2019 Lexus LC 500h Review

Pros & Cons

  • Cabin design and interior materials are extraordinary
  • High fuel economy for a performance coupe
  • Effective at being both sporty and comfortable
  • Generous list of standard features makes it somewhat of a bargain
  • Touchpad controller is frustrating to use
  • Trunk and interior storage space are limited
  • Transmission has slow, indecisive shifts
  • Other high-end sport coupes offer a greater degree of customization
Other years
Lexus LC 500h for Sale
2019
List Price Estimate
$62,752 - $72,199

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Which LC 500h does Edmunds recommend?

The 2019 Lexus LC 500h is available in only one trim level, but a few choice packages exist to help tailor the car to your lifestyle. We like the Convenience package for its blind-spot monitoring and the Touring package for its premium leather upholstery and simulated-suede headliner. While the Sport package is enticing, we think it's better suited to the V8-powered LC 500.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.4 / 10

The modern grand touring coupe offers its occupants many creature comforts and a heaping helping of performance. But fuel efficiency is usually not on that list. Lexus, one of the most experienced in luxury hybrid vehicles, has decided to change that with the 2019 LC 500h.

Under the sculpted hood of the LC 500h is a 3.5-liter V6 engine combined with two motor-generators. Together, they produce a total of 354 horsepower. Acceleration is surprisingly quick for such modest output, and fuel economy is impressive, too. The EPA estimates the 500h gets 30 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

Matching the striking exterior styling is an equally eye-catching interior. Fully equipped from the get-go, the interior is awash in high-quality leather and simulated suede. Even the smaller interior items have received the utmost attention, with magnesium shift paddles and the hand-trimmed leather shift knob. Our main complaint is the clumsy infotainment system, which nearly offsets all of that luxury goodness with its frustrating ergonomics and nonintuitive nature.

But the overall package of the LC 500h is very compelling. It shows Lexus can go head to head with some of the best grand touring coupes in the world with both style and efficiency.

2019 Lexus LC 500h models

The 2019 Lexus LC 500h is sold in just a single trim (the V8-powered LC 500 is reviewed separately) that comes with a long list of standard equipment. Several packages and stand-alone options are available to bolster the LC 500 with additional features.

Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6 assisted by a pair of electric motor-generators. In total, the setup produces 354 hp. 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.

Befitting a luxury coupe at this price and performance level, the number of standard features is generous. They include 20-inch wheels, an adjustable suspension, LED exterior lights, automatic high-beam control, heated and auto-dimming mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, ambient interior lighting, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, driver-seat memory settings, and leather-upholstered front seats (simulated leather for the rear seats).

On the tech front, you get a 10.3-inch central display, a navigation system, two USB ports and a 12-speaker audio system with satellite radio. Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility has been added to the features list for 2019, as has dynamic voice control and in-car Wi-Fi. Notable safety features include a forward collision warning with automatic braking and lane departure warning and intervention.

Although the LC 500h is loaded right out of the box, there are a few options and packages available so you can tailor this grand tourer to your liking. 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.

For added convenience 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 (a simulated-suede headliner, upgraded leather upholstery and the Mark Levinson audio system).

If high-performance driving is part of your diet, there's the Sport package, which adds front sport seats with simulated-suede inserts. Finally, the Performance package starts with the Sport pack and adds a carbon-fiber roof, an adaptive rear spoiler, an active rear steering system, variable-ratio steering, carbon-fiber kick plates, and the simulated-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 Lexus LC 500h (3.5L V6 hybrid | CVT automatic | RWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2018, the LC 500h has received some revisions, including this year's revised transmission programming new smartphone integration. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's model, however.

Driving

6.5
The LC 500h's powertrain is less appealing in every way than the more affordable V8 option, save for fuel economy. It's not power-deficient, but it does add a palpable 150 pounds and some drivability issues. And it removes all the aural pleasure you would have enjoyed with the eight-cylinder.

Acceleration

7.0
This LC's hybrid is quicker than its specs suggest, covering 0-60 mph in a reasonably quick 5 seconds. But it's not as punchy and satisfying as the V8 car. There are occasional power fluctuations when not at full throttle.

Braking

5.5
The complicated hybrid system affects the way the LC 500h switches between regenerative and standard braking. The brake pedal's engagement can be inconsistent ifyou're driving in stop-and-go traffic, and the pedal feel is numb. Panic stops from 60 mph are stable and relatively respectable at 111 feet.

Steering

7.5
The steering feels tuned more for comfort than performance. There's not much feedback on what the front tires are doing. But the steering is precise and weighted appropriately light for a grand tourer.

Handling

6.5
As a grand touring hybrid, the LC 500h performs as expected. It has superb weight balance, and its run-flat tires stick decently. But tighter roads reveal its beefy curb weight, and the lack of feedback from the steering and the brakes doesn't help.

Drivability

The incredibly complex and intriguing transmission combo of a CVT automatic and a four-speed automatic is also the LC 500h's weak point, which ties in with the braking issues. We previously observed that the transmission was busy and often uncertain of the actions it should take. Lexus says it has improved the shifting for 2019, but we've yet to get the opportunity to fully test it out ourselves.

Comfort

8.0
The standard seats are more comfortable than the optional sport seats and are appropriate for this impressively comfortable grand tourer. The ride is excellent, highway noise is minimal, and the climate control works very well when left to its own devices.

Seat comfort

8.0
The standard seats are supportive even though they have less bolstering than the optional sport seats. The seat cushioning is pleasantly supportive, but the seatback lacks height-adjustable lumbar support. They may feel less ideal for bigger, wider body types.

Ride comfort

8.5
The adaptive suspension is adept at absorbing large and small road imperfections. Even with big 20-inch wheels and stiff run-flat tires, the LC is comfortable without feeling disconnected from the road. That said, we were hard-pressed to notice much difference between the drive modes.

Noise & vibration

7.5
There's some noticeable wind noise at freeway speeds and, depending on the road surface, some tire noise, too. But around town or on well-kept roads, the LC 500h is pleasantly quiet, especially when running in EV mode. The V6 hybrid's sound isn't as pleasant as the V8's.

Climate control

7.5
The automatic climate control works well, and the automatic seat heating and cooling feature is 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 awkward touchpad system.

Interior

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

Ease of use

6.0
While everything's easy to reach, 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 because not all are intuitively placed or labeled.

Getting in/getting out

7.5
Getting in and out is easier than expected because of a driver's seat that's higher relative to the ground than some competitors' seats. The steering wheel automatically moves out of the way, too. 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 the high beltline and armrests. Taller drivers will want more telescoping from the steering wheel. Otherwise, the position is comfortable and provides a clear view of the gauges, controls and the road ahead.

Roominess

7.0
The cabin is surprisingly small relative to the LC 500h's size, but it isn't out of line for the class. The bulky transmission tunnel and raked greenhouse sides mean you have little room to move around. The rear seat is useless for adults or even taller children.

Visibility

7.5
Visibility out the front and rear is surprisingly good, although the front end of the car is hard to judge because of the hood's slope and grille's bulbous shape. The small side mirrors and the thick rear roof pillars mean the rear three-quarter visibility isn't great.

Quality

9.0
Overall quality is exceptionally high with a compelling interior design to match. Leather, simulated suede, and metal or metal-feeling plastics abound, and everything is assembled to a high level. It's an interior befitting a car of this class, and possibly beyond it. 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 500h has very little usable space considering its size. Small-item storage is at a premium, without even a good spot to store your phone for easy access. The trunk is very small and heats up quickly. The back seat is the most useful storage space in the vehicle.

Small-item storage

6.0
The door pockets, glovebox and armrest bin are all small. The cupholders are poorly placed: One is limited by overhanging trim and the other obstructs the touchpad. The armrest bin is the only option for phone storage, but it requires two steps to access and only hinges open facing the driver.

Cargo space

6.0
At 4.7 cubic feet, the trunk is smaller than both the standard LC 500's trunk and what you get from other luxury coupes. It's small and shallow with a high liftover, so you'll be limited to a couple of small bags. There's no extra storage under the trunk floor, and the trunk gets quite hot after even relatively short drives.

Child safety seat accommodation

6.0
There are LATCH points for rear outboard seats, but rear access is difficult enough already. The sorely limited rear-seat space means finding a child seat that fits and then maneuvering it into place would both be Herculean tasks.

Technology

7.0
It's unfortunate that a car that looks so space age on the outside should be saddled with Lexus' technology on the inside. While the trick sliding gauge cluster is a nice touch, the infotainment system is particularly frustrating, and voice controls yield inconsistent results.

Audio & navigation

7.0
Our car's Mark Levinson system was truly 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 for destination assist. And talking with a human is an awkward solution.

Smartphone integration

6.5
Bluetooth is excellent, and the ability to browse your phone's content through the Bluetooth connection is nice. Apple CarPlay has been added for 2019, but Android Auto is still missing. Lexus' 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
A full suite of driver aids is included. The rearview camera works well enough, although considering the car's size, a 360-degree camera would be nice. Forward and rear parking sensors help. For the most part, adaptive cruise performs as it should but can occasionally overreact unpredictably and requires minding.

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, which are several steps long, you have to start over rather than go back a step.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall7.4 / 10
Driving6.5
Comfort8.0
Interior7.5
Utility6.0
Technology7.0

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the Used 2019 Lexus LC 500h.


Safety

Our experts like the LC 500h models:

All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Adjusts vehicle speed to maintain a set distance between the LC 500h and the car in front while using cruise control.
Pre-Collision System
Alerts the driver if a front collision with a pedestrian or vehicle is deemed imminent. Can automatically apply the brakes.
Intuitive Park Assist
Sounds an alert that increases in frequency as the LC 500h approaches an object in front of or behind the car.

More about the 2019 Lexus LC 500h

Used 2019 Lexus LC 500h Overview

The Used 2019 Lexus LC 500h is offered in the following submodels: LC 500h Coupe. Available styles include 2dr Coupe (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). The Used 2019 Lexus LC 500h comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The Used 2019 Lexus LC 500h comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2019 Lexus LC 500h?

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Which used 2019 Lexus LC 500hs are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2019 Lexus LC 500h?

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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