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2020 Lexus LS Review

The 2020 Lexus LS places in the middle of our super luxury car rankings. The LS is a powerful car with a lavish interior, but it just doesn't pamper you as well as some class rivals.

Pros & Cons

  • Energetic powertrains
  • Gorgeous, high-end interior
  • Excellent predicted reliability rating
  • Complex infotainment system
  • Rivals have more spacious rear seats

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Lexus LS ranked #4 in Super Luxury Cars. Currently the Lexus LS has a score of 8.2 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 15 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 8.1
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

Is the Lexus LS a Good Car?

Yes, the Lexus LS is a good car. It's available with a gas-only or hybrid powertrain, and it's potent and composed in either setup. The cabin is comfortable and has plenty of panache. Both rows of seats are inviting, and there are plenty of standard and available tech features, as well as a large trunk. The LS’ main drawback is that it lacks a touch screen, and the infotainment system's control interface requires plenty of practice to master.

Should I Buy the Lexus LS?

When comparing it to other super luxury cars, it's hard to make a convincing case for the Lexus LS without mentioning that it costs less than class rivals. In a vacuum, it's a tremendous vehicle, as detailed above. However, despite its obvious quality, this Lexus still can't match the heights hit by some competitors. Other cars worth considering include the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, and Audi A8.

Compare the LS, S-Class, and 7 Series »

Should I Buy a New or Used Lexus LS?

The 2020 Lexus LS belongs to a generation that began with the 2018 model year. For 2018, Lexus redesigned the LS 500 and introduced the 500h hybrid. Updates included additional rear-seat legroom and a more powerful and fuel-efficient engine for the gas-only model. Lexus also made more safety features available, such as a head-up display, front cross traffic alert, side collision warning, and reverse automatic braking. For 2019, the only major change was the introduction of standard Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa, both a first for the LS.

There were no notable changes for 2020, so you could buy a used 2018 or a 2019 LS and get a similar vehicle that likely costs less. You could shop for a previous-generation LS, but you’d miss out on the updates that came with the 2018 redesign.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 LS, 2018 LS, and 2019 LS reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 LS »

We Did the Research for You: 15 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This 2020 LS review uses incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2018.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Lexus LS Cost?

The Lexus LS 500 starts at $75,450. That's one of the lowest starting prices in the super luxury car class. You're looking at a starting price of $79,960 for the LS Hybrid, and the range-topping Lexus LS F Sport goes for $81,450. That's a veritable steal compared to class rivals, many of which have top trims that cost well over $100,000.

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 LS Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lexus LS or Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class stands head and shoulders above the LS. Even by the stratospheric standards of this class, the S-Class has an especially luxurious cabin, with premium materials, plush seats, and loads of technology. The S-Class handles amazingly well and delivers the smoothest ride you can ask for. It also has two high-performance variants that are incredibly powerful, and it comes in sedan, coupe, and cabriolet body styles.

If you're looking for advantages the LS has over the S-Class, there aren't many. The Lexus does cost less, and it's available with a hybrid powertrain. It also earns a higher predicted reliability rating. Other than that, the Mercedes is better in every way.

Which Is Better: Lexus LS or BMW 7 Series?

The BMW 7 Series brings more to the table than the Lexus. This BMW has a wide selection of powertrain options, ranging from a plug-in hybrid to a couple of engines with up to about 600 horsepower. It's more athletic than the Lexus and combines a serene ride with handling agility. Inside, the BMW has more trunk space and roomier rear seats than the Lexus. Both are terrific from the standpoint of interior quality and feature availability (right down to their frustrating infotainment systems). The main advantage the Lexus has over the BMW is its lower price tag.

Which Is Better: Lexus LS or Audi A8?

The Audi A8 and Lexus LS each have some advantages over the other, but the Audi is a bit better overall. It provides more passenger space than the LS and has a much more user-friendly infotainment system. Both vehicles handle well and have elegant interiors.

The LS' engine is more powerful than the Audi's standard engine, and the Lexus offers a hybrid powertrain. It also gets a better predicted reliability rating and costs less than the Audi. On the flip side, the A8 is available with a performance-oriented powertrain that eclipses the LS' output.

Compare the LS, S-Class, and 7 Series »

LS Interior

How Many People Does the LS Seat?

This large sedan seats five people. The front seats are comfortable and have plenty of room for most adults. The rear seats are similarly inviting, though headroom may be lacking for taller occupants.

LS and Child Car Seats

The Lexus LS has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats, as well as a tether anchor for the rear middle seat. The lower anchors are easy to find and access, and the spacious second row makes it easy to load and pull out most types of car seats.

LS Interior Quality

The LS looks beautiful inside, as it seamlessly blends classic and modern stylistic touches. There are plenty of quality materials throughout the cabin, giving it a fitting level of opulence.

LS Cargo Space

This Lexus has a typical amount of trunk space for the super luxury car class. Nonhybrid LS models have about 17 cubic feet of trunk space, and hybrid models have 15.2 cubic feet. In both setups, you can fit about 10 shopping bags or the family's vacation luggage.

LS Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in this Lexus include a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an infotainment system with a 12.3-inch display, the Remote Touchpad controller, navigation, Bluetooth, a USB port, a 12-speaker premium sound system, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and the Lexus Enform app suite.

Available features include a panoramic glass roof, quad-zone automatic climate control, a 23-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound stereo, and a 7-inch rear center-console touch screen.

The infotainment system’s touchpad controller can be frustrating, and it’s distracting to use while on the go. Rival vehicles with full touch-screen interfaces are more intuitive. However, the track pad does offer some helpful features, like zooming and swiping.

Read more about interior »

LS Performance

LS Engine: Hybrid or Not?

The standard LS features a 416-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine. LS Hybrid models come with a V6 and two electric motors that combine to make 354 horsepower. In both setups, the LS never feels underpowered, even at highway speeds. And while it's no dragster, the LS is fairly quick off the line.

LS Gas Mileage: In Line with Rivals

The difference in fuel economy in this class is only a few miles per gallon, and the LS' ratings are in line with its super luxury car competitors. The LS 500 gets 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, while the LS 500h gets 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

LS Ride and Handling: Both Passable

The Lexus LS holds up well on winding roads and is poised around corners. It can feel a bit stiff at times, but the optional air suspension results in an extremely comfortable ride.

Read more about performance »

LS Reliability

Is the Lexus LS Reliable?

The 2020 Lexus LS has a great predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Lexus LS Warranty

Lexus covers the LS with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. The LS Hybrid comes with an eight-year/100,000-mile hybrid component warranty.

Read more about reliability »

LS Safety

LS Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2020 LS. This is common for high-end luxury vehicles.

LS Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane tracing assist, automatic high-beam headlights, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Some of these features are part of the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0.

Available active safety features include a surround-view parking camera system, automatic lane change assist, front cross traffic alert, and a 24-inch head-up display.

Read more about safety »

LS Dimensions and Weight

The LS is 17.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,707 to 5,027 pounds.

Where Is the Lexus LS Built?

Lexus builds the 2020 LS in Japan.

Which Lexus LS Model Is Right for Me?

The Lexus LS comes in three trims: LS 500, the hybrid LS 500h, and LS 500 F Sport. The LS 500 and 500 F Sport come with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The LS 500h's hybrid powertrain consists of a V6 engine, two electric motors, and a continuously variable automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive can be added to any model for $3,220.

The LS has a long list of standard features, so it's a smart buy. Most optional features are luxury upgrades for the seats and interior design, and those come in packages that range from around $3,700 to about $23,100. You can also pick and choose from some individual options, like a panoramic glass roof, an adaptive air suspension, a head-up display, a Mark Levinson stereo, and a surround-view parking camera system. Note that the LS F Sport model isn't available with any of the luxury upgrade packages.

Lexus LS 500

The Lexus LS 500 starts at $75,450. Standard features include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, 16-way power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, proximity keyless entry, remote start, a power rear sunshade, and a power hands-free trunk.

The standard infotainment system features a 12.3-inch display, the Remote Touchpad controller, Bluetooth, a USB port, a 12-speaker premium sound system, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and the Lexus Enform app suite.

Standard active safety features include front and rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

For $3,730, the Interior Upgrade package adds semi-aniline leather upholstery, a 28-way power-adjustable and massaging driver's seat, and heated rear seats.

The $12,290 Luxury package builds on the previous package by adding a 28-way power-adjustable and massaging passenger seat, quad-zone automatic climate control, 18-way power-adjustable and reclining rear seats, and a rear-seat center console with a 7-inch touch screen.

The Executive package costs $17,100 and includes all of the amenities of the Interior Upgrade and Luxury packages, along with power-retractable front headrests and 22-way power-adjustable massaging rear seats.

You can add an upgraded suite of driver assistance features for $3,000. The Lexus Safety System+ A includes enhanced adaptive cruise control with automatic lane change assist, front cross traffic alert, and a 24-inch head-up display. Other individual options include a panoramic glass roof ($1,000), an adaptive air suspension ($1,500), the head-up display ($1,220), adaptive headlights ($300), a 23-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound stereo ($1,940), and a surround-view parking camera system ($800).

Lexus LS 500h

Starting at $79,960, the hybrid Lexus LS 500h offers the same standard and optional features as the gas-only LS.

Lexus LS 500 F Sport

The Lexus LS F Sport starts at $81,450. It features sportier exterior design elements, front sport seats, a performance digital instrument cluster, a sport-tuned suspension, and performance brakes. The optional Performance package costs $9,700 and includes rear-wheel steering, active stabilizers, and variable-ratio steering. 

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 2020 Lexus LS specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Lexus LS is relaxing to drive and has a beautiful, comfortable interior. It sits in the middle of our super luxury car rankings largely because some cars in the class are virtually flawless. The LS may not quite hit those heights, but it's still a great car, and it's an intriguing choice in the class.

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

  • Having debuted last year as an all-new generation, the 2019 Lexus LS large-luxury sedan comes with a conundrum. On one side of the argument are impeccable build quality, wonderful materials, bet-your-life-on-it reliability, attention to detail, convenience features, safety equipment, space, comfort, technology, golden resale values, relatively reasonable pricing, and pleasurable dealer experience. For those with the funds, a new LS should be a no-brainer. The reasons why are a lack of driving feel (even the optional F Sport package for the non-hybrid LS 500 doesn’t improve matters much) and the designs -- both exterior and interior. We’re not saying these are bad things, but each buyer has to decide whether such aspects are acceptable. Many people will find the pros outweighing the cons." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "Don't let the sharp angles and bold style fool you: The … Lexus LS 500 is traditional Lexus throughout. A comprehensive redesign inside, outside and underneath places the LS once again in the same rare air as recently updated large luxury sedan designs from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. The cushioned ride and whisper-quiet interior are made to pamper, and the cutting-edge tech delivers increased driver safety. The LS 500 reminds you that Europe doesn't have a lock on world-class luxury." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "The … LS provides a much-improved overall experience compared to its predecessor. The new car is more interesting, quicker, more efficient, and more spacious for rear-seat passengers than the outgoing model. Unlike the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, there's no 12-cylinder model to solidify top-tier luxury-brand status, but the Lexus still has its own appeal." -- Motor Trend (2018)
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