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For folks looking to buy a luxury car that’s affordable, buying an older model is usually a pretty good idea. Lexus is already a pretty great luxury brand, and many Lexus customers will buy an older model instead of a brand-new one. That being said, weirdly enough, the 2017 Lexus LS might be a better car than the 2018 Lexus LS is.

The 2018 Lexus LS is newer, but worse

According to Consumer Reports, the 2018 LS is actually a pretty bad car. In fact, it’s such a bad car that Consumer Reports recommended that people avoid buying it.

This was largely because the 2018 LS was the first model year of the current generation of the LS. As a result of that, there were a lot of growing pains. 

For example, Lexus is well-known for making reliable cars. Most Lexus models live up to that reputation, but like Consumer Reports said, this wasn’t the case for the 2018 LS.

In fact, its reliability score was way worse than most Lexus fans would expect it to be, as Consumer Reports gave the 2018 LS a 1 out of 5 for reliability. While this dismal reliability score was troubling, the 2018 LS had plenty of other issues, too. 

Fewer satisfied customers than the 2017 model

When Lexus redesigned the LS for the current generation, one of the things it did was change the LS’ dimensions. Consumer Reports said that Lexus made the 2018 LS “longer, wider, and lower,” and as a result, this actually reduced how much seating space was available. Due to that, the 2018 LS might not be a very comfortable ride, especially for people sitting in the back.

On top of that, Consumer Reports said that the 2018 LS’ ride quality actually got worse compared with the 2017 LS. Technically speaking though, the 2018 LS, when equipped with the optional air suspension system, does have a very good ride quality. But of course, the issue is that the base model’s ride quality is a downgrade from the older models. 

Additionally, while the 2018 LS still had a very luxurious interior, Consumer Reports complained that Lexus made its controls worse. Lexus added a bunch of new features to the 2018 LS’ interior, but those features had controls that were “extremely convoluted and frustrating.”

There’s also a learning curve to them, and it’s why Consumer Reports recommended that drivers familiarize themselves with the 2018 LS’ controls before driving off. 

Overall, those issues led to owners giving the 2018 LS a bad review. Consumer Reports said that, in terms of owner satisfaction, the 2018 LS only got a score of 1 out of 5, which is substantially worse than what the 2017 LS had.

The 2017 Lexus LS is cheaper and better all around


If You Want a Lexus You Should Probably Buy Used

Those aren’t the only reasons why the 2018 LS is a worse option, according to Consumer Reports. Since the 2018 LS was the first model year of the current generation of the LS, it’s also pretty expensive. The 2018 LS starts at about $54,000, which, to be fair, is still significantly cheaper than a brand-new LS.

However, the 2017 Lexus LS, despite being a year older, is even cheaper than that. Consumer Reports said that the 2017 LS starts at about $38,000, which means that the 2017 LS is about $16,000 cheaper than the 2018 LS is. 

Despite that price disparity though, the 2017 LS is undoubtedly the better car in Consumer Reports’ eyes. The 2017 LS was as reliable as a Lexus should be, and owners were very satisfied with it as well.

That’s why the 2017 LS got a 5 out of 5 in both categories, and it’s also why Consumer Reports called it “a benchmark for soothing luxury motoring.”