Lexus LS Review 2024

Lexus LS At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
If you want something different from the usual German luxury cars, the Lexus LS is a distinctive and beautifully crafted alternative.

+Striking design inside and out. Industry-leading build quality and reliability. Loaded with equipment.

-Not quite as spacious as rivals, or as smooth and quiet. Outdated infotainment system.

New prices start from £78,925
Insurance Groups are between 48–50
On average it achieves 95% of the official MPG figure

The luxury saloon car market has long been dominated by German models such as the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But the Lexus LS offers a unique, proudly Japanese take on the formula that is very compelling in many ways.

With its huge, spindle-shaped front grille and angular headlights, there’s certainly no mistaking the Lexus LS for any of its rivals. From there, the car’s body sweeps back into a rather elegant shape – and it’s a similar story inside. The whole interior looks great and you can specify some intricate patterns and gorgeous materials that are hand-crafted using traditional Japanese techniques.

The various high-quality plastics, metals and leathers feel lovely and are put together with absolute precision. The infotainment system has plenty of functionality and is easy to use, but the Lexus LS’s newest rivals are more feature-dense and have bigger screens.

There are quite a lot of buttons on the dashboard, but the layout is straightforward to learn your way around. Some models have a Mark Levinson audio system, which is among the best fitted to any car.

There’s generous space for four tallish adults inside the Lexus LS, if not quite as much as you get in long-wheelbase rivals. There’s a particular lack of headroom in the back, which isn’t ideal for anyone much over six-feet tall.

All the seats are deeply comfortable, though. The front seats offer up to 28-way electric adjustment, lumbar support and heating and ventilation. The top-spec model adds various massage programs and its back seats have all the same features as those in the front. 

The boot is on the small side for this type of car, but it can still hold four large suitcases.

There are three models to choose from: the standard Lexus LS, F-Sport and Takumi. Features additional to those we’ve already mentioned include sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a digital driver’s display, a head-up display, two-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera system.

As the name suggests, F-Sport models have sportier styling, along with air suspension, a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats. The Takumi gets airline-style back seats, plus a rear-seat entertainment system and four-zone climate control. It can even park itself.

The Lexus LS is badged 500h, indicating that it is a hybrid. The engine is a 3.5-litre V6 petrol unit that works with an electric motor to deliver a combined 359PS. It’s reasonably quick off the mark, taking 5.5 seconds to  reach 62mph. However, it only has 350Nm of torque, so doesn’t feel especially punchy once you’re on the move.

The engine is usually almost silent, except when you floor the throttle – at which point the CVT automatic gearbox holds it at quite high revs, which can be a bit intrusive.

By most standards, the Lexus LS is a wonderfully comfortable car to travel in, yet the ride isn’t quite as silky-smooth as that provided by its rivals. Get used to the car’s size and it’s perfectly easy to drive around town – you can twirl the steering with one finger. There is a battery of sensors and cameras to assist with parking, too.

On the open road, the Lexus LS has accurate steering that you trust will position the car where you want it to go. But there’s noticeable body-roll and no real feeling of connection for the driver. The LS can maintain a swift cross-country pace, it just prefers to take things a bit easier. Turn on the massaging seats and you’ll barely notice several hundred motorway miles pass under its wheels.

At the time of writing, Lexus LS prices stretch from £93,000 to £120,000: similar money to its luxury alternatives. Only a limited number is brought into the UK every year, so your chances of getting a discount are low. Fuel economy of 30-35mpg is about what we’d expect, while general running costs are quite reasonable.

You’ll certainly be going against the grain if you buy a Lexus LS. There’s real distinctiveness to its look and feel, and that’s genuinely appealing. It’s not quite as good overall as some of its rivals, but it still has many talents.

What do owners think of the Lexus LS? Check out our Owners' Reviews from real people who live with the car day in, day out. 

What does a Lexus LS cost?