Used 2008 Lexus LX 570
Edmunds' Expert Review
Thanks to its superb on- and off-road capabilities, powerful engine and high level of interior refinement, the 2008 Lexus LX 570 is an ideal choice for a do-everything luxury SUV.
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.
Trim levels & features
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.
Performance & mpg
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.
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.
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.
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Features & Specs
More About This Model
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, and yet the LX is always prepared, always wearing the right clothes.
This is true luxury, utility brought to such perfection that it makes anything possible. It's as if you could be sure of turning up anywhere with exactly the right clothes, whether it's a ski weekend in the mountains or a summer vacation at the shore — even some kind of event where people dress fancy for dinner.
Too bad Lexus has managed to keep this a secret.
Since its introduction in 1996, the LX has effectively taken over the franchise of the Toyota Land Cruiser, becoming the ultimate expression of durability, reliability and go-anywhere utility that the Land Cruiser has always represented in the Toyota universe. So it's no surprise that the 2008 Lexus LX 570 is just like the new-generation Toyota Land Cruiser, only with even more stuff.
Toyota's customary Disney-style imagineering brings us no fewer than 35 new features with the new-generation LX. At the top of the list is the new 383-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 matched up with a six-speed automatic transmission, a powertrain that comes from the 2007 Toyota Tundra pickup trunk.
Right after that, the 2008 LX 570 is set apart by its electronically controlled suspension with adaptive ride height and damping control, and it can deliver that whole luxury Lexus thing no matter what kind of terrain it's reading under its new 20-inch wheels with P285/50R20 Michelin Latitude Tour HP tires. The LX also shares the new electronically controlled, off-road crawl control introduced by the 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser, a careful integration of the antilock brakes and the engine's electronic throttle that lets you fearlessly descend steep, slippery trails in a kind of cruise control.
But really, the most important items that make the LX 570 different from the 2008 Toyota Land Cruiser are pure luxury features, like the power-sliding second-row seats and the latest Mark Levinson audio system. Not to mention such new gotta-have-it stuff from the Toyota catalog as four-zone climate control and front- and sideview video monitors.
Abilities Beyond the Human
There certainly is a lot of stuff altogether. LX Chief Engineer Hideki Watanabe says, "We wanted the engine and the transmission to be powerful enough to allow the LX to do just about anything. We wanted the technology to connect the LX and the occupants to the world around them, enabling them to do more by giving them abilities beyond the human to see where others cannot, hear what others cannot and do what other vehicles cannot."
It sounds kind of like having your own personal robot mega-vehicle, as if you were a Power Ranger or something.
There's a little more LX to drive around with this new-generation platform, for while the wheelbase remains the same at 112.2 inches, its overall dimensions expand fractionally. But you never notice, really. There's that magic suspension taking the sting out of any kind of road surface, plus a six-speed automatic that thinks for itself (in a good way) and an engine with an even stronger, broader powerband than ever before.
You can drive it fast or drive it slow, and the LX just shrugs and goes about its business without complaint. Lexus claims the LX 570 will get to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds and then reach the quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds.
Of course, what you find yourself doing in the Lexus LX 570 is simply loafing around town like some kind of overprivileged country-club slacker. Aside from the big step up into the cabin of this body-on-frame, off-road-ready vehicle, the LX proves as practical and maneuverable as a Camry, so you're always using it to pick up another bag of crushed ice down at the party store.
The Adventure Quotient
You can get the Lexus LX 570 dirty, but it's hard to think of a good reason for it. The adventure quotient is just something the LX keeps in reserve for those occasional blizzards or sandstorms, and it's hard to think about breaking trail in a trackless waste when you're moving expensive furniture you've just bought from the home store.
Since it's meant to carry on the legacy of the Land Cruiser, the LX has miraculous off-road capability. There are plenty of die-hards who will tell you that the Land Cruiser lost its way when its inline-6 engine and solid front axle were replaced in 1998 by a V8 and independent front suspension. And they'll tell you that the LX 570's all-singing, all-dancing showcase of all-active suspension and sophisticated electronic traction control won't win it any friends out there in the big beyond.
Yet the truth is that the LX 570 can go places that will leave old-school sport-utes of the iron age stuck in the rocks. The big news here is Toyota's own version of hill-descent control, an off-road stability control that keeps the LX's tires firmly on the ground even when you're driving down a pitch so steep that you're hanging in the seatbelts. A flick of a switch on the center console gives you a choice of three different speed settings, one even slower than a walking pace.
There was a time when the use of glorified antilock braking to sustain off-road traction seemed wimpy and fraught with disaster, but now we take for granted the rapid-fire stutter of the ABS solenoids on the LX's firewall. Toyota engineers tell us that it takes 3 minutes of absolutely continuous action before the system begins to overheat, and there's not much chance of that.
We'll admit that there are circumstances in which mechanical limited-slip differentials might be a better deal, but then they're clunky and troublesome the rest of the time. The LX's electronics are just fine, and they're just fine all the time.
Prospective LX owners (household income in excess of $385,000, so the marketing wizards at Lexus say) are more likely to be attracted to the new vehicle's 8,500-pound towing capacity, which is what you want as the owner of either some kind of hay-burner with expensive bloodlines or a far more sensible 25-foot Skipjack fishing boat. The six-speed transmission works the magic here, as the combination of plenty of gear ratios and good shift logic makes towing pretty effortless.
Big, Blonde and Bland
For all this, the only things the LX will be packing will be people and stuff. The seats flip and fold and slide like some kind of puzzle box that manages to fit 10 pounds of stuff in a 5-pound bag.
On a daily basis, the LX proves altogether pleasant. It's climate-controlled and wired for sound. It's so easy to drive that it would be the first choice as your daily driver. It's the ultimate Camry.
And as in a Camry, it's too easy to take the LX's excellence for granted. It looks luxurious, but it has no noticeable style, pretty much like one of those resort hotels with a couple of stucco turrets and a little too much marble. It's got a terrific golf course, a full-service spa and an exquisite restaurant, but you find yourself hanging out at the pool in one of those white robes, eating hot dogs for lunch.
Lexus has worked so hard to make the LX a luxury vehicle that no one seems to appreciate just how good it is.
The Luxury Message
There are plenty of people out there waiting for the 2008 Lexus LX 570, even at its base price of $73,800 ($74,565 including $765 destination fee).
The Lexus LX 570 has so much more to offer than effortless transportation, yet it seems that no one understands it. The LX needs some romance, a story of adventure to tell. It's always wearing the right clothes, and yet it doesn't look quite right.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2008 Lexus LX 570 Overview
The Used 2008 Lexus LX 570 is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include , and 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 6A).
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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Lexus LX 570?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.