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2018 Lexus LC 500

$92,000 — $92,000 MSRP
Coupe
4 Seats
19 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Retains much of the styling from the concept
  • Headlight and taillight units are sharp and attractive
  • Very comfortable materials in the cabin
  • Large screens on the dashboard
  • Front grille design is highly detailed

The Bad

  • Backseat is unusable, even by children
  • Visibility is poor
  • Interior design not as dramatic as exterior
2018 Lexus LC 500 exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2018 Lexus LC 500
  • All-new luxury sports coupe
  • Based on the LF-LC concept
  • 471-horsepower V-8 engine
  • All-digital instrument panel
  • 3-D mesh design for the front grille

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

The 2018 Lexus LC 500 can be a whopping $105,000, but it works - it's really good, and that Grand Touring name fits it perfectly.

by Brian Wong - The Verdict:

The LC 500 puts form over function, excelling as a touring car rather than a sports car.

Versus The Competition:

Others go faster and drive better, but nothing in the luxury field turns heads like the LC 500.

I didn't think I was superficial; I prefer a car that drives well and looks unexceptional over the opposite. But then I met the new 2018 Lexus LC 500, and I began to question a few things.

The Lexus LC 500 isn't a sports car. It's heavy, doesn't steer all that well and has a happy back end that gets twitchy when you push it. But it's absolutely fantastic as a grand tourer — quiet, with a big engine and a well-appointed interior. In fact, I can't think of another car I'd rather take a road trip in (provided I could fit all my luggage in the tiny coupe trunk). But none of that really matters because, I mean, look at it.

Now look again. I'll wait.

The LC 500 competes against luxury sports/touring cars like the BMW 650i, Mercedes-Benz SL450 and Jaguar F-Type. Compare the LC 500 against those vehicles here.

Pricing for the Lexus LC starts at $92,995 (including destination charge). The LC only comes in one trim, but with plenty of options and none of the exclusivity of the LFA. Our test vehicle also had a Performance Package With Carbon (which ads a carbon fiber roof and high-dollar leather seats) and a color head-up display that pushed its sticker price to $103,895.

Stylin' and Profilin'

If you don't like being stared at, do not buy this car.

This is the first Lexus in quite some time to evoke real desire (especially in this wonderful red paint that Lexus calls "Infrared"), and it seems to have this effect not only on me but on lots of other folks, as well. I was engag...

by Brian Wong -

I didn't think I was superficial; I prefer a car that drives well and looks unexceptional over the opposite. But then I met the new 2018 Lexus LC 500, and I began to question a few things.

The Lexus LC 500 isn't a sports car. It's heavy, doesn't steer all that well and has a happy back end that gets twitchy when you push it. But it's absolutely fantastic as a grand tourer — quiet, with a big engine and a well-appointed interior. In fact, I can't think of another car I'd rather take a road trip in (provided I could fit all my luggage in the tiny coupe trunk). But none of that really matters because, I mean, look at it.

Now look again. I'll wait.

The LC 500 competes against luxury sports/touring cars like the BMW 650i, Mercedes-Benz SL450 and Jaguar F-Type. Compare the LC 500 against those vehicles here.

Pricing for the Lexus LC starts at $92,995 (including destination charge). The LC only comes in one trim, but with plenty of options and none of the exclusivity of the LFA. Our test vehicle also had a Performance Package With Carbon (which ads a carbon fiber roof and high-dollar leather seats) and a color head-up display that pushed its sticker price to $103,895.

Stylin' and Profilin'

If you don't like being stared at, do not buy this car.

This is the first Lexus in quite some time to evoke real desire (especially in this wonderful red paint that Lexus calls "Infrared"), and it seems to have this effect not only on me but on lots of other folks, as well. I was engaged by more onlookers while driving this vehicle than I have been in anything else I've tested. People driving by in everything from hybrids to minivans would lean on the horn as I went by and offer a quick thumbs-up or a few choice expletives to communicate their thoughts.

Lexus' spindle-shaped grilles have inspired both admiration and consternation, and as time has gone by, they've gotten more and more spindly. I don't think the design works with all models, but on the Lexus LC 500 it matches the rest of the bonkers styling details perfectly. And if you get up close to the grille, you can see that the mesh widens out the farther you get from the large Lexus logo in the center.

That speaks to the remarkable attention to detail given to every part of the exterior, from those crazy LED projector headlamps to the chrome detailing dripping from the taillights — even the weirdly attractive shape of the side mirrors.

How does the LC 500 drive? That's a bit more complicated.

How It Drives

Let's start with what Lexus nailed: the engine and transmission. Instead of going the forced-induction route that so many luxury automakers are taking, Lexus stuck with a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8 that makes 471 horsepower and 398 pounds-feet of torque. It's one of the quicker-revving rear-wheel-drive V-8 engines I've come across, which is helpful because maximum torque doesn't kick in until 4,800 rpm. Power delivery in this Lexus LC is super smooth, with none of the jumpiness that can result from a turbocharger.


Lexus also did a fantastic job with the engine note. Flip the stalk to the right of the instrument panel to Sport S Plus, and the active exhaust system opens up fully, treating you (and everyone around you, it should be noted) to a delightful roar with an appropriate burble on quick downshifts. Don't want to wake the neighbors? The other drive modes tone down the audio to more reasonable levels.

Before driving the Lexus LC, I was a bit wary. I've had some experience with Lexus' eight-speed automatic transmissions in the past, and those have been ... frustrating. But the 10-speed automatic (the only transmission available in the LC coupe; sorry manual fans) was surprisingly delightful. It held gears at the right times in regular and aggressive driving, shifted quickly when using the paddles and was responsive to throttle inputs.


The all-new LC 500 also features a standard adaptive suspension that is intended to give the LC 500 a bit of a dual nature: comfortable and sporty. But the suspension definitely trends more in the comfortable direction. Even with the LC 500 in Sport S Plus, its most aggressive setting, there's still a good amount of body roll and a tendency to understeer when pushed hard into corners.

This is due in part to the sheer size of the LC: It's a big car. At 187.4 inches long, it's about 10 inches longer than a Chevrolet Corvette (which is big in its own right) and has a substantial curb weight of 4,280 pounds. That's a lot of mass to pull through a corner, and even with the adaptive suspension dialed all the way up, it struggles to keep the car balanced. The LC 500 is much more at home on straighter roads, where the engine gets to breathe and the suspension isn't as taxed.

The Lexus LC's ultimate destiny lies as a touring car. And it excels at that mission, with plenty of power underfoot and a very comfortable ride. I can't think of another car right now that I'd rather do 300 miles in.


Fuel economy ratings are 16/26/19 mpg city/highway/combined on premium gasoline.

Interior and Cargo

A deft hand when it comes to interior materials and design means the LC 500 more than lives up to its hefty price tag.

One feature of the Lexus LC 500 reminded me of the Corvette's cockpit: a prominent handle on the center console that gives the passenger something to grab if things go sideways.


The multimedia infotainment system has a 10.3-inch widescreen display that sits prominently atop the dash. There's a large touchpad mounted low in the center console, where the driver's right hand rests, that required a large learning curve to use, but I did ultimately find it better than the "mouse"-based system Lexus uses in some of its other vehicles. My biggest issue with it is that it requires you to look at the screen quite a bit to make inputs — more so than some touchscreen-based systems. With the touchpad, I found myself looking at the screen frequently when using it to see which buttons were highlighted and what I was selecting. My instinct was to treat it almost like a mouse cursor on a laptop — fine in that application, but it made me nervous when driving.

Two rear seats are present, but they don't really do anything — not even a child will fit back there. Cargo room is also at a premium, as the trunk measures only 5.4 cubic feet. I was able to fit one larger piece of luggage in back, but no way could you fit two. That's what the backseat is for, I guess.

Function Follows Form

A philosophy of modernist architecture states that the form of a building should follow its function. Structure comes first, then the look and shape of it should bend to fit that function. The LC 500 flips that convention on its head: Everything else about the car — including its literal backseat — takes a backseat to how it looks, and rightfully so. It's art.

Yes, the driving experience is a bit uneven and there isn't much practical space outside the two front seats. Those shortcomings did nag at me from time to time, but then I'd walk up to the LC 500, see it sitting there, and my mind would go blank. Apparently I'm superficial, and this is my ruby-red, V-8 kryptonite.

Editor's note: This review was updated on September 8, 2017, to reflect that the LC 500 comes with a standard adaptive suspension.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.8
14 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(4.9)
Interior Design
(5.0)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.9)
Value For The Money
(4.8)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Just an awesome car!

by amalvernboy from california on September 27, 2018

This is a true GT. Sounds like the V8 it is. Alcantara all over the interior. LOOKS like it goes fast.(0-60 in 4.4s is not supercar fast but not bad. Drove from Dallas to California in the most ... Read full review

(5.0)

Great car for price

by Love girls from Los Angeles, CA on September 12, 2018

LC500 is so easy to control and interiors are very nice! Seats are very comfortable! Even my big friends (over 200lb. They said couldn't fit in Mustang driver seat lol) can sit comfortably. LC500 ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2018 Lexus LC 500 currently has 1 recall


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2018 Lexus LC 500 has not been tested.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Lexus

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 70,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

Latest 2018 LC 500 Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The LC 500 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker