2018 Lexus LC 500 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Cabin design and interior materials are extraordinary
  • Effective at being both sporty and comfortable
  • Acceleration from the big V8 is smooth and quick
  • Generous list of standard features
  • Touchpad controller is frustrating to use
  • The trunk won't hold much cargo and interior storage space is limited
  • Sport seats' aggressive bolstering will prove uncomfortable to some
  • Not as customizable as other high-end sport coupes
Other years
2018
Lexus LC 500 for Sale
2018
List Price Estimate
$56,658 - $65,187

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Which LC 500 does Edmunds recommend?

It's easy to recommend a specific trim for the 2018 Lexus LC 500 since there's only one version available. There are, however, a few desirable packages that will give your luxury coupe a personalized touch. Though we think the LC offers excellent outward visibility for a sports car, we recommend adding the Convenience package for blind-spot monitoring. The Touring pack's upgraded leather upholstery and faux suede headliner are also nice touches. The Sport package is an enticing alternative to the Touring, but we find the thick bolstering of the sport seats to be a little too much for all but the most svelte of drivers.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.7 / 10

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.

2018 Lexus LC 500 models

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.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2018 Lexus LC 500 (5.0L V8 | 10-speed automatic | RWD).

Driving

7.5
The LC 500 can't match the performance level of similarly priced sports cars. It's more of a grand touring coupe. The throaty engine makes every drive a joy. And while you won't want to tackle tight canyon roads, the LC 500 is magical on gentler, sweeping backroads.

Acceleration

7.5
The 5.0-liter V8 roars up to its 7,000 rpm redline before the transmission cracks off an explosive shift. It's great fun, and linear power delivery makes it easy to modulate. But the acceleration doesn't live up to the sound. Our tested 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds is unexceptional.

Braking

6.5
The brakes are sufficiently strong, with linear response, but pedal feel is vague. Under typical circumstances the brakes are easy to use smoothly. The car stops straight, but the ABS can feel twitchy. Our 60-0 mph braking test results were inconsistent, ranging from a solid 105 feet to a less impressive 111 feet.

Steering

7.5
Steering is precise, and it's weighted appropriately light for a grand tourer. It's clearly tuned for comfort, not performance, and it offers little to no feedback. On-center feel is good, making for easy highway cruising.

Handling

7.0
While the LC 500 is stable when going around turns, it has limited athletic abilities. Tighter roads highlight its substantial weight, and the lack of feedback from other systems doesn't instill confidence. Traction control can be intrusive, cutting power and applying the brakes in way that could be more refined and transparent.

Drivability

7.0
In most driving conditions, the transmission is an excellent match for the engine, adding to the fun by holding gears and downshifting smartly. In manual mode, the LC 500 responds quickly to paddle shifts.

Comfort

8.0
Our tester's optional sport seats are the one weak link in what is otherwise an impressively comfortable grand tourer. The ride quality is excellent, noise isolation is good, and climate control works well when left to its own devices.

Seat comfort

7.0
Our test LC 500 had the optional sports seats. They are well bolstered but are wide enough to not to feel confining. The seat cushion is pleasantly supportive. Unfortunately, the seatback is overly firm and lacks height-adjustable lumbar, reducing comfort on long drives.

Ride comfort

8.5
The LC 500's suspension is excellent. It easily absorbs larger bumps and smaller imperfections. Even with our test car's 21-inch wheels, the cabin is insulated from rough road surfaces without making the car feel disconnected from the road. The suspension strikes a good balance between sport and comfort.

Noise & vibration

8.0
There is some wind noise at freeway speeds, and depending on the road surface, there can be noticeable tire noise. But around town or on well-kept roads, the LC 500 is pleasantly quiet. At cruising speeds, the engine is silent and only makes noise when you prod the gas pedal.

Climate control

7.5
The automatic climate control works well, and automatic seat heating and cooling are a nice touch. Basic temperature adjustments are easy, and there are voice commands for several climate functions. But for full manual control, you need to use the touchpad system, which is an awkward process.

Interior

7.5
Good visibility and a comfortable, sporty driving position are the highlights. The Lexus is also easier to get in and out of than many low-slung coupes. The cabin is very upscale, with a few exceptions. The biggest letdown is the frustrating touchpad infotainment interface.

Ease of use

6.0
Many controls are frustrating to use. Locating options in the infotainment system with its awkward haptic touchpad interface is one problem. The steering wheel controls take a bit of getting used to since not all of them are intuitively placed or labeled.

Getting in/getting out

7.5
Thanks to a driver's seat that's higher relative to the ground than some competitors' seats and a steering wheel that moves out of the way, getting in and out of the LC 500 is easier than expected. But the long doors mean you'll need plenty of room to open them, and there's a high and wide doorsill to step over.

Driving position

8.0
The seat feels appropriately low and snug inside the car thanks to a sporting position and high beltline and armrests. Taller drivers will want more telescope from the steering wheel, but otherwise the position is comfortable and provides a clear view of the gauges and the road ahead.

Roominess

7.0
The cabin is surprisingly small relative to the LC 500's size, but isn't out of line for the class. The passenger and driver won't bump elbows. The massive transmission tunnel and small, angled windows mean you have little room to move. The rear seat is useless for adults or even taller children.

Visibility

7.5
Forward and rear visibility are surprisingly good, but the front end of the car is hard to judge because of the hood's slope and round grille. Small side mirrors and thick rear roof pillars mean rear three-quarter visibility isn't great. Blind-spot monitoring and the rearview camera help a lot.

Quality

8.5
Overall quality is exceptionally high, with a few exceptions. Leather, simulated suede, and metal or metal-feeling plastics abound. Everything is assembled to Lexus' standards. But there are a few hard plastics (most notably, a piece of trim on the steering wheel) that feel glaringly out of place.

Utility

6.0
The LC 500 has very little usable space considering its size. Small-item storage is minimal, and the trunk is very small and gets hot quickly. The back seat is really the most useful storage space in the vehicle.

Small-item storage

6.0
The door pockets, glovebox and armrest box are all small. The cupholders are poorly placed: One is limited by overhanging trim, and the other obstructs the touchpad. The armrest box is the only option for phone storage; a tray or cubby that allowed for access and cord management would be great.

Cargo space

6.5
At 5.4 cubic feet, the trunk is larger than a Porsche 911's, but it is still quite small and shallow and has a high liftover. The battery is located under a panel in the trunk floor, so there's no extra storage. The trunk gets quite hot after even relatively short drives.

Child safety seat accommodation

6.0
While there are LATCH points for rear outboard seats, this isn't a car you'll want to use for transporting small children. The rear seating area is too small for bulky car seats, and getting them into the vehicle and installed is a major challenge.

Technology

7.0
It's unfortunate that a car that looks so sophisticated on the outside should be saddled with Lexus' technology on the inside. While the trick gauge cluster is a nice touch, the infotainment system is frustrating to use.

Audio & navigation

7.0
Our car's Mark Levinson system was excellent, but the nav system just isn't up to par. It requires a precise address; otherwise finding a destination is somewhere between "very involved" and "impossible" unless you call destination assist. And talking with a human is an awkward solution.

Smartphone integration

6.5
Bluetooth works quite well, and the ability to browse your phone's content through the Bluetooth connection is nice, but the car lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Enform apps are available, but you only get a limited selection of apps, and not all are preferable to their standard counterparts.

Driver aids

7.5
The rearview camera works well but a surround-view camera system isn't offered. Adaptive cruise mostly works well but can occasionally overreact.

Voice control

7.5
Voice controls offer a lot of functionality, and there are spoken and on-screen guides, but results are inconsistent until you use the voice-training program. Frustratingly, if you make a mistake in some processes that are several steps long, you have to start over rather than going back a step.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall7.7 / 10
Driving7.5
Comfort8.0
Interior7.5
Utility6.0
Technology7.0

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Lexus LC 500.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Bought it for the looks
W.B.,06/29/2017
2dr Coupe (5.0L 8cyl 10A)
Update for July 2018: Having now had the car for a year, I can say it gets better over time. I absolutely adore this car as a daily driver and road-tripper. The highway mileage is so good it seems fake. When cruising in Eco mode I'm easily getting 30 mpg. This doesn't even make sense until you realize the car can switch between Atkinson and Otto cycles. The engine scream never gets old in Sport+ mode. I just can't get enough. Sometimes I switch to Sport+ just to pass people with that crazy loud noise. After a year I expected to have buyer's remorse, or a wandering eye for the Mercedes AMG GT. Or the Porche 911 Carerra. But no. The LC 500 is a car that just grows on you and still turns heads. It's the supermodel you can actually live with everyday. *** Outstanding visual appeal inside and out, with disappointing acceleration. Go for the bespoke option, even though it's a 3-month wait. Neither the touring nor sport packages gives you the correct combination of options. Here's the combination you want, starting from bone-stock, in order of importance: 1. Limited Slip Differential (LSD), 2. Convenience Package, 3. Heads Up Display (HUD). Done. All other packages and options actually worsen the car's performance. Or they package excellent options (like the retractable spoiler) with unnecessary ones (like Variable Gear-Ratio steering). Basically you want the LSD to correct the flaws in the drivetrain. The stock, active, rear open-differential loses too much horsepower at the wheels. The LSD is mechanical: more horsepower, more traction. With the stock differential, you have to pay attention when you're kicking the tail loose. It's still fun, but the LSD gives you +HP +control. No-brainer option there. The Convenience Package gives you parking assist. You must have this. The dimensions of the car make it difficult to park. Parking assist will save you, again and again. Get it, save your body work, make parking garages your best friend. Option 3, the HUD, is just plain cool. It's actually an unintentional safety feature, keeping your eyes focused at near-driving distance. It even shows the song you've cued up from your phone via Bluetooth. After engine break-in, get the dealer to fix the rev limiter to 7,300rpm. It's limited to 7,000rpm off the lot. Peak horsepower is at 7,100rpm so the rev limiter is ruining the fun. Oh, and don't get the hybrid, seriously. You'll regret it. The 33% savings in mileage is not worth it. Just get a Tesla or a BMW i8. Pros: The looks, the sounds, the textures, a fantasy for the senses. True opulence. The car looks twice as expensive as it costs. Ride quality is Lexus smooth. Excellent steering feedback, in bone stock configuration. A masterpiece of emotional driving, makes you want to drive forever. Cons: Slower than a Roush Mustang 427 because the LC 500 drivetrain is not designed for performance. Handles like a Challenger SRT8 (it's that heavy). Costs more than a BMW M4. Out-of-touch infotainment controls. Why you should buy it: Honestly? Because it gives you the emotional response you would expect from a dream car. If you do not feel this way after seeing it then don't buy it. Simple. I personally would have gotten just as much raw driving pleasure from a Mustang GT. However, I have a transcendental experience every time I drive the LC 500. It just takes my breath away. Configuration reviewed: Black on black V8, Convenience Package, All-Weather Package, Touring Package, Heads Up Display.
Finest quality and most fun auto I've ever owned.
Point Man,10/03/2018
2dr Coupe (5.0L 8cyl 10A)
When the time came to replace my aging 2008 BMW M6 (V10) the LC 500 immediately caught my eye. My wife has owned various Lexus SUVs for years, and although none of them or their sedans are my cup of tea, the new coupe was something I had to check out. We have a long first hand experience with the exceptional build quality one can expect from Lexus. My first impression was "wow, gorgeous." And it is. I was hooked after the initial test drive. Very powerful, but much more nimble than the M6. It is a heavy car, like the BMW, but without the "boat" feel. The exhaust note, although not a Formula 1 sound like the my M6 (with aftermarket Tubi pipes) is deep, pleasing, and sometimes almost throaty like a muscle car of another era. I absolutely love the sound, which is pronounced in the high performance mode, more quiet in normal or comfort mode. I got mine with every available option, and I can tell you the 4 wheel steering is incredible. I used to hate traffic circles. Now I love to drive them. The LC hugs the curves like it is glued to the road. You can accelerate going INTO a curve (as well as out), no problem. I had to order mine from Japan because with all of the options, there were none available in the US at the time in Infrared paint upgrade. This is a special 5 coat paint that changes with the time of day and angle of the sun. Incredible. People stop by my parking space and take selfies next to my care. I could go on and one. I've owned a lot of automobiles in my life, and the LC 500 is my favorite. I am so glad I own one. Worth every penny if you are fortunate to be able to afford one.
Best high end Sports Coupe on the Market!
Lexus LC500,05/16/2018
2dr Coupe (5.0L 8cyl 10A)
Ive owed just about everything and purchased the Lexus LC500 recently and had to write a response and review regarding my opinion. First, this car has some of the finest fit and finish materials and unique designs throughout. It is extremely comfortable to drive and more than enough power to enjoy flashing through the 10 speed and let me tell you the sound you can generate with 10 gears paddling up and down is superb! You could NOT find a more reliable or fun coupe for this money with any other manufacturer! If you've owned Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati etc... like me you know how much they cost to maintain! This car is bullet proof nd easy on the pocket book...do yourself a favour and consider the Naturally aspirated V8 to your collection, you will never regret it!
Brakes are terrible!! and getting worse
Nabeel,11/28/2017
2dr Coupe (5.0L 8cyl 10A)
I complained about the brakes a year ago as I was one of the first owners of the LC500. They are definitely getting worse. The brakes squeal on a consistent basis which I am told is normal by the dealer. In addition, I have had to take my car in multiple times. Apparently, my passenger side rear wheel starts squealing to the point that the vehicle cannot be driven. The diagnosis is that a rock may have gotten into the wheel??? So the same wheel had a rock dislodged 3 times in a matter of 6 months. I have been driving for 23 years now and own 2 other vehicles--this has never happened to me. Yet, somehow I managed to get a rock stuck in the same wheel 3 times in a short amount of time??? Oh, one more thing, I barely drive this vehicle in Northern VA and never go over unpaved roads. In short, Lexus needs to address this issue ASAP...its embarrassing!!

Features & Specs

MPG
16 city / 26 hwy
Seats 4
10-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
471 hp @ 7100 rpm
See all Used 2018 Lexus LC 500 features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the LC 500 models:

All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Maintains a set distance between the LC 500 and the car in front, automatically adjusting your speed. Can bring the LC 500 to a full stop.
Pre-Collision System
Sounds an alert if a front collision with a vehicle or pedestrian is deemed imminent. Can also automatically apply the brakes.
Intuitive Park Assist
Sounds an alert as the LC 500 approaches an object in front of or behind the car.

More about the 2018 Lexus LC 500

Used 2018 Lexus LC 500 Overview

The Used 2018 Lexus LC 500 is offered in the following submodels: LC 500 Coupe. Available styles include 2dr Coupe (5.0L 8cyl 10A).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Lexus LC 500?

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Should I lease or buy a 2018 Lexus LC 500?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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