2022 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Review – Still Got It

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Fast Facts

2022 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Fast Facts

Engine
Naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 (471 horsepower @ 7,100 RPM; 398 lb-ft @ 4,800 RPM)
Transmission/Drive Layout
10-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPG
15 city / 25 highway / 18 combined (EPA Rating)
Fuel Economy, L/100km
16 city / 9.5 highway / 13.0 combined (NRCan Rating)
Base Price
$101,100 (U.S.) / $130,232.50
As-Tested Price
$112,075 (U.S.) / $147,162.73
Prices include $1,075 destination charge in the United States and $2,305 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

The Lexus LC rides on an aging platform, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it to drive it.

Well, the much-maligned older version of the Lexus/Toyota infotainment system might give it away. But otherwise, the LC 500 convertible feels as fresh as ever.


Not only that but dropping the top of this Lexus doesn’t result in a lot of compromises. Usually, convertible versions of sports coupes suffer from chassis flex and wind/road noise and the like, but this car doesn’t, at least for the most part – you might get some chassis flex when hitting a severe enough bump, but it’s rare. Even the change to a soft top doesn’t hurt the car’s swoopy styling too much.

The best part about the LC 500 convertible, however, is how the 5.0-liter V8 sounds with the top down. It’s an old-school throaty rumble song that we will hear less and less of as EVs become a larger part of the market. Heck, this sound has already been fading, thanks to the increased use of smaller, more fuel-efficient engines that can match V8s in terms of power output.

That same V8 makes the LC 500 feel quite quick in a straight line and should tire of its vocalizations, you can raise the top, which brings the well-known Lexus silence to the interior. That same top seemed to also keep water out when I had the car washed at the local hand-wash joint, but I wasn’t risking damage to see how it would handle my local machine brush and rinse.

Despite being low to the ground, the LC rides pretty smoothly, as befits a grand tourer. It also handles like a grand tourer – well enough to be fun, not quite sharp enough to really satisfy your inner weekend warrior. I’ve tracked the coupe version and it’s a bit sharper when it comes to cornering – if you love the LC’s looks and love back-road blasts, opt for the hardtop. If you can settle for straight-line acceleration and you’d like (even more) copious attention from passersby than the coupe already gets, drop the top.

Doing so will take about 15 seconds and can be done at speeds up to 31 mph. That’s a neat rolling party trick. Should the temperature drop or the sky darken, you can close the top (again at speeds up to 31 mph) in about 16 seconds. The windows move in concert with the top.

Back to handling for a sec – the car might be a tourer most of the time, but you can summon the car’s darker side by engaging Sport S and Sport S+ driving modes, and while the car’s handling still says “grand tourer” it does tighten up, though the coupe is still a better companion when the road gets curvy. The best part about activating the sport modes is the kick-your-butt sharp shifts of the transmission and the accompanying soundtrack – the active exhaust note fires off a satisfying thwack when the gears switch.

Doing so is a bit tricky since the switch is a bit hidden, but once you locate it, you can go topless to your heart’s content. And once that top is dropped, you might find your right foot goosing the gas to get revs whenever possible. That sound is addictive.

Inside, the biggest flaw is the aging infotainment system and Lexus accursed mousepad interface – the one that annoys even as it gets easier to use with time. I still dig the chrono-type gauge cluster, though, and the materials mostly feel appropriate for a six-figure car, though some parts-bin items sneak in. The rear seat is unsurprisingly useless – but that’s a tradeoff I suspect most buyers willingly make.

For $101K, you get 20-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, active sport exhaust, paddle shifters, a power soft top, heated and cooled front seats, dual-zone climate control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, LED headlamps, lane-keep assist with steering assist, smart cruise control, pre-collision system, lane-departure alert, satellite radio, USB ports, and Bluetooth.

Among the 10 grand in options were a head-up display, Torsen limited-slip differential, Yamaha rear differential and rear damper, carbon-fiber scuff plates, and a Touring Package that added 21-inch wheels, leather-trimmed seats, upper body heating, heated steering wheel, and Mark Levinson audio.

The Lexus LC 500 convertible is aimed at a select audience – the well-heeled cruiser who wants to be seen and enjoy al fresco motoring. Those serious about attacking a track will go for the coupe, which is also a bit more stylish since the soft top doesn’t break up the lines. That said, those who buy this car to show off in the valet line at the newest, hottest beachfront dinner spot better at least blip the throttle a few times while cruising the boulevard. Otherwise, it’s a missed opportunity to experience this car’s best feature.

That sound never gets old, even if the platform does. At least this Lexus is aging gracefully.

What’s New for 2022

Lexus claims that the handling received minor enhancements for 2022. That’s about it.

Who Should Buy It

Those who like to get attention when cruising some sun-splashed piece of pavement on the way to a five-star dinner – and those who like to hear the old-fashioned song of the V8 engine.

[Images © 2023 Tim Healey/TTAC.com]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Comments
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4 of 58 comments
  • Ajla Ajla on May 23, 2023

    The LC500 sounds much more wicked then the RC-F and IS500. The lower priced cars still sound good, but more like what you'd expect from "v8 premium car" while the LC sounds like an exotic.


    Comparison.


    • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on May 24, 2023

      They definitely sound different. I'm not sure the LC500 sounds like an exotic when revving the engine (it does after it takes off), but it's definitely louder.


  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on May 25, 2023

    I doubt the LC will receive a second iteration given how almost everything about it represents the past. Perhaps a facelift to keep it going a handful of additional years?


    I love that Nori Green color, and the tan interior, but I think I'd go for the coupe. The look with the top up is a little flimsy to me. Of course, the convertible was a secondary consideration in the design.

  • Lorenzo Massachusetts - with the start/finish line at the tip of Cape Cod.
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