This truck girl just fell madly in love with a sports car.
I don’t think there is anything I have ever enjoyed driving as much as I enjoyed the 2019 Lexus LC 500h. I looked for excuses to run to town, just so I could drive it. And any time I pulled up somewhere, people would stop and stare or come ask about the car. I even found myself dressing nicer when I went out, and making sure I parked up front where everyone could enjoy the car. I felt like a rockstar in this luxury car.
The 2019 Lexus RC 500 Literally Is a Movie Star
While the model I drove was the 500h, meaning it was a hybrid, the body style is the same as the LC 500 seen in the movie The Black Panther. It was even dark blue. This means every kid who saw the movie recognized the car. When I pulled up to the local park to let my kids play, the car was surrounded by neighborhood kids who wanted their pictures taken with the car. I let the kids get in and out of it and they begged (and tried to bribe) me to drive it. When I left they all chased me down the street chanting “Go Fast!” Of course, I couldn’t on the park road, but I gave them a nice peel-out and some glorious exhaust tunes as I pulled onto the main street. I smiled as big as they did while they all cheered.
And it wasn’t just the kids. Adults everywhere were mesmerized by the car. A friend of mine said, “Of all the things you’ve driven, this one stands out and catches my eye every time. When I see it pull up I’m like, ‘Wow! Who is that?’ then I remember it’s you.” Thanks, James! When I had to return the car to Lexus and a fellow journalist and friend ended up with it the following week, people kept asking me why Kristin was driving my car. I don’t know, y’ all. And I’m still waiting for Lexus to return it to my driveway.
And just in case you can’t get enough, here’s a little spoiler for you. The LC’s little brother, the RC F will be staring in the upcoming Men in Black: International.
Who This Luxury Car is For
- People who love driving. This isn’t a point A to point B car. This is an experience.
- Drivers who want luxury, power, and speed, but need good fuel economy for commuting.
- Singles, or couples without kids. Yes, there’s a backseat, but it’s not car seat friendly.
What This Car Costs
- The 2019 Lexus LC 500 starts at $92,300 and offers 471 horsepower, 10-speed automatic transmission, and a 0-60 speed in just 4.4 seconds. This car boasts one of the most powerful naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engines in the world.
- The LC 500h starts at $96,810, but the 35mpg fuel economy more than makes up for the higher price and the slightly slower 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds. The hybrid is also only 354 horsepower. This model pairs a 3.5L V6 engine with the Lexus hybrid system.
- And finally, there is an Inspiration Series of the LC 500. Only 100 of these will be made and they come in an available Flare Yellow paint color that is unique to these limited edition cars. They start at $106,210.
The 2019 LC 500h I drove had some extras like 21″ wheels, a very nice heads up display, and a premium sound system. It also had an extra performance package which included Alcantara headliner and sport seats with 8-way power adjust, carbon fiber roof and door sills (so cool!), active rear steering, and a speed-activated rear spoiler. The final MSRP for the car with these add-ons was $108,645.
Now, I’m a frugal kind of girl. I have never purchased a brand new car, and I get ridiculously excited the day I pay something off. But, if I had an income that would allow me to make the payments (and pay insurance) on this car, I would own one. It made me feel that good.
The 2019 LC 500h is a Beauty to Behold and a Thrill to Drive
The first thing I noticed when this car arrived was the low, wide stance with the air intakes along the sides. The lines were like nothing I’d ever seen before and I found the car’s shape very alluring.
Even the honeycomb grille which I usually don’t like on the Lexus vehicles seemed to blend right in with the rest of the car’s elegant lines and magnificent convex lights. Lexus says these multi-dimensional “taillamps were inspired by the dramatic glow of a jet’s afterburners. Through the adoption of the infinity mirror principle, an endless dimensional motif is illuminated when lamps are on, and a sleek gray look appears when off. Eighty LEDs on either side create an even illumination with impressive depth and no visible grain.” That sounds like a lot of fancy marketing talk, but it’s true. They are absolutely beautiful.
The carbon fiber roof wasn’t noticeable till we walked right up to the car, then my brothers and I all said “Wow!” in unison.
Something else we didn’t notice till we got inside was the spoiler. When the car is off, the spoiler stores flat and you don’t even know there is one. Inside there’s a button you can press to activate it and it raises up out of the trunk lid! It is also speed activated so if you go for a joy ride it will deploy as needed. Honestly, I couldn’t get enough of that.
You’d Never Know You Were Driving a Hybrid
The ride is so smooth. Like spreading soft butter on warm bread. I’ve never driven something so powerful that drove with so much finesse. But this smoothness didn’t take away from the fun at all. That 0-60 in 4.7 seconds and top track speed of 155 mph is no myth. And the Sport+ mode will make your heart flutter and force your body firmly back into the seat every single time you accelerate. There is just something magical about the marriage of power from the engine and the battery paired with the 10-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission. There is absolutely no hesitation when you accelerate.
The guys who delivered this car assured me that the hybrid configuration was less about fuel savings and more about responsiveness when you accelerate, and I have to say I agree. While the 2019 LC 500h has an excellent fuel economy (averaged 36mph for me) for a sports car, it felt nothing like driving a hybrid built for fuel savings.
Cradled in Luxury is the Only Way to Describe the LC 500 Interior
Have you ever driven something that everyone wants to touch? After a week in the 2019 LC 500h, I started going ahead and giving people permission to touch the interior before they asked because I knew that question was coming. The car comes with 4 interior color combination options. 3 are two-toned, but the model we drove was all a Toasted Caramel leather with Satin Metallic trim. The combination of smooth leather and Alcantara microsuede was just divine. At first, I thought I preferred one of the contrasting color options in the pictures online, but I grew to love the interior of this car with its many textures and beautiful stitching.
The front seats are both heated and ventilated and the leather-wrapped steering wheel is heated. (This is part of the all-weather package.) It was just cold enough a few of the days for me to really appreciate that heated steering wheel!
There is also an auto-dual climate control with a pollen filter. And the interior has ambient lighting. How cool is that?
LC = Luxury Coupe Which Means ALL.The.Tech.
Of course, Lexus packed in all the technology you’d expect to find in a luxury vehicle. From mirror defoggers and an auto-dimming rearview mirror to back up monitors with gridlines on your camera view, a customizable driver’s display, graphs and power/energy readouts on the infotainment screen, 4G wifi this car is loaded. It is also Apple CarPlay enabled and works with Alexa. Plus if you have the Lexus app and a smartwatch you can do some cool stuff. I wasn’t able to play with that part, but I love that Lexus went all-out for the connected driver.
I found the Apple CarPlay integration very easy to use, despite my fights with the touchpad/trackpad controls for the infotainment system. After two weeks I still wasn’t a pro at using the trackpad and I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to having that instead of a touch screen. But, it made sense in this car because the screen was set quite far back into the dash and it wouldn’t have been safe to reach for it while driving. And I really liked the placement of the screen, so I’m not going to complain too much about the trackpad. 😀
Everyone who rode with me really enjoyed the graphs and displays Lexus provides on the 2019 LC 500h’s infotainment screen. You can see where your power is coming from; engine, battery, or both. And, where it is going; towards turning the wheels or charging the battery.
All That and Room for the Groceries, Too
Usually, when testing the cargo space in a vehicle I show a picture of my son’s taekwondo gear bag in the truck. It’s a massive duffle. For the record, I could have fit two of them in the 2019 LC 500h’s trunk. But I thought what was even more impressive was that I could fit my entire Kroger haul into the trunk of this sports car. No, it’s not a massive boot, but it’s a lot bigger than you’d expect and it’s practical.
I felt so spoiled in this car. I kept saying that I know people who drive things like this usually have multiple cars and this wouldn’t be their daily driver, but I could see myself driving it daily. The fuel economy is fantastic, and the car is so comfortable and such a joy to drive. I’d probably still need a truck as a second vehicle, what with my farm lifestyle, but I could definitely make this work for most trips to town!
Lexus loaned me the 2019 LC 500h for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.