We drove an all-new $116,000 Lexus LS 500 to see if it can still strike fear into the hearts of Mercedes-Benz and BMW — here's the verdict

Lexus LS500

  • The Lexus LS 500 is all-new for 2018.
  • For Lexus, the LS is its flagship sedan and a reminder of its meteoric rise to become a tier one luxury auto brand alongside Mercedes-Benz and BMW
  • The 2018 LS 500 is powered by a 416 horsepower, 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine. 
  • According to Lexus, the LS 500 can hit 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 136 mph. 
  • We were impressed by the new LS 500’s eye-catching looks, swanky interior treatment, high-quality materials, and smooth powertrain. We were less than enamored with the Lexus Enform infotainment system and an unexpectedly harsh ride.
  • The 2018 Lexus LS 500 starts at $75,000 while our loaded all-wheel-drive test car cost $115,520. 

Lexus is one of the great automotive success stories in recent automotive history. Launched in 1989, Toyota’s premium marque, almost immediately turned the luxury auto market on its head. 

Lexus delivered industry-leading refinement, luxury, technology, and customer service with Toyota’s bulletproof reliability at a mere fraction of the price of its established rivals. 

The brand not only made consumers stand up and take notice, it also forced US and European luxury brands to step up their game amid a period of malaise in the luxury market. 

In many respects, Lexus and its „Relentless Pursuit of Perfection“ is the reason why the modern luxury cars like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, and even the Cadillac CT6 are so freaking amazing. 

Leading the charge for Lexus was its groundbreaking flagship LS400 sedan. (There was also an entry-level Toyota Camry-based ES 250.) The LS pampered its occupants supreme luxury and refinement. The original LS was so smooth that a glass of water left sitting on its engine would be left completely undisturbed even as the driver revved the motor. It’s a party trick Lexus proudly demonstrated in a now iconic commercial

Lexus delivery all of this at significantly lower price point than the competition.

To put things into perspective, a brand new Lexus LS400 costs a mere $35,000 in 1989 while a base BMW 7 Series of the time carried a starting price of $54,000.

Over the years, Lexus has firmly established itself as one of the world’s tier one luxury brands alongside the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW both in terms of sales prowess and prestige. 

For 2018, Lexus introduced the fifth generation LS sedan, this time dubbed the LS500. It’s the first all-new iteration of LS flagship sedan is more than a decade. 

In August, Business Insider had the chance to spend a week with a 2018 Lexus LS500 decked out in a Manganese Luster paint job. As part of our test, we even took the LS on a 500-mile road trip between New York and Washington D.C. 

The 2018 Lexus LS500 starts at $75,000 while our all-wheel-drive test car started at $78,220. With an impressive lineup of optional extras, our test car came to us at an as-tested price of $115,520. 

Let’s take a closer look at the new five generation Lexus LS 500 sedan:

SEE ALSO: We drove a $64,000 BMW X5 and a $65,000 Audi Q7 to find out which one is a better luxury SUV — here’s the verdict

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The Lexus LS 400 took the luxury auto market by storm when it debuted back in 1989.

The LS impressed with its luxury, style, and refinement.

The smoothness and the performance of the LS 400’s 250 horsepower V8 was remarkable.

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Source: Business insider

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