For nearly 20 years, the Lexus SC was the luxury automaker's premier two-door coupe and convertible. Early on, it combined respectable performance with the ride comfort Lexus owners had come to expect. But by the end of its run in 2010, the SC 430 hardtop convertible was dated and generally unexciting compared to fresher European rivals. After an eight-year absence — during which time we've seen inspiring results from Lexus' LFA supercar and RC F coupe — Lexus is back in the midsize luxury coupe business with the 2018 LC 500. And unlike its most recent SC predecessor, the LC 500 thoroughly delivers as a thrilling yet livable grand tourer.
The performance part of this high-powered luxury coupe comes from a 5.0-liter V8. It's the same one found in the RC F, but it's slightly more powerful and good for 471 horsepower. It's paired to a new 10-speed automatic transmission (yes, 10) that drives the rear wheels. For comfort, Lexus fits the LC with an adjustable suspension and an utterly bewitching cabin. From the padding in the footwells to the headliner, nearly every surface is draped in high-quality leather or suede. That the new LC also has jaw-dropping styling helps considerably, too.
There are a few downsides, such as the Lexus Remote Touch infotainment interface, which is unwieldy and frustrating to use, and the lack of customization possibility. But overall we think highly of the LC 500. It's proof that Lexus can craft a performance luxury coupe that stands toe to toe with some of the most elite grand tourers on sale today.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Lexus LC 500 is a luxury sport coupe that brilliantly marries comfort and performance. It has seating for four and is sold in a single trim (the LC 500h hybrid is reviewed separately) with a long list of standard equipment. Several packages and stand-alone options are available to bolster the LC 500 with additional features.
The thundering heart of the LC 500 is a 5.0-liter V8 engine (471 horsepower, 398 pound-feet of torque). It drives the rear wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.
Befitting a luxury coupe at this price and performance level, the number of standard features is generous. They include 20-inch wheels, LED exterior lights, automatic high-beam control, heated and auto-dimming mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, ambient interior lighting, an 8-inch driver information screen, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, heated and ventilated eight-way power front seats (with two-way power lumbar adjustment), driver-seat memory settings, adjustable driving modes, leather-upholstered front seats (simulated leather for the rear seats), a 10.3-inch central display, a navigation system, and a 12-speaker audio system with two USB ports and HD and satellite radio. Notable safety features include a rearview camera, a pre-collision warning system with automatic braking, and lane departure warning and mitigation.
Although the LC 500 is loaded out of the box, there are a few options and packages available so you can tailor this ground tourer to your liking. Stand-alone options include forged 20- and 21-inch wheels, a head-up display, a Torsen limited-slip differential and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system.
For added convenience and/or style, consider the All-Weather package (heated steering wheel and windshield de-icer), the Convenience package (front and rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert) and the Touring package (forged 20-inch wheels, faux suede headliner, upgraded leather upholstery and the Mark Levinson audio system).
If high-octane thrills are what you're after, you can always specify the Sport package, which adds the Convenience package plus front sport seats with simulated suede inserts and the limited-slip diff (this package can also be ordered with a carbon-fiber roof). Finally, the Performance package starts with the Sport pack with the carbon-fiber roof and adds an adaptive rear spoiler, an active rear steering system, variable-ratio steering, carbon-fiber kick plates and faux suede headliner.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
child safety seat accomodation
audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.