If there’s a Japanese automobile that combines exaggerated styling and superb craftsmanship, it has to come from Lexus. Lexus is a reputable luxury division from Toyota that has earned a well-deserved reputation producing a comprehensive range of refined prestige and luxury vehicles.
While its reputation was built on its full-size flagship luxury sedan, the Lexus LS, the automaker has grown thanks to prevalent SUVs from its line-up like the original Lexus RX. The once best-selling automobile manufacturer in the US offers a range of luxury and performance cars, crossovers, many with sleek, unique front styling. The hallmarks of the Japanese luxury car automaker are quiet, nimble, with well-crafted cabins and commendable performance. Here are some of the best and worst Lexus models, Ranked!
10 Best: Lexus GX
The Lexus GX is a 7-passenger, mid-size SUV that first came out in 2002 as the GX 470. The GX packs a 4.6-liter V8 engine same as the LX470 SUV. Its V8 engine mated with a 5-speed automatic transmission system and a full-time four-wheel-drive system. The GX produces about 301 hp.
The Lexus GX shares a similar front styling with its cousin, the Toyota Prado. This mid-size SUV also comes with unique tech features such as lane departure warning, active knee, and head airbags, driver control warnings as well as pre-collision systems.
9 Best: Lexus RX
If you are looking to get a plush-riding experience from a premium crossover, then the Lexus RX is your ideal choice. Its aggressive sports design might fool you that it’s a crossover meant for the track, but it's not. The Lexus RX is not a track car, it's nimble yet, stylish and comfortable. Buyers have two options to choose from; the three-row L model with a 3.5L V6 or the two-row models.
You can either go with the RX450h that comes with a hybrid powertrain or the RX350. Regardless of the combination that you fancy, the Lexus RX offers a unique relaxed acceleration and driving experience.
8 Best: Lexus IS 300
When you think of a sports sedan, the first car that pops into your mind is a BMW 3-series, and not a Lexus. However, the Lexus IS 300 was Lexuses’ project to specifically started to rival the Bavarian automaker. The IS 300 first came with an in-line 6-cylinder engine with a rear-wheel system producing 215 hp.
Lexus also made available a manual transmission version of the IS 300, which was available for the 2002 models. The current IS models have visual styling with a sports pretense. The Lexus IS 300 might not live up to the performance attributes it once had, but it makes an interesting alternative to its closest rivals.
7 Best: Lexus LS XF40
The first thing you’ll notice when the Lexus LS XF40 rolls up is its adventurous and chiseled styling both on its exterior and interior. Its new-age design blends well with the muted and insulated way it rolls down the road. The LS XF40 comes with a new twin-turbo 3.4 L V6 that produces a whopping 416hp.
Its performance V6 engine with two electric motors powers a 10-speed automatic transmission system that is also available in a hybrid variant. The Lexus LS XF40 drives on its rear or all four wheels. Its onboard features are upsetting— its fussy infotainment touchpad is a fail. On the bright side, it's considerably cheaper than an S-class.
6 Best: Lexus RX Hybrid
The Lexus RX Hybrid is one of the best and perhaps one of the most popular luxury hybrid and electric SUVs in the market—and for a good reason. It might not be athletic, but it offers a comfortable and stable ride experience while being a daily driver. The RX hybrid comes with two and three-row body variations, with stylish interior and roomy cabins. It also comes with a ton of exciting tech features.
The Lexus RX hybrid comes packs a 308 hp hybrid drivetrain, powered by a V6 engine with multiple electric motors, and a CVT transmission. You won't get the previous frustrating touch remote controller; the RX hybrid now comes with a touch screen infotainment system, it supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
5 Worst: Lexus LC 500
It’s hard to summarize the Lexus LC 500 in a single word, and it's due to a simple reason, it's curvaceous, tempting, squishy with a thrusting V-8 engine. Its driving quality, is indeed what you would expect from an ironed-out modern coupe. Its manufacturers did a lot to give it a drop-dead stylish design; it’s no doubt a great looking Japanese car with tons of power at your disposal.
However, while it might look super sporty, it simply isn’t performance-wise. Put on the track with the Acura NSX or the Porsche 911, and you’ll begin to understand why the LC500 is a cosmetic ride. It’ll take a beat to digest your gear requests, and doesn’t quite have the aggression, and visceral feel of guts you’d expect from its class. The LC500 is for a lack of better words, lukewarm.
4 Worst: Lexus LS 460
The Lexus LS 460 is, by all standards, a great luxury sedan as its nomenclature stands for. It was Lexus’s flagship sedan, offering a new revamp, over its subpar predecessor. The LS 460 is a successfully modernized sedan with a ton of character and creature comforts, but that’s where it stops.
While the new LS460 has made considerable strides and improvement, the 2007 and 2008 models were some of the worst models out of the manufacturer. There were numerous complains about its melting dashboard and panes, as well as high repair cost and average mileage problems.
3 Worst: Lexus IS 250
The Lexus IS 250 is by all standards a great car, it's daring, with an excellent build quality that offers a benchmark steering feel. Its 2015 version also trails most of its rivals when it comes to fuel efficiency and performance. It has a great interior, and offers commendable rear legroom. While the Lexus IS 250 offers many positives, just like its more powerful sibling, its weaknesses hold it back significantly.
For starters, it's not as athletic as you would expect when you look at its aggressive design. Its infotainment system is frustrating thanks to its finicky remote touch feature, and the F-Sport stiff suspension doesn’t do enough to improve its agility. All in all, it was an okay car; a good reason why it was phased out by the newer IS200t.
2 Worst: Lexus IS 350
The Lexus IS350 is an amazing automobile, it feels quicker off the line compared to the BMW 335i, but numb when making any more comparisons with the German giant. The IS 350 has great handling capabilities, packing a V6 that sounds extremely good when you press hard on the throttle. But that's where all good things end with the Lexus IS 350.
The 2006 to 2013 models had massive recalls that affected some 115,000 models in the US. The IS models had fuel leak issues that according to the NHTSA were a fire hazard.
1 Worst: Lexus GS 450h
Lexus offered a great debut in 2013 with the new Lexus GS 450h. The GS 450h triumphed over the regular F-Sport version and was perhaps one of the most powerful members of the GS family. And while Lexus enthusiast expected a powerful sports-centric car, the Lexus GS 450h was a hybrid.
Depending on how you look at it or drive, hybrids could offer an extra source of power. However, while the GS 450h was the most powerful, it was the least sporty. It also came with a bunch of issues, including fuel leak issues caused by hardening dampers that were considered a fire hazard by NHTSA, leading to massive recalls.