4.3 out of 5 4.3
Parkers overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 4.3

A seriously desirable luxury convertible – with a different approach to established rivals but just as much ability

Lexus LC Convertible (20 on) - rated 4.3 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £90,775 - £97,625
Lease from new From £1,284 p/m View lease deals
Fuel Economy 24.1 mpg
Road tax cost £475
Insurance group 50 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Head-turning styling
  • Glorious V8 engine
  • Premium build quality
  • Comfortable ride and seats
  • Different, and likely to remain exclusive

CONS

  • Expensive to run with no hybrid offering
  • Rear seats aren’t suitable for passengers
  • Slightly awkward infotainment interface
  • Expensive to buy and run
  • Smallish boot

Written by Tom Wiltshire on

Luxury convertibles will never be big sellers, but Lexus intends the LC Convertible to be even more exclusive than most. Only planning to sell a few hundred a year should mean this car remains seriously desirable – that’s if its eye-catching looks and the allure of a powerful and characterful V8 engine aren’t enough to do that.

But being a Lexus, the LC Convertible has to be many things other than desirable. Traditional Lexus owners won’t accept anything half-baked; this is a car that has to be screwed together with more care than your average IKEA bookshelf, and one that has to be totally, completely painless to own.

> Lexus LC Coupe review

As for rivals, this car can count everything from the Porsche 911 Cabriolet to the Mercedes S-Class Convertible – though at this end of the market, people are much more likely to be buying with their hearts than their heads, and while boot space or miles per gallon do matter, it’s character, presence and enjoyment that will convince these buyers.

Fantastic looks with folding fabric roof

It would seem folding hard-tops have almost had their day, and most premium convertibles – the LC Convertible included – now opt for a fabric hood instead. This has several benefits and in this case it’s speed of operation, weight distribution and looks that all benefit.

With switches hidden away carefully under the interior palm rest, raising or lowering the roof is done at the touch of a button. It takes just 15 seconds to raise or lower, and can be done at speeds of up to 31mph – so you can raise or lower to your hearts content while driving around town, in accordance with any sudden rain storms that might pass your way.

The lightweight roof mechanism means more of the LC’s weight is lower down, lowering the centre of gravity which improves cornering and comfort. Better yet, Lexus has worked hard on making sure that the roof is attractive even when it’s raised – not always a given with some cars, which can look rather tent-like.

Only one engine option – but it’s a great one

While the standard LC Coupe is offered with a petrol/electric hybrid option (badged LC 500h) the Convertible doesn’t get this – the weight distribution would be thrown off too much by the heavy battery pack. Instead, Lexus only offers it in what it calls LC 500 form – that means a whacking great 5.0-litre V8 petrol with no hybrid assistance whatsoever.

It’s as old-school a combination as you can find these days. The engine puts its power to the rear wheels, and is unencumbered by turbocharger or supercharger. This means it feels purer – the response is beautifully crisp, and it only gets better as the revs climb. In fact, the engine’s full power isn’t accessed until you hit 7,100rpm.

The engine’s paired up to a ten-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, which provide effortless cruising when needed for long motorway slogs and a great deal of fun for the twisty bits in between.

Impressive interior – but not exactly spacious

You sit very low in the LC, in large, comfortable sports seats with loads of adjustment. And once inside, you’re surrounded by an interior only Lexus could have designed – with Japanese influence in its surfacing, and thought paid to its construction.

Though the LC Convertible does have rear seats, they’re not really intended to be used for passengers. Most owners will opt to see them as additional luggage space – useful, especially as the LC Convertible’s boot is smaller than most city cars.

Naturally there is plenty of luxury equipment, and the LC Convertible has been launched alongside a minor model change for the LC line as a whole – which means that both Coupe and Convertible now come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a real boon for those who find Lexus’ aging and labyrinthine infotainment system worth avoiding.

Click here to read more about how the Lexus LC Convertible drives, or here for more on its running costs, practicality, and interior. Click here to skip straight to our final verdict

Other Lexus LC models: