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Most car shoppers go into purchasing a vehicle with a budget in mind. Even drivers who have a large sum of money to spend have an idea of where they want to top out. Luxury customers are almost always willing to pay more money upfront to ensure one thing above all else – quality. So when it comes to the 2021 Lexus LS, are buyers getting what they are paying for? Some critics and owners would venture to say that they aren’t. 

When you think of Lexus, plush, lavish interiors and sleek, modern design is sure to come to mind. If you pull up in most Lexus models, you are sure to incur a look or two, and that’s a good thing. Luxus customers have come to expect a high standard from the brand, and over the years, the automaker has delivered. However, the automaker seems to have fallen short, as the LS is one of the most complained about Lexus models.

So what exactly are critics saying about the 2021 Lexus LS? When you’re spending more than $75,000 on a vehicle, you want to make sure it’s top-of-the-line. Unfortunately for the LS, it doesn’t hold a candle to the top competitors in its class.

Let’s take a closer look at precisely what critics have to say about the 2021 Lexus LS and everything it has to offer. You may be surprised at what you find. 

Why is the 2021 Lexus LS overvalued?

A silver 2021 Lexus LS parked on display
The 2021 Lexus LS on display | Photo via Lexus

A luxury sedan like the LS has to excel in nearly every aspect of the ownership experience to live up to its $76,000 starting MSRP. This kind of cash is typically reserved for one’s dream car, so nothing but the best will do.

However, there’s been some cause for concern with the amount of value drivers are getting from the 2021 Lexus LS. Consumer Reports gave the LS a vehicle score of just 43/100, making it seem overpriced compared to other super-luxurious sedans.

The car’s low score is primarily the result of failures in two areas. The publication gave the 2021 LS a predicted reliability rating of 1/5 and a predicted ownership satisfaction rating of 2/5.

However, Consumer Reports noted several positives as well. The 2021 Lexus LS performed exceptionally well in the road test. Its standard 416-hp twin-turbo V6 engine delivers quick acceleration, and it has sporty handling. However, the publication knocked the sedan’s ride quality, stating, “impacts from bumps are felt too hard for a luxury car.”

Your money could be better spent elsewhere

These areas of concern aren’t new problems for the LS. The fifth-generation of the rear-wheel-drive sedan debuted for the 2018 model year, and it has been subject to criticism ever since. For example, Lexus didn’t equip the luxury car with a touchscreen until releasing the 2021 model.

The U.S. News & World Report’s review of 2020 Lexus LS recommends buying the Mercedes-Benz S-Class instead. Some shoppers will bat an eye at the 2021 S-Class’ starting MSRP of $94,250, but U.S. News ranked it as the top car in the class. It delivers a much smoother ride than the LS, and its interior is incredibly well-appointed.

However, if you’re sticking to a strict budget, this vehicle likely won’t be in your line of sight. And if so, there are better (and cheaper) options, such as a full-loaded Toyota Avalon. While not quite a luxury car, getting the Avalon might be money better spent.

A top-trim upscale sedan like the Avalon won’t reach the performance heights of the 2021 Lexus LS. However, it may be more refined. The 2021 LS comes standard with a decent assortment of amenities, such as leather seats, driver-assistance technologies, and heated/cooled front seats. Meanwhile, a top-of-the-line 2021 Toyota Avalon adds a little more to the mix, such as a head-up display.

The final verdict


Which is Better at Luxury, the Genesis G90, or the Lexus LS?

You don’t get many chances to buy your dream car. So if you’re willing to plop down more than $75,000 on your next vehicle purchase, you may want to set your sights higher than a 2021 Lexus LS. This luxury sedan delivers a decent enough ride, but concerns about long-term reliability and owner satisfaction cast a large shadow over the model.