Lexus has introduced a significantly improved LS for 2018.
The car has been designed from the ground up around a lightweight platform shared with the LC coupe, and it features two new powertrains, one of which is a hybrid.
The good news is that there's only a small premium for all this as the new LS is priced from $75,995, including destination. That's only slightly up on the $73,515 starting price of the 2017 model.
2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport
Despite the increase, the 2018 LS is still priced well below what the German brands ask for their respective full-size sedans. BMW’s 7-Series starts at $84,095 while the Mercedes-Benz S-Class starts at $97,525. It should be noted that the Mercedes comes with a V-8 in base form while the BMW and Lexus come with 6-cylinder engines.
This makes the LS a bit of a bargain in its class as the design and quality this time around is a much better match with the Germans than the previous-generation car. Just some of the luxuries on offer include one of the largest color head-up displays in the segment, active steering that can avoid a pedestrian ahead, and even a special access mode that lowers the car and opens up the seat bolsters for easy ingress.
The standard powertrain in the 2018 LS is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 producing 415 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The engine is found in the LS 500 model where it is mated to a 10-speed automatic and drives the rear wheels. Adding all-wheel drive is a $3,220 option.
2018 Lexus LS 500h
Also available is an LS 500h model, which is priced from $80,505, including destination. This one is powered by a 354-hp hybrid setup combining a 3.5-liter V-6 with an E-CVT and a 4-speed automatic transmission. Lexus says the setup provides the sportier feeling of having a multi-speed transmission. Here, too, all-wheel drive is a $3,220 option.
The LS 500 is the quicker of the two, needing just 4.5 seconds to hit 60 mph. The LS 500h isn’t far behind, needing 5.2 seconds to achieve the same feat.
An LS 500 F-Sport is available at a starting price of $81,995, including destination. Once again all-wheel drive is a $3,200 option. Buyers can also add a Handling package on the LS 500 F-Sport that adds 4-wheel steering and sport-tuned adjustable air suspension. This extra package costs $9,700 and can only be ordered with rear-wheel drive.