The Japanese know what they’re doing when it comes to cars, and when you think of great Japanese engineering and reliability, of course they go to Toyota. Further upping the ante is Toyota’s luxury division Lexus, which also produces excellently crafted cars without restrictions in terms of styling. Today, Lexus is known for powerful, well-driving and expertly made cars that never seem to miss out in terms of reliability, too.
However, when we talk about an automaker as big as Lexus, there are bound to be a few missteps, and the Japanese luxury brand has not been immune to that. Over the course of its 33-year lifecycle, Lexus has certainly had some phenomenal vehicles, but they’ve also managed to produce some duds, which would no doubt go up the wall as the worst Lexus models of all time. Once one of the best-selling automakers in the US, Lexus cars still stand for reliability, luxury and performance, and here are the best and worst Lexus models the brand has ever made.
10 Best: 2020 Lexus GX 460
Lexus’ GX is a large seven-passenger SUV, first introduced in 2002. Today, it remains an excellent choice for an entry-level luxury SUV and is renowned for its reliability and performance and remarkable off-road performance. With plenty of luxury amenities and technology inside, the Japanese SUV is a great deal for buyers in whatever market it’s available in, and it’s an amazing piece of Lexus engineering.
With a 4.6-liter V8 engine that produced 301 horsepower and peak torque of 329 lb-ft, the 2020 Lexus GX 460 was as good as ever by any standards, and even improved over the 2019 model, which only had one problem with the cabin noise coming in through the windshield and the windows. The 2020 variant also got a great redesign, bringing it up to speed with the rest of Lexus’ current-generation design language.
9 Best: 2016 Lexus IS 300
The Lexus IS 300 can confidently be called a worthy competitor and alternative to BMW’s 3-Series and is a true driver’s car due to its stable but very enjoyable ride quality and striking design that is not unsubtle yet stylish.
The 2016 IS 300 came with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, delivering 255 horsepower with peak torque of 236 lb-ft. The 2016 IS 300’s 6-speed automatic was quite remarkable, and while Lexus skipped a manual transmission with it, it never felt lacking as the transmission responded and steered quickly. While its closest rivals outshine the IS 300 in sheer performance, the IS 300 remains an economical choice with a remarkable package of style, luxury, reliability and performance.
8 Best: 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid
One of the best and arguably one of the most popular luxury hybrid SUVs on the market, the Lexus RX Hybrid is a comfortable daily driver that offers customers a great, stable driving experience and reliability that instills a heightened sense of confidence.
The 2018 Lexus RX had a very strong hybrid powertrain and received great reviews from critics and customers alike, receiving virtually no complaints for its model year. The excellent fuel economy was another big plus, and it is ranked third in the highly competitive luxury mid-size SUV category†
7 Best: 2013 Lexus LS600H L
The Lexus LS 400 is the car that laid the foundation for the brand’s flagship, the LS 600H L, a product of constant progress over many years. Powered by a large 5.0-liter V8 engine that worked alongside an electric motor, the car produced 438 horsepower and was quite a massive luxury sedan.
The car has always been well-reviewed, and on the inside it’s stacked with features and amenities to justify the six-figure price tag† Solid leather seats, a large entertainment console, and great safety and driver assistance features made the 2013 Lexus LS 600HL a highly regarded car worthy of all praise. The great reliability and remarkable gas consumption made the deal even more attractive.
6 Best: 2012 Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition
How could the Lexus LFA not be on this list? The Lexus LFA was one of the greatest supercars ever made and easily the best car to ever come off a Lexus assembly line. Making Japanese perfect even better.
With aerodynamic improvements and more downforce at higher speeds, the Nürburgring edition was more track-oriented than the regular LFA, which in itself was one of the most expensive and fastest Japanese cars ever.
5 Worst: 2007 Lexus ES 350
The years 2007 and 2008 were just awful for Toyota’s luxury division, and the big culprit behind the massive troubles and memories Lexus cars went through at the time was their interior problems. The 2007 ES 350 has its completely melting dashboards and other interior parts that were below par, but the 2008 model for the ES 350 was worse.
The 2008 model even had deteriorating steering wheel material in addition to its melting dashboards and an oil-leaking engine, it made things that much worse for the brand and the ES 350. In addition, some customers reported blown engine heads, making the 2008 model a lot more expensive to report, making it by far Lexus’ worst ES 350† It even came with faulty electronics that accidentally caused the sunroof and windows to open on their own.
4 Worst: 2007 Lexus LS 460
The Lexus LS 460 is, by normal standards, a decent luxury sedan, and the LS is the brand’s flagship today. That doesn’t mean the car was free from problematic model years, though, and 2007 was a terrible year for this car and Lexus in general.
The 2007 LS 460 reported melting dashboards and armrests! In fact, even the door panels melted inside the car, leading to massive numbers of recalls for the car. To make matters worse, the car also had a faulty brake cylinderthat failed many customers, making the 2007 LS 460 a car Lexus wants to forget.
3 Worst: 2009 Lexus RX 350
The RX 350 has been a great car for Lexus for most years, but when it faltered it did horribly, turning the 2009 model year RX 350 into a phenomenal disaster. The mid-sized SUV suffered from huge oil leakage and loss of oil pressureand a leak in the steering rack made it worse.
These repairs were also quite expensive, which 2009 Lexus RX 350 the worst model year of the carfollowed closely by 2007. Even the transmission was faulty for this one, and so the 2009 RX 350 was just a bad vehicle, best avoided and forgotten.
2 Worst: 2006 GX 470
While the Lexus GX today is a remarkable car that is almost a no-brainer in the entry-level luxury SUV segment, 2006 was a terrible year for it, and even Lexus’ signature Japanese reliability couldn’t save the car, as it was simply not present on the 2006 model GX 470.
A clumsy engine was the SUV’s first problem, which were further improved by a problematic powertrain that left thousands of customers with a bad taste in their mouths. The 2006 GX 470 thus became one of the worst-rated Lexus cars when it comes to reliability and long-term use.
1 Worst: 2007 Lexus IS 250
Looks like we could have just listed a full-year 2007 lineup here, and it would have been enough, as the year was easily the worst year for the brand and one that Lexus still has nightmares about. deliver. As good a car as it is today, the IS 250 had problematic interior accessories in 2007, the first of which, unsurprisingly, was the melting dashboards and interior materials†
Electrical failures were also quite common in the car, leading to the 2007 Lexus IS250 becoming the worst-rated IS 250 in the entire history of the car’s model year. It is clear that Lexus has made huge improvements over the years and today’s brand is almost synonymous with a flawless driving and car ownership experience.