The all-new 2018 Lexus LS 500 luxury sedan begins its new generation with a big new challenge. How to maintain its role as the brand’s flagship… when crossovers and SUV’s are the preference among most customers… especially the ones making premium choices. 

But, the LS does have a long history going for it. This large luxury sedan launched the brand 28 years ago. Initially it was playing catching up to more established German rivals, but with each redesign it has solidly earned its place among discerning drivers. 

It’s now longer and lower than the model it replaces. Built on a new global architecture for luxury cars, the LS 500 follows the sportier approach Lexus has taken of late, with a clearly coupe-like profile. 

At least initially, under these luxurious lines is a new, and first time for the LS V6, a 3.5-liter twin-turbo with 416 horsepower. More than the previous V8. It’s paired with a new 10-speed automatic… which debuted in the LC 500

With all-wheel drive and hybrid options, we chose the rear drive F-Sport model… with all wheel steering… to carve canyon roads near Skywalker ranch in Marin County California.

BEN DAVIS: “With the 5-th generation there’s no more V8’s which long time LS buyers shouldn’t be too worried about because even though it’s a twin turbo V6 it’s definitely the way everything is going these days. It still puts out over 400 lb feet of torque. All that torque’s there in a much lower RPM range as well, so there’s plenty of grunt and it sounds great… not like a V8… but it does sound mean.”

JOHN DAVIS: Upshifts are quick and down shifts are pretty spirited too. The suspension is firm without being too jarring over most road surfaces. 

Inside the LS has a uniquely luxurious layout and design with a wide range of material and trim choices. Lexus has pulled out all the stops here… maintaining their focus that this is still their flagship.

The 2018 Lexus LS 500 hits the lots in February starting around $75,000. 


  • Engine: 3.5 liter
  • Horsepower: 416
  • Price: Starting around $75,000