Behind the Wheel
2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible Review: It's completely unnecessary and a complete delight
Why do most people buy cars? It's out of necessity. They need to get somewhere and they need a vehicle that can haul everything they need to as part of a daily routine. And, they want as much bang for their buck as they can get.
Most people don't ever get to the point in their life where they buy a car just because they want it. They don't need a new car but, they've seen a commercial, an article, or an Instagram post perhaps, and it's piqued their interest enough to make them explore getting a car just because they want one.
The face of the LC 500 Convertible is virtually unchanged from its LC 500 coupe sister.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
For avid off-road enthusiasts, that may be a fully kitted out Jeep Wrangler. For others, it may be a vintage Ford Mustang or Chevy SS. For a select few, it might just be a new cabriolet like the 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible.
No one buys the LC 500 Convertible because they need one. It's a car they desire both to drive and be seen in. To that end, Lexus has fully delivered.
To get there, they didn't just chop the roof off of the LC 500 and call it a day. They re-engineered the chassis, smoothed out most of the transmission flaws, and then made the top-down effect as glamorous as it could be. The top-up look isn't bad either.
The LC 500 is a driver's car. The convertible version doesn't stray from that. It goes right where you point it and has a tight turning circle. Lexus has given the car the same engine as the traditional LC, a 5.0-liter V8, that delivers the type of power that a driver wants it to. Traditionalists will be happy to hear that this is one V8 that Lexus isn't planning on getting rid of.
The LC 500 Convertible is a well-engineered model that is as good to look at as it is to drive.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
Those aforementioned improvements make a big difference, especially at higher speed. At lower speed, you'll want to switch the car into the Sport or Sport+ drive mode for the smoothest transition off the line.
It's good – and not just for a cabriolet.
Lexus has taken a page from the Mercedes-Benz Airscarf playbook and added heating and cooling to space at the bottom of the headrest, which works in tandem with the car's automatic climate control to make top-down driving a possibility, even when it's 100 degrees out. Trust me, I tried it, and I shockingly didn't sweat through my clothes.
Seats are comfortable for the driver and passenger, as long as your COVID 15 didn't turn into the COVID 150. The coupe design means little floor space for a big purse, and few in-cabin storage opportunities for water bottles or phones.
Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
The interior and exterior of the car are as expected from a design standpoint. Of note, the convertible top near-silently folds into its own compartment and leaves the trunk space available.
The biggest quibble I have with the LC is the track pad system for navigating the car's infotainment screen. It's not ideal, to say the least. However, it has been improved over the years and has moved from unacceptable to tolerable. It's no longer a reason to not buy a Lexus.
The LC 500 Convertible isn't for everyone and its price tag reflects that. It has a $101,000 starting MSRP. That's hefty, but in line with what you'd expect given the price tag of other high-end convertibles.
A vent at the bottom of the headrest allows hot or cold air to flow on the passengers.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
The 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible is everything it needs to be and likely everything a buyer wants it to be. Nearly everything about it just feels right.