Review and Test Drive: 2019 Lexus LS and LS Hybrid

By Jonathan Spira on 26 December 2019
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2019 Lexus LS sedan

Now in its fifth generation, the current LS made its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and claims a heritage that goes back to 1989, when Lexus first entered the U.S. market.

While the first four generations of the LS were V8 powered and predominantly rear-wheel drive, the automaker offered all-wheel drive, hybrid, and long-wheelbase options. However, the fifth generation is available only with six cylinders (both for petrol and hybrid) and buyers will have to make do with one length.

The current LS was previewed in 2015 as the LS-FC Concept that was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show that year and it shares the GA-L platform with the LC 500 grand tourer.  The petrol variant comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 that develops 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, while the LS 500h features the same Multi Stage Hybrid System that made its first appearance in the Lexus LC coupe.  Both are imposing, powerful, and exceptionally good looking sedans.

One major difference between the current LS and its predecessors is that the fifth-generation model is the first Lexus sedan to feature a six-sided window design.  It also features an outer-slide-type panoramic moonroof as opposed to the more conventional internally retracting kind.  This allowed Lexus to bestow upon the LS a low roofline without sacrificing headroom.


We love the detail-oriented interior design with semi-aniline leather, the posh seating, swooping art wood and beautiful metal finishes.  The wood and leather steering wheel is heated, there’s a 24” (gasp!) full-color head-up display, and there’s a 23-speaker Mark Levinson sound system with 2,400-watts (gasp!) of audio power.

While we don’t love the Remote Touch Interface touchpad control (although it is a great improvement over the previous joystick interface), having Apple CarPlay available neatly remedied the problem. 

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2019 Lexus LS and LS Hybrid

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