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Hagerty Employee

Review: 2022 Lexus LS 500 F Sport

Driving the V-6-powered, Camry-contoured, slightly-apologetic-for-existing-at-all Lexus LS 500 down a California canyon road, the traction-control light flickering with the telegraph fist of a madman, I experienced a sudden burst of affection for a fellow named Karl Rove. Most of my readers won't recognize that name, but the ones who do will no doubt have a strong emotional reaction to it.

It is so much easier to follow than lead. The old Lexus LS400, 430, 460 was trying to prove Toyota could do luxury, and mimicked Mercedes to nth degree. Once Toyota realized Lexus is a dominant force in market, it tried to distinguish itself and lead, and so we get this hodge-podge. The loss of V8 is really inexcusable in this class of car. I do agree the interior is fine enough but the exterior should be way toned down and no need for sporty ride. Any one wanting sporty sedan these days gets a Tesla model S any way.

In September I visited a resort in Amelia Island Florida. Beautiful time. It was amazing to see all the high end rollers drive in Yukon Denalis, Escalades, Tahoes and a few Expeditions. All darker colors. I believe that is where old money goes now, not Mercedes, not Hyundai Genesis, not Lexus. Those beasts rule the American roads and American luxury segment.
Intermediate Driver

At first, I wondered why a guy continuously writes about cars that he hates. Then I read that he is a Karl Rove fan, and it all made sense.
New Driver

Prior to 1991 I drove Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar. From 1991 on I have owned 6 of the LS400, 430, and a 2012 LS460. I’m now 74 and hopefully my 2012 will meet my needs for many more years because I can’t stand the awful, ugly front end snow plow sized grill design. Until Lexus redesigns all of their vehicle front ends I’ll never own another one. Sad because their reliability and ease of maintenance runs circles around Mercedes, BMW and all other large luxury sedans.
Intermediate Driver

Totally agree about Lexus' ugly, huge thimble front grills.

It is a great cruiser but it's not a drivers car. The LS was never a performance drivers sedan. The V6 is superior on paper in terms of numbers versus the old V8 but it's likely never coming back. The loss of the V8 has hurt sales but Lexus was aiming for a younger demographic and has failed miserably. They certainly have a lovely V8 for the LC, RC-F and IS 500 they could have used.

The Genesis is losing the V8. Just a twin-turbo V6. All Hyundai knows how to do it try to be the Korean Lexus, except it has a long way to go in dealer experience.  Their cars are good but a few stops short of great. I want to like Genesis but Genesis doesn't seem fully committed to anything other than trying to be a Korean Lexus. At that point I'll just get the Lexus.

Intermediate Driver

Without being political, I think the Karl Rove analogy works. Makes sense to me Jack. Let's just keep it simple and take it for what it's intended. If you want more politics, just go to the NFL or another entertainment venue. You can get a nose full there.
Intermediate Driver

Totally agree with other comment about Lexus' ugly, huge thimble front grills. I so much want to like/own a Lexus due to the quality - but passed them up twice now - first for a 2013 Audi Q5 then for a 2020 Mercedes GLC300. C'mon Lexus think outside the thimble!


My buddy Russ sends me a CL post for a high mile Audi A8L, "Whada'ya think?"
I said don't do it; I would not buy a car like that unless it was a Lexus or Acura.
He asked me to lift the Audi today to do basic maintenance and troubleshoot problems. I evaluated it as a 93 LS400 owner that experienced 200K miles of bliss. The Audi is a POS.
So tonight you had me at LS500, then you lost me at Rove.
Well Jack wrote it, I am reluctantly compelled.
I have been satisfied with 2000s luxury cars, and previous owners take good care of them.
I don't seek Rove on FOX or LS500. I remember Lee Atwater inspired Rove Re: Ann Richards, Max Cleland and John McCain.