Big Lexus SUV is a luxurious and capable off-roader
I recently spent a week test driving the Lexus LX570 sport utility vehicle and had a bit of an epiphany while doing so.
I realized at some point that SUVs and SUV crossovers being sold in America these days aren’t what they used to be.
It used to be that manufacturers only had to design, engineer and produce SUVs for the unimproved road or trail. The way they measured success was how well the vehicle did on the toughest trails. They didn’t have to be blazingly-fast dragsters that you could also take camping — no, they just had to be able to take you and your family (or your fishing buddies) into the woods and get them back out again safely. If that meant dealing with miles of washboard dirt roads, going over rocks or fording streams, so be it. For that reason, I came to really like and appreciate the LX570.
Let’s start with the obvious: this SUV is big — not like its older brother big the Toyota Landcruiser — but big.
It’s is a little over under 16 feet long and is about 6 feet tall and 6.4 inches wide. Its curb weight (unloaded without passengers) is 5,800 pounds.
I found my five-passenger LX570 to be roomy and comfortable with a powerful 5.7-liter gasoline engine that produced 383 horsepower and 403 lb. feet of torque. That powerplant is mated to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. It can tow about 7,000 pounds which means your boat or trailer will be in capable hands.
My tester came sitting on handsome 21-inch steel alloy, split-spoke wheels.
Climb into the luxurious cabin and you will find yourself surrounded in beautiful, soft Aniline leather. Standard features include a moonroof and an infotainment system with a 12.3-inch display, Lexus’ Remote Touch controller and navigation, USB ports and Bluetooth. My tester came with an amazing 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system and a cooled center console compartment.
The LX570 is built on the Land Cruiser’s platform and that means both SUVs offer full-time four-wheel drive, reinforced skid plates, adjustable height, suspension and crawl control. They also share the same “Multi-Terrain Select” system — the latter being a driver-assist system that really helps when you’re off the pavement and in the sticks.
Other safety/driver assistance features include a 360-degree camera system, LED head- and taillights, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and forward collision warning with automatic braking. A head-up display is available.
My tester, which came in “Atomic Silver” metallic paint, also had heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats.
The LX570 competes primarily with the Mercedes-Benz GLS which is the acknowledged segment leader.
In terms of mileage I registered just 15 miles per gallon overall, 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg out on the highway.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price, as equipped, is $88,940.
Final thoughts: This vehicle does what it is supposed to do — inspire confidence in its driver that it can travel over rough and unimproved roads and trails with ease while carrying a lot of passengers comfortably. If you’re looking for a well-made, no-nonsense luxury SUV, the LX570 should be at the top of your list.
Jeff Mitchell is a South Bay automotive writer and reviewer Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org