Monday, November 8, 2021

2021 Lexus LS 500 AWD: The Brand’s Flagship Executive Sedan


Highlight: The Lexus LS 500 is available in a hybrid configuration.

Test Vehicle's MSRP: $105,015 (Base LS Non AWD$77,075)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a rear camera; a pre collision safety system; low light pedestrian detection and daytime bicyclist detection; a lane departure warning system with steering assist; an automatic high beam system; a radar activated cruise control system; road sign assist; a lane tracing assist system; a tire pressure monitoring system; and a SOS safety concierge system

Standard Equipment On Test Vehicle: 19-inch wheels; all-wheel drive; run flat tires; a 10-speed automatic transmission; a hands free open/close trunk; auto dimming exterior mirrors with a puddle lamp; an automatic door closer; a power moonroof; a heated leather trimmed steering wheel; power adjustable front headrests; a dual zone climate control system; a power rear sunshade; a variety of driving modes; an intuitive parking assist feature with automatic braking; in-car Wi-Fi; a 12-inch touchscreen navigation system; a remote touchpad; keyless access to lock and unlock doors; a push button ignition system; and Apple and android compatibility with smartphone connectivity

Options: 20-inch wheels; and Mark Levinson 23-speaker; 28-way power adjustable passenger seat with multifunction massage and cushion extender; remote adjustment for passenger seat 18-way power reclining outboard with memory; four -zone climate control concierge with climated front and outboard rear seats; infrared sensors and air purifier, power side window sunshades; semi-anline leather trimmed rear armrest with 7-inch touchscreen controller, rear seat knee airbags; panoramic glass roof; panoramic view monitor; premium wood trim; a heated wood and leather trimmed steering wheel; an adaptive variable air suspension with rapid height; a digital rearview mirror; a radar activated cruise control system; a lane change assist system; a pre-collision braking system; an active steering assist system; a heads up display system; a front cross traffic alert system; premium paint; and exterior gloves

Other Trim Levels:

LS 500 F-Sport

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 12-speaker AM/FM/HD audio system

Bluetooth Connectivity: Standard

USB Connectivity: Standard

Apple/Android Connectivity: Standard

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.5-liter twin turbo, 6-cylinder engine/416-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 18-city/29-hwy

What’s New: For the 2021 model year, Lexus has made a host of enhancements to their flagship sedan. They range from tweaking the suspension system to offering a new 12-inch infotainment screens to adding more leather interior touches.


Exterior styling seems more Porsche-like

All-wheel drive available

Feels more agile than the flagship vehicles from BMW and Lexus, even without the F-sport package

Plush, but supportive seats

Heated and ventilated front seats

Massaging front seats available

Limo-like reclining rear seats available

Roomy interior

New and improved infotainment screens give a crisp look

Dual panoramic roof

An optional upgraded concert sounding audio system with 23-speakers

Optional premium paint job

Lexus has managed to find the perfect balance with the suspension system with the non F-sport package

Some luxury car owners might be expecting a more luxurious floating suspension system

A host of safety driving features

A radar-activated cruise control system with semi-autonomous driving

Run flat tires

Android and Apple smartphone capabilities

The hybrid model has a drive range of 622 miles.


Does not offer the traditional exterior design cues like its competitors from BMW, Genesis and Mercedes-Benz

Difficult to figure out how to turn dial to locate non preset stations

The remote touchpad might be difficult to operate

HUD (Heads Up Display) system not positioned properly

No V-8 engine

No Plug-in like with BMW and Mercedes … Electrification??

Verdict:  For the 2021 model year, the roomy Lexus LS 500 has received a host of significant upgrades to maintain its flagship status. With its Porsche-like side profile, the sedan’s suspension system has been altered to find the perfect balance. In fact, the LS 500 is more engaging to drive than most of the vehicles in Lexus portfolio. However, it still doesn’t like a Porsche and the ride height its significantly higher than in the Porsche Panamera.

Moreover, the limo-like vehicle, which is a contradiction within itself, seemingly is more agile than what one would expect from a flagship sedan. It seemingly feels easier to navigate than the competition from the Germans and the Koreans, with their more traditional exterior styling cues.

To support the driving experience, Lexus interior design team made some much- welcomed improvements to the LS 500. The team has incorporated done everything from adding an all-new 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system to developing plusher seats, while maintaining the appropriate support. In fact, our test model included optional massaging front seats, offering a variety of settings. We found it to be both supportive and what we deemed to be necessary.

Furthermore, our test model was optioned out with the executive package, which offered partially reclining rear seats, built-in visor vanity mirrors and a four-zone climate control system. With this package, the rear seating area can easily be converted to support two or three occupants.

Lastly, while the Lexus LS is only outfitted with a V6, its competitors offer V8 engines. Despite the smaller engine, the 400-plus horsepower engine is more than adequate. Conversely, Lexus is offering a V8 in the brand entry level sedan, the IS. Go figure.

Competition:  Audi A7; BMW 7-Series; Genesis G90; and Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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