The bold styling of the 2020 Lexus LS four-door sedan is coupled with a high-tech interior that seems at odds with a springy ride.
This is a flagship sedan for another market. Lexus aims the LS at Chinese buyers who value spacious back seats and pampered rides. Those values aren’t entirely forgotten here in the States, though an upcoming high-end, ultra-luxury SUV headed to Lexus showrooms soon shows where we’re headed here.
The big LS is worth a look, though, and we rate it at 7.0 out of 10 points. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Review continues below
This year, Lexus adds the Inspiration series, dials back on available exterior colors, and makes a white interior available with the F Sport package.
Don’t look for a V-8 under the LS sedan’s hood. The LS 500 uses a twin-turbo V-6 rated at 416 horsepower that sends power quickly to the rear or all four wheels through a sophisticated 10-speed automatic transmission. This engine is silky and delivers rapid acceleration, though we don’t especially like the fake engine noises in the F Sport model.
Our choice here may very well be the LS 500h. The hybrid has dual electric motors and a 1.1-kwh lithium-ion battery pack that work with a 3.5-liter V-6. At 354 horsepower, the LS 500h is no slouch, either, and its green demeanor suits the soft-riding LS.
This car is more about comfort than performance, especially inside. Good room up front is amplified by a palatial rear seat that can be had with 22-way power adjustment, an ottoman, and even its own touchscreen controller. Various wood, metal, and glass surfaces are available to make the LS feel even more opulent. Too bad the standard 12.3-inch display is paired with a clunky controller and software that can be tough to navigate. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility help, and the LS also has Amazon Alexa integration. (“Alexa, tell Lexus to make a better infotainment system!”)
The LS is loaded with safety and driver assistance features. Its standard fare can be augmented by a system that will steer the big sedan out of objects in its path at lower speeds.
All this and the LS is a relatively low-guilt sedan, at least in hybrid guise. Combined fuel-economy figures in the upper 20-mpg range justify the choice for a full-size sedan hybrid.