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Lexus' new LX 470 luxury SUV replaces the LX 450, offering a completely new body design, a more powerful engine, a roomier interior and more standard perks.
Lexus has long been known for its emphasis on luxury (what the company refers to as The Lexus Touch) and in the ever-booming SUV category, that standard of luxury is being pushed further than ever before. To compete with stylish new sport-utes like the Lincoln Navigator and Infiniti QX4, Lexus has replaced its old-tech LX450 with the upgraded LX470 for 1998.
The LX470 comes with a hefty price tag, but it is also loaded to the gills with standard luxury equipment like heated seats, heated mirrors and a single-feed six-CD changer. Engineers also decided it was time for a power boost, so the LX470 got a 4.7-liter 230-horsepower V8 tucked under its hood. The engine, which is the first four-cam 32-valve V8 to be offered in a sport-ute, makes 18 more horsepower and 45 more foot-pounds of torque than the LX450. Additionally, the LX470 gets an increase in roominess and a decrease in engine noise.
Full-time four-wheel drive, real wood trim, ABS, rear A/C, running boards, enlarged brake pads, adaptive variable suspension, dual airbags, extra auxiliary power switches and leather seats are standard equipment on the vehicle. Also standard is Lexus' new hydropneumatic adjustable height control suspension system which allows the driver to choose higher ground clearance for off-roading or a lower ride height for tooling around town.
Lexus decided to keep things simple for the buyer of the LX470 by offering only one option: the power/tilt sunroof. We have no doubt that this vehicle with seating for eight and cupholders for nine is plush, powerful and comfortable for what most people will want it for: driving around town. It's off-road capabilities will be the final test. Still, if email from our readers is any indication, Lexus showrooms will soon be brimming with potential customers.
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