The Lexus LS made its mark in North America three decades ago by taking on the big Euro luxury sedans at a price they couldn't match.
For the past few years, Lexus saw its own playbook used against it by another Asian upstart---Genesis, which priced its G90 sedan slightly below the base price of the LS 500. But this year, the new G90 has leapfrogged the Lexus---it's 15 grand more. Yes, that gives the LS back the price advantage, but in luxury goods, that's not always the magic bullet---in the 90s, the LS was not only less expensive, it was new. This is the sixth model year for the current-generation LS.
There are two ways to power the 2023 Lexus LS---one is a hybrid (the Lexus LC 500h) and the other is the gasoline-powered LC 500. That's a 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6. 416 horsepower, zero to 60 in 5.4. Ours was the all-wheel drive F SPORT, with a ten-speed automatic transmission, paddle shifters, six-piston front and four-piston rear brake calipers and the F SPORT-tuned adaptive variable transmission. EPA fuel economy estimate: 17 city/27 highway/21 combined.
The base price of the 2023 Lexus LS 500 AWD F SPORT is $84,885 including destination. And that comes with an impressive list of standard equipment---LED headlamps, taillamp and running lights, a power moonroof, a hands-free power open/close trunk, rain-sensing windshield wipers with built-in de-icers, headlamp washers, 20-inch alloy wheels, a power rear sunshade, dual-zone climate control, an F SPORT perforated leather-trimmed interior with Ultrasuede headliner and heated steering wheel, 28-way power front seats, Lexus Interface (its new infotainment system), a 12-speaker audio system and Lexus' comprehensive Safety System 2.5+ active safety suite.
That leaves very little in terms of available extra-cost options. Our car had a few---$1,220 for a head-up display, $1,940 for a 23-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound audio system, $1,000 for a panoramic glass roof and $420 for a cargo net, trunk mat, wheel locks, leather key glove and rear bumper applique, bringing the number at the bottom of the window sticker to $89,465.
So, even with options, the 2023 Lexus LS 500 AWD F SPORT is more than ten grand below the starting price of the G90. That's an enormous advantage. And the LS, while no longer the hot new thing, has a lot of enduring values---not least of all reliability.