In a world awash with fake news, faux furs, and falsie lashes, it’s difficult to keep your mind wrapped around the real thing. No, this isn’t a Coke commercial, though I really would like to teach the world to sing, but a review of the 2018 Lexus LX 570. It’s about the poshest mountain goat you could roll into your garage – and there’s nothing bogus about it.
Well, maybe just its nose – with that outrageous spindle grille smashing wind into particles as 6,000 pounds of SUV follow it. You can slap a decadently sculpted hood on it, 20-inch wheels under it, and gingerbread it with chrome and step bars, but it’s still a big truck. Though, it looks more like a Lexus with triple LED headlamps and LED taillamps.
Climb aboard to spoil thyself. It’s a bit of a heave to get inside, but once there, plant your rump on heated and ventilated front leather seats, grip the heated steering wheel, and crank the crisp audio system. Second row passengers enjoy their own bun warmers and climate controls, housed in a fancy armrest. It’s a little tighter in the third-row, but adults fit for shorter trips. Available open pore Walnut on the steering wheel, dash, and doors adds ambience – as does soft ambient lighting. A large head-up display keeps drivers looking forward.
As in other Lexus models, infotainment is managed through a wide screen in the upper dashboard and controlled with a joystick in the console. It’s a bit much to use while going down the road, but does provide comprehensive access to audio, climate control, navigation, and vehicle settings. Radar adaptive cruise, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, rear cross path detection, blind spot warnings, and around-view cameras enhance safety.
Mash pedals into plush carpeting to throw it forward. Kicking this goat in the shins is a 32-valve 5.7-liter V8 engine delivering 383 horsepower and 403 lb.-ft. of torque. That gets routed to the full-time four-wheel-drive system through a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. The Plaza Hotel of trucks whooshes from 0-60 mph in 7.3 seconds on the way to a 137 mph top speed. Click onto trailers weighing up to 7,000 lbs. And, fuel economy? Heh, well, that’s cute. You’ll melt plastic given 13/18-MPG city/hwy.
Right in the beautiful wood panel across the wide center console is an array of buttons that would give jumbo jet pilots a fright. That’s how you control the chassis and powertrain like fine-tuning a string instrument…if a string instrument climbed mountains. Various buttons raise/lower the suspension, control the drive modes (adjusts throttle, steering, and suspension from comfort to sport), configures the powertrain for varying terrain, and engages Crawl Control with Turn Assist for serious off-roading. The LX can even automatically adjust its height and suspension should you wish. Play it like Charlie Daniels, hoss!
The LX 570 is a formidable beast of a luxury SUV, but it isn’t without foibles. Adaptive suspension or not, it drives like the 6,000-lbs. truck it is. Corners aren’t attacked so much as careened. As is typical in serious off-road vehicles, the steering can feel a bit twitchy on paved roads. And, there were strange vibrations from the audio system. It’s all minor stuff that reminds you of the LX’s serious capability.
Based on the thoroughly proven Toyota Land Cruiser, a fixture in the most inhospitable places on earth, the big Lexus gets it brawn genuinely. It’s as roomy and comfy as a LS sedan, but can go places only serious off-road vehicles dare. Nothing fake about that! A base price of $84,980, or $93,360 as-tested, sets cleats against the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Audi Q7, Lincoln Navigator, Range Rover, and Infiniti QX80.
2018 Lexus LX 570
- Seven-passenger, 4WD SUV
- Powertrain: 383 hp 5.7-liter V8, 8-spd trans
- Suspension f/r: Elect. Ind/Solid axle
- Wheels f/r: 20”/20” alloy
- Brakes f/r: disc/disc
- Must-have features: Ability, Luxury
- Towing Capacity: 7,000 lbs.
- 0-60 mph: 7.3s
- Top speed: 137 mph
- Fuel economy: 13/18 mpg city/hwy
- Assembly: Aichi, Japan
- Base/as-tested price: $84,980/93,360