What it is: The LS is simply the best. Alan Mulally, when he took over as CEO of Ford in 2006, easily admitted that he owned and drove a Lexus LS because he said it was the finest car in the world. It has long been the measuring stick for luxury sedans, and latest variation from Lexus keeps that tradition alive. The fifth generation Lexus LS premiered as a 2018 model and brought a new spin on the classic. It was the first LS to ever be equipped with a V6 engine (although it is paired to either twin turbochargers or a hybrid system, so additional power is produced). Lexus continues to double down on their modern design with a spindle-shaped grille, and that is certainly present on the LS.
It may be difficult to think about such an expensive car providing value, but the LS is priced considerably lower than its contemporaries at $75,300 base MSRP. That is $8,500 less than the Audi A8 or BMW 7-series and $16,000 less than the Mercedes Benz S-Class, which represent savings that are nothing to scoff at. However, my test model was equipped with the ultra-luxe “Executive Package” ($23,000) which paired with AWD, the optional hybrid system, and a few other options brought the price up to an eye-watering $120,000.
Your eyes do not deceive you; my test model had a single $23,000 optional package, which provides some of the most lavish features I’ve ever seen in a car. The door panels were adorned with cut Kiriko Glass inserts and hand-pleated fabric. The executive portion of the package is for the passenger in the right rear seat, and with a touch of a button, the front passenger seat moves forward and out of the way so that the rear seat can recline and extend an ottoman. In the rear armrest, there is an LCD touchscreen that allows you to activate the integrated shiatsu seat massager and control the climate and radio. It’s really something to behold. Only I am allowed to drive the test vehicles, but with only the lightest of prodding, my wife was enjoying herself in the lap of luxury as I drove her around. Her review: two very relaxed thumbs up.
Don’t feel too badly for me, as both of the front seats are equipped with massage function as well. Clearly aimed at CEOs, I would keep a close eye on any teenagers helping you equip your own LS when at the dealership or you might find a chauffeur’s hat in your Christmas stocking.
The LS packs plenty of technology into the sedan including an adaptive air suspension, a 24-inch wide color heads up display, every safety feature you can think of, and a wonderful stereo. It’s fun to drive when you put it into sport mode, and smooth as butter when cruising.
MPG: 25 city/31 combined/33 highway
Price: $75,300 base price. $118,715 as-tested.
Upsides: Great to drive. Beautiful. Unique options.
Wrap-up: It really doesn’t get much better than this. Well, maybe being driven in one is better than driving one, but the driver seat would be fine for me. It’s hard to imagine anything this side of a Rolls Royce or Bentley providing more luxury. Highly recommended.