Behind the Wheel

2023 Lexus LC 500h — Beauty and Raw Hybrid Performance

2023 Lexus LC 500hModel tested: 2023 Lexus LC 500h

Engine: 3.5-liter V6 multistage hybrid

Transmission: Multistage automatic w/paddle shifters

Horsepower: 354

Torque: 369 lb.-ft.

EPA rating: 26/city, 33/highway, 29/combined

Base price: $99,450

As tested: $115,160

Overview: The Lexus LC 500h is a stunning, luxury, hybrid coupe that embodies head-turning style, unabashed elegance, outstanding performance and cutting-edge technology. With its sleek and aggressive design, gas/hybrid powerplant and luxurious interior, the LC 500h offers a truly captivating — and fun — driving experience.

Walkaround: As a prelude to its impressive performance, the LC 500h showcases gorgeous design. Its low-slung, wide aggressive stance displays aerodynamics that makes it look like it’s moving while standing still. The Lexus signature spindle grille, sleek LED headlights and sculpted body lines create a dynamic and captivating presence. The attention to detail is evident throughout, from the intricately designed door handles to the beautifully crafted taillights.

2023 Lexus LC 500hInterior: The LC’s interior isn’t exactly practical, but delivers a sensory experience not often found in any automobile. The intimate cabin boasts real wood, leather and metal trim. The ambiance isn’t what we would term sporty, but instead conveys a strong sense of exclusivity and indulgent luxury. The perfectly bolstered, leather front seats are exceedingly comfortable, spoiling you with multiple adjustments to accommodate a broad range of drivers over long rides or winding two-lane blacktops. The small back seat seemingly isn’t meant for passengers, but things like briefcases. The center-mounted 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen controls climate, audio, vehicle settings, navigation and everything else. There’s also a head-up display. However, the trackpad controlling the screen is overly sensitive, often requiring your eyes leaving the road to get what you want. This is a well-known issue in every Lexus utilizing this feature. While the trackpad is seemingly less sensitive than past models, it’s still problematic. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and utilizing their map features is easier than accessing Lexus’ navigation system via the trackpad. While the LC 500h is primarily a grand tourer, it still offers a respectable amount of trunk space for a coupe. Safety is a top priority in the LC 500h with advanced driver-assistance features that include lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring.

Behind the wheel: While the LC may look exotic, it doesn’t pretend to be a supercar. The V6 hybrid powertrain delivers plenty of power when it’s needed, but the focus is grand touring in the traditional sense — comfortably cruising long distances with easy speed. It tackles every road surface with confidence, providing a smooth ride while displaying poised certainty on winding roads and sliding through tight corners with unexpected enthusiasm.

Bottom line: The Lexus LC 500h is a remarkable luxury coupe featuring impressive and surprising hybrid performance, beautiful design and refinement. With its luxurious interior and advanced technology, the LC 500h offers comfort and convenience to both the driver and passengers. While it may not be the most practical coupe, it excels in delivering a dynamic and engaging driving experience.