The Lexus LC 500h is the hybrid version of the sporty coupe from Toyota’s upscale brand. The LC is sure a head-turner with its sleek lines and stunning looks – it’s safe to say that it’s the sexist car Lexus makes. While the hybrid doesn’t have the sheer power of its gas-powered sibling, it still boasts solid performance and excels as a cruiser. The only real drawback is the clunky infotainment system.
Base Price: $99,450
As Tested: $115,160
Mileage: 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway/29 mpg combined
For the 2023 model year, all LC models get suspension improvements; otherwise there are no major changes.
The gas-powered LC 500 is available as a coupe or convertible, with starting prices of $93,450 and $101,500, respectively. The LC 500h comes in one trim that starts at $99,450. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all; all-wheel drive is not available. Packages and options are available on all models that can send the price significantly higher.
The powertrain in the LC 500h consists of a 3.5-liter V6, 1.1-kWh battery, and two electric motors that make 354 horses and 258 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is what Lexus calls a “Multistage hybrid transmission.” It combines a continuously variable automatic with a four-speed automatic.
While 354 horsepower sounds puny compared to the 471 horses in the regular LC, the two electric motors provide plenty of get up and go from a stop. Lexus says the LC 500h can go from zero to 60 mpg in 4.7 seconds. The electric motors can also kick in for accelerating at higher speeds of up to 87 mph. Steering is sharp and the LC 500h feels balanced when cornering. The performance brakes quickly reduce speed or bring the LC 500h to a stop. Admittedly, the LC 500h doesn’t have the blistering performance of some other sports cars. But it’s no slouch and delivers an excellent mix of athleticism and comfort. It’s particularly great as a cruiser with the Adaptive Variable Suspension soaking up bumps and rough roads. Watch out, though, because it’s way too easy to glide along above the speed limit!
Fuel economy is great for the class. EPA estimates for my tester are 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with a combined rating of 29. I got 29 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The cabin is impressive. Materials are top notch and build quality is excellent. Leather upholstery and satin metallic trim are standard. While some may not care for the bright orange leather upholstery in my tester, it somehow fits the personality of the LC. I said that my tester was a perfect car for Oregon with its iridescent green exterior for the Oregon Ducks and orange interior for the Oregon State Beavers! Seats are comfortable and supportive with bolstered sides that help keep you snugly in your seat when letting the LC go on twisty backroads. Legroom is decent for front row passengers.
Theoretically, there’s room for four passengers in two rows of seating; however, the back seat is extremely cramped and only suitable for small kids. At least it can serve as a space to put your handbag or a few grocery bags.
Standard features on the LC 500h include proximity keyless entry, push button start, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, 10-way power adjustable front seats including two-way power lumbar support and memory for the driver, heated and ventilated front seats, eight-inch LCD multi-information display, infotainment system with 10.3-inch high-res split screen, 12-speaker audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, navigation, Bluetooth, voice recognition, two USB ports, 12V socket, Wi-Fi hot spot, deodorizing and dust/pollen-removing interior air filter, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Available features include a head-up display, heated steering wheel, 13-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, semi-aniline leather upholstery, Alcantara headliner, and a glass roof.
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Available driver assistance technologies include reverse collision warning, reverse automatic emergency braking, and front and rear parking sensors.
The infotainment system is the weak link of the LC. There’s a large 10.3-inch display screen – not a touchscreen. It’s controlled by a quirky touchpad, much like a mouse on a laptop, located between the two front seats. It can be difficult and distracting to use while driving. There are many menus and submenus which can make it challenging to find what you’re looking for. And the graphics could use updating.
Cargo space is limited. There are 4.7 cubic feet in the trunk of the LC 500h. It’s enough space for a couple of carry-on bags.
Great blend of performance and comfort
Decent mileage with hybrid powertrain
Beautiful, well-crafted interior
Loaded with standard and available features and tech
Standard wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Cumbersome infotainment system
Miniscule back seat
Not as much trunk space as other sports cars
My tester starts at $99,450. Alcantara with Manhattanhenge is $3,600. The Bespoke Build Package is $3,690. The head-up display is $900. The Mark Levinson 13-speaker surround-sound audio system is $1,220. The Carbon air wing rear spoiler is $2,750. The Carbon Fiber roof is $2,400. Delivery fee is $1,150 bringing the grand total to $115,160.
The LC 500 h is a great blend of stunning looks, stout performance, and stylish design, and the hybrid powertrain means you’ll get decent mileage. No, the LC 500h isn’t as powerful or fast as some rivals, but you’ll enjoy your time behind the wheel and turn quite a few heads in the process. The clunky infotainment system is the only major flaw.