2022 Lexus LS

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2022 Lexus LS Review: Japan's Answer To The S-Class

The Lexus LS was the first car produced by the manufacturer, and it's an interesting case study in brand equity. Toyota knew it couldn't take on the establishment using its badge, so it created an entirely new brand to compete in the luxury car market. Not only did it do well, but it proved that overly complicated luxury barges need not be unreliable and costly to repair. And thanks to that, the LS 400 is a bit of a cult classic.

The fifth-generation LS has been around since 2017, facing stiff competition from the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, and the Genesis G90. The latter can be considered an homage to Lexus, as Hyundai studied what Toyota did and implemented the same strategy. This car's biggest problem is the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, however. For 2022, the LS is available with a twin-turbo V6 with 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, or in hybrid format with 354 hp; the latter used to be a unique selling point. Where does that leave the LS now that almost every other luxury barge has also turned to electric power?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 10 /10
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2022 Lexus LS Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 Lexus LS?

This year, the luxury automaker makes the Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 suite standard. It consists of driver-assist technologies like pedestrian and bicyclist detection, lane departure alert, and lane tracing assist. The hybrid LS 500h introduces Lexus Teammate and Advanced Drive. The latter is a system that detects driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, steering and other demands. It makes driving easier by navigating supported interchanges and more.

Inside, the Mark Levinson sound system with 23 speakers can no be specced on the base model. Finally, hand-applied Haku door trim is now available with the Luxury and Executive packages.

Pros and Cons

  • Smooth powertrains
  • Beautiful interior
  • Lots of toys as standard
  • Insane attention to detail
  • Fun to drive
  • Latest infotainment system is fantastic
  • Hybrid isn't incredibly frugal
  • Not as much rear legroom as some rivals
  • No plug-in hybrid option

What's the Price of the 2022 Lexus LS?

For the new model year, Lexus has streamlined the LS lineup in the USA. It now consists of the LS 500, LS 500 F Sport, and LS 500h. The gas models models are RWD as standard, while AWD adds $3,250 to the price. The price of a Lexus LS in 2022 looks as follows: The base LS 500 has an MSRP of $76,100, increasing to $79,700 for the F Sport. The price jump from the F Sport to the 500h hybrid is significant, with the latter costing $112,000. These prices exclude the destination charge of $1,075 and other miscellaneous fees.

Best Deals on 2022 Lexus LS

2022 Lexus LS Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
LS 500
3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
LS 500h
3.5L V6 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Lexus LS Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Lexus always turned a blind eye to what the Germans were doing. While Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW were tuning some sportiness into their luxury barges, Lexus soldiered forth with the squishiest suspension setup possible. The current LS made a slight miscalculation by forgetting its roots. It arrived on the scene with an adaptive air suspension and driving modes called Sport and Sport+. Instead of being more dynamic, the LS 500 felt confused. It was the most fun LS to date, but the sudden onset of bumps into the cabin was disconcerting. We know what Lexus was trying to achieve, but was it a good idea? We don't think so.

Thankfully, the recent updates to the suspension and refinement overhaul of the current LS 500 are closer in execution to the original LS 400, and that's fine by us. Let the Germans compete amongst themselves to see who can build the sportiest luxury limousine. We prefer our barges soft, silent, and sofa-like. Cars like these should alleviate high blood pressure. They should be sensory deprivation forts of solitude for the wealthy, which is precisely what the LS now provides.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Lexus LS A Good car?

Previous model years left us wondering whether the LS was going through an existential crisis. The suspension setup was too stiff to provide the plush ride expected in a luxury barge. This would have been fine if the LS was an engaging car, but it's simply too big for that. The only way to make an LS sportier is to go the whole nine yards with a dedicated LS F model.

Thankfully, Lexus rectified this problem with this most recent round of suspension and refinement updates. The LS has gone back to its roots, and that's a good thing because the new LS is a sublime car. In our opinion, it's the only real rival to the S-Class. Genesis still has a few years to go, the Audi A8 is too old, and the radical new BMW 7 Series still needs to prove itself on the road. We also worry about the new S-Class and long-term ownership. Yes, the technological advancements are stunning, and the digital center cluster is magnificent to behold, but what will it look like ten years from now? We know the LS will still be cruising along effortlessly, which is why we recommend it as a long-term ownership experience.

What Lexus LS Model Should I Buy?

The hybrid powertrain is unrefined, which rules it out for us. The F Sport model's firm ride spoils the LS's overall luxury feel, which leaves just the base model. That's fine by us. With prices starting at $76,100, you can splurge on quite a few big options before you get close to base S-Class money ($111,100). We'd add the Executive Package with Kiriko Glass inserts, which automatically adds the adaptive variable air suspension with rapid height function and a slew of luxury features. The total comes to $106,775 including the destination charge. That's still less than a base S-Class, but also a lot more car for the money.

Check out other Lexus LS Styles

2022 Lexus LS Comparisons

Lexus ES
Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Mercedes-Benz

2022 Lexus LS vs Lexus ES

The ES is an LS for half the price. You might not think a comparison between the two is fair, but the ES has more rear legroom than the LS. The ES is the thinking man's limo. There are some notable sacrifices, however. The ES uses a naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6 producing 302 hp, and there's also a cheaper model with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. You also lose out on some of the ultimate luxury features, like the LS's beautiful leather seats and trim in lower trims, and the new 12.3-inch touchscreen interface. But, in terms of ride and handling, it's remarkably similar to the LS. The focus is on comfort rather than performance, making the ES a wonderfully relaxing car to drive. Yes, the LS is undoubtedly better, but we're not convinced it's twice as good. If you can't stretch the budget to LS territory, a top-spec ES would be a near-perfect alternative.

See Lexus ES Review

2022 Lexus LS vs Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class isn't the revolutionary machine it once was, but it remains the benchmark in this segment. The classic styling conceals an incredibly advanced car that is easily superior to the Lexus in terms of tech. Even the base S500 has a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen, augmented video for navigation, and the advanced MBUX system. With 429 hp, the S500 isn't as quick as the LS 500, but it has a remarkably composed ride that makes choosing between these two models difficult. With nearly five inches of additional rear legroom, the S-Class is the easy choice for being chauffeured in. Then again, at over $111,000, the S-Class's starting price is far higher. The Merc's abundance of tech can also feel less inviting than the Lexus's more familiar cabin. This is a tough call, but at the base price, we'd pick the Lexus. When both cars are fully loaded, we'd opt for the S-Class.

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