Used 2015 Lexus LX 570 Review

The 2015 Lexus LX 570 is an impressively refined and capable full-size luxury SUV, but its poor fuel economy, cramped third-row seat and aging design hurt its standing.




what's new

The LX 570's front seats get additional power adjustments for 2015, and standard Siri Eyes Free technology enables enhanced voice-command functions for compatible Apple smartphones.

vehicle overview

Unlike some full-size luxury SUVs, the 2015 Lexus LX 570 has history firmly on its side. Based on the iconic Toyota Land Cruiser, you could say that its roots go all the way back to the 1950s. And heck, this hulking Lexus can claim a place in hip-hop lore, too -- who could forget Notorious B.I.G.'s "Lexus LX four and a half"? OK, well, maybe you did. But the current LX 570 still has much in common with its forefather, including go-anywhere capability, funky sideways-folding third-row seats and, alas, a prodigious thirst for gasoline.

Now, most shoppers in this class are willing to take that hit at the pump, which is why we've cut the LX 570 plenty of slack in the past. But its European rivals are increasingly employing forced induction -- both turbochargers and superchargers -- to pump up acceleration while also returning superior fuel economy. Put simply, the LX's EPA combined rating of 14 mpg is dead last among its gas-powered peers, and so is its 7.4-second gallop to 60 mph. That's understandable given that the LX 570 debuted way back in the 2008 model year, but today its powertrain (including the six-speed automatic transmission) is decidedly behind the times.

Suppose, however, that you intend to keep your luxury SUV for a decade or more, and you're leery of the maintenance bills on those newfangled European engines. That puts the LX 570 in a more favorable light. While the LX's V8 is relatively sophisticated for a truck engine, it's a simpleton in this segment, with tough, no-nonsense fundamentals that should prove reliable over time. If you also intend to venture off-road, the LX 570 will certainly earn its keep, as precious few luxury SUVs can keep up with it on gnarly terrain. It's just a shame that this big SUV doesn't have more room in its third row -- the sideways-folding third-row seats may be a heritage feature, but they're big enough only for kids, and they still take up some cargo space when folded.

If you're looking for the class leader, you'll find it in the 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, which has a roomier third row, more cargo space, better fuel economy, quicker acceleration, cutting-edge infotainment and a considerably lower base price to boot. The 2015 BMW X5 technically competes one size-class down, but its modest third row is actually a match for the LX 570's, and its powertrains, on-road handling and cabin technology constitute a giant leap forward. The in-between 2015 Audi Q7 also has a tight third row, but its diesel V6 is particularly appealing.

Still not sold? You could go with the two-row 2015 Land Rover Range Rover, which offers comparable off-road chops, arguably unmatched luxury and your choice of a fuel-efficient supercharged V6 or a 510-horsepower supercharged V8 that somehow manages 16 mpg combined. Even the 2015 Cadillac Escalade returns better fuel economy, while the boldly styled 2015 Infiniti QX80 manages the same trick.

In final measure, the 2015 LX 570's illustrious past continues to give it a certain aura, but this SUV's present is mostly about playing catch-up. Here's hoping that its future holds a return to historic form.

trim levels & features

The 2015 Lexus LX 570 is a full-size SUV with seating for eight passengers. The third-row seat is a 50/50-split design that folds up against the sides of the cargo compartment when not in use.

The LX 570 is offered in a single trim level with a slew of high-end standard features. Starting with the exterior, the LX boasts 20-inch alloy wheels, a height-adjustable adaptive suspension, automatic load leveling, automatic adaptive xenon headlights, automatic wipers, auto-dimming outside mirrors, a sunroof, running boards, a roof rack, a power liftgate, a tow hitch, rear privacy glass and keyless entry and ignition.

Inside, the LX 570 comes with four-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, wood trim, heated power front seats (14-way driver, 12-way passenger), driver memory functions, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 60/40-split reclining and power-sliding second-row seat, a power-folding third-row seat and a 120-volt household-style power outlet in the cargo bay. The infotainment system utilizes an 8-inch touchscreen interface and features a rearview camera, a navigation system, voice controls, the Lexus Enform suite of smartphone-based services (including Pandora, Slacker, Yelp and iHeartRadio), Siri Eyes Free technology, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a nine-speaker audio system with a CD changer, satellite radio, HD radio and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The optional Luxury package adds heated and ventilated front seats, a cooled storage bin between the front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, extended wood trim, upgraded leather upholstery and a slim, cardlike key fob ("SmartAccess") that fits in your wallet.

Also available are front and rear parking sensors, front- and sideview parking cameras, adaptive cruise control (including a pre-collision warning system), a dual-screen rear seat entertainment system and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system.

Additionally, the Luxury package's heated and ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats can be specified as a separate option.

performance & mpg

The 2015 Lexus LX 570 is motivated by a 5.7-liter V8 engine rated at 383 hp and 403 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is a full-time four-wheel-drive system with hill start assist, crawl control and a driver-selectable multi-terrain system. The LX can tow up to 7,000 pounds, and a tow hitch is standard equipment.

In Edmunds performance tests, the LX 570 went from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. That may seem impressive for a 6,000-pound vehicle, but these days the LX gets outgunned by just about any rival that's not diesel-powered. There's more: the LX 570's EPA-estimated fuel economy is a decidedly paltry 14 mpg combined (12 city/17 highway) – as bad as it gets in this segment.

For context, this year's Mercedes-Benz GL 450 gets to 60 mph nearly a second quicker with its turbocharged V6, and its EPA combined fuel economy is 19 mpg.

safety

The 2015 Lexus LX 570 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction control, stability control with trailer sway control, active front headrests, front seat side airbags, front knee airbags, second-row side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard is Lexus Safety Connect emergency communications with automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle location, an emergency assist button and enhanced roadside assistance.

The optional frontal collision warning system (included with adaptive cruise control) takes action if a crash is deemed imminent, automatically tightening the front seatbelts and priming the braking system for maximum responsiveness. It does not, however, provide automatic panic braking like newer systems of this kind.

In Edmunds brake testing, the LX 570 came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet, a very good showing for such a heavy vehicle.

driving

The 2015 Lexus LX 570 rides regally on all roads, shrugging off impacts like the softly sprung luxury liner it is. Wind and road noise are kept in check, and although the V8 becomes audible during acceleration, it's an eminently pleasant rumble. Unfortunately, the acceleration itself is underwhelming if you're familiar with competing models. We're also not enthused about the LX's ponderous handling relative to nimbler European rivals.

Much harder for any rival to match is the LX 570's competence once the pavement ends. Between its sophisticated suspension, cleverly engineered crawl-control system and rugged, Land Cruiser-based construction, this deluxe SUV has the capability to take you virtually anywhere you might ever want to go. Just be sure you're going to use that capability, because it's one of the few respects in which the LX 570 really stands out.

interior

The 2015 Lexus LX 570 entices with a posh, leather- and wood-lined cabin. But the LX 570's rivals are considerably newer, and you can see the Lexus' age in its generic dashboard design and relatively crude touchscreen graphics. Also, the company's ubiquitous, computerlike Remote Touch Interface is not available in the LX, which predates the interface's arrival. If you check the box for the concert-quality Mark Levinson sound system, you might not really care, but there's no doubt that a little seat time in other luxury SUVs will throw the LX 570's age-related shortcomings into relief.

One aspect of the LX's interior that's timelessly admirable is seat comfort, at least in the first two rows. The front seats offer excellent visibility from their elevated perches, and while the second-row bottom cushions could be higher, there's nonetheless plenty of headroom and legroom. The three-across third row, as noted, is a disappointment, with minimal passenger space compounded by awkward ingress and egress. In a vehicle of the LX 570's imposing dimensions, we think it's fair to expect a third-row seat that's not just for kids.

The design of the 50/50-split third-row seat also has a negative impact on cargo capacity, because the two halves fold up against the side walls instead of down into the floor. By the numbers, the LX 570 offers 41 cubic feet of cargo room behind the 60/40-split second row of seats and 83.1 cubic feet with all rear seats folded. That's a useful amount, no doubt, but the intrusive third-row seats hold it back, and the LX's similarly sized rivals offer more.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.