2019 Lexus LC 500h Gets High Praise from Fast Lane Car
Some minor flaws fail to dent the spectacularly-engineered LC 500h, according to TFLC.
The LC 500 is a GT cruiser good enough for the MCU, probably due to its sexy exterior and excellent value proposition. But it hasn’t been without controversy. Club Lexus forum members and certain automotive publications aren’t sure if the LC 500 is adequately powered. And the coupe’s reputation took a hit for its mediocre infotainment system and peculiar driving dynamics. That isn’t the universal consensus though, and plenty of other people have concluded that the coupe is just fine for what it is–an extremely refined sports car that elevates Lexus to new heights.
But how is the overall experience? According to The Fast Lane Car‘s Tommy Mica, it’s the absolute best. Mica poured over the Lexus in extreme detail and was blown away by what he found. His review focuses on the nuances and features that the vast majority of prospective owners will want to know about. It’s a really focused effort that’s worth discussing.
Mica wisely starts the video with a primer on the LC 500h’s extremely unorthodox powertrain.. While the regular LC 500 employs a 5.0 liter naturally aspirated V8 mated to an Aisin 10 speed automatic transmission, the hybrid model is powered by a 3.5 liter V6 and two electric motors. The Multi Stage Hybrid System, as Lexus calls it, blends the aforementioned gasoline and electric motors with a CVT and a conventional four speed automatic transmission.
The result is a unique setup that mimics a regular 10 speed automatic while shifting at speeds similar to a dual clutch setup, at least according to Lexus. “What I can say is that it works really pretty well, it’s really pretty smooth, and it almost sounds like an F1 car when you drive it down the road” says Mica.
Unlike the vast majority of car reviews on YouTube, TFLC decided to put most of the on-road portion of their review towards the beginning, and for good reason: Mica lets viewers know right up front that the LC 500h really isn’t meant to be taken to its absolute limit around curves or on the race track. He feels the Lexus embodies the traditional definition of a grand tourer because, Mica says, “it’s whisper quiet, and the ride is silky smooth, and the steering is super light in normal mode, and you just don’t care.” He goes on to clarify that the LC 500h can handle well once it’s put into a more aggressive calibration, but to him that’s not really the point of the car.
“In the real world I really don’t think that a Rolls Royce is gonna be any more comfortable than this car, any more refined, or any more high quality, because it just can’t be.” Mica declares towards the beginning. It’s a bold statement, but one that he completely backs up throughout the video.
For Mica, it’s the interior that really makes the Lexus a superb vehicle, even if the driving experience is extremely good too. It seems Lexus spared no expense to create a cabin that punches well above its weight. Carbon fiber door sills, Alcantara inserts on the seats and elsewhere, and seating position controls that are made of metal instead of plastic, which is a material that is found even in high end models from competitors like Mercedes. Sounds like a great place to spend time!
“I don’t know how they can afford to put this into production with all this stuff going on.” Lexus is known for crafting high quality interiors, but for Mica, they outdid themselves by a substantial margin.
Calling Mica’s interior analysis a deep dive is almost an insult to him due to the amount of effort he goes into pointing out the incredible quality of all the buttons and switchgear throughout the Lexus. Of particular interest to him is the volume knob. “I don’t know how they got a piece of metal to be this smooth and this shiny and this high quality,” Mica says. “But if I could have a ring made out of this volume knob I would wear that all day everyday because it’s just the perfect material. It’s just the best interior I think I’ve ever been in.”
No car is without flaws though, and Mica points out quite a few of them. Behind the front seats there is no leg room available for anyone larger than a toddler. The position of his drivers seat completely eliminated rear leg room by pushing against the rear seat! “They’re just the worst,” says Mica. Unsurprisingly, he is also less than enthused about the head room in the back, which is non-existent. The slow moving seat motors and the incessant beeping of the drivers side seat as it moved forward also irritated him.
The cup holders also perplexed Mica. There’s only two of them. And to make matters worse, the one hidden in the center console is square shaped, and it failed to securely hold Mica’s iced tea in place.
And while the interior is extremely high quality, it isn’t perfect. Mica doesn’t actually say anything about this blank button, but the camera keeps it in frame for a very long time. Perhaps the camera operator wanted to make a very subtle statement? If they did, they’re justified in doing so, because it’s baffling that Lexus could design such an opulent cabin and not spend a little extra money to eliminate the false button.
The exterior also has its fair share of issues. Lexus may have developed an elaborate storage space for the gas cap, (“I was just looking for a little hook and they gave me the Enterprise,” exclaims Mica) but why have one in the first place? It’s been about six years since Ford made their capless fuel system standard across their entire lineup. Toyota really should have followed suit by now.
Mica was also blinded by the upper chrome portion of the tail lights, which reflected sunlight directly into his eyes. That could obviously be a very annoying issue for owners on a bright sunny day, and one they might not experience until well after they’ve purchased the car.
The Lexus LC 500h is not a perfect vehicle. It’s not as thrilling to drive as it looks, and in some respects it fails at being a true grand tourer. That being said, it’s clearly a paradigm-shifting coupe that blows the doors off its much more expensive competition.
“It is truly one of the best, most interesting, beautiful, most technologically advanced cars I have ever driven, period.” says Mica, in a review that is just as detailed as the interior of the Lexus. Toyota’s luxury division operated for a very long time without a truly revolutionary product. With the LC 500h and its conventionally powered counterpart, the LC 500, it seems the engineers at Lexus created a vehicle that can live up to the legacy of the original LS 400. And over at TFLC, Mica developed a fantastic review that is worth every bit of its eighteen minute run time.
Photos: The Fast Lane Car