Jan 302024

Getting behind the wheel of a six-figure vehicle can be intimidating, especially if it’s not yours. When the Atomic Silver 2024 Lexus LC 500h arrived for a Latino Traffic Report test drive, it made quite an impression with its super car exterior design including hidden door handles and tail lamps that were inspired by the glow of a jet’s afterburners. Officially designated a premium touring coupe, the LC 500h offers a first-class driving experience for the auto enthusiast with deep pockets.

Lexus revealed the gas-powered LC 500 in 2016 and the 500h hybrid followed shortly after. In order to be competitive, premium coupes must check several boxes and the LC 500 ticked off most. Beyond its striking design, it promised a driving experience usually reserved for sports cars.

Less of a performance vehicle than its sibling, the 500h hybrid powertrain includes a 3.5-liter, six-cylinder engine that produces 295 horses and 258.2 1b.–ft. of torque assisted by two electric motors and matched to a multi-stage hybrid automatic transmission. Five drive modes, including Normal, Custom, Comfort, Eco, and Sport Plus, can be used to enhance performance further.

The EPA estimated fuel economy for the hybrid is 26 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The as-tested model achieved an average of 25.1 mpg in mostly city driving. Fuel economy, however, may not be what prospective buyers care most about.

Sleek and low with an aerodynamic lift in the back and sitting on 21-inch forged alloy wheels, the hybrid version shares the same head- turning exterior design of its gas-powered sibling. The interior on the test model also raised the bar for bells and whistles with opulent two-tone (white and dark blue) heated and cooled leather seats with suede accents and piping, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and suede-like Alcantara trimmed door panels. There is a back seat, but it’s nearly impossible to access, even for a diminutive adult, but it could be used for extra cargo room.

Super user friendly, particularly when setting the 20 preset channels, its infotainment touchscreen measured 12.3 inches, now standard throughout the lineup. The center instrument cluster, however, needs to be updated. Other standard premium features include a panoramic view monitor, and Intuitive Parking Assist. The test model included a few options like the Bespoke Build Package ($3,200) that allows customers to select from a mix of performance and styling components exterior/interior trim, and colors, the Mark Levinson audio system ($1,220), and the white and blue interior ($1,900).

Beautiful inside and out, the as-tested price for the 2024 Lexus LC 500h coupe came to $109,705. Pricing starts at  $100,450 including destination fees.

Si: If you’ve got buckets of money, love hybrids, and want a car that turns heads, the LC 500h is worth considering.

No: While it’s as striking as its gas-powered sibling, the hybrid lacks its performance and the fuel economy was just OK, and for the price, there should be a massage function for the front seats.



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