The Lexus LC 500 is definitely a head turner. Within minutes of hopping into this big six-figure sport coupe, I got several thumbs up and appreciate glances. I get to test drive a new car every week and it’s rare that a vehicle gets this much attention!
LC stands for Luxury Coupe. But think of the LC as a grand tourer. The LC 500 was introduced for the 2018 model year and immediately stood out among this well-heeled class. For 2020, the LC 500 adds standard blind spot monitoring and a new color, Flare Yellow, the color of my test ride.
The rear-wheel-drive 2020 LC 500 comes in only one well-equipped trim with a starting price of $92,950. There’s also a hybrid, the LC 500h. You can add even more features and technologies with a few available packages. However, that will easily send the price up into six figures. Even with the high price tag, the LC actually offers good value in the class because it come with many standard features that cost more on many competitors.
The LC 500 is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 that makes 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel. The LC 500h gets a 3.5-liter V6 and a pair of electric motors which make 354 horses.
The V8 makes a glorious roar when you start it up. The LC is eager to accelerate, corners well and has more than enough power for just about every driving scenario. No, it doesn’t have quite the speed or handling of some of its rivals, but it’s an excellent blend of performance, luxury and comfort in a striking package. The LC excels as a grand tourer with its balanced and smooth ride. And yes, it’s a blast to drive whether you’re cruising down the freeway or stuck in stop and go traffic. It glides over bumps and rough roads. Engine and road noise are barely noticeable.
With its hefty curb weight, fuel efficiency is not good. EPA ratings for my tester are 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with a combined rating of 19 mpg. I got 21 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The sumptuous interior features top notch materials, elegant design and lots of tech. The LC is relatively low to the ground but getting in and out isn’t as much of a challenge as it can be in similar vehicles. Seats are comfortable and supportive, even on long trips. Technically there is a backseat but no human, even a child, would want to sit back there for long. Just think of the second row as a place to stash your handbag and laptop or a few grocery bags.
Standard features include proximity key entry, push-button start, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter, leather upholstery, glass roof with sunshade, 10-way power-adjustable front seats with heat and ventilation, 10.3-inch infotainment system display screen, 12-speaker audio system, navigation, the Lexus Enform app suite, two USB ports, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, HD Radio, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and Wi-Fi hot spot,
Several driver assistance technologies are standard as part of the Lexus Safety System+, including pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, intelligent high beam headlamps, lane keep assist with steering assist and lane departure alert, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert,
Options include heated steering wheel, windshield de-icer, head-up display, 13-speaker Mark Levinson premium surround-sound audio system, front and rear parking sensors, intuitive parking assist, and premium paint.
The Lexus infotainment system is clunky and frustrating. As someone who drives a new vehicle every week, I can usually figure out most systems within a few minutes. This system is just not very intuitive, and worse, it’s distracting. The system is controlled with a trackpad interface, similar to a mouse on a laptop computer, in the center console. Menus and submenus aren’t always user-friendly; in fact, you have to go through submenus to make some climate adjustments. And the touchy trackpad controller is challenging to use because it requires small finger movements that are difficult to make while driving. At least Lexus has now added Apple CarPlay connectivity as a standard feature.
The LC has only 5.4 cubic feet of room in the trunk, barely enough to fit a couple small travel bags or a handful of grocery bags.
Head-turning good looks
Excels as a grand tourer
Great blend of performance, luxury and comfort
One well-equipped trim with many standard features
Clunky and distracting infotainment system
Limited cargo space
Bad gas mileage
My tester starts at $92,500. The All-Weather Package is $250 and adds a heated steering wheel and windshield de-icer. 21-inch forged Alloy wheels are $2,650. Head Up Display is $900. Limited slip differential is $390. The Mark Levinson 13-speaker premium surround sound audio system is $1,220. Intuitive Parking Assist is $500. Premium Paint is $595. Sport Package with Carbon Roof is $2,960 and adds eight-way power front seats with Alcantara inserts and carbon fiber roof. Carbon Fiber Package with grill insert and spoiler is $2,398. Illuminated door sill is $499. Trunk mat, cargo net, wheel locks and key gloves are $275. Deliver fee is $1,025 bringing the grand total to $106,612.
Driving the 2020 LC 500 is effortless and fun. Lexus has designed a grand tourer that’s beautiful, luxurious and athletic. It’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a high-end sports car and can spend upwards of 90-grand. Just be prepared to turn a lot of heads!