2017 Lexus LX 570 Review

There's nothing subtle about it


Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief



Positives: Massive amounts of luxury, comfy for all occupants, beefy tech package, serious presence.
Negatives: As heavy as a B-52 Stratofortress, overly dramatic front fascia, awful UI controls, poor brakes, weak towing for something this beastly.
Bottom Line: Though the big Lexus is huge on interior comfort, passenger space, and amenities, it's a bit of an updated dinosaur due to the fact that it really hasn't changed under the skin since way back in 2008. Overstyled, overly heavy, mushy brakes and an average tow rating equate to a luxury SUV that's mid-pack, at best.
When it comes to huge luxury SUVs, the Lexus LX 570 isn't alone, and that makes it an uphill battle for the somewhat refreshed Japanese luxobarge. Based on the body-on-frame Toyota Land Cruiser, the LX 570 takes an already pricey SUV and makes it, shall we say, over the top. The vehicle itself hasn't seen a total redesign in eight years and it will probably be a full decade before the next LX bows. That's a long time in an industry where the Land Rover Range Rover and the Cadillac Escalade are significantly newer.

But the the LX 570 does have its merits. It certainly has street cred from a luxury standpoint, and its owners are quite loyal despite its rather low sales numbers. We drove the big beast for a week recently and came away with mixed feelings. Read our full review below.
 

Driving Experience

4.8

 

Before we say anything about how the big Lexus drives, let's get the issue of weight out of the way. The SUV's corpulence can't really be overcome because it weights 6,206 pounds or essentially three tons. That's a big number that becomes apparent when you get behind the wheel. It makes the Toyota Land Cruiser's 5,815 pounds seem sorta light. The LX 570's driving dynamics get compromised, as a result, but let's face it--that's not exactly why people buy these things.

Ride Quality: Super cushy and comfortable, pretty much what customers expect from Lexus in this segment.

Acceleration: Not slow but also not quick. It'll hit 60 mph from zero in a little over seven seconds, but keep in mind that the more upper crusty Range Rover (base) will do it in the same time. The new 8-speed transmission at least upshifts imperceptibly and downshifts quickly.

Braking: Terrible brake pedal feel that's mushy and unresponsive. Not exactly confidence inspiring when you're helming something this big. Braking distances are about on par for the segment, however.

Steering: Weird because rather than light and forgiving like most bigger SUVs, it feels artificially heavy.

Handling: Though the body roll isn't bad, this thing is betrayed by its heft. Turns are ponderous and lumbering.

Technology

5.8

 

The LX 570 isn't short on complex technology, but that's not exactly a good thing all around. The big center screen is front and center and looks great, but the actual user interface leaves much to be desired. The rest of the car has pretty much everything you'd desire, but we wish everything was easier to use.

Infotainment System: Great 12.3-inch screen that lacks proper matching controls. The Enform system controls are poorly placed to the far right on the center console, and the mouse is way too vague for our liking.

Controls: We love that there are still buttons and knobs for audio and climate. The Multi-Terrain system is also easy to use, as is the knob for the drive mode selector.

Bluetooth Pairing: No issues. easy for pairing and re-pairing.

Voice Call Quality: Excellent on both sides of the call. Clear and crisp.

Styling

6.8

 

Though we won't call the LX 570 ugly, neither is it attractive. The huge maw of a fascia got way more dramatic in 2016, with a massive spindle grille and small trim bits added to the front that seem totally overdone. The rest of the vehicle is less dramatic, but the whole package doesn't seem to meld well overall. It's far from being cohesive, but we know that some customers will love the rapper-friendly blingy front end.

Front: Gone is the bumper separation between the top grille and bottom lower fascia. Now, in its place, is the biggest grille we've ever seen on an SUV, or at least the most dramatic one. The grey plastic bits on the flanks of the grille seem downright silly. The whole thing looks like a Cylon Warrior mask from the '80s Battlestar Galactica series.

Rear: Though it's not as busy as the front end, it's still a bit too much for us. Too many lines in the taillights, too many protrusions and an awful D-pillar make for, well... too much.

Profile: Only a vehicle this big and this thick can make 21" wheels look small.

Cabin: Sumptuous in look and feel but a bit overstyled. The big leather arches in the door armrests and the center stack frame are almost too much.

Comfort

9

 

This is the LX's biggest selling point. Sit inside in the first or second row, and you'll find yourself awash in comfort. Every surface feels great to the touch, and the rich leather is some of the softest we've come across. It's just too bad that the cabin's actual design doesn't match its feel.

Front Seats: Though a bit too soft for our liking, they're very comfortable.

Rear Seats: Also, supremely comfortable and spacious in terms of leg, shoulder and head room.

NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): As quiet as a bank vault. Road noise is handily kept at bay, and there are no vibrations to speak of.

Visibility: Good visibility out the front and sides, though the big rear pillars tend to obscure. The 360 degree camera is a huge plus.

Climate: Great heating and cooling from the vents and the seats.

Safety

5

 

The LX hasn't been tested by the IIHS or the NHTSA.

IIHS Rating: Not available.

Standard Tech: The LX 570 has a robust set of safety features that include Lexus Safety+, Pre-Collision System, Automatic Braking System, All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, blind spot monitor, Multi-Terrain Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Crawl Control with Turn Assist, Active Traction Control w/ Multi-Terrain Select, Trailer Sway Control, Dual-swivel Adaptive Front Lighting System, Rain-sensing Variable Intermittent Wipers/De-Icer, Lexus Enform Safety Connect, Service Connect

Optional Tech: None.

Storage/Cargo

5.5

 

The LX 570 is good but not great in terms of carrying capacity, and you'd expect it to be given the exterior dimensions. The rather meager 8,100-pound towing capacity, though, is less than stellar.

Storage Space: A big, deep armrest between the seats is pratical, as are the large door pockets and capacious glove compartment. We would've liked the binnacle in the center stack to be bigger and easier to access.

Cargo Room: 45 cubic feet of cargo space, along with third row-seats that fold to the side, add up to less than average capacity. The Cadillac Escalade has 94.2, more than twice as much, while the Range Rover has 71.7.

Fuel Economy

5

 

Gas mileage in the LX 570 isn't much different from what we expected, but that doesn't equate to anything approaching efficiency. The base Range Rover gets 17/23, much better than the LX 570's 13/18.

Observed: 13.2 in combined driving.

Driving Factors: We spent seven days driving the LX 570 in both suburban and highway driving with most of the driving in Sport+ mode.

Audio

8.5

 

The premium audio system is very good, and we enjoyed blasting tunes through the 9-speakers. It's not the best system we tested, but it's very good, indeed. The fact that it comes standard with the vehicle is a bonus. Well, we guess for nearly $94K, it's pretty much expected.



Final Thoughts

We wanted to love this big lug of a vehicle, though we knew that would be a tall order for an SUV that's so dated underneath. Lexus does a decent job of dressing it up with premium bits, but at the end of the day, it's from the Jurassic era of luxury SUVs. It feels every bit as heavy as it actually is, and the heavy steering is totally contradictory to what this behemoth is all about. It's hard to recommend the LX 570 when there are better, newer options out there.
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