New 2018 Lexus LS Sedan New 2018
Lexus LS Sedan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The all-new 2018 Lexus LS brings together elegance, quality, luxury and value, in a new boldly styled package. It expands on what already made this sedan remarkable: an exquisite interior with luxury amenities and modern tech; fantastic materials and build quality; and a strong emphasis on value that doesn't compromise content. However, the new looks, inside and out, may make this the most polarizing LS to date. This Lexus offers the niceties of models such as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, with a lower starting price and a long tradition of excellent resale value. The new LS is offered with a gasoline engine or hybrid powertrain and the option of all-wheel drive (AWD). The gas-powered Lexus is also available in F Sport trim.

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You'll Like This Car If...

The Lexus LS provides the elegant, upscale interior you'd expect from a luxury car and boasts enviable build quality and resale value. Smooth ride, impressive power and Lexus levels of comfort continue to be LS mainstays. New styling finally gives the LS the looks that make it stand out.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Despite being around for nearly 30 years, Lexus doesn't have the same cachet as other luxury brands. There are more enthusiast-friendly offerings elsewhere, including AMG-tuned Mercedes and a wide variety of Porsche Panamera options. In addition, some of the Lexus' styling cues aren't universally loved.

What's New for 2018

The all-new LS is longer, lower and wider than before, and the luxury sedan's styling is vastly more expressive and distinctive. A new engine/transmission combo powers the Lexus, and a passenger can literally put his feet up while enjoying the LS' all-new new comfort and tech amenities.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Driving the new LS is a more engaging experience than in the past, yet the ride remains comfortable. The LS 500's 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 has more horsepower and torque than the V8 it replaces, and makes the LS plenty quick from a stop. It's backed by a wonderfully smooth 10-speed automatic transmission. With Drive Mode Select in Sport+ mode, suspension and engine and transmission response become more aggressive. For those who prefer to stay on the comfort side of the equation, adjustable air suspension is available for a pleasant highway ride. The LS 500 F Sport doesn't offer more power, but has a firmer ride, quick transmission shifts and feels more agile than the LS 500. Its excellent brakes are strong but not jarring. The LS 500h hybrid, with 354 total system horsepower, is almost as quick as the LS 500, with the added bonus of better fuel economy.

Favorite Features

SUMPTUOUS INTERIOR
The stylish cabin offers tastefully crafted seats inspired by comfortable armchairs, and rich materials throughout. Design cues were inspired by traditional Japanese artisanship, and there are plenty of high-tech amenities. Options include Shiatsu-inspired seat massagers, 28-way-power seats, a reclining rear seat with ottoman, and 23-speaker audio.

HYBRID POWERTRAIN
The LS 500h's powertrain puts out 354 total system horsepower. It offers a seemingly impossible combination of speed -- reaching 60 mph from a stop in 5.1 seconds -- and excellent fuel economy. Lexus estimates the LS 500h will get combined fuel economy as good as 28 mpg.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Always known for its high-quality, well-crafted interiors, Lexus adds modern lines and traditional Japanese artisanship to the equation. There are unique touches, such as available Kiriko-cut glass and origami-inspired cloth panels on the doors. We preferred the beautiful wood accents instead of the glass. Want to be enveloped in luxury? Enjoy the 23-speaker audio, 28-way-power seats, Shiatsu-inspired seat massagers and a reclining rear seat with ottoman. A touch pad accesses some of the car's technology. It isn’t the most intuitive system, but is worth learning, as there are plenty of appealing features there.

Exterior

The Lexus LS has the most expressive styling of any LS to date, and has a newfound attitude. There's a large spindle grille up front -- a design element that's not for everyone -- flanked by jagged, angular headlights. Along the sides, the sharp angles are overtaken by smooth curves. There are design cues that would seem to contradict each other, but end up working well together. The car is longer, lower and wider than the previous LS, dimensions that put its size within a half-inch of its BMW and Mercedes-Benz competition.

Notable Standard Equipment

An all-new 416-horsepower twin-turbo V6 with more horsepower and torque than the V8 it replaces bows in the new LS 500. It's controlled by a new 10-speed automatic transmission. The LS 500 comes as a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) car with 19-inch wheels. All LS sedans give you the ability to choose among Eco, Comfort and Sport drive modes. Inside, the Lexus uses a touch pad to access navigation and more, and there's Active Noise Control to keep the interior quiet. The extensive Lexus Safety System+ is standard, which includes pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, lane-departure alert and adaptive cruise control.

Notable Optional Equipment

The optional hybrid powertrain has plenty of power plus improved fuel economy. Another choice for LS buyers is the F Sport. While it doesn't offer an increase in horsepower or torque, it adds larger brakes and wheels. Adjustable air suspension and all-wheel drive are available on all LS models. The Executive Package includes 28-way-adjustable seats, seat massagers and a reclining rear seat with an ottoman. Adding the Advanced Package to the standard safety suite provides pedestrian alert, active steering assist and front cross-traffic alert. The interior is available with Kiriko glass accents and pleated panels inspired by origami.

Under the Hood

There are two powertrain choices with the LS: The LS 500 is powered by a twin-turbo V6 backed by a 10-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower and torque are higher than last year, and the torque is easier to access. The LS 500h uses an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 and two electric motors, which put out 354 total system horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is matched with a 4-speed automatic gear set, a setup designed to deliver the feel of a 10-speed automatic, with more feedback than you find in a more straightforward CVT. This transmission does offer more feedback, but at times the shifts feel artificial.

3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6
416 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
442 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/30 mpg (RWD), 18/27 mpg (AWD)

3.5-liter Atkinson cycle V6 + 2 electric motors
354 total system horsepower
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 mpg (RWD), 23/31 mpg (AWD)

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Pricing Notes

The 2018 Lexus LS 500 has a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $75,995 (including $995 destination). That’s about $2,500 more than last year’s regular-wheelbase LS, but nearly $4,000 less than the starting price of the long-wheelbase LS 460 – and the 2018 LS has a lot more features and amenities. The hybrid LS 500h starts at $80,505. The LS follows the Lexus philosophy of offering content- and feature-heavy cars for a lower price. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class starts at over $90,000 and the BMW 7 Series starts at $84,000. BMW’s 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid starts at nearly $92,000, and pricing hasn’t yet been announced for Mercedes’ upcoming S560e plug-in hybrid. Check out KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the Lexus LS. Also know that Lexus has a sterling reputation for high resale values over time.

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