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2019 Lexus 1201 LS 31951 403715
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Introduction

The 2019 LS sedan delivers on all the promises Lexus made when the luxury division was new in 1990. Today’s flagship four-door is powered by a new twin-turbo V-6, is supremely comfortable, and is built to an exceptional standard.

For 2019 the only changes are new 20-inch wheels and the addition of Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa to infotainment.

The 2019 LS has three distinct personalities: the luxurious LS 500 in rear- or all-wheel drive, the high-performance LS 500 F Sport, and the hybrid LS 500h.

The LS 500 commands attention with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 making 416 horsepower mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The LS 500h uses a different V-6 paired to lithium-ion batteries and electric motors, making a combined 354 horsepower.

Fuel economy is strong for a full-size luxury sedan. The EPA rates the LS 500 at 19 city, 30 highway, 23 combined for rear-wheel-drive models, with all-wheel drive getting about 2 less mpg. The rear-drive hybrid LS 500h gets 5 more mpg, at 25/33/28 mpg, while all-wheel drive again drops that by 2 mpg. Both engines require premium fuel.

The LS hasn’t been crash-tested by either the NHTSA or the IIHS, but standard equipment includes automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control.

Model Lineup

Standard equipment on the 2019 LS 500 includes power adjustable leather seats, navigation, a 12-speaker audio system with Bluetooth and USB, and 19-inch wheels. The Executive package adds a regally trimmed rear seat.

The F Sport adds distinct styling features, unique 20-inch wheels, 28-way power sport seats, and aluminum trim and pedals.

Notable options include a 2,400-watt Mark Levinson audio system with 23 speakers.

Walkaround

Compared to the gorgeous LC coupe, the Lexus LS sedan is more subtle. Its elegant styling pushes the luxury-sedan envelope in some ways. Its Z-shaped headlamps carved around a wide spindle grille. Elsewhere it’s more restrained. The trademark grille is finished in different textures depending on the model.

The long roofline sweeps over three windows on each side that give it a gentle, elongated look. The LED taillamps have a Lexus signature that’s gaining familiarity.

Interior

The LS cabin is somewhat radical, with a horizontal and asymmetrical dashboard that emphasizes the car’s width. A wide infotainment display dominates the center of the instrument panel, which also sports a panel of etched glass. The cabin lays on the charm with real wood, leather, metal, and ambient lighting.

The LS’ semi-aniline leather front seats are opulent: plush, supportive, heated, cooled, massaged, and adjustable in no less than 28 directions. The Executive package adds four-zone automatic climate control, 22-way heated and cooled rear seats, a right-side rear seat with a raised ottoman, multiple massage styles, a 48-degree backrest recline, and the ability to push the front passenger seat forward more than 40 inches.

The LS uses a 12.3-inch screen and a touch interface with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa service. The available 2,400-watt Mark Levinson sound system with its 23 speakers is sublime, one of the best we’ve ever heard.

Trunk space is decent at 17 cubic feet of space for LS 500 models and 15.2 cubic feet on the LS 500h, as the battery pack takes up some trunk space.

Driving Impressions

The new V-6 engine with its twin turbos takes a leap forward in engineering sophistication, matching the luxury sedan’s European rivals. It puts out 416 horsepower, driving it from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and onward to a top speed of 136 mph. The 10-speed automatic transmission delivers quick, smooth shifts. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.

The long sedan feels much smaller to drive, thanks to a small steering wheel with a tight turning ratio and rear-wheel steering.

With either the standard coil springs or optional adjustable air suspension, the ride is coddling. The LS is made for comfort, not sport. Its plush ride can be adjusted through its drive modes, but it’s never stiff. The F Sport improves handling with tauter settings and more drive modes.

The 354-horsepower LS 500h hybrid gets points for its power, able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. It’s able to reach 33 mpg on the highway, a feat for a vehicle so large; it can go a few miles on electric-only power.

Summary

The LS 500 lures in drivers with its new twin-turbo V-6 engine and sharp 10-speed automatic transmission. The F Sport has a slight handling edgeΓÇöbut it’s the LS 500h hybrid that’s the performance sleeper, especially if it’s fitted with the extravagant rear-seat executive package.

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2019 Lexus LS
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