2019 Lexus LS Review

2019 Lexus LS - Opulence defines the 2019 Lexus LS500 luxury sedan.


Not only is the rear- or all-wheel-drive sedan loaded
with a host of upgrade trim, safety and sound equipment, it also has a
powertrain built for a racetrack.

A 3.5-liter turbocharged
416-horsepower V6 engine will race from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds
while mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This is remarkable as the
LS500 weighs more than 4,500 pounds and is not a lightweight two-door speedster
weighing 1,000 pounds less. The three LS500 models (base, F Sport, hybrid)
share the same powerplant.

If in the market for an LS500,
why not go for the F Sport. A base LS500 costs about $75,000. Add $6,000 to the
price and one drives home in the rear-wheel-drive (all-wheel-drive costs another
$2,800) F Sport edition. The F Sport has notable additions.

are slightly different from the other LS500 models as the F Sport has
mesh  inserts alongside the Lexus iconic spindle grille, a rear
diffuser and lower door trim. Besides the usual calf-leather interior the F
Sport adds an ultra-suede headliner, 28-way power adjustable front seats,
embossed headrests, aluminum pedals and genuine wood cabin trim. The interior
flows in waves from dashboard to door panels. One detail that deserves special
mention is the door handles. They are designed in sculptured metal.

wheels (dark silver, 10-spoke, machine-finished) are 19-inch and normally are
controlled by brakes with four calipers for the ventilated 14-inch discs in
front and the 13.1-inch ones at the rear. The F Sport has six calipers for the
larger 15.7 ventilated discs in front and four calipers for the 14.1 ventilated
discs at the rear. This is stopping power. During a recent test week in the F
Sport the brakes were put to the test. In an emergency braking situation, the
brake pedal was pressed hard and the machine's electronics took over and
brought this beast of a sedan to a stop almost immediately and in a straight
line. Whew!

Besides an electronic four-channel antilock
braking system, safety includes brakeforce distribution and brake assist. If
the electronics detect an imminent crash, braking is done automatically.

less costly vehicles, single calipers control the discs.

list of safety features is extensive and includes 10 airbags, cyclist and
pedestrian detection, road sign and road speed information, automatic high
beams, LED headlights and taillamps and parking assist from a 360-degree camera

The multilink independent variable suspension system
has forged aluminum components front and rear. Coil springs and shock absorbers
react electronically to road conditions in nanoseconds. If the sound system is
off, sitting in the cabin and driving this vehicle is a quiet business. Engine
and road noise, even from loud and boisterous 18-wheelers, will not intrude.

CarPlay and Amazon Alexa are new for Lexus in 2019. The sound 
system  takes time to understand. New owners might require several
days or weeks to master the system. It is operated by a touch pad on the center
console between the front seats and not on a touchscreen. The touchy touchpad
takes getting used to. The 12-speaker system, which has voice control, serves
AM-FM-satellite radio, compact disc player, two USB ports and one auxiliary

Navigation is on a 12.3-inch screen, larger than the
eight or nine inchers on less expensive vehicles. Power governs heated and
cooled front seats, exterior heated mirrors, tilt and telescoping steering
wheel, door locks, express windows, trunk (open, close) and moonroof (tilt and

Besides the basic (four years or 50,000 miles) and
powertrain (six years or 70,000 miles) powertrain warranties, Lexus provides
free scheduled maintenance visits for owners of the LS500. One visit is before
six months or 5,000 miles and the second visit is before a year or 10,000
miles. Roadside assistance is provided for 48 months or an unlimited distance.

Jerry Kuyper

Born on a southwestern Minnesota farm, Jerrold E. Kuyper quickly became familiar with tractors, pickup trucks and related agricultural equipment. He left that behind to graduate from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and attend graduate schools in Evanston and Chicago. He was hired as a reporter for the Kenosha News, a daily newspaper in Kenosha, WI. After a stint of a dozen years at the Kenosha News, he became a columnist, layout, page and sections editor at the Northwest Herald, a daily newspaper based in Crystal Lake, IL serving northwest Chicago suburban communities.

While with the Northwest Herald he helped create, write reviews and opinion columns as well as edit the newspaper's Wheels section, a 16- to 40-page broadsheet that appeared weekly in the newspaper's Friday edition. Wheels was devoted to reviews of new vehicles, looks at automotive history, current trends in the automobile world and columns by automotive enthusiasts. Midwest Automotive Media Association members who contributed to reviews and columns included Mitch Frumkin, Phil Arendt, Matt Joseph and James Flammang as well as photo journalist Doug Begley and dragster specialist Fred Blumenthal.

Kuyper, who lives in Salem Lakes, WI, is a founding member of MAMA, is married, has three children and six grandchildren.