2019 Lexus LS 500 4-Door Sedan RWD Test Drive

“2019 Lexus LS 500 Sedan RWD”
Elite Flagship Sedan content enhanced
Lexus, Toyota’s luxury division has upped their game of late to a level that’s on a par with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, and some might even be inclined to include Genesis. The top of the Lexus luxury line is represented by the 500 series. There are variations of the Lexus LC 500, “C” designating Coupe models. There are also variations of the Lexus LS series, “S” standing for Sedan models.

This flagship status sedan sets a new value mark for luxury sedans. 2018 marked the 5th generation LS sedan to bow over a nearly three-decades. The base model LS sedan begins with an MSRP of $75,200. A base price that is nearly $4,000 less than the current long wheelbase predecessor despite offering more power, comfort and safety than before.


The LC 500 sedan grew in stature last year. It is longer, lower and wider than the sedan that it replaced – it’s sexier as well. Based on Lexus’ premium GA-L rear-wheel drive platform that first appeared on the 2018 LC 500, a more dynamic driving experience is provided without compromising the comfort level.

Visually the new Lexus LS 500 blends bold expressive lines with a coupe-like profile, featuring blacked-out “B” and “C” pillars and displaying Lexus’s latest family design formula, leading off with a bolder spindle grille, flanked by the Polaric Ellipsoid System compact lens LED 3-projector headlamps and lower air intakes. The grille features a progressively graduated mesh pattern, enlarged from top to bottom, with a bright surround trim, and the headlamp assemblies forming light rows pointing to the grille.
Short front and rear overhangs and pronounced wheel well arches seem to hug the wheels and tires, with a rising lower rocker character line in between. The low, dramatically sculpted hood rises to meet the sharply angled windshield that melds into the gracefully arched and sloping cabin roof that meets the short rear deck with its integrated spoiler effect. The headlights and taillights are literally works of art that work themselves into the elegant body styling. Finishing off the rear are the dual bright exhaust outlets.

Upon entering the cabin, one experiences the inspiration of the “ omotenashi” principle that welcomes and envelops the occupants, showcasing craftsmanship, comfort and cutting-edge design. The interior ambient lighting is inspired by Japanese lanterns while the “Shimamoku”-inspired wood patterns feature bold contrasts between light and dark, giving the wood a more vibrant look. “Takumi” (translated as Master) craftsmanship is evident through out with unique overlapping, textured door panels, accented by Kiriko glass crystal-patterned inserts and hand-pleated door panels.
The Lexus Safety System comes standard on every LS, including Advanced Safety Features and Driver Support provided with: a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Intelligent High Beam headlamps, Lane Departure Alert, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Lane Keep Assist.

Delivering even more is the available Lexus Safety System+ with Pedestrian Alert, Active Steering Assist, Front Cross Traffic Alert, Road Sign Assist, Lane Departure Alert with road edge detection and Lexus CoDrive, which bundles Lane Trace Assist and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control together. Connectivity and Infotainment are provided through Lexus Enform.

Performance is enhanced for 2019 by a 3.5-liter, DOHC, 24-valve V6 twin turbocharged V6 engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and Electronic intake valve timing that delivers 416 horsepower at 6,000 rpm while also developing 442 pound feet of torque in a range from 1,600-4,800 rpm. The longitudinally front mounted engine’s motive force is delivered to the rear wheels via a ten-speed automatic transmission with Direct Shift, manual mode and paddle shifters. Both horsepower and torque represent significant gains over the earlier LS model’s naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8.

My test 2019 LS 500 sedan was in a rear-wheel drive configuration and came with a Liquid Platinum exterior finish, and a Black interior with hand pleated door trim and Kiriko Glass (Crystal-like) door trim accents. The base sticker was set at $75,200., while the final price tag before tax and license came to an estimated 111,925., after factoring in the optional fare and delivery, processing and handling fee. Options which totaled $35,700 included: the Lexus Safety System+; Adaptive Variable Air Suspension with Rapid Height setting; 20-inch split 5-spoke forged alloy wheels; 24-inch HUD ; LED headlamp with adaptive front lighting system; the Executive {Package; with Kiriko Glass trim feature; Mark Levinson audio system with 23 speakers; Panoramic Glass roof; Panoramic View Monitor; and heated wood and leather trim steering wheel.

The 2019 Lexus LS 500 RWD definitely rates flagship status with its sophisticated and elegant, design appeal. In terms of its performance attributes, the turbocharged V6 power is unquestionably more than adequate and delivers a pleasingly raucous note, blipping the throttle during downshifts, when set in the sport + setting of the Drive mode Select knob. One may enjoy the automatic mode for a more relaxing and smooth sojourn or pump up the old adrenaline by manually selecting gears in the Sport Plus mode and nailing the throttle.

Driving dynamics are superb, providing a solid, planted feel, with spot-on steering responsiveness and road-holding grip.
Interior styling showcases not only a smoothly flowing elegance with totally unique and innovative trim treatments, while delivering a comfortable and exceptionally supportive ride quality.


In the final analysis, the 2019 model Lexus LS 500 luxury sedan provides entry into an exclusive class of luxury sedans. Test driving one, will enable consumers to “Experience Amazing” enveloped in seductive technology according to Lexus insiders. It is indeed an elite luxury performance flagship sedan.


Base Price: $75,200.
Price as Tested: $111,925.

Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter DOHC, 24-valve V6 twin turbocharged V6 with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence and Electronic intake valve timing.

Horsepower (bhp): 416 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 442 @ 1,600-4,800 rpm

Transmission: Ten-speed sequential automatic with Direct Shift, manual mode and paddle shifters.

Drive Train: Longitudinally front-mounted engine / RWD

Suspension: Front – Adaptive Variable Suspension; independent, double-joint multilink with forged aluminum components, coil springs, electronically controlled linear-solenoid shock absorbers,stabilizer bar.
Rear – Adaptive Variable Suspension; independent, multilink with forged aluminum components, coil springs, electronically controlled linear-solenoid shock absorbers, stabilizer bar

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs with Electronic controlled braking, four-sensor, four-channel ABS, EBD and BA.

Tires: Bridgestone Turanza EL450 – P245/45 RF20-front / P275/40 R20 rear mounted on 5-“”V”” sculpted polished alloy wheels.

Wheelbase: 123.0 inches
Length Overall: 206.1 inches
Width: 74.8 inches
Height: 57.5 inches
Curb Weight: 4,707 lbs.
Turning Circle: 36.8 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 21.7 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19 mpg city / 30-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.28
0 – 60 mph: 4.6 seconds – Top Track Speed-136 mph

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Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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