Full 2011 Lexus LX 570 Review
What's New for 2011
The 2011 Lexus LX 570 receives no significant changes.
At first glance, the 2011 Lexus LX 570 might seem like a rolling contradiction. It's one of the most off-road-capable SUVs around, yet it's also one of the most expensive and luxurious. Are you really going to work your way through a wooded trail and risk scratching the LX's fancy pearlescent paint? Or will you really trek through a mud bog when doing so may result in the deep-pile carpet and leather upholstery being besmirched with muck and guck? No, it doesn't seem very likely.
Yet Lexus said it best when the LX was first introduced back in the 1990s: "While most owners of luxury SUVs will seldom put their vehicles to the ultimate test, LX owners can have the utmost confidence in their vehicle in poor weather or while fighting their way through the worst hazards of urban life." In other words, if you know your car can successfully go on safari, you'll probably be pretty confident that it'll handle a trip to Neiman Marcus in a light drizzle.
Of course, so could a Toyota Land Cruiser, the $68,000 SUV with which the LX 570 shares much of its mechanicals. However, for about 10 grand more, the Lexus version gives you the sort of luxurious cabin and convenience features one expects from a proper Neiman's runabout. Supple leather, real wood, heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise control and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system are all available. Also exclusive to the LX 570 is an electronically controlled suspension with adaptive ride height and damping control; it brings about both a smooth ride quality and respectable large-SUV handling. The Lexus and Toyota may look awfully similar, but there's enough differentiation to make you feel that you're paying for more than just a fancier badge.
The LX 570 doesn't have the ultimate luxury SUV title completely to itself, however. The 2011 Land Rover Range Rover is arguably grander in appearance and more iconic in pedigree, while offering even more sophisticated off-road technology and the availability of a potent supercharged V8 engine. It doesn't have seven seats as the LX 570 does, but if that's a priority, the 2011 Land Rover LR4 has a rearmost row that is more useful than the LX 570's. The LR4 also gives up little in the way of luxury to the Lexus, while costing much less.
All things being equal, we'd pick one of the Rovers over the 2011 Lexus LX 570. But things aren't equal, as Land Rover is one of the least reliable brands while Lexus is consistently one of the best. Even if an $80,000 off-roading luxury SUV isn't the most sensible vehicle around, the last thing you want is a breakdown on the way to Neiman Marcus.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2011 Lexus LX 570 is a full-size SUV offered in one well-equipped trim level. Standard features include 20-inch alloy wheels, an electronically controlled suspension that automatically adjusts ride height and firmness, adaptive and automatic xenon headlights, front foglamps, automatic wipers, auto-folding mirrors, a sunroof, a roof rack, a power tailgate and keyless ignition/entry.
Inside you get four-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated power front seats (10-way driver, eight-way passenger -- both with lumbar adjustment), a power-sliding second-row seat, a power-folding third-row seat and leather upholstery.
There are also electronic features aplenty. Among them are a rearview camera, a navigation system, real-time traffic and weather, voice controls, Lexus Enform emergency telematics, Bluetooth phone and audio device connectivity and a nine-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
The Luxury package adds dark-finish wheels, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, a center console cooler, upgraded leather and wood trim. Other options include a multiview parking camera, a rear-seat entertainment system, adaptive cruise control (includes pre-collision preparation) and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2011 Lexus LX 570 is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 that produces 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds performance testing, the LX 570 went from zero to 60 mph in a quick 7.4 seconds.
The LX 570's towing capacity is an impressive 8,500 pounds, while its fuel economy is (not surprisingly) a rather thirsty 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway and 14 mpg combined.
The 2011 Lexus LX 570 comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control and 10 airbags, including front knee airbags, front- and second-row side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Active front head restraints are also standard.
The optional Lexus Pre-Collision System uses input from the adaptive cruise control system's sensors to help detect an impending collision. When it determines a crash is imminent, the system automatically takes up the slack in the front seatbelts and primes the braking system for faster response in panic stops.
In Edmunds brake testing, the LX 570 came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet -- excellent for such a large vehicle.
Interior Design and Special Features
Step inside the LX 570 and you'll find a cabin that's every bit as stylish as any high-end luxury sedan's. Supple leather upholstery for each of the eight seating positions is complemented by wood accents, and this luxury lounge effect is amplified by the LX 570's comprehensive array of standard and optional features. Both the power-adjustable front seats and the 60/40-split power-adjustable second-row bench offer exceptionally comfortable accommodations. The 50/50-split third-row seat, on the other hand, is short on both legroom and headroom, making it really only suitable for kids.
The other downside to the third-row seat is that its two halves power-fold toward the sides of the vehicle instead of folding flat into the floor. This means they eat into the usable cargo space behind the second row. However, there's still a healthy 41 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row and a maximum of 83 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded.
The 2011 Lexus LX 570's calling card is its versatility. The powerful 5.7-liter V8 engine provides remarkable acceleration for such a large and heavy vehicle, and it makes quick work of towing tasks. And despite its body-on-frame construction and hefty weight, the LX 570 rides and handles well, with the electronically controlled suspension smoothing out bumps in everyday driving. The topper, though, is how good this luxury vehicle is once you leave the pavement. The LX 570's combination of rugged construction, advanced suspension design and off-road Crawl Control program lets owners easily motor through all but the toughest terrain.