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In-depth reviews

Lexus LS saloon - Interior & comfort

Comfort and equipment are Lexus LS 500h virtues, even if its design won't be to all tastes

Carbuyer Rating

3.4 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Interior & comfort Rating

4.5 out of 5

When full power isn't called upon, the LS 500h is a quiet car to travel in. The engine is naturally muted, while active noise-cancelling technology is on hand to further drown out mechanical noise. Around town, where the electric motors are most likely to be used alone, the Lexus is quieter still. Aside from a ride that's occasionally unsettled by drain covers and potholes, the LS 500h makes a very agreeable urban limo.

Lexus LS dashboard

The LS500h has a very different interior style to its German rivals. The inside environment is exquisitely put together and constructed from truly first-class materials, but its appearance is something of an acquired taste – and that's before you add the optional decoration pack of hand-pleated fabric and cut glass-inspired inserts.

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The driver sits behind three separate colour displays, the central off which presents a single digital-analogue dial with a number of different settings, very similar to that used in the LC 500 coupe. There's a very sophisticated and information-heavy head-up display in the driver's line of sight, too.

As with the LC 500, LS 500h infotainment duties are performed by a large, high-resolution central display which was thoroughly updated for 2023. It’s no longer controlled by a frustrating touchpad, thanks to a new touchscreen interface, and it can also be controlled using your voice to reduce distraction as much as possible. The new infotainment setup also introduced Lexus Premium Link, allowing owners to operate some of the car’s functions remotely using a companion smartphone app. Setting the climate control to preheat or cool the cabin, locking or unlocking the doors and flashing the hazard warning lights can be controlled away from the vehicle.

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Other new technology for 2023 includes connected services, which are able to provide real-time traffic, road and parking information. Meanwhile, a Panoramic View Monitor helps drivers manoeuvre the car thanks to a camera angle that mimics being able to see through the floor, along with the position of the wheels.

Equipment

You'll not find a meanly-equipped LS 500h in the line-up – even entry-level models have 20-inch alloy wheels, full LED exterior lighting, 20-way power-adjustable front seats, a 12-speaker stereo and dual-zone climate control. The optional Premium Pack for the LS trim also adds the 23-speaker Mark Levinson stereo, along with a system called 'Climate Concierge', that monitors individual passenger's body temperature to ensure the climate control settings suit everybody on board.

Step up to F Sport and things start to get really opulent. This grants you adjustable suspension, heated rear seats and ventilated front seats, a 23-speaker stereo from hi-fi specialists Mark Levinson, and a finer grade of leather for the seats. F-Sport also brings a sportier feel, with gloss-black detailing on the side skirts and bootlid, unique 20-inch alloy wheels and a different treatment to that eye-catching 'spindle' front grille.

Top of the range is Takumi, which comes with four-wheel drive as standard. Among its specification highlights are fully automated parking, four-zone climate control with nanoe purification and an 'ottoman' front passenger seat that can be whisked out of the way electrically to allow over a metre of legroom for whoever sits in the rear left seat.

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Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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