Buyer's Guide

2021 Lexus Ls
Select a Different Model (4 Available): 500 AWD Sedan
Fuel Economy $ 17 / 27 mpg
Horsepower 416@6,000
Torque 442@1,600
See All Specs
Free Price Quote From a Local Dealer
2021 Lexus LS MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Gorgeous interior trim and materials
  • Updated touchscreen infotainment system
  • Impressive fuel economy

Cons

  • Surprisingly tight second row
  • Polarizing exterior styling

What was the first-ever Lexus? It was the LS, which made its debut for the 1990 model year to launch the Lexus brand. Back then the concept of a large Japanese luxury car was unusual, but no moreā€”just look at Lexus' success today. The current fifth-generation LS went on sale for 2018 and receives a refresh for 2021. As before, a gasoline engine is standard, and a hybrid setup is available. As Lexus' flagship, the LS showcases the brand's capabilities in technology and luxury.

What's New

  • Subtle styling changes are made, including new headlights
  • A new touchscreen-based infotainment system is added
  • The suspension's hardware and calibration are tweaked for a smoother ride
  • Updated pistons make the V-6 engine quieter
  • Transmission tuning is revised for better responses

What We Think

The LS may forever seek to best its European rivals in the luxury full-size sedan segment, but Lexus' flagship provides a distinctive, unique feel.

Stunning materials like cut glass or hand-pleated fabric are offered, which give the cabin an artful ambiance. Impressive technology features are available, too, like a massive 24-inch head-up display and 23-speaker audio system. For 2021 the LS finally ditches its frustrating touchpad-controlled infotainment, switching to a touchscreen setup that's easier to use.

Although handling is agile for such a large vehicle, the LS isn't really a driver's car. When we drove a pre-refresh car, the V-6 engine and inconsistent by-wire brakes made its performance less satisfying than its Teutonic rivals'. However, the available hybrid powertrain returns good-for-the-segment fuel economy.

We've previously criticized the LS' harsh, noisy ride, which Lexus attempts to remedy in the 2021 model with larger liquid-filled bushings and altered spring and damper rates. Yet in a category that's sometimes selected for chauffeur duty, the snug back seat isn't ideal.

The LS isn't the ultimate luxury full-size sedan, but the brand's acclaimed reliability and the car's unique appointments make it worth a look.

Performance and Fuel Economy

In LS 500 models, a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 produces 416 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. It's connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission with RWD standard and AWD optional. In MotorTrend testing, 0-60 mph acceleration has taken between 5.2 and 5.8 seconds. EPA-rated fuel economy should come in at about 19/30 mpg city/highway for RWD models and 18/27 mpg for AWD models.

The LS 500h hybrid also uses a 3.5-liter V-6, but it's naturally aspirated and paired with electric motors. Total system output measures 354 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. An unusual transmission consisting of a CVT combined with a four-speed automatic is used, providing RWD standard or AWD optionally. MotorTrend measured a 5.5-second 0-60 mph time from an AWD LS 500h. Fuel economy is approximately 25/33 mpg with RWD and 23/31 with AWD. The LS 500h is not a plug-in hybrid, but it can travel short distances on pure electric power.

Safety

Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 comes standard on every LS. This driver-assist and active-safety suite comprises front automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beams. The optional Lexus Safety System+ adds enhancements like side automatic emergency braking, front cross-traffic alert, emergency evasive steering, and semi-autonomous lane-change capability.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

Trunk capacity in the LS 500 measures 16.9 cubic feet. However, hybrid componentry in the LS 500h takes up some space, reducing capacity to 15.2 cubic feet. When the optional second-row refrigerator is chosen, trunk capacity measures 14.1 cubic feet.

Front-row headroom is 37.3 inches in the LS, which compares to 41.1 inches in the Genesis G90. Front-row legroom measures 41.0 inches in the LS, quite a bit less than the 46.3 inches found in the G90. Second-row headroom is 37.3 inches in the Lexus and 38.0 inches in the Genesis. Second-row legroom measures 38.9 inches in the LS, a bit more than the 37.8 inches in the G90.

Technology

For 2021 the LS receives a new infotainment system, swapping the previous (infuriating to use) touchpad-controlled interface for a more user-friendly touchscreen setup. As before, the display measures 12.3 inches. Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and built-in navigation are again included, but Android Auto capability is added for the first time.

Premium technology options like a 24-inch head-up display, a 360-degree view parking camera system, and 23-speaker Mark Levinson audio system are offered. The optional Luxury package adds a 7.0-inch touchscreen to the rear seat center armrest to control comfort, climate, and audio settings for second-row passengers.

What Does the F Sport Package Include?

Choosing the F Sport package adds a sporty vibe to the LS. Outside, the front and rear bumpers look more aggressive, and 20-inch dark-finished alloy wheels are fitted. The interior gains 28-way adjustable sport front seats, along with perforated leather on the seating surfaces, steering wheel, and shift knob. Performance data readouts are added to the gauge cluster, and the pedals get aluminum caps. In terms of actual performance, engine output remains the same, but LS F Sport models get a sport-tuned suspension and larger brakes. An available handling package adds variable-ratio steering along with rear-wheel steering and adaptive suspension.

Key Competitors:

2021 LEXUS LS SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: V6 Turbo 3.5 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, 10 Speed Automatic Mode Select with Manual Mode (AGA0)
Trim
500 AWD Sedan
Class
Luxury Passenger Car
Horsepower
416@6,000
Standard MPG
17/27
Body Style
Sedan
Drivetrain
AWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Premium
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
Unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
72
Powertrain Warranty Miles
70,000
Full Warranty Miles
50,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
72
Full Warranty Months
48
Roadside Assistance Miles
unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
48
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$0 1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Lexus announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 02-01-2021
$1000 Lexus announces a Bonus Cash on select models for eligible current owners. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 02-01-2021
$3000 Lexus announces a Retail Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 02-01-2021
$0 0.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - Lexus announces special APR financing on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 02-01-2021
$4500 Lexus announces a Lease Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 02-01-2021