I Regret to Inform You That a 55-Inch TV Is

A TV in the back seat of a Lexus LS 500

Photo: Collin Woodard

You’ve got to love Google Photos. It backs up every picture that you take, and then, every now and then, decides to curate a collection of photos from your past that you didn’t have any interest in remembering. Although recently, my phone decided to remind me about my move to Detroit. As you may (but probably don’t) recall, supply chain issues caused it to be a bit of a disaster. But that photo collection did include a photo I took of a situation that taught me a lesson that is Very Important Consumer Advice: The Lexus LS 500 is not the best car for TV-buying.

Because I’d left my beloved (but not particularly Jalop) Fiat 500e in Los Angeles, I was using press cars to get around when I first moved to Detroit. And one of the first ones I got was a Lexus LS 500. And it happened to arrive right about the time I got frustrated enough about not having a TV to go out and buy one. After all, watching Hulu on a work laptop after work can only sustain a person for so long.

The plan seemed simple enough. Drive to Best Buy. Buy a TV. Drive it home. Enjoy the big-screen experience. So I hopped in the LS 500, drove to Best Buy, and tried to do exactly that. I found one that was a good deal and went to buy it, but thankfully, an employee suggested I make sure it would fit in my car first. Perhaps they have experience with this thing.

When I pulled up to the front, I went to fold down the back seats, only to realize that was not going to happen. If you get the Executive Package, those seats don’t fold down. Which makes sense if you think about it for even half a second, but clearly, I hadn’t been thinking. That meant the TV had to fit in the back, not the trunk. It’s a big trunk, but it’s not fit-a-TV big unless we’re talking about one of those old 12- or 13-inch CRT TVs with a VCR built in that families used to strap between the seats to entertain their kids on road trips.

Unfortunately for me, the back of the LS 500 may be cavernous and luxurious, but it’s not cavernous enough to fit a 65-inch TV. Shout out to the employee who suggested we make sure it would fit before I paid for it. Also, shout out to that employee for not making it weird when it became clear that I wasn’t particularly familiar with the $100,000 car I was driving.

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The 60-inch was also out, but the 55-inch seemed like it just might work. It would be tight, but, at least theoretically, it should have fit. But it didn’t. Was I really going to have to downgrade to a 50-inch like A Poor? I was a Lexus LS 500 man for the week. Living like that was simply not an option.

But after some front-seat moving, angle adjusting, and a little swearing, we finally managed to get both doors to close. That was it. I was now the owner of a 55-inch TV and would soon be able to watch Happy Endings the way it was meant to be enjoyed: not on a laptop. Hurray for me!

And also hurray for you. Because now you know that a 55-inch TV is the largest TV you can fit in the back seat of a Lexus LS 500. Next time your rich LS 500-driving friend tells you they’re going to buy a new 70-inch TV, you can authoritatively say, “No you’re not. 55 inches will work, but that’s really pushing it.” Your friend, who was definitely not just going to simply have it shipped to their house, will be in awe of your knowledge.

Hopefully, though, Lexus can fix this Very Serious Problem with a significantly wider next-generation LS. Your loyal customers shouldn’t have to settle for 55 inches, Lexus. They deserve bigger. Both TVs and flagship luxury sedans. Surely, TV hauling capacity is an important part of the LS’s development criteria. If not, it should be. Do you want your wealthiest customers to only be able to buy small TVs? I sure hope not.


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