By on June 5, 2020

2019 Lexus LS 500 F Sport AWD Fast Facts

3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (416 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 442 lb-ft @ 1,600-4,800 rpm)

10-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive

18 city / 27 highway / 21 combined (EPA Estimated Rating, MPG)

13.1 city, 8.7 highway, 11.1 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $84,420 (U.S) / $103,150 (Canada)

As Tested: $88,605 (U.S.) / $110,450 (Canada)

Prices include $1,025 destination charge in the United States and $2,175 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

The days of the stately, sedate, and silent luxury provided by the Lexus LS are over.

As it’s done with virtually every vehicle in its lineup, Lexus has made an F Sport trim available. Whether this is done to combat the stereotype of Lexus as staid or to give well-heeled buyers a chance to have their cake and eat it too, or both, I don’t know. I do know that whatever spring the F Sport puts in the LS’s step, it’s still more of a luxury cruiser than an all-out flagship sports sedan. And that’s not a bad thing.

Take the key to a so-equipped LS, and you’ll find that the initial experience is still what one expects from this car. Quiet interior, smooth-as-silk ride, artificial and light steering.

A switch of a knob to put the car into Sport S or Sport S+ livens things up, and suddenly the LS becomes moderately fun to dance with an on-ramp, though it doesn’t fully change the car’s character. It’s still a mile-eating freeway machine, just with a bit of a wild side. The ride gets a bit firmer, the steering a little tighter, the throttle slightly more responsive, but you never forget it’s a nearly 5,000-pound luxury machine.

[Get new and used Lexus LS pricing here!]

No matter what mode you pick, acceleration isn’t much of an issue, thanks to a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 making 416 horsepower and 446 lb-ft of torque. There’s a 10-speed automatic transmission getting that power to all four wheels via an AWD system with a limited-slip center differential.

There’s more to freeway cruising than just big power or a mostly supple (but occasionally firm, especially in the Sport S modes) ride. Noise, or lack thereof, plays a big part, and like many an LS of yore, the modern car is nice and isolated from outside racket, even with the F Sport intent.

Plentiful legroom, check. Plentiful headroom, also check. Comfortable back seat that almost makes you wish you weren’t driving? Oh yeah.

Flagship luxury cars are expected to be well-equipped, and the LS F Sport is no exception. Standard features include rain-sensing wipers, Lexus Safety System Plus 2.0 (cyclist/pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, and automatic high beams), road-sign assist, 19-inch wheels, LED lighting, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Lexus Enform apps, Wi-Fi, satellite radio, leather seats, heated steering wheel, wood interior trim, power trunk, moonroof, and Bluetooth.

2019 Lexus LS 500 F Sport AWD

The F Sport package adds a rear diffuser, various styling cues, six-piston front brake calipers with 15.7-inch rotors, four-piston rear brake calipers with 14.1-inch rotors, adaptive variable suspension, “ultrasuede” headliner, interior F Sport badging, aluminum pedals, and “sliding” gauges.

Other options included 20-inch wheels, a F Sport version of the heated steering wheel, head-up display, and Mark Levinson premium audio.

All this, for under six figures!

2019 Lexus LS 500 F Sport AWD

For the well-heeled CEO who wants a luxury cruiser with true attitude, I’d recommend the BMW M8. That’s because, as of now, there’s no Lexus LS F. The F Sport doesn’t truly get down and dirty at the flip of a switch, but it does become more entertaining.

It’s notable that F Sport’s only mechanical changes are the adaptive variable suspension, the 20s, and the beefier brakes. This car remains the choice of the more buttoned-down. It’s just better at letting its hair down than the regular LS is.

That will work for some of you C-suite types. The ones who want to be coddled while commuting but who occasionally need to blow off some steam on that one on-ramp, right before settling down in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

If the mission is luxury with a twist, Lexus has done well. We’d still love to see an LS F, though.

[Images © 2020 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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26 Comments on “2019 Lexus LS F Sport Review – Luxury With a Twist...”

  • avatar

    This car needs the V8.

  • avatar

    I like the center flat panel display. Beats the iPad-on-a-stick approach.

  • avatar

    Good looking car.

    Either the predator maw meets electric razor look is growing on me or they are toning it down.

  • avatar

    Ninety thousand dollars !

    Ok. Either i m out of touch or Lexus are.

    • 0 avatar

      At a little over 400 units sold monthly last year not many are interested in it.

      The new LS has a Consumer Reports score of 52 out of 100 and is a bottom feeder vs Germans ans Korea today.

    • 0 avatar

      Toyota made a major mistake by extending the life-cycle of the LS 460 as long as they did.

      By the time the replacement, the LS 500, came along, many buyers had already moved on to other automakers that were offering more/better tech and powertrains.

      Making the rear compartment less spacious than its predecessor (much less that of the ES), hasn’t helped either.

      Almost the halfway mark for the year w/ only 801 LS’s sold YTD (the rather modest sales goal was 1k/month); even taking into account the pandemic, that’s low.

      Compare that to 2,366 for the S Class for just the 1st 3 months, and the LS is a good bit newer than the S Class.

    • 0 avatar

      The price is hardly outlandish, being that the base model starts under $80k. Do you shop in this segment?

  • avatar

    For some reason, when I look at this car, from the B-pillar back, it looks like an Infiniti or a Jag, or (this isn’t a good car to be compared to at this price point) one of the prior generations of Hyundai Azera. Something about the curvaceousness, the haunches over the rear wheels. Doesn’t look like any previous LS to my eyes.

  • avatar

    Arseface. Love that interior though.

  • avatar

    Very kind of Mr Healey not to mention the fact these things are lot poison. A whole 5528 of all LS trims somehow struggled off the lots in 2019.

    Can you spell irrelevant?

    The more expensive Mercedes S Class sold 12,500.The more nearly relevant E-Class 39,000.

    Yup, Lexus has a winner on its hands with this barge.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Lexus needs a flagship. Apparently this doesn’t do too shabby. Meanwhile they’re selling a gazillion RX350s, ES350s, ISs, NXs and I’m even starting to see a bunch of UXs. Doesn’t seem to me they’re hurting.

      • 0 avatar

        Lexus hasn’t been selling very many of the IS for quite some now, and sales of RWD sedans are a fraction of what they once were for Lexus.

        Lexus used to have a higher ATP than Audi, but Audi has surpassed them as Lexus has become overly reliant on cheaper FWD models like the RX, ES, NX and UX for sales.

  • avatar

    I like the looks of it, except (of course) that horrible grill. Hint to Lexus: Put a horizontal body colored bar in the middle of it for now, and get rid of it the next time you update your cars. It’s awful.

  • avatar

    It’s all about this front “design”. Horrible.

  • avatar

    The design is starting to really grow on me. In addition to the LC500 this is the best looking Lexus since the SC300. Only problem is every time I see a new ES I honestly can’t tell them apart.

  • avatar

    I gather that these are not selling terribly well and that sales are down considerably from the previous version. Understandable. It is kind of cramped for a flagship and probably not as hip as say, a Tesla Model S or a Porsche Taycan. A lot of taller drivers won’t fit in this newer version.

    I understand that this car is supposed to be the basis for the next generation Toyota Mirai.

    • 0 avatar

      That is not accurate. Mirai is unrelated to this car. Mirai was once the 2020 GS in petrol form, repurposed as the 2021 Toyota Mirai FCEV midway through development in late 2016. Both the larger 2021 LS-FC and 2020 GS product plans were cancelled in favor of the 2021 Mirai.

  • avatar

    I miss the days when you could tell that an LS was an LS at a glance, almost out of the corner of your eye.

    Now I have to study it or look for the badge. Is that an ES? No wait a GS? Hmmmmmmmmm…

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