Indeed, the large, smooth and luxurious rear-wheel-drive executive sedan that launched Lexus in America still reigns 35 years later as the premium example of the automaker’s capabilities in comfort, safety and technology.
The turbocharged V6 accelerates smoothly, from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. And the 10-speed automatic transmission is silky smooth.Road, wind and engine noise is practically nonexistent. The rear-wheel-drive LS 500 has an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined. (21 combined with optional all-wheel drive).
High-end materials adorn every inch of the sedan’s interior. The Lexus infotainment system is a touchscreen with advanced voice commands, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and two extra USB ports. A wide range of adjustments in addition to heating, ventilation and massage deliver superior seating. There’s plenty of headroom and legroom for four passengers. And the middle seat in the back is good for adding another in a pinch. The trunk is one of the largest in the class.
The LS 500 offers just one trim level, delivering many of the same decadent features as its German rivals but at a lower starting cost–$76,385 for the 2023 model. From there, buyers choose from individual and packaged options to build their LS according to their level of desired extravagance.
Our tester added the Executive package ($16,855), Safety System+ A package of expanded driver aids ($3,200), the optional 23-speaker Mark Levinson stereo ($1,940), plus panoramic sunroof adding another grand. All in, with a few more frills and delivery, the tag was just over $108K.