The Lexus LS500 is a car of superlatives. With a commanding stance, futuristic looks, angular design lines and majestic road presence; It is a bit difficult to take your eyes off this beautiful vehicle in first glance. But has this not been the case since 1989 when Lexus first launched the LS? I think yes!
Consider the Lexus LS500 as a prized possession. To be showcased in front of a palatial mansion or be paraded among cheering crowds as they welcome their hero back home after a historic win. Such is the elegance and class of this vehicle!
Luck had me review the Platinum trim on the LS500 Hybrid; a car too classy and refined for a rough drifter in his late thirties. It starts on the EV (electric vehicle) mode with absolutely zero engine noise. I slipped the car into drive mode and took the first few hundred meters getting used to the steering & brake response. Once confident of my surroundings, I tested all possible drive modes. EV, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+.
One can’t help but notice that there is clearly more pleasure for the passenger in this car than for the driver. I experienced considerable lag in pressing the pedal and the car taking off. As the car is a 10 speed automatic transmission, the upward gear shifts happen in quick succession and by the time you are at 100 km per hour, you are already in the 10th gear. While this is great for the passengers but not ideal for a spirited driver. Perhaps that is exactly the point in creating the LS500 the way it is. You are to be driven in this elegant looking vehicle that is compounded with confidence and class.
Regardless of drive mode, the suspension and tyres work together to make the best of even a low grade asphalt surface. Tyres give hardly any feedback to the steering wheel and the ride remains smooth as a sharp razor gliding over shaving cream. The steering wheel is light, smooth and the LS500 drives equally good on turns as it dominates the straight roads.
You’ll only get to hear the engine (nice purring sound) when you drive the car in Sport S+ on a manual shift and then the downside is the brake response. It does take longer to stop but people buying or driving the LS500 would either wont be driving fast or would not be allowed to drive fast. I am sure you get my point.
I however, couldn’t resist and did the 0-100 km per hour dash. While I managed a best of 7 seconds, Lexus LS500 spec sheet says better drivers could do it in 5.8 seconds.
Now, coming to the real reason one buys a Hybrid vehicle. The LS500 has an enviable fuel economy of 16.1 kilometers per liter.
Engine: 3.5 Liter – 6 Cylinders
Horsepower: 354 Bhp
Torque: 500 Nm
Drive System: Rear Wheel Drive
Transmission: 10 Speed Automatic
Seating Capacity: 5
The Lexus LS500 is indeed a marvel of superior Japanese Takumi craftsmanship. Main stay of the exterior design is the striking spindle grille (consists of 5032 facets), which is part of the bold new L-finesse design.The overall exterior is aerodynamically designed with specially attention given to the bumper, hood, and wheels.
The LS500 cabin is probably built keeping a quiet sanctuary in mind. Even at highway speeds, there is minimal engine or road noise.
Front Seats are ventilated, spacious, comfortable and offer a 28-way adjustment. It may take you a while to find the perfect seat positioning though.
Steering wheel is a combination of wood and leather, with a very confident feel.
Leather & suede materials are in prominence all around the cabin making it the most luxurious cabin in its class of cars. Audi, BMW and Volvo interiors are comparable but still remain at a distance.Rear seating has amazing leg and head room. LS500 is however more of a 4 seater than a 5. The way the rear seats are designed and cushioned, the middle seat becomes a squeeze. Able just to house an expensive hand bag.Cabin climate is either controlled by the infotainment system in the front or by the screen fitted in between the arm rest. With vents all around the cabin, you are at ease no matter what.
Other technology features include a 12.3-inch central display screen, a navigation system, a trackpad-style infotainment interface, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and a Mark Levinson QLI Reference Surround Sound System with 23 speakers.
The trunk is large and you can fit in a lot of luggage.