Big body-on-frame sport-utilities like the Lexus LX 570 muscled out their space among the highest-priced competitors by providing huge vehicles capable of carrying plenty of passengers and towing anything you might need — all of it with a lavish, luxurious cabin fit for royalty.
The LX 570 is based on sibling Toyota Land Cruiser. These big SUVs occupy rarefied air with their enormous footprint, 6,000-pound curb weight and outstanding selection of interior accoutrements with a heavy emphasis on technology and convenience. The base price starts at $89,380 and can climb into the six-figure stratosphere.
While there may only be one trim level with everything you could want included, there are a few add-on features, including a DVD entertainment system for rear passengers.
This sophisticated machine with supple leather surfaces and outstanding fit and finish is just as impressive getting off the pavement and onto trails.
Passengers will enjoy generous leather-wrapped seating that is firm in bolstering on the sides and comfy with power adjustments to customize to every body type. Front- and middle-row seating spaces, with access to climate control, make a trip in the LX 570 a pleasure cruise.
I really loved the middle row’s power slide feature, though folding is another story. Seats are heavy and still require a cumbersome series of adjustments to execute the fold. The third row is like many; it seats two adults or three kids. More impressive than the middle row’s power move is the back row’s technical maneuver, as it does a power-folding act out to both sides of the vehicle. This provides more than 83 cubic feet of space for storage.
Impressive in anyone’s book, the 12.3-inch multimedia screen offers a giant readout capability that aids glancing over to see details of climate, audio and more. The LX 570 interface with the infotainment system uses a remote touch controller. Once I mastered the subtle motion of the system, I enjoyed using the controller as mouse to navigate the on-screen buttons and menus. The Climate Concierge system provides single-button activation of a pre-set interior temperature.
At more than 6,000 pounds, the LX 570 needs a very powerful engine to make things move. Lexus offers one engine, a robust 5.7-liter
V-8 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with a full-time all-wheel-drive system. Adding to the impressive capabilities are a hill start assist system, crawl control and a driver-selectable multi-terrain system.
During my weeklong test drive, I found the LX 570 to offer outstanding ride quality for such an enormous SUV. This is a spry giant that can get up to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. Sport and Sport S+ drive modes provide a different feel that firms up the adaptive dampers and aggressively recalibrates the shift points.
What the new LX delivers in its plush and comfortable cabin is probably enough for the most discerning luxury-vehicle seeker (my tester topped out at $96,500), but I think it’s the combination of the rugged chassis and off-road-capability that make this formula such a success for the shallow pool of possible owners.