The full-size luxury SUV marketplace are full of models that will never venture off payment. Such models include the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GL that have either basic to somewhat advanced four-wheel drive systems. Then there is the Range Rover which boasts a number of off-road technologies and equipment to get you through some of murkiest conditions on earth. Sure, you never see one tackle an off-road trail unless its featured in a promo video, but it’s nice to know the model can get you through. It makes some wonder if there is a competitor that can match the Range Rover in terms of off-road ability and luxuries. Well Lexus believes they have that competitor in the form of the LX 570. I spent a week in it to see if it can compete.
The LX 570 is the sister model to the Toyota Land Cruiser, so a fair number of items are shared between the two. For example, the basic shape of the body are similar. Both models boast similar profiles and key design items such as a large glass area and a split-opening tailgate. At least Lexus’ designers should be credited for trying to make the LX look somewhat different from the Land Cruiser. Such details include flared out fenders boasting 20-inch wheels, and a set of running boards. The front-end gets the brand’s distinctive spindle grille and a set of headlights with LEDs. The addition of the spindle grille seems out of place when compared to the rest of the LX’s design.
Passengers up front get power adjustments with memory, along with heat and cooling. I found the front seats to provide excellent support and the heat was very nice for the extreme cold that I found myself driving the LX in. Second row passengers will find an abundance of head and legroom, along with heated seats and a two-zone climate control system. There is a third row, but that’s best left in case of emergencies as legroom is minimal. The third-row also presents a problem for cargo space. With the seats down, the LX 570 only has 15.5 cubic feet of space. Fold the seats up and space increases to 45 cubic feet, but the seats are still in the cargo area. Now you might wonder why the seats don’t fold into the floor. The answer is the four-wheel drive and off-road equipment takes up all that space.
Thoughts on Engine and Ride Are on the Next Page
Power for the LX 570 comes from a 5.7L V8 with 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system. Tipping the scales at just a hair over 6,000 pounds, the V8 engine has its work cut out for it. But thanks to the engine having a decent amount of torque and a quick-shifting automatic, the LX is able to get out of its way with no sweat. Lexus should also be given credit for the amount of refinement done to the engine as it barely makes a murmur when accelerating. The big downside for this powertrain is fuel economy. The EPA rates the LX 570 at 12 City/17 Highway/14 Combined. I was lucky to get 13 MPG as my average for the week.
Now as I mentioned earlier, the LX 570 comes packed with a fair amount of off-road equipment and tech. Here is what LX comes with:
- Adjustable Suspension
- Hill-Start Assist
- Turn Assist: Brakes the outside wheel to provide a tighter turning radius
- Crawl Control: Adjusts throttle and brakes when driving through difficult terrain
Aside from this brief excursion into the snow, the LX did alright around town and on the expressway. With the suspension set in either comfort or normal, the LX glides over bumps and imperfections. Sound deadening is excellent with nary a hint of road and wind noise entering the cabin. Out on the curves, the LX shows signs of body lean. Even with the suspension set in the Sport setting, the lean is noticeable. Steering is slow, giving the feeling that you are driving a tractor and not an SUV.
The Lexus LX 570 has the luxuries and off-road tech which puts it in the direct line of the Range Rover. But the poor gas mileage and cargo space make it an outlier in the full-size luxury SUV class. If you are planning to traverse the Rocky Mountains or go on a summer vacation in the Sahara desert, then the LX 570 makes sense. Otherwise, you have a fair number of competitors that offer better fuel economy and a few more luxuries for the price.
Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the LX 570, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Model: LX 570
Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8
Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600
Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 12/17/14
Curb Weight: 6,000 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Japan
Base Price: $82,930
As Tested Price: $90,720 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
Mark Levinson Audio System - $2,350
Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System - $2,005
Luxury Package - $1,510
Intuitive Park Assist - $1,000