Don’t you dare call this an upmarket Toyota Land Cruiser.
You might well think that the most opulent way to drive on unsealed surfaces on four wheels is in a Range Rover. Or maybe you prefer German cars, so you’d think of the Mercedes-Benz GLS. Maybe you’re just odd, so your heart warms at the thought of an Infiniti QX80.
Actually, for all-terrain over-the-top-ness, not much comes close to the Lexus LX570.
With a spindle grille bigger than most homes and a power-station under the bonnet, the LX570 packs the technology and convenience of today into a vehicle that uses a recipe from the dark ages: Take a huge, tough ladder frame, add a big, boxy body on top, and then insert a tried-and-tested petrol engine of enormous proportions in the front. Do that, and you’ll get a Toyota Land Cruiser. Turn it up to eleven, and you get the LX570.
Though it looks as posh as any other modern Lexus, the LX570’s abilities on-road are nothing compared to what it can do off-road, with more outright ability than it necessarily needs. This is a car that will look comfortable in the business district, feel comfortable barrelling down a rutted track, and cosset you when you’re climbing a rocky hillside out of boredom.
“Say what you will about the styling, which includes the biggest iteration of the brand’s 'Spindle Grille' we’ve seen to date, this thing has a lot of presence.” - CarAdvice
You can spot an LX570 from a mile away.
The face of the big Lexus bears the corporate Spindle Grille and tri-element LED headlights we’ve come to expect of the brand, but they appear to have been blown out to proportions we’ve never seen before. Actually, everything appears to be blown out to huge proportions, as this car is enormous. The nose of the LX works well enough though, giving the car oodles of presence out on the road, possibly even more so than a Range Rover.
Slab sides are a carryover from the Land Cruiser on which it’s based, though we have to say that the ‘Titanium’ metallic paint finish seems to be able to find curves and creases that you might otherwise overlook. The rear sees a pair of full-LED taillights, and lots of interesting creases that certainly stop it from looking like a fridge.
The LX570 is actually quite a looker, if you’re into things that are huge. It certainly looks more distinctive than a Land Cruiser, and more imposing than a Range Rover, though it looks as posh as the latter despite costing quite a bit less. If perception is a factor for you, we can almost guarantee that no one’s going to look at a Lexus LX570 as a cut-price alternative to a Range Rover.
Engine & Drivetrain
“The 5.7-litre V8 is smooth and strong, ensuring good performance.” - 4X4 Australia
Where the competition is trying to downsize as much as possible (like the 2.0-litre four-pot you get in a Volvo XC90), the LX570 has decided there’s no replacement for displacement. As such, under the bonnet, you get a 5.7-litre V8 petrol. The mammoth engine puts out a respectable 270kW of power, and 530Nm of torque (at a heady 3,200rpm), with power going to all-four wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox. If you’re wondering why Lexus shoehorned such a massive engine under the hood, we can tell you it’s due to strong demand for the LX in countries like the United States and the Arab Emirates, where they love big, underworked V8s.
Fuel consumption for the LX570 stands at a dizzying 14.4L/100km on official testing, though real-world use will see anywhere between 17L-20L/100km. That said, you’ll never find an engine convert petrol to power quite as smoothly than this, though.
Shame the LX570 doesn’t offer a diesel though, as we reckon the LX450d offered in other markets would have been a great addition to the lineup.
“The revised interior remains as welcoming as before, with acres of space in any of the three leather-lined rows, and loads of room and seat support for the burliest and/or tallest of drivers.” - Wheels
While you may still get a hint of Land Cruiser on the outside, the interior replaces it with the pleasing aroma of Lexus. If Lexus did have a smell, it would probably be of leather, with every conceivable surface covered in the stuff. The LX570’s premium over its Toyota-badged cousin is earned inside, thanks to typical Lexus build quality, and the sort of plush materials that you’d expect from premium SUVs costing a lot more. What the LX does offer above the competition is space, and lots of it.
There are three rows of seats in here, with the rearmost row able to accommodate up to three. You can genuinely carry eight people in the LX in sumptuous comfort, but only if the three at the back are of more compact dimensions than the typical adult. Adjustable climate control for all rows means that everyone will be kept comfy, while a rear-entertainment system will keep passengers entertained should the view out of the enormous windows be less than satisfactory.
Access to the third row is through tumble-forward second-row pews, which can be done electronically. The powered adjustment also means that the second row can slide forwards to increase third-row legroom if needed, or slide back to maximise the space in the second-row. The cargo room is large in the LX, made bigger still should the third-row be folded and tipped upward (that’s right, they don’t stow in the floor). Thankfully, the two-piece tailgate is powered, which at least makes that part convenient.
Behind the Wheel
“Though it’s enormous, it isn’t as trucklike as you would expect.” - ChasingCars
The Lexus LX570 benefits from a unique air suspension setup that the affiliated Land Cruiser does not get, and when paired with adaptive dampers, makes the big Lexus arguably better to drive on the road. It’s not about to make you tingle with excitement the way a Porsche Cayenne or BMW X5 can, but it’s not as roly-poly as its dimensions may suggest.
The LX570 gains drive modes like Normal, Comfort, Sport S, Sport S+, and Custom. Sport S+ is of especial note, as it firms the suspension to a point that really controls body roll, but not the point where the ride might come across as crashy or unrefined. The ‘Custom’ mode is where most owners are likely to spend their time, as we reckon the LX570 performs best with the suspension left in its stiffest setting, but everything else set to ‘Comfort.’
Should you opt to leave it in ‘Comfort’ or ‘Normal,’ be prepared to subject yourself to ocean-liner levels of movement. The LX570 leans by a decent degree around corners, and jabbing either the accelerator or the brake will see the big SUV point its nose to the sky. That said, drive it gently as you would a limousine, and suddenly it transforms itself into a well-mannered yacht. This is the best way to enjoy your LX on sealed-surfaces, really.
Safety & Technology
“Safety is a strong point of the LX570.” - WhichCar
Keeping an eye on its passengers is something the LX is very good at. 10-airbags are scattered through the cabin, including side-curtain airbags for occupant head protection that stretches across all there rows. Autonomous emergency braking with brake assist features here too, able to bring the car to a halt within certain speeds for maximum commission mitigation. There are also things like lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a surround-view monitor to prevent you from curbing those huge 20-inch wheels unnecessarily.
Technology features heavily in the LX570 as well. Lexus’ Remote Control Touch system features here, controlling a 12.3-inch landscape touchscreen. A 19-speaker audio system is also standard fit, along with wireless phone charging. A heads-up display will put important information right into the drivers’ line of sight, while all-round parking sensors ensure you don’t miss anything when manoeuvring the behemoth in right spaces. Two 11.6-inch screens rest behind the front seats to entertain passengers, and a coolbox in the centre console will keep refreshments chilled over long journeys. Active radar cruise control is the last feature we’ll mention, which makes long-distance cruising even more effortless.
A certain degree of lunacy has to be present for one to even consider the LX570, and it’s lunacy in the right amount. The LX is next-level opulence without a truly eye-watering price tag, with the only real drawback of the entire package being the mammoth V8 under the bonnet. If you can get over the fuel bills, the LX570 is likely one of the best-value propositions in the full-size SUV arena, and it’s definitely one of the most distinctive.
The LX570’s party trick is its off-road ability, something that very few owners will ever use, but it gives the big Lexus the ability to go anywhere and do anything in sumptuous comfort and luxury. Though it’s entirely at home in the bush, it’s equally at home in the business district, which is the environment it will most likely find itself in. Overall, the LX570 is a great big truck that is worth every penny. Shame about that engine, though.
CarAdvice - 7.0/10 - “So, does this V8 SUV with off-road cred and sharp styling have a spot in the market? Definitely – but even Lexus admits the demand will only be about 20 units per month. The 2016 Lexus LX570 isn’t for everyone – if you’re after a high-powered performance SUV, look elsewhere – but there’s certainly a lot of value to be had and plenty of practicality, too.”
Edmunds - 4.3/5.0 - “You don't have to give up comfort and convenience to get the capability of a full-size SUV. With the Lexus LX 570, you get a whisper-quiet interior that can seat up to eight, along with the ability to tow a trailer or tackle a back-country trail. Let's find out more about why this SUV makes sense for you.”
4X4 Australia - 8.0/10 - “There’s plenty to like with the LX 570, including most of its Land Cruiser pedigree. But it’s not the type of car most people will head to the scrub in, partly because of the price, but also because it’s ultimately not quite as capable as a Land Cruiser. But it makes up for it with on-road refinement and poise and loads of gear, in what is a beautifully put-together machine. If you didn’t have to worry about fuel prices, there would be much worse ways to travel.”
WhichCar - 3.0/5.0 - “The Lexus LX570 is a very comfortable, smooth and quiet eight-seat luxury 4WD wagon that is also highly capable when driven off road. Lexus is Toyota’s premium brand, and the LX570 shares its body structure and robust 4WD chassis with the Toyota LandCruiser. There are however many differences, beginning with the bigger and more powerful engine – a petrol V8 – and its eight-speed automatic gearbox.”
Wheels Magazine - 4.0/5.0 - “The LX570 is far better than before, with its improved economy, upgraded road manners and minor fettling proving its changes have been well considered. The major downside – despite the increased spec – is that it costs even more.”
Motoring - 7.1/10 - “Essentially a blinged-up Toyota LandCruiser since its inception, the Lexus LX 570’s recent update has given it a larger design point of difference than ever. It’s almost $6000 more expensive than its predecessor (from $140,500 plus on-road costs) and carries-over the 5.7-litre petrol V8, though mated to an eight-speed automatic offering two more gears and around 0.5L/100km better economy. There’s a lot of tech and a lot of kit, but it is hard to justify its increased expense over the LandCruiser Sahara.”
Chasing Cars - 7.7/10 - “Full-size luxury SUVs with a petrol V8 are a rare breed. However, there are three good alternatives to the LX 570 if you’re shopping in this market. It is worth test-driving the Toyota LandCruiser Sahara – which is very similar under the skin. If the Toyota suits, you’ll enjoy a significant saving.”
Kelly Blue Book - 9.3/10 - “If you want to have a full-size luxury SUV that will turn heads and deliver you in style to wherever you need to go, but still want serious off-road capability in case of a zombie apocalypse, look no further than the Lexus LX 570.”