2020 Lexus LS 500: Four Seasons First Impressions
Our new long termer puts us in touch with our inner hedonists
It's been a few weeks since we added the Lexus LS 500 to our long-term Four Seasons fleet. How are we getting on with our new luxury yacht? Very well. The crew is embracing the LS' high-zoot interior and letting their inner hedonists run free. Here are some early excerpts from the logbook.
"RIP Rocket Couch, long live the long-term Lexus. When I initially drove an LS500 I didn't quite get it. The suspension seemed a bit too stiff and flinty. Now that I've spent some time in our long-termer, the Lexus is quickly winning me over. The white seats against the metallic blue paint look amazing. The cabin catches light beautifully. The materials feel super premium and the interior is loaded with luxurious features. It doesn't hurt that it has Apple CarPlay, too, so I don't have to use Lexus' dated infotainment system. Lexus' first-ever twin-turbo V-6 is delightful. It wafts the sedan forward with elegance, never seeming too stressed. However, under full-throttle acceleration, the car can really haul. I'm very much looking forward to having the LS500 around the office for a whole year and I'm waiting for everyone else to get tired of it so I can spend even more time behind the wheel." - Billy Rehbock, Social Media Editor
"No surprise that car writers like us tend to emphasize driving dynamics above all else, but if you let that go, as do many members of the traveling public, you realize how spectacular this car can be. The workmanship is really impressive, right down to stitching around the speedometer—like a little tea cozy for your instrument panel. The ride with the air suspension in Comfort mode is lovely, though with four passengers and a full trunk it does get a bit firm in the back. The ability to recline the back seat (even if you can't go full lie-flat because the front passenger seat is occupied) is wonderful. And the stereo is epic! I put on 10,000 Maniacs Unplugged (a sign of my age) and felt like I was in the room with Natalie Merchant. Dynamically, it's not bad—actually I can't say that for sure because I haven't really paid attention. I've been enjoying the smooth flow of power, the quiet ride, the way it wafts you along in clouds of tranquility." - Aaron Gold, Senior Editor
"While the LS still seems a bit too firm and brittle in its ride quality for its role as a large executive sedan, turning the dial to comfort mode does alleviate some of the problem. Performance and ride balance aside, however, the LS does present a very nice cabin and excellent materials. The design, likewise, is elegant and luxurious. But is there a less useful feature than the cross-traffic warning displayed in the HUD? If there is, I can't think of it right now. Cue Jerry Seinfeld voice: I mean what IS the deal? It flashes when there's no traffic, it doesn't flash when there is traffic, and it's a seizure-inducing mass of indecision at every intersection. Back to the drawing board, Lexus." - Nelson Ireson, Senior Editor
"The new mostly-white interior appears to be Starfleet grade and launching the LS in Sport mode down Rosecrans Boulevard was boldly satisfying, despite experiencing the strange sensation that I have been down this road before. The chocolate brown dash and trim contrasts nicely with the white leather seats and brushed aluminum door handles. There's not one but two massive sunroofs, a booming Mark Levinson stereo system with HD Radio, SXM, and a CD player(?)—plus for wannabe mafioso, there's enough room in the trunk for a few bodies. I'm really looking forward to taking it out for a longer trek." - Ed Tahaney, Online Editor
"Cars of this size (and sedans in general) are not my jam, but I cannot hate on the comfort and luxuries this fine vehicle provides. I'd much rather be a passenger in the rear seat, though. It's a penthouse on wheels." - Elenor Segura, Associate Editor