You will like the Lexus LX 570 for its floating ride, luxurious cabin, towing capabilities and offroad prowess. Maybe not so much for its cargo room in the three-row version, its gargantuan size and need for premium fuel.
But overall the LX 570 is an awesome SUV; a bit dated from its third-generation debut 11 years ago. Mix in the Toyota carmaker’s precision and craftsmanship, and you have a very nice vehicle stacking up well against a crowded premium field.
Lots of standard equipment
Cramped third row
Pricey (north of $90,000)
We put the LX through its paces with highway travel. And also light offroad muscle, which is relentless with crawl control, a nifty device allowing drivers to take their feet off the brake and gas pedal and just steer.
For added ruggedness there is multi-terrain selectable traction control for use on rock, rock and dirt, mogul, loose rock and mud and sand. To add to the muscularity there are nearly nine inches of ground clearance, permanent four-wheel drive with low-range gearing, adjustable hydraulic suspension, Torsen limited slip center differential and turn assist.
Its massive V-8 engine with 403 lb.-ft. of torque powered through rough terrain with ease ... and back on pavement delivered raw power to move its nearly 3-ton bulk in an effortless manner.
The LX is a large SUV compared with rivals Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade and sibling Toyota Land Cruiser. Little has changed with the new model save for some option switching, and that’s where rivals have the upper hand introducing newer technologies and better looks.
Where the LX shows off, however, is with interior presentation—soft leather, massive power seats, real wood panels and a hushed ride with practically no outside noises. You may and should expect this sort of treatment with its $92,125 base price (with delivery), however.
Our test car added another $7,500 in options, including an upgraded 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, rear seat entertainment system with wireless headphones, heads-up display, refrigerated center console box and 21-inch 10 spoke alloys.
On the road the body-on-frame underpinnings give an expected hefty feel, not a bad thing. The LX is mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly as long as you are not trying to set land speed records from a dead stop. There are also steering mounted paddle shifters that seem out of place in such a heavy SUV.
We were able to top highway EPA estimates by just under two miles per gallon, at 20 mpg. Same result with city travel. Keep in mind a spirited driving scenario will greatly reduce the outcome.
You can order the LX with two or three rows of seats, with the former allowing substantially more cargo space. The third row seats are primarily for young children and when not in use they power up sideways or stack in place, reducing overall cargo space. Rivals offer more cargo.
On the flip side, the Lexus will tow up to 7,000 pounds of recreational goodies. Towing is aided with adaptive variable suspension, active height control and electronically controlled shock absorbers and stabilizer bars front and rear.
While you can save some coin with sibling Land Cruiser, we recommend the Lexus for its fine craftsmanship, posh ride and comfort.
Contact independent automotive columnist Len Ingrassia at firstname.lastname@example.org