2019 Lexus LC 500 Coupe
Miles driven: 699
Fuel used: 35.3 gallons
|CG Report Card
|Room and Comfort
|Power and Performance
|Fit and Finish
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
|Big & Tall Comfort
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Real-world fuel economy: 18.2 mpg
Driving mix: 45% city, 55% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 16/25/19 (city/highway combined)
Fuel type: Premium Gas
Base price: $92,200 (not including $1025 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Convenience Package ($1000), Head Up Display ($900), Mark Levinson audio system ($1220), premium paint ($595)
Price as tested: $96,940
The great: Exotic-car feel; regal cabin decor; ferocious acceleration
The good: Dazzling styling; crisp handling
The not so good: Cargo space; some finicky controls
What was the most glaring difference between the 2018 and 2019 Lexus LC 500s that Consumer Guide sampled? Probably that the final price of the ’19 tester stayed below 100 grand.
We kid because we love. In just its second season on the market, the high-style luxury sport coupe wouldn’t be expected to exhibit drastic changes. There have been alterations to the shift performance of the 10-speed automatic transmission, comfort-driven suspension modifications, and steering tweaks. Newly standard connectivity and technology features are Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility, a smartphone app for remote-control capability, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Even then the starting price of the V8 LC 500 increased just $230 from one year to the next—and $30 of that was in the delivery fee. What kept the full sticker price of our 2019 test car to $96,940 was a less-involved complement of options, which shaved $8120 from the cost of the ’18 test car.
Regardless of what was or wasn’t on this latest LC, it remained a stirring car to drive and an exciting one to look at with its low, long roof; flaring haunches to house tires that are wider in back than in front; and dramatic “T-bone” taillight bezels. Beyond the new items already mentioned, standard equipment includes keyless entry and starting, heated and ventilated 10-way-adjustable leather front seats, leather-clad power tilt/telescoping steering wheel with magnesium paddle shifters, heated memory mirrors, automatic dual-zone climate system, 12-speaker audio system, HD and satellite radio, CD player, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and Lexus Enform app suite. The Lexus Safety System + bundles forward-collision and pedestrian detection, radar cruise control, automatic high-beam headlamps, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assist with steering assist, but it took adding the Convenience Package option to gain rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and front and rear parking sensors.
Refinements aside, the LC’s “physical plant” is carried over. That includes a 471-horsepower 5.0-liter V8, fully independent “Adaptive Variable Suspension” with double-joint multilink control arms, and 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in run-flat performance tires. Standard drive-mode selection includes “Sport” and “Sport S+” settings that amplify engine and chassis performance.
The powerplant plainly announces its rambunctious intentions at the press of the starter button. It can launch the roughly 4300-pound coupe from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, per Lexus, and it teams with a transmission that provides quick and determined kickdown for sonorous highway passing and merging. Last year CGers collectively averaged 17 mpg when driving the LC 500 in a 50/50 mix of city and highway miles. This year, those of our testers who put on more highway than city miles were topping 18 mpg—but not quite reaching the 19 mpg the EPA projects for combined driving. Cornering lean is restrained quite well, steering is pleasingly responsive. The ride is always firm but not punitive, even in “Sport S+” mode. Meaty disc brakes promptly stop the LC 500.
The dramatically styled and lushly appointed cabin is a sight to see—from the front row. There’s no appreciable passenger room in the two rear seats, and to compound their impracticality, they don‘t fold to extend the paltry 5.4 cubic feet of trunk space. Front seats are comfortable and supporting, but with limited headroom and compromised over-the-shoulder driver sightlines due to the drastically sloped roof. Soft, padded materials fully cover the doors and the sides of the console. Personal storage is modest. The glove box is small; so are the door pockets. Two covered cup holders fit where they can in the console—one of them hidden under the adjustable armrest lid of the console box. That space isn’t especially ample, and some of it is taken up by digital-device inputs.
Configurable virtual driving gauges include a g-force meter. Infotainment functions show up on a 10.3-inch dash screen. Governance rests in console-mounted remote controls with a pad for pinch, swipe, or “written” capability. However, the pad can be too sensitive for accurate use while moving, and it draws driver attention from the road ahead. Separate climate controls have repetitive-press switches for all functions, including fan speed and temperature settings.
The LC 500 does something pretty amazing. It delivers invigorating performance and super-car looks for—if you work it right—less than super-car money.
2019 Lexus LC 500