Lexus LC 500 Convertible Review: What’s Under the Ragtop of this Exotic Luxury Sports Car

Lexus Lc 500 Convertible Featured Image

If you’re dreaming of a dream car, keep reading (and dreaming).

The 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible might be Lexus’ most beautiful car ever. It has the soul of a classic roadster, elegant luxury details and the heart of a race car. And at $102,000+, it definitely fits into the exotic/luxury/dream car category. This car is a trophy. Anyone driving this car earned the privilege.

And that is how I felt behind the wheel. Boss Lady. Badass. In charge. And it felt great. (And yes, I have worked hard to earn the privilege to spend a week with it!).

It took a bit to feel comfortable, I have to admit. At first I was shy to go to the grocery store in this car— would it look out of place there? Would I struggle to get my groceries into the car? But no. I had  to get over it. If you’re the #BossLady you have to get past these ideas.

Luckily, the LC 500 doesn’t force your hand at accommodating regular life in an exotic car. It has plenty of space for daily life things— a place to put your handbag, room for your dog, even room for lots of groceries or luggage. Yes—I tried it out! And everything fit.

Related: 2020 Lexus LC 500: Luxury and Style Elevate Your Life

Lexus Lc 500 Convertible Featured Image

The interior of the Lexus LCX 500 includes hand grips for the front seat passenger, which *may* be appreciated. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What This Car Costs

  • Base price of the hardtop model: $92,950
  • Base price of the convertible, with a 471 horsepower V8 engine, pop-out door handles, heated and cooled leather seats, navigation, AppleCarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexis, power front seats with auto slide and fold for rear seat access, 2  USB ports, Mark Levinson premium sound system and Lexus Safety System which adds pre-collision detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, blind spot monitors, and automatic high beam headlights: $101,000
  • Add head up display, $900
  • Add the Touring package with upgraded leather seats, heat-vented headrests, upgraded Mark Levinson sound and a heated steering wheel, $5,290
  • Add upgraded wheels, $2,650
  • Price of the model we test drove with delivery: $111,325

Related: 2019 Lexus LC 500h: The Luxury Car that Made Me Feel Like a Movie Star

Lexus Lc 500 Convertible

The Lexus LC 500 Convertible with the top up. ? Scotty Reiss

Convertible Vs. Hardtop: How Does it Measure Up?

The convertible top actually makes things like this easier. It was waaaaaaaay easier to buckle my dog Eli into the rear seat with the top down. You just lean in and buckle up. Sliding the seat forward and doing that can be a bit of a back-breaker (but in this car, worth it). I can see the same simplicity with a child’s car seat. That alone may make it worth opting for the ragtop.

But there are other considerations that are key in deciding between the hardtop and convertible. They are:

  • Heat: In a convertible on a sunny day you are subject to direct sunburn-inducing sunlight. But there are ways to make this more tolerable and less sweaty. The first is to have lighter color seats; the lightest color Lexus offers is Toasted Caramel. Our test model had red leather seats which were not overly hot (black leather would have been blistering!) and were vented: we could easily turn on the seat coolers when we got into the car. This was huge. 
  • Wind: The LC 500 Convertible has a wind deflector just behind the rear seat that reduced wind, and there was a wind screen in the trunk, which I left there because I didn’t feel it was needed. The cabin was not overly windy and at normal city speeds it was easy to hear music or carry on a conversation (I wear a hat when the top is  down because I have long hair that no wind screen can restrain). I also appreciated that the rear seatbelts are strapped to the seats so they don’t flap in the wind.
  • Noise: You can’t ignore other cars or road noise when the top is down. But with the top up convertibles can be loud, too. However, with several layers of fabric and the top’s frame between them, the LC 500 Convertible cabin had an insulated feel with the top up; it was very easy to carry on a conversation even at highway speeds.
  • Cold: Not something you typically think of with a convertible. Until you plan that dream road trip and hit a cold snap. And I’ve been there: that perfectly sunny, slightly temperate day in February and you just need to put the top down. So, go ahead. Lexus has you taken care of. Not only are the seats heated, but there is a heat vent in the head rest to blow warm air on your neck (part of the Touring package). And in snowy conditions you can pop the car into snow mode for better traction. Then, put the top down! I can attest there’s nothing more magical than driving in a light snowfall with the top down. The LC 500 Convertible is a modern day cabriolet sleigh.

Related: What Drives Her: Lexus CMO Lisa Materazzo’s Journey from Finance to Automotive Marketing

Lexus Lc 500 Convertible Featured Image

The speedometer lights up in sport mode. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Race Car at Heart, It Makes You Feel Even More #BossLady

It’s that 471 horsepower V8 under the hood that does it. Plus, paddle shifters, a 10 speed automatic transmission, rear wheel drive and sport suspension. Then, pop it into sport mode (which honestly, you don’t really need) and you really feel all this car’s muscle. It is capable on any track and comparable to any muscle car on the road. 

But, you might not guess that by looking at it. The LC 500’s lines are elegant and sweeping. While it has sport brakes, they are a demure dark color, tucked behind gorgeous polished alloy wheels. And the fact that it’s a convertible makes it seem not such a sure thing for track driving. However, it has an active roll bar that will deploy if a rollover is detected. This means it’s track-safe and also, you’re better protected in an accident.

Lexus Lc 500 Convertible Featured Image

Eli loved going for a ride and having his own seat. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Yes, There is a Backseat and Yes, It’s Usable

The two rear seats were a great place to put my handbag or a bag of groceries. It’s easy to reach and nicely sized. Climbing into the backseat is pretty easy. Simply lift the tab on the shoulder of the front seat and the seat automatically folds and slides forward; it pushes back easily with one hand, too. You may want to position the front seat before sliding it forward so that when your passenger climbs in her legs are not crushed by the seat sliding back into place. 

And, if you have a back seat passenger who needs help with the seatbelt, there’s another cool little design feature that makes this easy: The seatbelts extend from the center to the side of the car rather than the typical outboard-to-center configuration. So it was easy to grab the belt, thread it through Eli’s harness and plug it into the receptacle.

Lexus Lc 500 Convertible Featured Image

The side view mirror reveals the LC 500’s broad shoulders. Photo: Scotty Reiss

You’ve Earned it. Enjoy it.

And be assured, you will. This is a sports car with few compromises — other than the price tag. It can accommodate every day driving needs, is fun for exploring charming towns and scenic views, and it’s spirited enough to make me think that finding a local motorsports park for occasional track day driving would be next on my wish list. Because, #BossLady.

Lexus Lc 500 Convertible Featured Image

The trunk in the Lexus LC 500 Convertible has room for a single roll-aboard and a tote but not much else. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What We Loved

  • The elegant design keeps the look and feel of the original hard top version 
  • The V8 471 horsepower performance 
  • Simple electronic retractable soft top, up or down in just about 30 seconds!
  • Room for 4 (if you really need it)
  • Heated and cooled seats, which are especially great with the top down
  • Elegant leather seats that have bolstered sides for performance driving
  • Automatic slide and fold front seats for rear seat access
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and Amazon Alexa
  • Premium Mark Levinson sound system
  • Elegant “waterfall” dashboard design tucks the infotainment screen into the dash to avoid glare
  • A quiet ride with the top up
  • Trunk space for a travel bag and a few totes
Lexus Lc 500 Convertible Featured Image

Thee center console of the Lexus LC500; the retractable top control is under the wrist rest. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What You Need to Know 

  • The convertible top commands an $8,000 premium
  • The convertible top control is under the wrist rest
  • Climate control buttons, which are pushed out from the dash so you can reach them, tend to glare in direct sunlight. Keep your sunglasses handy
  • The infotainment system is touchpad controlled only 
  • Fuel economy estimated at 15 MG city/25 MPG highway; we averaged about 17 MPG during our test drive 
  • Premium fuel is recommended for optimal performance (using regular fuel will reduce horsepower)
Lexus Lc 500 Convertible Featured Image

The frameless rear view mirror in the LC 500 Convertible. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What We Listened to in the Lexus LC 500 Convertible

Top up or down, turn it up. This is what made us feel even more alive in this car.

Disclosure: Lexus provided the LC 500 Convertible for this test drive. All opinions are my own.

Lexus Lc 500 Convertible Featured Image

A look at the rear end of the Lexus LC 500 Convertible. Photo: Scotty Reiss

2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible FAQs

1. What is the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible?

The 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible is a luxury convertible sports car produced by the Japanese automaker Lexus. It’s known for its stunning design, powerful performance, and a range of high-end features.

2. How many trim levels are available for the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible?

The 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible typically comes in a single trim level, as it’s already equipped with a comprehensive list of luxury and performance features.

3. What is the engine in the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible?

The 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 471 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. This engine provides exhilarating performance, with a thrilling exhaust note.

4. Is the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible available with all-wheel drive (AWD)?

The 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible comes with rear-wheel drive (RWD) as the standard drivetrain, and all-wheel drive (AWD) is not available.

5. What is the seating capacity in the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible?

The 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible seats up to four passengers. The front seats are well-bolstered and comfortable, and the rear seats are suitable for shorter trips or as additional cargo space.

6. How is the interior of the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible in terms of luxury and features?

The interior of the 2020 LC 500 Convertible is luxurious, featuring premium materials, high-quality leather upholstery, and a well-crafted cabin. It includes a user-friendly infotainment system, elegant design elements, and a focus on driver comfort and convenience.

7. What are the technology features in the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible?

The 2020 LC 500 Convertible is equipped with a 10.3-inch infotainment display with a touchpad controller, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a premium sound system, and advanced driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

8. How is the cargo space in the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible?

Cargo space is limited in the LC 500 Convertible, as it prioritizes style and performance. There is a small trunk, but it’s adequate for a weekend getaway or a few bags.

9. Is the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible fuel-efficient?

The 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible is not known for its fuel efficiency. The V8 engine delivers powerful performance at the expense of fuel economy.

10. What are the safety features in the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible?

The 2020 LC 500 Convertible includes a comprehensive set of safety features, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and more. Lexus emphasizes safety as a priority.

11. How does the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible handle on the road?

The 2020 LC 500 Convertible delivers an exhilarating and engaging driving experience. It’s known for its precise handling, responsive steering, and a comfortable ride, making it an ideal luxury convertible sports car.

12. What is the starting price for the 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible?

The 2020 Lexus LC 500 Convertible is a high-end luxury vehicle with a premium price tag. It starts at a base price, and additional features and packages can significantly affect the final cost.

Have a thought or comment? Share it with us on social media! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And be sure to sign up for our email newsletter!

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss