What's New for 2000
A Vehicle Stability Control system and a BrakeAssist system are now standard, as are last year's optional moonroof and illuminated running boards. The LX 470 also gets an optional wood and leather steering wheel and shift knob.
Lexus has long been known for its emphasis on luxury. And in terms of the booming luxury-SUV category, it doesn't get much more luxurious than the LX 470. Based off the Toyota Land Cruiser and priced very close to the top-line Lexus LS 400, the LX 470 is loaded to the gills with standard luxury equipment.
Power comes from a 4.7-liter V8 that creates 230 horsepower and 320 foot-pounds of torque. This V8 is one of the smoothest engines (of any size or configuration) we've ever experienced, maintaining its stately composure from idle to redline. Though neck-snapping acceleration is not within the Lexus' repertoire, its rated towing capacity of 6500 pounds is further proof that it can haul the family jewels.
While this engine can also be found in the Land Cruiser, the LX 470 does top the Land Cruiser with its Adjustable Height Control (AHC) and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS). The AHC allows the ride height of the vehicle to be adjusted to match the current road conditions. AVS adds further to the LX 470's pedigree by giving the SUV an active suspension that can react to changing road conditions in as little as 2.5 milliseconds. This gives the Lexus an amazingly stable feel on everything from freeway exit ramps to dry riverbeds.
Inside, this luxury SUV contains a slew of standard features. Starting with the electro-luminescent gauges and ending with the walnut wood trim that looks as if it were pilfered from an ancient British castle, the LX 470 offers the most majestic passenger compartment this side of a Jaguar sedan. You can also find heated seats with memory, an auto-dimming day/night mirror, a dust and pollen filter, one-touch power windows, automatic tilt-away steering column (for easier entry/egress), and separate rear-passenger climate controls. A third-row seat is standard in the LX 470, but it can be folded up easily for those who have more cargo than people to haul.
The extra toys that come standard on the LX 470 make it appealing when compared to a Land Cruiser. However, for our money, we'd probably save the $10,000 and go with the Toyota. With the exception of active handling, it still offers everything we love about the Lexus for about the same price as those other premium sport-utility vehicles.