Full 2009 Lexus LX 570 Review
What's New for 2009
After a redesign last year, the 2009 Lexus LX 570 remains mostly unchanged. Additions include an optional Luxury Package and tinted rear side windows.
For the most part, SUVs force buyers to compromise in one way or another. Most manufacturers produce a vehicle that is either comfortable and compliant enough for city dwellers or rugged and versatile enough to tackle the pavement-free wilderness, but not both. However, one luxury SUV, the 2009 Lexus LX 570, has been designed to excel in any situation.
Based on the Toyota Land Cruiser, the LX 570 gives drivers a competent, if not masterful, off-road performance. With Lexus' reputation for craftsmanship, ride quality and countless amenities, drivers can also expect a well-mannered conveyance back in civilization. Surrounding occupants with lavish appointments, this Lexus has seating for up to eight, though third-row seat room and maximum cargo capacity are less than what's provided by many competing full-size luxury SUVs.
Still, the 2009 Lexus LX 570 is an impressive luxury SUV with a long list of standard features. It's so exceptionally pleasant and 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 Range Rover, a vehicle that surpasses the LX in terms of historical prestige. But the Rover's 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. As such, the LX 570 remains the ideal choice for a luxury SUV that can, in fact, do it all.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2009 Lexus LX 570 is a midsize luxury SUV that is offered in one very well-appointed base trim level. Standard equipment includes 20-inch alloy wheels, an electronically controlled suspension with adaptive ride height and damping control, adaptive xenon headlights, a power liftgate, a sunroof, leather seating, wood trim, power-adjustable heated front seats with driver memory presets, four-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and a nine-speaker premium audio system with a six-CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. Also standard is a voice-activated hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic information and a rearview camera.
New for 2009 is the Luxury Package, which adds a dark finish to the wheels, upgraded interior leather and wood trim, a chilled center console bin and keyless ignition/entry. Other available options include climate-controlled front seats with heated middle-row seats, a 19-speaker surround-sound Mark Levinson sound system with 30GB of music storage, adaptive cruise control, park assist, a rear-seat entertainment center and front and side parking-view monitors.
Powertrains and Performance
The LX 570 is powered by a beefy 5.7-liter V8 that produces 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. Power is channeled to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. Lexus claims this powerful drivetrain can propel the 3-ton behemoth to 60 mph in only 7.4 seconds. Maximum towing capacity is rated at 8,500 pounds. EPA fuel economy estimates are 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway and 14 mpg in combined driving. While not frugal by any stretch of the imagination, these figures are still respectable, considering the SUV's impressive performance.
Included with every 2009 Lexus LX 570 is an impressive array of safety equipment. Along with the expected antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags and stability control are additions like front-seat knee airbags, second-row side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front headrests and traction control. The Lexus Pre-Collision System, paired with the adaptive cruise control, is an option. This system uses radar to sense an impending crash, automatically retracting the front seatbelts and preparing the brake assist when needed.
Interior Design and Special Features
The LX 570 is able to transport up to eight people in style, surrounded by sumptuous leather and wood trim of the buyer's choice. For leggy pilots, the 14-way-adjustable driver seat has a power front cushion extender for added comfort and support. The power-sliding 60/40-split second seating row reclines, providing plenty of comfort for adult passengers. The 50/50-split third-row seat is rather cramped, however, and is suitable only for children. It has a power-fold feature, but it folds to the sides of the vehicle (rather than flat) and isn't completely removable. As such, its maximum cargo capacity is limited to 83 cubic feet, average for midsize SUVs but well short of large SUVs' capacities.
The 2009 Lexus LX 570 succeeds where many other SUVs fail by managing to deliver a comfortable and civilized ride in the city, but also demonstrating off-road prowess when called upon. The LX shares its rugged frame, advanced suspension, Hill-Start Assist Control and off-road Crawl Control with its "go-anywhere" Toyota Land Cruiser sibling, allowing it to tackle difficult terrain with ease. Considering its body-on-frame construction and heavy curb weight, it's amazing the LX 570 handles as well as it does, on- or off-road. As good as it is, some may feel the SUV's overall driving experience is on the mundane side, but its many positive attributes far outweigh its faults.