Full 2008 Lexus LX 570 Review
What's New for 2008
The 2008 Lexus LX 570 is the latest version of Lexus' luxury SUV. Highlights include a more powerful engine, enhanced on-road handling and new techno gadgets such as front and sideview video cameras.
The 2008 Lexus LX 570 is the vehicular proof of the saying, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes." There might be a snowstorm or a desert between you and where you're going, yet the LX is always prepared, always wearing the right clothes.
Though typically used more for shopping on Rodeo Drive than crisscrossing the Continental Divide, the LX has had "always ready" on its business card ever since its introduction in 1996. Now, for 2008, the LX has been fully redesigned. Still based on the Toyota Land Cruiser (it's also redesigned this year), the LX 570 luxury SUV continues Lexus' legacy of reliable craftsmanship with a mind-boggling number of bells and whistles. The new model boasts an all-new powertrain, as well as a plethora of gadgets that brings the "wow" factor to a whole new level.
Compared to last year's LX 470, the 2008 LX 570 has the same wheelbase but is fractionally longer, wider and taller. The exterior has been freshened but is still conservative, and underneath is a traditional body-on-frame design. The frame is considerably stiffer than before, and Lexus says the payoff is enhanced ruggedness, towing capacity and crashworthiness. It also works in conjunction with a new front suspension design to improve on-road handling.
Under the hood is a new 383-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 matched with a six-speed automatic transmission, a powertrain that comes from the latest Toyota Tundra pickup truck. The Land Cruiser has the same setup, and the two also share a new electronically controlled, off-road crawl control feature. The LX 570 gains the upper hand, however, thanks to an electronically controlled suspension with adaptive ride height and damping control, allowing it to deliver an ideal suspension setup no matter what kind of terrain it's driving over.
Inside, three rows of seating for up to eight people are once again standard, but the new model is just like the old one in that the third row is too cramped for anyone other than children. The third-row seat still doesn't fold flat, and maximum cargo space is no better than that of most midsize SUVs. But the new LX 570 has almost no peer when it comes to coddling thanks to high-quality materials and the latest pure luxury features, such as power-sliding second-row seats, a superb Mark Levinson audio system, four-zone climate control and a video monitor with front and sideview video cameras.
Thanks to updates like these, the 2008 Lexus LX 570 remains one of our top recommendations for the luxury SUV buyer. On a daily basis, it's exceptionally pleasant and so easy to drive that it could be a first choice as your daily driver. And if you happen to find yourself on some rock-strewn trail, well, the LX 570 will do you right there, too. Of course, this do-everything description could also be applied to the Land Rover Range Rover, a vehicle that surpasses the LX in terms of historical prestige. But the similarly powered Supercharged version is quite a bit more expensive and trails the Lexus in terms of its reputation for reliability. Another notable choice is the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, a very impressive luxury SUV in its own right. But it lacks the LX's off-road prowess. So if you want a vehicle that always puts you in the right set of clothes, the 2008 LX 570 is the obvious choice.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2008 Lexus LX 570 is a midsize luxury SUV. There is one base trim level, which comes standard with 20-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, a power liftgate, wood and leather interior trim, power and heated front seats with driver memory settings, keyless ignition, four-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and a premium sound system with six-CD changer, satellite radio and auxiliary audio jack. Also included is a hard-drive-based navigation system with voice activation, a back-up camera and real-time traffic.
Gadget junkies can choose from several options. The Technology Package includes an upgraded 19-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound system. Additional options include a rear-seat entertainment system, ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats, and adaptive cruise control. Also available is a park assist system equipped with front and sideview video monitors for better visibility.
Powertrains and Performance
The LX 570 comes standard with a 5.7-liter V8 producing 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. It's connected to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. Lexus claims the LX 570 will go from zero to 60 in 7.2 seconds, and maximum towing capacity is set at 8,500 pounds. Fuel economy is respectable considering the engine's power, but the LX 570 still isn't going to be winning any efficiency awards -- the EPA gives it a rather dismal 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway rating.
The 2008 Lexus LX 570 includes a comprehensive array of standard safety features, including stability control, antilock brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags and roll-sensing full-length side curtain airbags. Active front headrests, also known as pre-crash intelligent headrests, debut in the 2008 Lexus LX 570. Lexus' pre-collision system is optional.
Interior Design and Special Features
The LX 570's cabin can seat up to eight people and is richly appointed, with exceptional leather and wood trim crafted of Bubinga, an African rosewood often used in private jets and high-end musical instruments. Robin Leach is no doubt impressed. The 14-way driver seat has a power front cushion extender to accommodate long-legged drivers, and the power-sliding, 60/40-split second-row seat reclines or folds away for extra space. A built-in cooler keeps drinks cold during road trips.
For a full-size SUV, however, interior versatility is a bit disappointing. The 50/50-split third-row seat is power operated, with the seats folding up against the sides of the cargo bay. Deployed, however, the third row still has a knees-up seating position that's suitable only for kids. Since the third row isn't totally removable, the LX 570's maximum cargo capacity is 83 cubic feet, average for a midsize SUV but notably below the capacity of many other large SUVs.
On the road, the 2008 Lexus LX 570 handles exceptionally well given its size, truck-based roots and considerable 3-ton curb weight. Off road, the LX has an uncanny ability to go places other SUVs can't thanks to its rugged frame and advanced suspension. The LX also shares the off-road crawl control system with the Land Cruiser, which automatically controls the antilock brakes and the engine's electronic throttle when descending steep, slippery terrain. If there's a fault in the whole driving experience, it's that the LX 570, perhaps because of its superb capabilities, is a bit bland to drive.