The Lexus brand is overflowing with models of all shapes and sizes. Within the SUV segment alone we have the UX, NX, RX, GX and LX. However, no other combination of two letter has been around longer than the luxurious Lexus LS sedan. Having practically debuted alongside the brand itself, the LS has existed since the very beginning. Shaking up the luxury-car market that was primarily dominated by European brands in the early 90’s.
While the two letters remain the same, the Lexus LS has undergone dramatic changes over the years. Gone are the early days of soft luxury and visual restraint. If the LS was a conservative retried businessman in the past, it’s transformed into an edgy millennial with an Ivy League education and flashy media brand in the big city.
For starters, it’s not using a big V8 like most other large and luxurious sedans. Going instead with a 3.4L twin-turbo V6 and 10-speed transmission. While competitors like the BMW 7- Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Audi A8 exude composed, well-rounded luxury from every angle, the Lexus LS500 takes a different approach. Opting for an aggressive design that’s sporty and radically expressive when compared to its German counterparts. The only problem is the mixed message this bold and brazen design sends, since it in no way matches the LS’s soft-riding demeanor.
To help remedy this disconnect, Lexus offers the LS500 with the optional F Sport package. The F Sport tuned adaptive variable suspension was engineered by the same talented team behind the iconic LFA supercar. Though you won’t pull 1.0 g’s on the skid pad, the F Sport suspension tune helps the big LS500 feel a little smaller and more agile than you’d expect. Though still not nearly as athletic as its design would suggest.
Other visual enhancements abound with the F Sport package. On the inside, you’ll find a perforated, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob. Aluminum pedals. Custom F Sport seats, with embossed headrests. Designed to keep you firmly in place through tight turns, with good bolstering and 28-way power adjustability.
The interior is also where you’ll find the only major change for 2023. Thankfully, Lexus’s new user interface makes its way into the LS this year. This improved software is quick responding and more intuitively laid out. Providing a user experience that’s ultimately easier and less distracting. In general, the LS500 continues to inspire with a rich, luxurious interior design. Treating each and every occupant with high quality materials, thoughtfully arranged and meticulously implemented throughout every square-inch of space. There’s a heads-up display, power rear sunshade, ultra suede headliner, panoramic glass roof, 23-speaker Mark Levinson sound system and two captains chairs in the back to really stretch your legs. Everything conspiring to make sure you’re feeling seriously spoiled.
On the outside, a unique front bumper and grille add even more edge to the overall look. With big, beautiful 20” allow wheels in a dark chrome finish. Its long wheelbase is the biggest indicator that ultimately, no matter how aggressively styled, the LS500 will deliver soft luxury before heart pounding performance. If Lexus can lean into the softer side even more, the LS500 might emerge with a more clear, well-rounded direction. Better positioning itself to finally, truly compete with the German luxury powerhouses of our time.
Price as tested: $88,965.00