The 2018 Lexus LC500 is a beautiful car to behold. Just look at it – everything from those exterior lines and Coke bottle haunches to the interior’s deep bucket seats and intricate dashboard. The dash pulls cues and inspiration from the famed Lexus LFA while combining new elements and Lexus’ most modern take on the Enform infotainment system.
Continue reading for more on the 2018 Lexus LC500’s interior.
Not Your Grandmother’s Lexus
The Lexus brand might be synonymous with luxury-fied Toyotas with cushy seats and a frustrating infotainment system, that’s not the case here – well, mostly. The LC is decked out with high-end materials that feel and look more upscale than the average Lexus. Black leather abounds on nearly every surface and white contrast stitching adds detail. As a part of the $1,400 Sport Package, the seats come with Alcantara suede inserts and leather side bolsters. The suede continues onto the swoopy door panels and into the rear seats.
The Lexus LC500 has four interior colors to choose from: Black, Toasted Caramel, Bespoke White, and as on my tester, Rioja Red. Eight-way power adjustable front seats make getting comfy an easy task and the power-adjustable steering column allows the driver to achieve his optimum driving position.
Thanks to the LC’s low cowl, the view forward over the long, sloping hood is very generous. In fact, outward visibility is pretty impressive considering the LC’s thick C-pillars. The tall greenhouse and large side mirrors certainly help. Even the rear view isn’t terrible. Naturally, good outward views are conducive to added driver confidence, which ultimately aids overall performance.
The LC’s helm is a small-diameter steering wheel with three spokes and magnesium paddle shifters. The thick wheel is leather-wrapped with both solid and perforated leathers and has two-level heating for those cold winter drives.
Ergonomics are pretty good when simply driving. Thanks to the power seat and power steering column with both tilt and telescoping adjustments, the LC feels great to drive. However, things start going awry when doing other tasks besides burning down a back road.
The LC only has two cup holders – one of which is more of a square storage spot than a dedicated cup holder. The main cup holder is found just ahead of the main radio volume knob near the Enform’s trackpad. Larger cups block the passenger’s access to their HVAC controls. The second “backup” cup holder is under the center armrest lid, which requires the lid be slid rearward.
More problems come with the Enform system. While its appearance is far more modern than other Enform systems in the Lexus family, its usability is still very questionable. Things like controls for the heated and vented seats are buried under the climate menu tab; changing a setting requires concentration and visual focus. Of course, that means the driver isn’t paying attention to the road. Other controls like selecting radio presets or imputing a destination into the navigation system is simply too involved. Thankfully, the large volume knob and the two metal toggle switches for the seat and tune features are a pleasure to use and make those adjustments very simple.
For the driver, the LFA-inspired gauge cluster is a beauty. The fully digital cluster uses a sliding tachometer screen that, when slid to the right via pressing a button, uncovers another screen for selecting and changing menu settings. Those functions are handled by the five-way keypad on the left-hand side of the wheel. And like the LFA (as well as Lexus F Sport models) the tachometer changes color and intensity when switching between the drive modes. A color head-up display is available and features a handy speed limit sign that helps keep drivers aware of traffic laws.
Back Seats for Nobody
The Lexus LC500 is technically a 2+2 coupe with seating for four. Once inside, however, the proposition of carrying more than two people becomes laughable. Even with the front seats moved fairly far forward, the rear offers little to no legroom. I’m not a tall guy at five-foot, six-inches, but my normal seating position leaves zero legroom for my six-year-old daughter. She ended up propping her feet on the transmission tunnel.
While they’re cramped, the back seats are there just in case. More useful, though, would be storing an overnight bag or tossing a jacket back there. Thankfully, the LC500 has a decently large trunk. It’s big enough for a weekend’s worth of luggage. Its main drawback is its shallow depth. And as with many cars these days, there is no spare tire. The trunk’s most egregious offense is its missing release button. That’s right, if you want to open the trunk, you either have to use the button on the key fob or open the driver’s door and push the button near the steering wheel. That’s frustrating.
It’s also interesting how a $100,000 luxury coupe doesn’t come with a 360-degree camera system. The LC’s long nose ends somewhere over the horizon, so it’s hard to tell where to stop in a parking space. A front-facing camera would fix this. Side view cameras would also help ease the nerves when pulling near a curb with those lovely 21-inch wheels.
Despite its few minor (a couple of somewhat major) complaints, the 2018 Lexus LC500 proves to be a worthwhile luxury coupe. Its interior is befitting of the prestige and price tag Lexus is assigning to its new halo model.
It’s also fantastic to see a luxury automaker use more than just black leather in its interior. The Rioja Red interior might not have been my first choice, but it quickly grew on me and ended up being a highlight of the interior experience.
Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus LC 500.
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