2019 Lexus LX 570 — Old world luxury

By Jim Prueter

(April 22, 2019) The gargantuan LX 570 is Lexus’ flagship SUV, having been sold for more than two decades. The complete underpinnings of the LX 570 are essentially Toyota’s iconic Land Cruiser, extensively upgraded with sumptuous and gorgeous appointments both inside and out.

The current generation LX driven here received a major refresh for 2016 that reshaped every body panel, grille, rear liftgate and the interior. Changes for 2019 are modest at best and include new standard features like outside mirror puddle lamps that display the “Lexus” logo, a digital clock in the multi information display, and the addition of smart watch and Amazon Alexa skill integration with Lexus’ Enform Remote system. A new Luxury package adds “LX” projector lamps to each door, 21-inch wheels, and heated wood and leather steering wheel optional on the two-row seat model.

The badge name LX 570 — refers to its engine displacement; it’s a 5.7-liter V-8 that delivers 383-horsepower and 403 lb-ft torque through an eight-speed sequential shift automatic transmission, with full-time all-wheel drive. All this, of course, is necessary to propel its more than hefty three tons of curb weight. It’s capable of towing up to 7,000 pounds. This is the same engine-transmission set up that powers its Toyota Land Cruiser sibling.

City fuel economy is rated at 13 mpg, 18 mpg highway. We put over 1,100 miles of driving on the LX 570 during our weeklong loan, and recorded 14.7 mpg in mostly highway travel. We did not get the opportunity to test its off-road capabilities, but suggest most buyers of this luxury land yacht aren’t likely to do so either.

Performance is surprisingly quick; it reaches 60 in just 5.5 seconds, besting our previous tests with the new Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes GLS and Cadillac Escalade. We’re guessing buyers of the LX won’t much matter that fact, however.

The LX is built on a full-frame truck chassis that underpins both the Toyota Tundra pickup and the Land Cruiser. 

Of course, the buyer attraction to the LX is its sumptuous ride quality via adaptive variable suspension (AVS), the cosseting of perforated semi-aniline leather-trimmed interior including both heated and ventilated front and rear seats, the available 19-speaker, 450-watt Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound system, the choice of real wood trim selections including Open-Pore Walnut, Linear Dark Mocha Wood, Linear Espresso Wood and Dark Brown Walnut. A three-spoke wood-rimmed steering wheel is another quality touch.

Our test truck also included an available Rear Seat Entertainment System ($2,005) with dual 11.6-inch screens, second-row USB ports and auxiliary controls for the air conditioning and audio. The DVD screens are affixed to the rear of the front seatbacks, infringing on and hampering the folding of the second row of seats when additional cargo space is needed.

Connectivity comes courtesy of a 12.3-inch navigation display screen with Remote Touch interface. The dashboard screen can be split into three sections to show different functions, such as navigation, audio, and climate control information. Still, the operating controls, especially with the Lexus Remote Touch system, is fussy and frustrating to use. The system feels dated, isn’t intuitive and its also distracting to use while you’re driving and fussing with the controls.

The standard panoramic view camera is helpful when maneuvering a trailer, viewing the surrounding terrain when off-roading, and helping view the area around the vehicle when parking. The camera projects the image to the navigation screen, which can show several views to help aid the driver.

The standard Lexus Safety System+ includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Intelligent High-Beam headlamps and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

LDA uses a camera to monitor visible lane markings. If it senses the vehicle is drifting from the lane, it will convey audio-visual alerts and vibrate the steering wheel to get the driver’s attention.
Outside, The LX rolls on standard 20-inch split 10-spoke wheels, with 21-inch 10-spoke wheels offered as an option. Most noticeable and polarizing is the massive rendition of the Lexus signature spindle grille. Love it or hate it, there’s little argument that it gives the LX stage presence. To our taste, it seems most appropriate on the LX and less so on other Lexus product offerings.

The LX is offered in two variants: a two-row and three-row seating arrangement.

Overall, the 2019 Lexus LX, while sporting a more modern appearance, still doesn’t look or feel much different than it did years before with its last complete redesign in 2008. It mostly looks and feels outdated and past its freshness date when compared to excellent rivals like the new Lincoln Navigator, Land Rover Range Rover, and the Mercedes GLS. Still it is a big, comfortable SUV with ample room and capability with a solid tradition of reliability. But it falls too far behind competition to be a leader in this class of vehicle.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $90,830
Price as Tested: $99,710
Engine: 5.7-Liter 383-hp V8 with an 8-speed automatic transmission and full-time all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy: 13-mpg city – 18-mpg highway – 15 mpg combined
Seating: Up to 7

Crash Test Ratings: The 2019 Lexus LX 570 has not been crash tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Where Built: Aichi, Japan

Competes With:
Cadillac Escalade
Infiniti QX80
Land Rover Range Rover
Lincoln Navigator
Mercedes GLS

Fab Features:
Big, roomy, comfortable
Powerful engine
Excellent build quality and reliability