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MSRP: $75,000 - 84,220

Rankings & Research

The 2018 Lexus LS ranked #5 in Super Luxury Cars. Currently the Lexus LS has a score of 8.6 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 15 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.5
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Lexus LS Review

The fully redesigned 2018 Lexus LS is a well-rounded super luxury car. However, it finishes in the bottom half of our rankings because it fails to match the infotainment offerings and rear-seat space of other cars in the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Attractive interior
  • Lots of seating upgrades
  • Long features list
  • Solid handling
  • Frustrating infotainment system
  • No Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Rivals have more spacious seats

Is the Lexus LS a Good Car?

Yes, the Lexus LS is a good car – after all, a bottom-half super luxury car is still better than a highly ranked car in another class. Completely redesigned for 2018, the LS has almost perfect predicted reliability, poised handling, and an all-new muscular powertrain. Interior quality is up to snuff, and there are loads of standard and available tech features. Both rows of seats coddle occupants in comfort, with several high-end options to upgrade your seating experience. On the downside, the LS’ infotainment system is frustrating and lacks smartphone connectivity technology, which you can find in many nonluxury vehicles.

Should I Buy the Lexus LS?

At $75,000, the LS’ starting price is the lowest in this uber-expensive class. Therefore, buying a new Lexus LS makes sense if you're looking for a good value. On the other hand, if you’re already planning to shell out a ton of money for a premium vehicle, you may want to spend a little more to get one of the best vehicles in the class.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class costs more, but it’s hands-down a more luxurious and better overall car. If you want to save even more money, you could also drop down a class to the Lexus GS. It’s a nice luxury midsize car and costs much less, but the GS is smaller than the LS and lacks some of the truly extravagant bells and whistles.

Compare the LS, S-Class, and GS »

Should I Buy a New or Used Lexus LS?

The Lexus LS is fully redesigned for 2018. It offers revamped styling inside and out, along with a host of other changes. The LS' brand-new platform aims to improve handling and driving dynamics, while also increasing space. It has 3.4 more inches of rear legroom than the outgoing model, and the trunk size increases from 13.9 to 16.9 cubic feet. Several driver assistance and advanced safety features are available for the first time, including a head-up display, pedestrian alert, side collision warning, front cross traffic alert, reverse automatic braking, traffic sign recognition, active steering assist, lane trace assist, and a surround-view camera.

For 2018, Lexus gives the LS an all-new powertrain: a twin-turbocharged V6 that puts out 416 horsepower and returns an estimated 19/30 mpg city/highway. This setup beats out the 2017 model's 386-horsepower 4.6-liter V8, which gets 16/24 mpg city/highway. The Lexus LS 500h hybrid is also new for 2018.

It's likely that you can save money by shopping for a used 2017 or older LS. If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our reviews of the 2017 Lexus LS and 2016 Lexus LS. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Lexus LS »

We Did the Research for You: 15 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.

Why You Can Trust Us

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.

How Much Does the Lexus LS Cost?

The redesigned 2018 LS has a base price of $75,000. While that’s an increase over the previous LS generation, it’s still one of the lowest starting prices in the super luxury car class. The Lexus LS 500 F Sport starts at $81,000, while the hybrid LS 500h retails for $79,510. All-wheel-drive versions of any of those trims add $3,220 to the purchase price.

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 is the model against which all other super luxury cars are measured. The Lexus LS just can’t compete. The S-Class is Mercedes’ flagship sedan, and no expense is spared. You'll find unparalleled levels of interior quality along with practically all the standard and available features you can name. Referring to the S-Class with a "luxury" moniker may not even do it justice. And if that weren’t enough, the S-Class has several powerful engine choices, capable handling, and an incredibly supple ride. You could also spend a small fortune on one of the sedan's performance-oriented AMG models.

Which Is Better: Lexus LS or Lexus GS?

The main differences between the Lexus GS and the LS are price, class, and performance. The GS is a luxury midsize car that costs tens of thousands of dollars less than the LS. The bigger Lexus LS envelops you in a serene, silent cabin teeming in high-quality materials. While the GS has a rich interior, its cabin quality can quite match the LS’. When it comes to performance, the GS is more of a sports sedan designed to deliver behind-the-wheel thrills. The LS, on the other hand, is a cruiser made to get you to your destination in opulence. One type of driving dynamic is not necessarily better, but these cars are designed for two different types of drivers. Keep in mind that these are both great cars, but a test drive can help you sort out your personal preferences.

Compare the LS, S-Class, and GS »

LS Interior

How Many People Does the LS Seat?

The Lexus LS seats five people, and there are numerous available seating upgrades. Both rows have plenty of space, but class rivals offer more room up front and in the back.

LS and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the LS. They’re located in the rear outboard seats. As of this writing, the 2018 model’s LATCH system has not been evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for its ease of use.

LS Interior Quality

You won’t be disappointed by this car’s interior. There are premium materials throughout, and the cabin looks great. Lexus didn’t overlook small details, and the interior gives off a distinctive feel.

LS Cargo Space

The LS has 16.9 cubic feet of trunk space, and the LS Hybrid has 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space. In either model, you’ll have room for roughly a dozen shopping bags. You’ll also have plenty of space for a weekend’s worth of luggage.

LS Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the LS include push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, a moonroof, and an infotainment system with a 12.3-inch screen, navigation, and the Remote Touch Interface, which responds to smartphone-style inputs and includes handwriting recognition.

Available features include quad-zone automatic climate control, a 23-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, the Lexus Enform Remote (which lets you start the car, lock and unlock the doors, and control climate settings from your phone), a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a 7-inch touch screen in the rear seat.

Though you’d expect a super luxury car to offer everything you can think of, the LS isn’t available with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto – two connectivity features that are increasingly common even in nonluxury vehicles. (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.) The infotainment system is complex as well, and the touchpad controller is more cumbersome to use than a touch screen.

Read more about interior »

LS Performance

LS Engine: Hybrid or Not?

The LS has one gasoline-only powertrain and one hybrid powertrain. The gasoline-only LS 500 and LS 500 F Sport feature a 416-horsepower, twin-turbo V6 engine. The LS 500h hybrid features a V6 and two electric motors that produce a combined 354 horsepower. The nonhybrid LS features a 10-speed automatic transmission, while the hybrid comes with a continuously variable transmission.

With either powertrain, you’ll have plenty of power to move this big sedan without any trouble. The 500 and 500 F Sport have slightly better acceleration than the 500h, but the hybrid setup won’t hold you back in any driving situation.

LS Gas Mileage: Nothing to Sneeze At

The LS 500 gets typical fuel economy ratings for the class, earning 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. For comparison, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class earns 19/28 mpg city/highway.

The LS 500h gets better mileage than other super luxury cars, earning 25/33 mpg city/highway.

LS Ride and Handling: Not Sporty, but Capable

Though this isn’t the most athletic car in the class, the LS holds its own when the roads get curvy. Its steering is sharp, and it handles turns well. It also rides smoothly, which is to be expected with a luxury car.

Read more about performance »

LS Reliability

Is the Lexus LS Reliable?

The 2018 Lexus LS has a predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power. A score of three is average for the industry as a whole.

Lexus LS Warranty

The Lexus LS is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Most class rivals have similar warranty terms.

Read more about reliability »

LS Safety

LS Crash Test Results

The 2018 Lexus LS hasn’t yet been put through crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

LS Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection, and pre-collision forward collision warning.

Available active safety features include a 24-inch head-up display, pedestrian alert (which can detect the direction a pedestrian is walking), side collision warning, front and rear cross traffic alert, reverse automatic braking, traffic sign recognition, active steering assist (which automatically controls steering and braking in some situations), lane trace assist (which "traces" the path of the vehicle ahead of you in case there aren’t road lines), and a surround-view camera.

Read more about safety »

Which Lexus LS Model Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Lexus LS sedan comes in three trims: 500, 500 F Sport, and 500h (hybrid). Since the F-Sport only costs $6,000 more than the base model, it's worth splurging for. Upgrades include 28-way power-adjustable sport front seats, a sport-tuned suspension, larger brakes, and sport-inspired interior and exterior design cues.

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 LS specs and trims »

The Final Call

The redesigned 2018 Lexus LS offers solid performance, almost perfect predicted reliability, and a beautiful and feature-laden interior. However, it’s held back by some pretty glaring errors – at least by the absurdly lofty standards of this class. That’s why the Lexus finishes in the bottom half of our class rankings (and why there are probably better buying choices among super luxury cars).

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

  • "After more than a decade of driving two Lexus LS sedans, my father switched brands in the late 2000s despite his trouble-free ownership experience. After he left the brand for something new, the LS became a snoozy yet dependable value-alternative to the class-leading Mercedes-Benz S-Class. With the ambitiously redesigned 2018 Lexus LS, that's no longer the case." -- Motor Trend
  • "Lexus built the 2018 LS on a new platform, gave it a huge design update inside and out, refined the drivetrains, and gave it collision prevention technologies. However it merely inched the infotainment system forward. The new LS doesn't exactly swing for the fences, but makes a compelling argument for itself, especially when you consider a base price that will come in around $75,000, according to a Lexus spokesman." -- CNET
  • "The LS has long been a stalwart, beautifully built, and often boring machine. Lexus has taken a few more design chances with this latest version, and that may pay off in getting it noticed. That is, if anyone cares about big sedans with trunks anymore." -- Car and Driver
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