2023 Lexus LS 500 F Sport AWD - Luxury with a touch of sport.


Some times the stars align. The week I had the Lexus LS 500 F Sport AWD included a special occasion that called for a really nice vehicle. It worked out perfectly. There is nothing like taking a road trip in a well appointed, comfortable, powerful, luxurious car. 

I admit I never used the 'Sport' setting on the trip; I did use it once to see what it was like and although it wasn't overly sporty (i.e. harsh) I felt comfort was a better setting for the LS.

The LS 500 used to have a V8 but no more. And I never missed it. Under the hood is a twin-turbocharged, 3.4-liter V6 that felt like a big, powerful V8. There is 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque on tap. It isn't the kind of engine that slams you into your seat when you floor it, power is smooth. The lack of drama is belied by the numbers; Car and Driver's test saw 0-60 in 5.4 seconds. All of this is in conjunction with very good fuel economy - I saw 26.6 mpg of combined driving. The EPA rates it at 29 mpg highway and 22 city. 

I've made my feelings of Lexus' front styling - I hate it. But it is distinctive. The rest of the LS is pleasing. It's inside where the stylists were most successful in my opinion.

Okay the red looks really bright but I kind of liked it. Thankfully the annoying little touch pad is gone. I didn't have any unusual problems with the controls and I'm pretty picky.

Our trip was a short over-night jaunt so we didn't have much luggage. If you are going for a longer trip don't worry, the trunk will hold all you need.

A couple of observations. The Dynamic Radar Cruise Control was superb. Often I didn't even notice the LS was slowing because of a slower vehicle in front. It was so smooth. The Pre-Collision System will stop the car if it senses a potential collision. It works.

It is ironic, at least to me, that Lexus is now a standard of luxury. It doesn't seem that long ago (but it was introduced 34 years ago!) that Lexus was a young up-start. Even in 1989 people, car people, were astounded by how good the first models were. I worked for a different Japanese auto company back then and I can tell you they were gob-smacked.

There are now many other choices for a luxury vehicle and some are very, very good. Lexus hasn't been resting on its laurels and they haven't slipped a bit. Lexus is the very reason there are challengers. Even though I have praised others I don't think Lexus will be dethroned any time soon.

Now we come to price. I always feel extremely lucky to drive expensive cars. And even though the Lexus LS 500 F Sport AWD is priced appropriately for its market I could not afford one. Its starting price is $85,585. Add in packages, accessories, delivery, tax and licensing and you're easily pushing $100,000. But it is a Lexus.


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