2018 Lexus LC 500h Review
Edmunds expert review
Buyers of high-end luxury vehicles are used to getting what they want, but until recently, opulent sports cars that didn't gorge on vast stores of gasoline simply didn't exist. Now, one of the most experienced hybrid automakers in the business is thrusting its best foot forward with the new 2018 Lexus LC 500h. This seductive coupe offers an enticing blend of high style, performance, comfort and luxury.
Motivating the LC 500h is a combination of a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 and an electric motor. A continuously variable automatic transmission works in conjunction with a traditional four-speed automatic to send power to the rear wheels. The unique powertrain helps make the most out of the horsepower available, which is 354 hp for the total system.
This hybrid feels quick on the road. In fact, it posted the same 0-60 mph time at our test track as the V8-driven LC 500. Plus, you get 30 mpg in combined city/highway driving, according to the EPA, which is fantastic for a luxury performance coupe and more than 50 percent better fuel economy than the LC 500.
As impressive as the powertrain is, it's the cabin that immediately yields the most impassioned responses from passengers. From the seats to the headliner, nearly every surface is draped in supple leather or suede. The penchant for high-quality materials even travels down to smaller details, such as the paddle shifters made of magnesium and the hand-trimmed shift knob. There are a few functional blunders, such as the Lexus Remote Touch infotainment interface, which is unwieldy and frustrating to use. But overall we think highly of the LC 500h. It's proof that Lexus can craft a jaw-dropping coupe that stands toe to toe with some of the most elite grand tourers on sale today.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Lexus LC 500h is a unique car: There are no other high-end hybrid sport coupes with a starting price under six figures. It's sold in just a single trim (the V8-powered LC 500 is reviewed separately), but there are so many standard features, it's sufficiently luxurious without any options. Two packages, Convenience and Touring, add a few creature comforts such as upgraded leather and blind-spot monitoring. For those looking for dynamic improvements, the Sport and Performance packages have you covered with simulated suede upholstery throughout the cabin, a Torsen limited-slip differential and more.
The LC 500h is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 assisted by an electric motor, generating 354 horsepower overall. Two transmissions, a continuously variable automatic and a four-speed conventional automatic, work in conjunction to drive the rear wheels. The transmissions simulate a total of 10 gears, which can be manually selected using steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.
Like most luxury coupes in this price range, the LC 500h boasts an abundance of standard features. They include 20-inch wheels, LED exterior lights, automatic high-beam control, heated and auto-dimming mirrors with puddle lamps, keyless entry and ignition, ambient interior lighting, an 8-inch driver information screen, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, eight-way power front seats (with two-way power lumbar), driver-seat memory settings, adjustable driving modes, 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.
Since the LC 500h is well-equipped as it is, only a smattering of options and packages are available, but some significantly alter the character of the car. Stand-alone options include 20- and 21-inch wheels, a head-up display, a Torsen limited-slip differential and a 13-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system.
If you want to pack the LC 500h with even more luxury features, consider the All-Weather package, which adds a heated steering wheel and windshield de-icer; the Convenience package, which brings front and rear parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert; and the Touring package, which adds forged 20-inch wheels, a simulated suede headliner, upgraded leather upholstery and the Mark Levinson audio system. If a high-performance hybrid is more your speed, 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 takes the Sport package with carbon-fiber roof and adds an adaptive rear spoiler, an active rear steering system, variable-ratio steering, carbon-fiber kick plates and the simulated suede headliner.
Noise & vibration7.5
Ease of use6.0
Getting in/getting out7.5
Child safety seat accommodation6.0
Audio & navigation7.0
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.