- 2021 Lexus LC 500 (MSRP: $93,050 – $119,900)
- “Best Luxury Car of the Year Award 2021” – Women’s World Car of the Year
- 2018 Motor Trend Car of the Year Finalist
- Pro: Unique styling, powerful engine, renowned reliability
- Con: Not as sporty as it looks and it feels heavy
Although the 2021 Lexus LC 500 looks like an exotic car, it drives more like a stately luxury sedan. That doesn’t take away from its overall sporty character though, instead, it actually enhances it. That’s because the LC 500 is not supposed to be a visceral exotic car that can take hairpin turns at 80 mph or rev obnoxiously to the stratosphere. In actuality, it’s a grand touring car.
The Lexus LC 500 is the type of car that you would want to take to a formal gala or on a cruise down the coastline, but not necessarily to a racetrack. That doesn’t mean that it can’t handle its own, as the LC 500 does provide some competition with cars like the BMW 8 Series and Audi RS7, but it’s much more dignified than either of them. With its exceptional build quality, potent V8 engine, and notable reliability, the LC 500 provides a sensible means to an unsensible segment.
The 2021 Lexus LC 500 has a timeless design
The Lexus LC 500 looks unlike anything else on the road. In fact, it looks unlike other Lexus in the brand’s lineup. Kelley Blue Book said it best when they described the LC 500 as the “best embodiment of the company’s design language.” I couldn’t agree more.
Its aggressive front and rear-end styling mix well with the elegant lines and soft curves on the sides of the car. Every proportion of the car just works well, whether you choose the convertible or the coupe. My tester was the former shod in the brand’s InfraRed paint job, which was a dark red that showed off the body lines of the car very well.
The craftsmanship in the LC 500’s interior is impeccable
Stepping into the 2021 LC 500’s driver-oriented cockpit, it’s hard not to notice the impeccable attention to detail. Of course, I wouldn’t expect anything less from a vehicle in this category – and at this price point – but it looks like Lexus didn’t skimp on extravagance.
There are semi-aniline leather seating surfaces abound and the 10-way power-adjustable front seats hold you in tight no matter how fast you go. There’s plenty of room for the driver and passenger and there’s even a pair of rear seats, but they’re really just more for show. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is heated and there is a pair of magnesium paddle shifters behind it. There is also an eight-inch multi-information display that shows the driver pertinent information, two USB ports, and an analog clock.
The Lexus LC 500 has everything you would need in a luxury sports car
Considering its flagship status, you can imagine that the Lexus LC 500 is loaded with just about every feature you would need. Some of the most notable standard features include 20-inch wheels, a 10.3-inch infotainment display, an adaptive suspension, a sport exhaust, and different drive modes. Other features include dual-zone auto climate control, a 12-speaker audio system, and Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
My LC 500 test car was the convertible trim, which came with a 4-layer convertible soft top that shielded me from the outside world. One neat party trick is that the convertible top can be opened and closed when the car is traveling up to 31 mph.
Technology in the LC 500 is top-notch
In addition to the amazing array of standard features, the Lexus LC 500 boasts an impressive menu of optional ones. My test car came with a set of stunning 21-inch wheels that sported a black and polished finish in addition to a Torsen limited-slip differential. A head-up display is also an option as is the “Lexus Climate Concierge.”
For those unfamiliar with the last feature, the climate concierge is an automatic system that uses the car’s heated seats, climate control, and neck heaters to keep the driver and passenger at the cabin temperature they set it at. It’s a nice “set it and forget it” type feature, but for your whole upper body. A 13-speaker, 915-watt Mark Levinson premium sound system is also available and is a “must-have.”
The LC 500 handles well, but it still feels like a big car
Almost any sports car with wide 21-inch wheels and an adaptive suspension is sure to handle really well, needless to say, the LC 500 doesn’t disappoint. In my time with the car, I was able to drive it through the city streets, on the highway, and through some canyon roads and the car hugged the pavement in every situation.
The different drive modes do make a difference, however, you would need a real racetrack to really benefit from the sportier modes. The “comfort” is perfectly fine around town and even allowed me to tackle corners easily and quickly. Surprisingly, though, the LC 500 didn’t exactly exude razor-sharp handling as its large size and heavier proportions made it feel more like a luxury cruiser than a visceral exotic car.
Don’t count the LC 500’s silky-smooth V8 out
Lexus announced that it’s going to discontinue the V8 engine in the LC 500 after the 2021 model year. That’s a shame because I found it utterly sublime and feel that it really backs up what the car’s exotic looks. However, the LC 500 will still have the hybrid powertrain that is currently an option for this model year.
Speaking of the V8 engine, I found that its sound is what makes it so great. One hard step on the throttle and I’m sure you’ll agree. The power picks up quickly and the torque will push you back in the seat, but it’s not “scary fast.” The heavyweight of the car drowns out some of the guttural feels that you would normally get from an exotic car.
Ultimately, it’s OK, considering the LC 500 is still a pleasure to cruise around in and I wouldn’t hesitate to take it on a cross-country trip. Fortunately, the 5.0-liter V8 engine returns decent fuel economy numbers to the tune of 15 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Not bad, considering it’s also putting out 471 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque.
The optional hybrid powertrain consists of a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a high-output electric motor that churns out 354 hp. It’s a lot less power than the V8, but according to Lexus, the LC 500 Hybrid can still scoot from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, compared to the V8 version, which can cover the same distance in 4.4 seconds. It’s not a huge difference in performance and the hybrid powertrain can achieve an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Now we can see why the automaker gave the V8 engine the ax.
The Lexus LC 500 is very safe
Lexus vehicles have always been known for their safety and the LC 500 is no exception. This exotic car features eight airbags (six on the convertible), a blind-spot monitor with rear-cross traffic alert, and the Lexus Safety System + suite of driver-assist features. Those features include a lane-departure warning, an all-speed dynamic cruise control, and parking sensors with automatic braking.
Those sensors are a welcomed addition as the LC 500’s long front overhang makes it tough to see the parking lines in tight situations. While LC 500 is undoubtedly safe, it could benefit from a 360-degree camera.
Maintenance for the LC 500 is reasonable
Just like any other Lexus, the LC 500 should be dead-on reliable, however, the maintenance and repairs for it can be somewhat costly. Kelley Blue Book’s “5-year Cost to Own” analysis concludes that it can cost around $3,436 for maintenance and $1,232 for repairs with the first five years of ownership. However, considering the price bracket that this car is in, those costs seem rather reasonable.
Luckily, any new LC 500 owners won’t have to worry too much about repairs within the first few years of ownership. Like the others in its stable, the LC 500 is covered by the brand’s basic 4-year/50,000-mile warranty in addition to a 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. The hybrid model is also backed by a long 8-year/100,000-mile warranty while the battery has a separate 10-year/150,000-mile warranty.
The 2021 Lexus LC 500 is a beautiful blend of brawn and luxury
If you’re the type of buyer that is seeking the ultimate comfort in a luxury sports car with plenty of brawn to go with it, the 2021 Lexus LC 500 could work for you. Sure, its price point means that it’s not obtainable by everyone, however, those that can afford it will be pleasantly delighted on their everyday commute. Considering the LC 500 can be driven long distances without much discomfort as well, it is indeed the perfect example of an everyday supercar.
MotorBiscuit gives the 2021 Lexus LC 500 an expert rating of 9.0 out of 10
The editors at MotorBiscuit rated the 2021 Lexus LC 500 a 9.0 out of 10. It’s hard not to love a supercar with sleek and exotic styling that looks this good. On top of all, the LC 500 has the handling prowess and power that you would expect from a car like this and it’s an excellent value to boot.