Lexus LS 500h practicality & boot space
Opulence is the name of the Lexus LS 500h's game, rather than day-to-day versatility
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With rather indifferent handling but a very opulent interior, the Lexus LS 500h shapes up as a car that puts passengers first. This proves to be the case when the car's spacious passenger compartment is taken into account.
There's no mistaking this for a compact car, though, and its considerable bulk might become a burden when threading down narrow urban streets or country lanes. And while cameras provide an all-round view when manoeuvring, it may be a while before you find a parking space that'll take this 5.2-metre saloon.
Lexus LS 500h interior space, storage & comfort
With at least 20 planes of front-seat adjustment, you're unlikely to find difficulty in achieving a comfortable driving position in the LS 500h. This is a wide car, too, so driver and front-seat passenger sit a comfortable distance from one another, while headroom should be adequate for most.
An unusually curvaceous roof shape affords rear-seat passengers reasonable headroom, while the car's width means passengers are unlikely to clash shoulders. Rear-seat legroom matches that of the Mercedes S-Class, too.
If you're being chauffeured in the back of an LS 500h, you can enjoy extra space to stretch out thanks to an optional 'ottoman' function for the left-hand seat. This introduces an electric footrest that folds after the (vacant) front passenger seat has slid forwards.
As with many hybrid cars, the Lexus LS 500h uses a battery pack concealed beneath the boot floor. This has the effect of reducing the space that might otherwise be allocated for carrying luggage, and the Lexus manages 430 litres of luggage capacity overall, with no facility to fold the rear seats to free up more space.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe LS 500h makes for an interesting alternative to the big German luxury saloons, but falls short on fuel-efficiency and can't match rivals for driver appeal
- 2MPG & CO2 emissionsThe claimed fuel economy of the LS 500h beats that of non-hybrid rivals, but electric driving range is limited
- 3Running costsFuel consumption aside, the Lexus LS 500h's hybrid nature does little to rein in its quite considerable running costs – especially when compared to a plug-in hybrid alternative
- 4Engines, drive & performanceThe Lexus LS 500h is fast on paper, but it can't match its (mainly German) luxury-saloon rivals for smoothness or comfort
- 5Interior & comfortAs a high-end luxury saloon, the Lexus LS 500h is unashamedly opulent and eye-catching inside, but rather fussily designed
- 6Practicality & boot space - currently readingOpulence is the name of the Lexus LS 500h's game, rather than day-to-day versatility
- 7Reliability & safetyThe Lexus brand has become legendary for its owner satisfaction, and although it doesn't have an independent crash-test rating, the LS 500h is packed with the latest high-tech safety equipment