Status, Symbolized: The 2020 Lexus LS 500

Front 3/4 view of 2020 Lexus LS 500
The 2020 Lexus LS 500.
There's a difference between a display of extravagance and a status symbol.  The first merely shows you have (or can borrow) money.  The second, ideally, shows both wealth and taste. 

Rear 3/4 view of 2020 Lexus LS 500

The 2020 Lexus LS 500 is just drop-dead gorgeous---bearing a strong resemblance to the lustworthy LC 500 coupe.  My fantasy three-car garage would have both of them inside, with a player to be named later.

Engine in 2020 Lexus LS 500

Engine in 2020 Lexus LS 500

Engine in 2020 Lexus LS 500

Under the hood, there's a 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 making 418 horsepower.  It's mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.   The result is not only right-now acceleration with tons of torque, it's also an impressive EPA fuel economy estimate for this class---19 city/30 highway.

That's right---thirty.

Headlamp detail---"Lexus"

The base price is $75,450, which is also a remarkable number in this segment.  The Mercedes-Benz S Class starts at $94,250.  The least expensive BMW 7-Series, the 740i, begins at $86,450.  An Audi A8 in base form is $85,200. 

And despite being between 10 and almost 20 grand less than the direct competition, the 2020 Lexus LS 500 has an astonishing list of standard features:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tires.
  • Lexus Safety System + 2.0 (Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane tracking assist, lane departure alert with steering assist, road sign assist, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, intelligent high beams).
  • Blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.
  • Intuitive parking assist with auto braking.
  • Smart stop technology.
  • SmartAccess entry system with pushbutton start/stop.
  • Backup camera with dynamic gridlines.
  • LED headlamps, taillamps and daytime running lights.
  • 16-way power heated and ventilated front seats.
  • Heated leather-trimmed steering wheel.
  • Power moonroof.
  • Power rear sunshade.
  • Hands-free power open/close trunk.
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers.
  • Dual-zone climate control.
  • Apple CarPlay.
  • Lexus navigation system with 12.3-inch display.
  • Dynamic voice command.
  • Lexus Enform Dynamic Navigation (3 year trial).
  • Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Service Connect (free for first 10 years of ownership).
  • Lexus Enform Remote (one-year trial) with smart watch and Alexa skill integration.
  • Lexus Enform Wi-Fi, 4GB (one-year trial).
  • Lexus Enform Destination Assist (one-year trial).
  • Lexus 12-speaker premium audio system.
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio (three-month trial).
  • First aid kit.
  • Carpeted floor mats.
  • Luggage net.
Front seats in 2020 Lexus LS 500

Instrument panel in 2020 Lexus LS 500

Gauge cluster in 2020 Lexus LS 500

Infotainment and HVAC in 2020 Lexus LS 500

Glass dashboard detail in 2020 Lexus LS 500

Door panel detail in 2020 Lexus LS 500

Rear seats in 2020 Lexus LS 500

Rear seat controls in 2020 Lexus LS 500

Our test vehicle also had extra-cost options.  More than $30,000 worth, in fact---with $17,000 of that being the Executive Package, which gives front and rear seat passengers a limo-like experience.  Here's the breakdown:

  • Lexus Safety System + A (Pre-collision system with active braking, active steering assist, pedestrian alert, front cross-traffic alert, lane change assist): $3,000.
  • Adaptive variable air suspension with rapid height: $1,500.
  • 20-inch split five-spoke alloy wheels: $2,450.
  • 24-inch head-up display: $1,200.
  • LED headlamps with adaptive front lighting system: $300.
  • Executive Package (Quilted-stitch perforated semi-aniline leather interior trim, 28-way power driver's seat with multi-function massage, ultrasuede headliner, power front seat buckles, heated and power-reclining outboard rear seats, four-zone climate concierge, power side-window sunshades and a seven-inch touchscreen controller in the rear seat armrest): $17,000.
  • Mark Levinson audio system with 23 speakers: $1,940.
  • Premium paint (Manganese Luster): $595.
  • Panorama glass roof: $1,000.
  • Panoramic view monitor: $800.
  • Premium wood trim: $800.
  • Heated wood-and-leather-trimmed steering wheel: $410.
  • Door edge film: $90.
  • Illuminated door sills: $450.
  • Cargo net/trunk mat/wheel locks/leather key glove/rear bumper applique': $380.
Side view of 2020 Lexus LS 500

With $1,025 delivery, processing and handling fee, the bottom line on the window sticker read $108,490.

Yes, that's a staggering amount of money.  But, not for this class of vehicle.  I promise you---you can top that amount with the S-Class, 7-Series or A8 without exhausting the list of available options. And the great part about the 2020 Lexus LS 500 is that you can get a well-equipped, just not sybaritic, version for $75,450.   Most buyers end up somewhere in between.

I've been recommending the big Lexus to luxury car owning friends for 18 years now.  The 2020 Lexus LS 500 is the best so far.