Lexus LS 500h reliability & safety
The 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
Perhaps it's because Lexus has a relatively small share of the UK's car market – allowing it to lavish individual customers with more attention – the brand enjoys an unequalled reputation for owner satisfaction. Lexus is renowned for its sophisticated technology, too, and nowhere is this more clear than on the list of standard safety equipment for the LS 500h.
Lexus LS 500h reliability & problems
The Lexus LS has sold in relatively small volumes in recent years, which means it tends not to feature in the annual Driver Power customer-satisfaction survey. The Lexus brand, however, is always well represented and it's clear that owners are generally very satisfied indeed with the company's products.
Lexus topped the poll of brands in 2020 – its fourth year in a row in this position. Just over 11% of owners reported faults, praising their cars' reliability and build quality. Safety is another strong point, while Lexus drivers love their cars' ride and handling. Slightly high fuel bills were the only real black mark on the brand's score sheet.
As a car that sells in small numbers, it's unlikely that the Lexus LS 500h will ever face independent crash-testing by expert body Euro NCAP. And the same is true of many of its rivals. That doesn't mean the LS 500h is unsafe, though – far from it. Aside from the undoubted quality of its construction, the Lexus is packed with sophisticated safety features designed to reduce the likelihood of a crash occurring in the first place.
Every model has radar cruise control that can match the speed of the car in front, while lane-keeping assistance can warn if you're drifting out of lane, before adjusting the steering to tuck the car back in line. There's road-sign recognition, too, and an adaptive high-beam system that can adjust the light cast by the car's LED headlamps to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic.
The top-spec model also has a pre-collision system that can instruct the car to swerve around an obstruction in the road if sensors detect that it's safe to do so. It also boasts CoDrive – a semi-autonomous driving mode that makes long-distance journeys more relaxing by looking after acceleration, braking and steering so long as you keep both hands on the wheel.
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 spaceOpulence is the name of the Lexus LS 500h's game, rather than day-to-day versatility
- 7Reliability & safety - currently readingThe 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