2017 Lexus LX 570 — Ultimate expression of luxurious ruggedness

By Jim Prueter

(February 28, 2017) I suppose Lexus’ mega-sized luxury SUV could be better. It could, for example, be offered in a hybrid version, have third-row seats that fold out of the way, be offered with  a $0 down $399 per month lease including full-coverage automobile insurance, or come standard with an audio system that’s programmed to block Miley Cyrus and Iggy Azalea songs.

Short of those, one would be hard pressed to find fault with the Lexus LX 570 superliner.

Based on the Toyota Land Cruiser, the LX 570 is a go-anywhere eight-passenger upscale luxury SUV that’s beyond comfortable, powerful, quiet and with a plenary array of sophisticated technology and advanced safety features.

Offered in one well-equipped trim level with few options, it is powered by a 5.7-liter 383-horsepower V-8 engine matched with an eight-speed sequential shift automatic transmission. Full-time four-wheel drive system with hill-start assist, crawl control and a driver-selectable multi-terrain system allows the driver to negotiate most any off-road trail with imperturbable ease and confidence.

But the LX 570 is much more than just brute capability, it necessarily features luxuries that appeal to its affluent, pecunious psychographic buyer. It’s a celebration of automotive statements, when the affluent urbanites have outgrown the Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Denali or Lincoln Navigator. (In fact, that describes me perfectly, just as soon as I can substantially engage the cooperation of my checking account.)

Aside from its proven all-terrain creds, the glory of our LX 570 test vehicle was the interior that’s sumptuously appointed with the optional luxury package, including semi-aniline leather trimmed seating with contrast stitching, heated and ventilated front seats with second-row heated seats. Gorgeous wood veneers in a choice of walnut open pore, linear dark mocha, linear espresso or dark brown walnut trim the heated steering wheel, door and instrument panel.

For rear-seat passengers there’s an available dual-screen entertainment system with dual 11.6-inch screens, second-row USB ports, and the armrest featuring controls for the air conditioning and audio.

While front- and second-row seats are among the most comfortable we’ve experienced in any vehicle, the three-across third row is far from comfortable or convenient. It’s too narrow for adults and access is difficult. Further, the third row seat doesn’t fold flat for additional cargo room; rather it inconveniently folds up against the sidewalls.

Our test vehicle came equipped with the optional 19-speaker, 450-watt Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound audio system that turns the LX 570 into a mobile concert hall.

Standard safety features include Lexus Safety System+: pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, intelligent high beam and all-speed dynamic radar cruise control. The pre-collision system can warn the driver of a possible collision and can initiate automatic braking with brake assist if necessary. There are ten standard airbags.

On the road the LX 570 has little “sport” as a sport utility vehicle, but still, I loved the way it drove, handled and cosseted the occupants. It’s a big vehicle to drive but nevertheless felt firmly planted, sturdy and supremely capable and comfortable.

To be sure the LX 570 is thirsty, pricey and exclusive, but for a week I was the envy of the neighborhood including the neighbor who has a Cadillac Escalade parked in the garage.

Vital Stats

Price: $89,380
Price as Tested: $97,195
Seating: 8
Engine: 5.7-liter V8
Horsepower: 383-hp
Fuel Economy: 13-MPG City – 18-MPG Highway

Competes With:

Cadillac Escalade
Infiniti QX80
Land Rover Range Rover
Mercedes-Benz GLS

Fab Features:

Immensely capable off road
Opulently appointed interior
Smooth, quiet, comfortable ride