Here is our pick of the best Lexus models ever manufactured and marketed.
Nowadays, vehicles of the brand are sold in more than 90 countries. 1989 is the year of the Lexus brand foundation, and its history began with the LS 400. Lexus vehicles are contenders to German premium cars, and they combine luxury style with craftmanship and reliability inherent to most Japanese products,
Lexus LS (1989-present)
The Lexus LS 400 full-size luxury sedan debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and sales started in September 1989. In January 1990, Car and Driver put the LS 400 on its TOP 10 list of the Best Cars of the Year, and later, the flagship model took first place in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Survey.
The LS’s first four generations (LS 400, 430, 460 models) came with V8 engines and were rear-wheel-drive cars. For the fourth generation, Lexus added all-wheel drive, hybrid, and long-wheelbase versions.
The current fifth-generation LS 500 (2017-present) debuted a twin-turbo 3.4-liter V6 with 415 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. It has a longer wheelbase and lower height than the previous long-wheelbase Lexus LS 600h L (based on the LS 460).
The LS 500 has become the first Lexus sedan to adopt a six-sided window design, and it is the most technologically advanced LS with standard Lexus Safety System+2.0, 3D-surround Mark Levinson audio, and other goodies.
Lexus RX (1998-present)
It is a perfect choice for a premium midsize crossover. The Lexus RX is actually one of the most popular SUVs on the market in the luxury segment featuring 5 generations, the highest safety ratings, a number of Best SUV awards, minimal annual repair costs, good reliability, upscale and roomy interiors, and tons of exciting techs. A 3-row RX L version (in the upper photo) was available. but it is not on offer for the 2023 model year anymore,
The latest 2023 model has gasoline RX350, hybrid RX350h, plug-in-hybrid RX450+, and RX 500h F SPORT Performance versions. The base engine is a 2.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 274 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque,
Lexus IS (1998-present)
This compact executive car is perhaps the most titled Lexus (at least this applies to the first two generations) with an impressive list of awards including J.D.Power’s Initial Quality Survey and Satisfaction Survey, COTY and WCOTY, Best Engines award, and a product design award. In addition, the car has a rich biography in motorsport: it was used by many racing teams in various race series,
All three generations of the model are decent alternatives to rivals, such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CT4, and Genesis G70.
The first-gen RWD-only models in sedan and station wagon body styles were equipped with in-line six-cylinder engines and a 2.0-liter straight-four mated to either manual or automatic transmission.
Lexus introduced the second generation IS (XE20) worldwide in 2005 as a sedan. The model came with MT and AT options, gasoline V6s, a 2,2L straight-4 diesel, and added all-wheel-drive versions. In 2007, a V8 option appeared. In 2008, an open-top model joined.
The third-gen Lexus IS (XE30) debuted in January 2013, and it offers gasoline and hybrid engines (V6s, I4, V8). with automatic transmission variants. The latest 2023 IS is slightly inferior to its competitors when it comes to fuel economy, cargo and 2nd-row space, and the infotainment system (too tricky).
Lexus GX (2002 -present)
The full-size Lexus GX is a prestigious vehicle based on the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. The model features two generations: the first GX 470 with a 4.7-liter V8 and a five-speed automatic transmission, and the 2nd GX 460 with a 4.6 301-hp V8 and a well-behaved six-speed AT. All models come with a standard full-time four-wheel drive system enabling tremendous off-road ability.
The Chinese market got a GX 400 modification with a 4.0-liter 271-hp V6 in 2012. The current 2nd generation was launched for the 2010 model and facelifted several times afterward.
The SUV was a multiple award winner, including “Four Wheeler of the Year” in 2003 and 2004, and awards for the best initial quality and best resale value,
Nevertheless, today’s automotive market is replete with nice offers which are more attractive that the current GX in many aspects: Acura MDX, Jeep Wagoneer, or another Lexus model – the RX crossover,
The latest 2023 Lexus GX is criticized by experts for a harsh ride, cumbersome handling, tight third-row seats, middling acceleration, mediocre fuel economy, and an aging interior.
Lexus NX (2014-present)
The compact crossover sits between the UX and RX in the Lexus model range. When the NX landed, the public received it well – the model was a sales success, and the best-selling Lexus vehicle in Europe,
The first generation is available in three powertrain variants: an NX 200t/300 with a 2.0.liter 235-hp turbo-four and 6-speed automatics, a 194-hp hybrid NX 300h with a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine, an electric motor, and CVT, and an NX 200 with a .2.0-liter 148-hp naturally-aspirated four-cylinder.
The second-generation model sits on the GA-K platform and is available in three gasoline trims (NX 200, NX 250, NX 350) and three hybrid trims (NX 350h, NX 400h+, and NX 450h+) – mostly shared with the Toyota RAV4, with 203, 239, 275, and 304 horsepower.