What's New for 2006
Lexus has increased the horsepower on the 2006 LX 470 by adding variable valve-timing technology to the SUV's V8 engine. The V8 now makes 275 hp, a rise of 40 hp over last year's output. Additionally, a new tire-pressure monitoring system is standard, as is the previously optional 11-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. Rounding out the changes are some minor exterior styling updates, which include new LED taillamps and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Luxury SUVs, despite the negative stigma often attached to them, are some of the most versatile and useful vehicles sold. They can be just as luxurious as a premium sedan, yet they also offer plenty of interior room, weather-beating four-wheel drive and rugged suspensions to take on anything from broken pavement to challenging off-road trails. The Lexus LX 470 has been a perennial favorite of our staff ever since its introduction in 1998.
We have found much to like in its rich interior materials, tight construction, balanced on- and off-road capability and a long menu of safety and luxury features. Though there are now many choices when it comes to luxury SUVs, the 2006 Lexus LX 470 is still a solid choice. It does just about everything you could ask and, given Lexus' reputation for building very reliable vehicles, should provide many years of trouble-free service. Of course, one could make the same argument for the Land Cruiser and the slightly smaller Lexus GX 470. If you aren't dead set on an LX 470, either the Toyota or the GX might suit your needs just as well and save you thousands of dollars in the process.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The Lexus LX 470 is a full-size four-door SUV. Its mechanical underpinnings are similar to those of the Toyota Land Cruiser, but the Lexus is considerably more luxurious. Standard equipment on the LX 470 includes power-adjustable and heated front seats, illuminated running boards, automatic climate control, a DVD-based navigation system, auto-dimming mirrors, a moonroof and a rear backup camera system. The Mark Levinson audio system, newly standard this year, has a dash-mounted six-CD changer and 11 speakers. For owners who desire even more opulence, Lexus offers a Night View enhanced nighttime vision system, the Lexus Link emergency communications service, satellite radio and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.
Powertrains and Performance
The Lexus LX 470 comes standard with a 4.7-liter V8 that produces 275 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed to all four wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission with low-speed gearing. Previously, the LX 470 could feel a bit underpowered when loaded with passengers and gear, but this year's power hike has largely negated this fault. Properly equipped, the LX 470 can tow a load up to 5,000 pounds.
Standard equipment includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes, front seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags for front- and second-row occupants. To help avoid an accident, Lexus has fortified the brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and BrakeAssist. The Lexus LX 470 also includes a standard stability control system and, for 2006, a new tire-pressure monitoring system. The Lexus LX 470 has not been crash tested by the NHTSA nor the IIHS.
Interior Design and Special Features
You get a sense that no expense was spared in creating the LX 470's luxurious cabin. Indeed, the walnut wood trim is radiant in its luster and the perforated leather sumptuous in its suppleness. Materials used in the construction of the interior are generally of the highest quality. Three rows of seating come standard. The 60/40-split second row can be folded forward, and the 50/50-split rear bench can be removed entirely. So done, there is 90.4 cubic feet of cargo room available.
Ride and handling characteristics are as close to perfect as any large SUV has ever come. On the street, the ride is as smooth and buttery as you like, depending on which of the four modes you choose for the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which automatically adjusts shock absorber firmness according to driving style, road conditions and vehicle load. Even on challenging off-road trails composed of severe bumps and ruts, the 2006 Lexus LX 470 retains its compliant, forgiving ride quality.