2022 Lexus LS
2022 Lexus LS
The Lexus LS is an elegant luxury sedan with beautiful attention to detail within its full-size footprint. For 2022 there are small touch-ups to the headlights, some changes to the engine packaging to reduce noise from under the hood, plus new trim choices, including a package called Inspiration Series for the hybrid LS 500h.
The LS is a flagship without a V-8; it’s a new era. The LS 500’s turbocharged V-6 delivers all the power of a V-8, 416 horsepower, mated to a 10-speed automatic. It’s rear-wheel drive, with available all-wheel drive. The hybrid also uses a V-6, though not turbocharged, teamed with an electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries, to get good acceleration and gas mileage.
The LS in either form delivers a serene driving experience. It rides with soft compliance to match its sublime interior, but with a flip of its drive-mode selector can tighten its focus for mildly sporty road manners.
The LS 500 is EPA rated at 18/29/22 mpg, or 17/27/21 mpg with AWD. The LS 500h hybrid improves that to 22 mpg city, 29 highway, 25 combined.
The LS hasn’t been crash tested, and probably won’t be because of its price and low volume. But it has a lot of safety equipment and active accident avoiding technology. One option enables the autonomous changing of lanes with the turn signal.
Made in Japan, the 2022 Lexus LS starts at about $77,000; with all-wheel drive it’s about $80,000. Pricing for the LS 500h begins at more than $112,000.
The LS comes with heated front seats, leather upholstery, a 12.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more. An optional package brings softer leather, seats that adjust 28 ways and do massage, and a choice of cabin trims.
The $9,000 Luxury Package adds an adaptive air suspension and adjustable rear seats. The Executive Package with kiriko glass trim and lavishly padded seats goes for $24,000. It’s possible to push the price up to $113,000.
The Lexus warranty covers the LS for 4 years or 50,000 miles with two free trips to the dealer’s garage for maintenance.
With new headlights the 2022 LS still comes off as subtle and elegant, though there’s a lot going on with the lines and creases that furrow the front end. The F Sport adds to that with bigger wheels and sporty bumpers.
The cabin is spacious and graceful, with a masterly design. The materials, fit and finish, and details are first rate, from cut glass to super-thin foil trim, as well as different kinds of wood and aluminum. The leather in the base model is good, the semi-aniline leather even better.
The front seats have superb support, the rear seats have a fabulous amount of room, and the trunk is large even for a full-size sedan, at 17 cubic feet.
With a twin-turbo V-6 making 416 horsepower, the LS 500 provides really quick acceleration from any speed, with next-to-zero turbo lag. There might be a hesitation from the 10-speed transmission at slow speeds, but when it’s called on for immediate response it’s always there.
The LS 500h hybrid’s V-6 isn’t turbocharged, and it makes quite a bit less horsepower at 354 hp, but it feels almost as quick, at lesser speeds.Out on the highway, the base LS 500 with the turbo engine is quicker and less pressed to deliver the power expected of a luxury flagship.
The ride is soft and sometimes floaty in response to large bumps. The steering is on the light side, without much feedback. The optional air suspension makes things a lot better: It isolates the bumps extremely well while it can change damping quickly to quell some of the LS’ cushier ride motions. Lexus has no rival for the hard-edged sport sedans from Mercedes or BMW, but that’s hardly the point here.
With the 2022 LS, Lexus blends luxury and style with an extraordinary attention to detail. Rivals may be more entertaining to drive on a winding road, but few of them combine hybrid frugality and sophistication like the LS 500h.
—by Sam Moses with driving impressions by The Car Connection