

The LFA’s level of performance can also be had for significantly less money as well. If you’d like to save more than half of the LFA’s MSRP, consider the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Starting at $183,000, the SLS closely matches the LFA’s performance abilities with a 563-horsepower V8 and a zero to 60 mph time of 3.7 seconds.

2012 Lexus LFA: The Details

The 2012 Lexus LFA starts at $375,000 and features a 4.8-liter V10 engine that generates 552 horsepower. A six-speed automated manual transmission routes power to the rear wheels, and the LFA maintains a relatively light weight thanks to its body, which is constructed of aluminum and carbon-fiber.

Standard features include 20-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, leather or faux-suede Alcantara upholstery, Bluetooth and a 12-speaker stereo with a six-disc CD changer and USB interface. The Configuration 2 package adds a Mark Levinson surround sound stereo and navigation. The Configuration 3 package adds the above features plus Lexus’ Enform telematics system and XM Radio with traffic and weather updates.

  • "Out of the box, Toyota’s first supercar beats a Ferrari. Yeah, you read that correctly. If Toyota put the same soul and passion into the rest of its cars, the company would be unbeatable." -- Car and Driver 
  • "A number of cars can match or beat the LFA's lofty performance figures at a fraction of the price, and some of them boast more exotic surnames. But for those who assign value to exclusivity (only 500 are to be built), refinement, and high-tech sophistication, the LFA would be a prized addition to their garage." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "There's a good chance Bob Barker and Drew Carey won't be interested in the 2012 Lexus LFA. Considering this Lexus' $375,000 MSRP, the price is almost certainly not right." -- Edmunds 
  • "Lexus is a latecomer to the supercar game, and evidently presumptuous about its position. There's no reason the LFA should cost $217,000 more than the V10 all-wheel-drive mid-engine Audi R8, for example; or twice as much as the Mercedes SLS AMG, which has more horsepower and torque; or $135,000 more than the mid-engine Ferrari 458, with more performance all-around; or the same as the Lamborghini Aventador, with a 700-horsepower mid-engine V12 and a full carbon-fiber chassis, not to mention a lightning-fast transmission and top speed of 217 mph, for those track days at the Bonneville Salt Flats." -- New Car Test Drive 

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode

Best Price Program

Interested in a New?

Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find great deals and get upfront pricing on the.