In the luxury sedan space, you’re always hearing about the likes of the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, not much is said about the Lexus equivalent. With Lexus recently launching an updated version of the large LS 500 sedan, we were there to drive it and here’s what we learned.

For the uninitiated, Lexus’s LS 500 is the premium Japanese brand’s response to the Germans. You don’t see a lot of them on the road which is part of what makes it distinctive. Having driven the LS 500, we can confirm that it’s a sizable car, a trait that translates to a spacious interior. Measuring 2.5 meters in length, the Lexus LS 500 is the brand’s longest car. It’s unmistakably Lexus in its exterior design, with features such as their signature boomerang daytime running lamps now with BladeScan technology, a feature with an adaptive high-beam system.  Of course, the lamps flank the famous Lexus spindle grille which has been updated with a new dark metallic colour. 

Lexus LS 500 F Sport

Like many Lexus models, there is always an F Sport variant available for those seeking an edge in performance and a more athletic aesthetic. Fortunately, the LS 500 is available in F Sport guise and the what’s nice about Lexus’s performance division is their aesthetic is tastefully done.

From the front, the Lexus LS 500 F Sport has a unique spindle grille with a mesh design incorporated in it. For footgear, the LS wears a large set of 20-inch F Sport wheels, and of course, F Sport badging is placed strategically on the exterior to distinguish the variants. Inside you’ll find F Sport-specific detailing on the steering wheel, pedals and seats. Lexus has made the LS 500 F Sport available in three interior colours, White, Black and White Flare, and Red. These are combined with a suede roof headlining. 

Speaking of the interior, it’s all good and well to have the above features, but what matters most is what the space is like to be in. You can rest easy knowing that the Lexus LS 500’s cabin, be it in F Sport or the standard variant, is a plush space to be in and offers high levels of comfort and space. This is the type of vehicle you can easily be chauffeured in, it has ample rear legroom and two screens on each side for its rear occupants. Since it is a luxury offering, the seat massage function isn’t exclusive to the front seats, rear-seat passengers also get to enjoy pulsating massages from the back. Front and rear seat ventilation is also included here.

Lexus LS 500 engine specs

What’s interesting is that Lexus hasn’t given its customers any options when it comes to engine variants. There is only one engine available and it’s a 3.5 V6. You may be questioning whether this is enough engine capacity to shuffle such a large car around. Having driven the LS for a considerable distance during its launch, we can confidently tell you that the twin-turbocharged V6 makes for an ideal drivetrain in this vehicle. It’s silky smooth while offering a mild hum that’s only evident under heavy acceleration. It offers up a sufficient output of 310 kW and 600Nm and will whisk the LS from standstill to 100km/h in just 5 seconds. 

How much is a Lexus LS 500?

For a slice of Japanese luxury motoring, you can expect to pay a starting price of R 2 204 200 for the Luxury variant. The LS 500 F Sport, with all of its sporty bits and trim, comes in at R 2 397 900, and both are offered with a 7-year 105 000km warranty and a full maintenance plan from Lexus.