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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
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.