Auto Review: 2018 Lexus LS 500

IF you’re in the market for a luxury four door sedan with all the trimmings, or even if you’re not, join us on a journey of discovery. A journey which led us to learn that the 2018 Lexus LS 500 is nothing short of perfection.

That’s some big hype right there, we know, but everything about this car backs up that claim. Let’s start with the semi-aniline leather-accented black interior with crafted latte ornamentation in our test car.

Someone put in some serious hours making sure that all the lines are perfect; starting with the geometric pattern on the passenger dash that flows back along the doors and over the seats in the form of precise stitching.

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It’s accented by floating door arms with LED back lighting that frames the shimmering face of the ornamentation and gives the interior a feeling of endlessness. Under foot you will find a carpet that belongs in a celebrity’s house and a velvety roof lining.

You could literally get in and forget where you’re going because you are transported to a Japanese Zen-like enclosure, and in the meantime the Lexus concierge is attending to your every need.

Not only does the 2018 Lexus LS 500 give you a beautiful amount of interior options to please the eye, but the technology for human comfort is next level kind of stuff.

The car has an impressive arsenal of sensors that monitor the interior temperature, the body temperature of its occupants, and the amount of sunlight coming into the car.

The LS 500 then takes everything into account, and using the vents, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, and the heated steering wheel, brings the cabin temperature to the desired point using four individual climate zones.

So now your as comfy as, in your 28-way adjustable driver’s seat, why not grab a massage. Actually, you can do that in any of the four seats, and better yet, if you are being chauffeured around, this car has another surprise for you.

Park yourself in the rear passenger side seat and recline away, as an ottoman raises itself for you to rest your weary legs. Don’t worry, it won’t hit the front seat either because it knows where it’s positioned.

Oh, and if that front seat is empty, the LS 500 will compact that front seat space to give you more room in the back. While you’re back there, fold down the centre arm rest, where you’ll find a full gamut of controls for all of this car’s creature comforts.

The LS 500 also sports personal screens mounted in the rear of the front seats so you can watch Blu Rays, DVDs and a tonne of other multimedia delights.

Jump back up front and you’ll find Lexus has stuck with their touch pad system for controlling the 12.3-inch multimedia interface. This could be the only chink in the armour of this seemingly endlessly impressive motor vehicle.

But we also realised that when you’re in the LS 500, you are so damned comfortable being caressed by the sweet sound delivered by the 23-speaker 980-watt Mark Levinson sound system, that you probably don’t want to contemplate reaching for a touch screen.

We jest of course, you get use to the mousy touch pad scenario, and the fact it offers vibration feedback means you can pretty much control it without needing to look down.

We think we might stop the review here. Seriously, we don’t even want to tell you about the cars exterior or how it drives because we don’t want you to lose the mental picture of being encapsulated in the 2018 Lexus LS 500.

Okay damn it, we’ll go on. It’s wicked lines are the culmination of thousands of hours of serious Japanese engineering, that includes super cool lighting clusters front and rear that can do everything except light up the Autobots darkest hour.

As with lots of other Lexus models, the logo has been incorporated into the lighting structure by way of sneaky design elements. It rides on awesome looking 20-inch chrome wheels as well, just to make any potential boy (or girl) racers super jealous.

Attached to the fine wheels and tyres is a sophisticated air suspension system with no less than 650 levels of adjustment, tuned to deliver maximum comfort and responsive handling.

This is chink number two, or maybe it’s 1.5. The comfort factor makes the LS 500 feel a little heavy even in Sport+ mode, which in turn makes the car feel like it’s floating on the road. It takes some getting used to, particularly at speed.

This is important when the twin turbos bolted to the 3.5-litre 310kW V6 hit full boost and drive 600Nm of torque through the 10-speed SPDS automatic gearbox in an symphony of sweet engine noise.

All while the variable gear ratio steering and dynamic rear steering assist allows you to throw this big beast wherever you want to. It’s capable of 0-100km/h in 5.0 seconds flat, which is extra impressive for a car that weighs just shy of 2.3 tonne.

Average fuel consumption is a respectable 9.5-litres/100km; again it’s a great result for a big luxury sedan.

Okay, brass tacks time. We were driving the Sports Luxury version, which is in essence the top of the line, that can be driven away for $208,304. The F Sport variant is priced at $203,054.

Now, all of the paint colours and the standard interiors are included in the price. There is however a ‘premium’ interior pack that adds even more cool stuff, and some exclusive design touches, which will set you back a further $10,375.

There are eleven colours to choose from, including Sonic Quartz, Sonic Silver, Titanium, Liquid Metal, Onyx, Graphite Black, Vermilion, Scarlet Crimson, Metallic Silk, Deep Metallic Bronze and Deep Blue.

It comes with a 4-year 100,000km warranty and a 4-year membership to the Lexus Encore Privileges, which provides 24 hour roadside assist and invitations to Lexus events.

Update: Following our review of this vehicle, Lexus has added further enhancements to the safety features of the car, including pedestrian alert and active steering assist.

The new pedestrian alert operates if there is a possibility of the vehicle colliding with a pedestrian ahead. The position of the pedestrian is shown in an animated graphic on the vehicle’s head-up display, aiding the driver’s intuitive recognition of the situation.

Active steering assist is designed to determine when there is a high possibility of collision with a pedestrian in the lane of travel or with some continuous structures, such as a guardrail, and take evasive action.

Our test vehicle was provided by Lexus Australia. To find out more about the 2018 Lexus LS 500, contact your local Lexus dealer.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness


Pros - luxury inclusions and refinement; powerful; good looking.
Cons - price point; touch pad.
Ben Bonatesta
Ben Bonatesta
Ben Bonatesta is a genuine lover of nice things and quality workmanship. He also has a thing for stuff that isn't practical, but has that wow factor. A frustrated creative writer, Ben has a varied work history that has allowed him to pilot everything from top of the line sports cars to dirty old work trucks, farm equipment, and even trains.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> luxury inclusions and refinement; powerful; good looking.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> price point; touch pad.Auto Review: 2018 Lexus LS 500