Even though it’s now in its fifth model year, the 2022 Lexus LC still looks as fresh as the day it was unveiled and continues to turn heads. This grand touring two-door sits atop the Lexus lineup next to the four-door LS and plays in the same category as the BMW 8-series and the Porsche 911, although its driving demeanor is more relaxed than those icons. Two powertrains are offered—a sonorous naturally aspirated V-8 or a more efficient hybrid V-6—and the LC can be had as a coupe or a soft-top convertible. The LC’s ride is smooth, and its interior is lavishly lined with fine materials and a set of all-day comfortable front seats. A pair of chairs is positioned in the back, but they’re more or less decorative. So long as you aren’t expecting sports-car sharpness, the LC is a stunning piece of rolling art with plenty of cachet.
What’s New for 2022?
Lexus makes some suspension and steering changes for 2022 in an attempt to improve its flagship’s reflexes. Also, a new Bespoke Build trim joins the lineup with some special design flourishes. The Bespoke Build is offered only in coupe form and with the nonhybrid powertrain. It includes an active rear wing, unique 20- or 21-inch wheels, a glass or carbon-fiber roof, blacked-out exterior trim, and an optional orange-colored interior. The available Sport package includes new 21-inch wheels with polished metal and gloss-black elements and revised sport seats with deeper cushions.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We prefer the nonhybrid LC500 model over the heavier and pricier LC500h hybrid. We also recommend the Touring package, which includes semi-aniline leather upholstery, a faux-suede headliner, a 13-speaker Mark Levinson stereo system, parking sensors, a windshield wiper de-icing feature, and a heated steering wheel. The question now becomes whether to stick with the coupe or go for the convertible. The answer to that lies with your own personal preference because we can see the appeal of both.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The beating heart of the standard LC500 is Lexus’s high-performance 5.0-liter V-8, which belts out 471 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. Paired only with a quick-shifting-yet-smooth 10-speed automatic transmission, it produces glorious internal-combustion rock ‘n’ roll that is as pleasing to the ears as the rest of the LC is to the eyes. The other powertrain offered is the LC500h‘s 354-hp gas-electric drivetrain, which combines a 3.5-liter V-6, a pair of electric motors, a 1.1-kWh lithium-ion battery, and a unique continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that somewhat mimics the action of a 10-speed automatic. There’s minimal body roll and good balance to the Lexus’s handling, and the ride quality is excellent considering the huge 21-inch wheels that our test cars wore. The variable-steering and adaptive rear-wheel-steering systems included with the Performance package notably enhance the quickness of the LC’s helm and the car’s general responsiveness. Yet the standard chassis setup is a better fit for the car’s GT comportment and feels more natural without impeding the LC’s tactility. We’d advise saving the money and sticking with the base chassis. Throwing out the LC’s anchor comes via a firm and progressive brake pedal and big, fade-free brakes at each wheel.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The LC500 tips the scales more like a three-row SUV than a sports car and is hundreds of pounds heavier than its main competition—which means its EPA estimates are not that impressive. Despite the LC500h weighing even more than its sibling, being a hybrid earns it much more favorable figures, particularly in the city where its electric assistance comes into play. With the LC500 exceeding its highway estimate by 4 mpg in our testing (29 mpg observed) and the LC500h falling well short of its 34-mpg figure at 30 mpg (as hybrids usually do on the interstate), the fuel-economy difference between the two in cross-country travel was largely a wash. For more information about the LC’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Lexus LC500 interior is a special place, with a great driving position, rich materials, beautiful craftsmanship, excellent front seats, and loads of technology. Some of its ergonomics can be fussy in practice, but the overall ambience suits the LC’s concept-car looks. Fit and finish are excellent and the optional sport seats are true thrones of spinal support. Certain elements require some acclimation, including the funky, Toyota Prius–like electronic shift lever. The LC’s compact trunk and the non-folding rear seats limit its storage space to 5 cubic feet, which is only enough for holding two of our carry-on cases. As attractive as the LC’s cabin is, there are not many cubbies for stashing loose items. The center console, however, is adequately sized, and its lid can be adjusted to reveal a second cupholder.
Infotainment and Connectivity
While Lexus’s Enform infotainment system may be packed with features and tech, it is one of our least favorite systems on the market due to its clunky touchpad controller, which requires too much attention from the driver to operate safely while driving. Navigation and a host of apps are all standard fare in the LC’s Enform infotainment suite that includes a mobile hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Along with eight air bags for its relatively compact cabin, the LC boasts a healthy roster of standard and available driver-assistance technologies. For more information about the LC’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Lexus’s warranty plan for the LC is pretty solid among luxury coupes, with substantial powertrain coverage for both internal-combustion and hybrid components. It’s short of the best in terms of complimentary scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
- Hybrid components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 miles