"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." This philosophy was declared in the 1996 press kit for the original Lexus LX, a vehicle that kicked the luxury SUV craze up a few notches by decorating a Toyota Land Cruiser with added standard equipment like leather, wood trim, an upgraded stereo and a third-row seat. Although the automotive marketplace has changed considerably since then, today's Lexus LX 570 still follows the same philosophy.
Underneath the LX 570's organically robust styling resides a rough-and-ready, body-on-frame truck platform designed for serious off-road duty. Customers today are just as unlikely to venture onto muddy trails as they were back in the middle of the Clinton administration, but that hasn't stopped Lexus from stuffing a full range of sophisticated off-road-enabling technologies into its latest LX. At the same time, this is one of the most luxurious vehicles Lexus makes. As a vehicle that can do it all, the LX 570 is almost without peer.
Current Lexus LX 570
The Lexus LX 570 is powered by a 383-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. Mechanically, the LX 570 is heavily related to the Land Cruiser, and both boast tremendous off-road capabilities. In addition to its truck-based design, the LX 570 features a permanent four-wheel-drive system along with respectable wheel travel and ground clearance. There's also a new electronically controlled off-road Crawl Control mode. When this feature is activated, the 570 uses its antilock brakes and electronic throttle to fearlessly descend or ascend steep, slippery slopes. All the driver has to do is steer.
While dedicated off-road vehicles tend to behave like jittery behemoths on pavement, this Lexus is as civilized as it gets. Special to the LX 570 is an electronically controlled suspension with adaptive ride height and damping control that delivers the type of buttery-smooth ride expected of a Lexus.
Also expected of a Lexus is a wealth of luxury goodies, and as the brand's flagship SUV, the LX 570 is crammed like no other. Standard features include 20-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, a power liftgate, power-sliding second-row seats, four-zone automatic climate control, a voice-activated hard drive navigation system, a rearview camera and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. Optional highlights include a stupendous 19-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound system, a chilled console bin, a rear-seat entertainment system, cooled front seats, heated rear seats and adaptive cruise control.
The Lexus LX 570 is also adorned in the finest interior trappings of its class. The leather upholstery is almost inconceivably supple, and the wood inlays are some of the richest you'll find at any price point. Other materials are similarly beyond reproach. The LX also offers seating for eight, although its rearmost row is suitable only for children and doesn't fold flat into the trunk floor. (Each piece of the split bench flips against the side walls at the press of a button.)
In reviews, we've found the Lexus LX 570 to be very good. But like its forbears, this Lexus is rather pricey. Much of the blame can be heaped upon the sophisticated off-road systems, so it's hard to justify this luxury SUV if you never plan on utilizing its many all-terrain talents. Competing models offer similar luxury, performance and accommodations for less money.
Used Lexus LX 570
The LX 570 debuted for 2008. Compared to the current model, those produced until 2011 (there was no 2012 model) featured slightly different styling and interior trim details. The instruments and trip computer display were also less advanced. Other changes of note were the upgraded navigation system for 2010, along with the addition of an iPod interface, Bluetooth streaming audio and Lexus Safety Connect emergency telematics.
Those interested in a previous-generation Lexus LX should look for the Lexus LX 470, which was sold from 1998-2007.