Lexus LS500h F Sport review

Power, economy and comfort: We review Lexus' hybrid luxury limousine

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It might seem crazy to talk about value when you're focussing on a vehicle that costs $190,000+, but hear me out. In a segment where BMW and Mercedes-Benz offerings start from $200,000, the Lexus LS500h makes a case for itself.

Our test vehicle was the F Sport edition which gains some extras like 20-inch rims, sport seating, F Sport branding inside and out, as well as a unique front bumper with black accents, which looks quite sharp, among other things.

There are other perks to consider here too, as the LS500h comes with a complimentary 3-year membership to Lexus Encore. There are loads of benefits and experiences in the program, but the main calling card is Lexus OnDemand. Say you are headed on a road trip, but fancy driving something sporty or want to head off-road, you can access other vehicles from the Lexus line-up, like a Lexus LC 500 or an LX 570.

What's the Lexus LS 500h F Sport like inside?

As you would expect from a Lexus, the interior is well presented and executed. On the LS500h, Takumi master craftsmen have joined together leather and Alcantara throughout the cabin, with the stitching patterns matching the interesting exterior. As a result, touchpoints around the cabin look and feel premium. In terms of quality, few do it better than Lexus.

Every luxury creature comfort you would expect is present, from electric-adjustable seats throughout (yes, throughout!), to dual-zone climate control that senses air quality and body temperatures.

Lexus LS500h F Sport Interior review

Nestle in front of the leather-wrapped steering wheel and you have F Sport seats which are 28-way adjustable. Behind the wheel sits an 8-inch digital display which can be customised depending on the driving mode selected. There is also a physical tachometer ring that slides around depending on what you are looking at on the trip computer.

Looking above that is a Head-Up Display system that projects all the information you need to keep you out of trouble with the law and on your chosen path. It covers everything from the speed limits of your current road, to your actual speed as well as any upcoming turns you need to make, meaning you spend more time with your eyes where they need to be.

Shifting focus to the left and Lexus has fitted a large 12.3-inch infotainment screen. It's loaded with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and digital radio, all of which project sound through 23 Mark Levinson surround-sound speakers for crystal clear audio with ample amounts of bass. The screen integrates into a large recess in the dashboard which has some pleasing flowing line design elements.

The screen is controlled by Lexus' go-to trackpad, which isn't an ideal way of interacting with the system, but then again, if you are sitting in the back you don't have to worry about it.

One area where the LS 500h falls short on its competitors, though, is boot space. The boot is rated to carry 480-litres, which in truth is enough to accept luggage for a trip away, but in terms of numbers it is down on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (510-litres) and has 35 litres less than the BMW 7-series (515-litres).

What is the Lexus LS 500h like to drive?

We spent a fair amount of time in the saddle of this luxury cruiser and were impressed by the blend of power and efficiency it has. Especially when you consider the size of the vehicle and that it has been designed to be as plush as possible.

Efficiency comes from the electric motor that is hooked up to a 3.5-litre Atkinson-cycle V6. It can cruise on just electric power alone and, when all is said and done, it will consume around 6.6 litres per 100kms over a combination of city and highway driving.

The 3.5-litre V6 under the bonnet is no slouch and isn't just there to charge the batteries, with the unit producing 220kW by itself and 263kW when combined with the electric motor.

Lexus LS500h F Sport review

It's a nice spin on the hybrid concept, where underpowered petrol engines often play backup to hybrid systems This combination is a nice surprise. It gets up and going quickly with zero to 100 being dispatched in 5.4 seconds. It also develops a bit of a growl when you plant your foot, not something we're used to in a hybrid.

Power is sent to the wheels through a new complex-sounding approach. Essentially there's a CVT transmission and a 4-speed automatic gearbox which together give up to 10 different gear ratios.

I won't go into too much detail but can say that it works smoothly and effectively around town in traffic and when you get your foot down.

To drive, the LS 500h doesn't feel as large as it is. Despite tipping the scales at just shy of 2.3 tonnes, it remains responsive and effortless to point around thanks to lightweight steering. When it comes to parking this rather long vehicle, parking sensors and reversing cameras help guide you into a spot.

I'm not buying this car to drive it

Naturally, in a vehicle like this, not all people who purchase it will be driving it themselves. To those people I say – the back row is probably the best place to be.

Seated in the back, you have the ability to move the front passenger seat to increase legroom at the touch of a button and with plush, supportive seats, getting comfortable isn't an issue. Electric privacy shades in the back keep the sun (or eyes) from getting in. If the temperature does dip, the outboard seats are heated and, again, all of these functions are just the touch of a button away.

You won't have any complaints about the ride, either. The Lexus LS 500h easily sorts out any imperfections in the road, no doubt aided by its air suspension system which helps the body of the vehicle maintain a flatter motion. It does all this, while limiting disruptions in the cabin, regardless of what is happening on the road's surface.

It is the type of ride you want in a vehicle like this.

Picture not described

How safe is the LS 500h?

Fitted with Lexus comprehensive Safety System+, both you and pedestrians are very well protected. In terms of individual technologies, the LS gets:

  • Pre-collision System with pedestrian and daylight cyclist protection
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Autonomous Cruise Control
  • Road Sign Assist
  • Adaptive High Beam
  • Lane Departure Alert with Lane Tracing Assist
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

In addition to the technology above, being an F Sport trim, we had 10 airbags keeping us safe inside. Should the worst be unavoidable, a pop-up pedestrian sensing safety bonnet looks to protect vulnerable road users as much as possible.

Lexus LS500h F Sport in Hunter Valley

The verdict

Whether you are looking at the Lexus LS 500h F Sport to drive or to be chauffeured in, the level of craftsmanship and finish is seriously impressive. It has ample grunt, but is also quite economical and with its handsome styling, manages to turn some heads (although the demographic may be a touch older).

Don't let any preconceived ideas or stereotypes about Lexus fool you, if you look at the value and quality, the LS 500h could well be the pick of the segment.

Note: If you are looking for a vehicle where you won't be in the front for the most part, the LS 500h Sports Luxury takes it even further. Review to come.

Compare some options to finance a Lexus LS500h F Sport

$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Monthly Repayment View Details CTA
Loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
From
4.67%
(fixed)
5.22%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Settle the loan before 30 November 2021 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Settle the loan before 30 November 2021 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
Plenti Car Loan
From
4.89%
(fixed)
5.44%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From
3.35%
(fixed)
4.41%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.35% p.a. with a comparison rate of 4.41% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.35% p.a. with a comparison rate of 4.41% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.
RACV New Car Loans
From
4.99%
(fixed)
5.69%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
Wisr Secured Car Loan
From
4.74%
(fixed)
5.01%
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 4.74% p.a. to 16.01% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $63,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

⭐Special Offer: Wisr's standard establishment fee $605 will be reduced to $195 for applications submitted through Finder. T&Cs apply.
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 4.74% p.a. to 16.01% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $63,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

⭐Special Offer: Wisr's standard establishment fee $605 will be reduced to $195 for applications submitted through Finder. T&Cs apply.
OurMoneyMarket Car Loan
From
5.35%
(fixed)
5.65%
You'll receive a fixed interest rate from 5.35% p.a. to 14.99% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Borrow between $2,001 and $75,000 to finance a new or used car up to 10 years.
You'll receive a fixed interest rate from 5.35% p.a. to 14.99% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Borrow between $2,001 and $75,000 to finance a new or used car up to 10 years.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From
3.85%
(fixed)
4.05%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.85% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.85% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
IMB New Car Loan
4.99%
(fixed)
5.34%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one that's up to two years old.
NRMA New Car Loan
From
4.99%
(fixed)
5.69%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 3 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 3 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
From
6.99%
(fixed)
7.91%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 7.91% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
Borrow from $5,000 to $55,000, with 1 to 7 year loan terms available. This loan comes with no fees for extra repayments and no early exit fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 7.91% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
Borrow from $5,000 to $55,000, with 1 to 7 year loan terms available. This loan comes with no fees for extra repayments and no early exit fees.
Heritage Bank Car Loan
4.89%
(fixed)
5.53%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Finance a new or used car up to 5 years old. Large maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000 and terms up to 7 years.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Finance a new or used car up to 5 years old. Large maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000 and terms up to 7 years.
Symple Loans Personal Loan
From
5.75%
(variable)
6.47%
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 25.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 25.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
SocietyOne Car Loan
From
5.95%
(fixed)
5.95%
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.95% p.a. and 17.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.95% p.a. and 17.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
Driva Car Loan
From
2.85%
(fixed)
4.39%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 2.85% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 2.85% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From
6.24%
(fixed)
6.94%
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.24% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.24% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Compare car insurance products side-by-side and get quotes

Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
Budget Direct Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Awarded the 2019 Finder Award for the Best Value Car Insurance, this policy offers solid coverage at a low cost. Budget Direct's claims service has received a 4.2/5 based on nearly 5,000 customer reviews.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% discount on first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who want a comprehensive policy without breaking the bank.
Bingle Comprehensive
Market
Finder's summary:Bingle consistently comes up as one of the cheaper insurers out there. It only covers the basics. You don't get to choose your own repairer, you're not covered for personal items in the car and unless you add it as an option, you won't get a hire car if your car is stolen. But this keeps its premiums low.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a low-cost option that covers them for the basics.
Coles Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: With Coles comprehensive car insurance, you could earn double flybuys points at Coles supermarkets and you can get $10 off your Coles grocery bill every time you redeem 2,000 Flybuys points. If your car is damaged, you could benefit from a one-week turnaround on repairs.

⭐ Current offer: Get 10% off your first year's premium when you take out a policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Coles customers and Flybuys collectors.
QBE Comprehensive
Green Company
QBE Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: QBE is a sustainable insurance company and also Finder's Green Insurer of the Year 2021 award winner. This policy offers the highest level of protection available from QBE including three-year new car replacement.

⭐ Current offer: Save $75 when you purchase a new comprehensive policy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: Those that are looking for a more environmentally friendly insurance choice.
Virgin Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Finalists for the 2019 Finder Awards for Best Value Car Insurance, Virgin Comprehensive provides a good level of cover for a decent price.

⭐ Current offer: Get 15% off on your first year’s premium when you purchase a new eligible comprehensive car insurance online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to manage their policy online 24/7.
Australia Post Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Australia Post car insurance offers comprehensive cover for things like theft, fire, new for old replacement and emergency accommodation and transport. Cover also extends to anyone who uses your car, not just you.

⭐ Current offer: Get $75 off your first year’s premium when you buy online. T&Cs apply.

Who it might be good for: If multiple people use the one car and you don’t want to worry about listing all drivers.
Qantas Comprehensive
Optional
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: You'll be able to choose how comprehensive you want your cover to be with optional extras like choice of repairer and the option of agreed or market value.

⭐ Current offer: Earn Qantas Points for joining and paying your premium. Sign up today and earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points (points awarded will be based on your premium). T&Cs and eligibility apply.

Who it might be good for: People who'd like to earn Qantas Points.
Stella Comprehensive
Optional
Agreed or Market
Finder's summary: Stella’s a female-focused insurer. It'll cover you if your car is damaged as a result of domestic violence. It offers higher cover for baby gear than most, with up to $2,000 cover for prams, strollers and child seats.

Who it might be good for: Someone who wants a female-centred car insurance policy (it will cover men too).
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Want to read more car reviews? Check out our car reviews section, or, if you already know what you are after, it might be worth comparing car loan options as well as car insurance to see how much you could save.

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