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I am not sure of the origin of the phrase “when my ship comes in.” But it basically means when I’ve finally made it financially. I’ve driven enough fancy and luxurious cars to at least pretend like my proverbial ship has come in. This week’s tester is a perfect example.

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The 2021 Lexus LS500 is a luxury super car with big, bold looks and a big price tag to match it. It’s ironic that the LS500 can be described as big and bold as other Lexus brand vehicles can often be criticized as being too sleepy and too conservative.

There’s nothing conservative about the 2021 Lexus LS500. It lives up to its boastful, big persona. And personally, it’s one of my favorite Lexus vehicles as such. I like when a car takes a risk. Especially if that car carries with it a big price tag.

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So I make no apologies for liking the looks of the LS500. That includes the large, and in charge front end with a dominant and aggressive grille. No nuances and no subtleties for the front end of the Lexus LS500. It puts it out there, in a big way. Even the headlights slant toward the grille.

Unfortunately that boldness diminishes along the way as the profile of the LS500 is more on the conservative side and the back end doesn’t seem to match the energy or design styling of the front end either.

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The taillights are stylish with a distinctive shape and the dual exhaust tips look sporty enough. But overall, I wanted a more complete look for the LS500.

Anytime a car gets over the 400 horsepower threshold, enjoyment will ensue. And the 3.5-liter twin turbocharged V6 engine hits that number and beyond. The LS500 has a horsepower rating of 416 and 442 lb./ft. of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard, but there’s also a continuously variable transmission (just say no!). The transmission functions well with very little turbo lag.

Overall, the performance straddles a line between refinement and unbridled joy. It lacks a real athletic feel to the handling and lack of responsive steering detracts as well. But in this segment, it is not supposed to be a muscle car or even a sports car, so it performs as you would expect it to perform, with just enough excitement.

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If one word could be used to describe the interior of the LS500 it would be: pampered. That’s how you feel inside this flagship sedan. Both front and rear passengers will enjoy supple, comfortable seats with multiple seating options. The touch points are amazing throughout the cabin.

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The interior was gorgeous and felt like it was designed by a true artist with attention to detail highlighted and focused throughout. There is simply nothing disappointing about the quality of the cabin.

The cargo room is even outstanding with a 17 cubic-foot trunk. As usual, the infotainment system becomes overly complicated thanks to Lexus’ Remote Touchpad system. They do a decent job of bypassing some of those awkward features with buttons and a responsive touchscreen.

The 12.3-touchscreen is beautiful and well placed within the dashboard. The LS500 is loaded with all the technology you could want, along with easy smartphone integration.

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Manufacturer’s suggested retail price of my tester was $79,250. But with lots of options like the Lexus Safety Package (safety sensors) along with the $12,000 add-on of the Lux Package, and my tester had a final price tag of $105,690. It’s always noted when a car I’m driving exceeds six figures. It always begs the question, is it worth that much?

Fuel economy for the all-wheel drive version is 17 mpg/city and 27 mpg/highway. In a week’s worth of heavy-footed driving, I averaged nearly 22 mpg. If you can afford a six-figure vehicle, you probably don’t care about a couple extra trips to fuel up, but fuel economy is not this sedan’s strength.

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There is a hybrid variant available for the LS500 for those who are truly concerned about fuel economy.

Otherwise, I’m going to sit here and weight for my ship to come in. Until then, I can daydream about a comfortable, swanky cars with six figure price tags.

About this car:

2021 Lexus LS500 AWD

As tested price: $105,690

Color: Iridium

Assembly point: Aichi, Japan

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