Sedans & Coupes

The Lexus LS Might Not Be as Reliable as You Would Think

Lexus is pretty much synonymous with luxury and reliability. The carmaker has an attractive vehicle lineup packed with fantastic features but of course, some models are more reliable than others. If you have been eyeing the Lexus LS sedan specifically, there are few things you should consider before splurging on one.

Critics are divided on the 2020 LS

Since the Lexus LS is considered as an “ultra-luxury” car, we expect the best of the best. The LS is especially known for its sleek exterior and an extremely lush interior. That being said, its often overlooked for rivals in its class like the Audi A8. Unlike the A8, the LS is powered by a V6 engine, instead of a robust V8. This is one of the main reasons as to why auto critics are divided on the LS.

Car and Driver appreciates the LS for its lush interior but notes that it lacks the same refined power as other ultra-luxury models in its class. U.S. News also gives the LS high marks in its class for its cabin but says it doesn’t pamper passengers as the  Porsche Panamera does. Car Connection also praises the LS for its cabin and likes the hybridized version of the sedan but doesn’t like the “fake engine” noises on the F Sport trim.

Overall reliability 

Customer insight organizations Consumer Reports and J.D. Power also have mixed feelings about the LS. CR quite frankly isn’t impressed with the LS. In its 30-year history, the LS has mostly lived up to its ultra-luxury title with its refined power, suppleness, and reliability. Now CR says the LS has completely strayed away from tradition. 

According to CR, potential trouble spots on the LS include its transmission minor, brakes, body integrity, and its in-car electronics. This data is based on the LS models’ recent history as well as customer survey feedback. Most LS owners are happy with the sedan’s style and performance capability. However, they don’t feel like they got the best value. Overall, CR gave the 2020 LS an overall score of 52 out of 100. 

J.D. Power hasn’t ranked the 2020 LS yet for its reliability. However, J.D. Power has given the LS much higher scores in recent years compared to CR. Take the 2018 model year for example. J.D. Power gave the 2018 LS a great reliability score based on customer experiences. That same year, CR gave it one of the worse scores possible. 

Recalls on the LS

2020 Lexus LS 500 F Sport
2020 Lexus LS 500 F Sport | Lexus

CR gave the 2018 LS lower reliability scores largely due to recall actions on the model. In 2018, the LS was recalled for two different reasons. One recall was for its fuel system and the other was related to its tires.

In 2019, there were two more recalls on the LS. One concerned its fuel system and the other related to its electronic stability control. If the fuel system broke down while driving, it could cause the driver to crash. There was also the concern that the control system would cause a crash if it was deactivated. 

Should you buy a Lexus LS?

The 2020 LS starts at $75,450. With its high price tag and spotty reliability in recent years, we wouldn’t recommend buying it. The ultra-luxury Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a much better option and so is the Genesis G90. If you are set on getting an LS, the 2016 model is a reliable used option that’s worth looking into.