Think for a moment: Which vehicles’ styling still looks beautiful seven years later? Leave it to Lexus to create a stunning coupe and convertible. I’ll get back to the looks later on, but let’s just say that this turns heads. It may be beautiful, but the competition has moved on. Some are significantly quicker and have more modern tech. Although Lexus has a glorious-sounding V8, this week, I had the LC500h. I came into this article thinking “Great, it’s the hybrid LC, this won’t be enjoyable.” Think my mind was swayed?
Stunning. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Synonyms. Yes, from every angle, the LC500 sure is a looker! Even with a more sedate Silver paint, the various trim pieces and shapes make up for it. This LC500h came with 21-inch glass black metallic wheels. Not surprisingly since this is an older Lexus, the grille is massive. The headlights droop from the front fenders to the bottom. The silhouette is amazing, and it helps that the door handles manually pop out. My favorite part of the LC500h is that rear end with the cross-connecting lights, sloping roofline, and optional spoiler.
Open the door and you’ll find some interesting blade-like door handles. Since this is seven years old, Lexus hasn’t done much to the interior. They have replaced the much-maligned trackpad infotainment system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. This is a vast improvement. You can also use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. What hasn’t changed is the quality of the materials. This is a luxurious coupe and looks good in brown. The steering wheel, thankfully, has marked buttons on it for safety features, audio, and controlling the central display.
Even though it is an old design, I loved the central dial that swivels. Yes, it gives you barely information, but it sprouts ears. There are two rotary stocks on either side of the instrument panel. The one on the left is for traction control and snow. The right has your various drive modes including comfort, normal, individual, eco, sport+, and sport +s. This car had an optional head-up display which was quite large and showed information such as navigation and speed. Non-surprisingly, there isn’t a lot of space in the LC500h. There are back seats, and please don’t use them.
As the name suggests, this is a hybrid. Hybrid LCs get a 3.5-liter V6 and two motors. Combined, these make 354 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. The transmission is interesting because it’s a CVT with four mixed ratios. With everything combined, the LC500h goes from 0-60 MPH in 4.8 seconds. While that number sounds low, the hybrid system makes this feel quite rapid. It did feel like the car was shifting, which surprised me. It’s not a sports coupe like some of its competition, but the LC500h felt good around bends. Being rear-wheel-drive, it’s easy to get the tail out.
The biggest positive for the hybrid over the V8 version of the LC is the economy. I had between 24-26 MPG which is quite the difference from the V8. Cruising on the highway was comfortable, the Lexus’ has a good amount of safety features. There were a few times I wanted to shut off the lane-keep assist because it was getting annoying. Out of the drive modes listed above, I was usually in comfort with occasional spurts of sport+ s. This is a grand tourer and one that can do over 600 miles on a fill-up.
Pricing for the LC500h Coupe starts at $101,000. Standard features include a panoramic view camera, a new infotainment system, and heated and ventilated seats. Add in $2,100 for the Touring Package which includes semi-aniline leather-trimmed front seats, Alcantara headliner, Mark Levinson sound system, heated steering wheel, and windshield de-icer. With 21-inch wheels and a $900 head-up display, this model came in at $106,000. That’s the norm for higher-end grand tourers.
Which is precisely what the LC500h is. It’s not a sports car. It’s a beautiful rear-wheel-drive coupe. When I came into this review, I didn’t think the hybrid would impress me. It did. It made me realize that the LC500h makes sense. Would I get the V8? Yes because it sounds wonderful. With the hybrid, all you’re missing is noise. It may be a hybrid, but the LC500 impresses me as much as the V8.