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We drive the Lexus LX570

by Ali Arsham
Friday, June 20, 2014

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Lexus LX570
No vehicle is perfect and can do it all.  But if you could only have one vehicle on your driveway, the Lexus LX570 would be a great choice.  It is a brilliant combination of luxury and capability in one package.  It can tow a huge load, go off roading, haul a bunch of stuff, carry eight people and do 0-60 in 7.5 seconds and the quarter mile in 15.7 seconds.

The LX570 is basically a Toyota Land Cruiser but with more luxury.  The Land Cruiser was originally a true off roading machine that with time has become a very luxurious but still capable machine.  The LX570 builds on that with even more amenities.  That luxury starts off with a super quiet cabin at speed.  Driving on the freeway is so stress free when you are in such a quiet place that feels like you are in a library. 

The Lexus LX570 interior is quiet
That quiet cabin is aided by a very comfortable and silky ride.  High-strength construction establishes the foundation for such comfort, and it’s aided here by Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS).

This technology continually adjusts the shock absorber damping rates on the move, ensuring optimal comfort even as the road surface changes.  Selectable comfort, normal and sport modes allow the driver to tailor the system’s ride firmness and comfort although we found the difference in the settings to be hardly noticeable.  When you are cruising, we also enjoyed our optional 19 speaker, 450 watt Mark Levinson surround audio system.  The system was concert quality that made any music better than you have heard before.

The LX570 is a big boy and it seats 8 people comfortably.  The third row seat is a little tight for adults and getting in and out is not very graceful.  The second row is fantastic and come with power sliding cushions with reclining seat backs to give you a limousine like experience.    The driver’s seat features a 14-way power adjustment including seat cushion extender. When full 8-passenger seating is not needed, the LX 570 can open up a large useful cargo area. 

The Lexus LX570 interior is very large
With the 50/50 split power-retractable third row seat folded, the LX 570 provides 41 cu. ft. of carrying space, and this expands to 83.1 cu. ft. with the 40/20/40 split middle row folded.  The clamshell-design tailgate, which features a power upper section, is also very noteworthy and is much more versatile than a typical one-piece hatch.

The LX 570 is built to handle heavy loads and can tackle the big jobs.  The 5.7-liter V8 engine produces 383 horsepower and 403 lb.-ft. of torque and is teamed to a six-speed automatic transmission with standard full-time four-wheel drive.  Ninety percent of peak torque comes on stream at just 2,200 rpm, giving the LX 570 exceptional responsiveness and also making it an outstanding tow vehicle.  It is rated to tow 7000 pounds and we towed about 5000 pounds to see how it would perform. 

We tried to see if we can make it sweat by going up steep hills in 100 degree weather but the LX570 was unfazed.  The transmission is fantastic because it seemed to recognize the load and would downshift on downhill sections to assist you in controlling your speed.  The transmission shifts so silky smooth and the Lexus is so quiet that it was difficult to note the downshift unless you were paying attention to the tachometer.

The full-time four-wheel drive system in the Lexus LX 570 is full of high tech features and employs a Torsen limited-slip locking center differential that splits the power 40:60 under normal driving conditions. The rearward power bias contributes to on-road agility. The Torsen differential responds to changing conditions, adjusting the power distribution as necessary, with no input needed from the driver.

The driver can, however, lock the center differential to handle especially challenging off-road trails.  Working in concert with the 4WD system, the four-wheel Active Traction Control system (A-TRAC) helps to control wheel slip. The Multi-Terrain Select system lets the driver select the type of terrain -- Rock, Rock & Dirt, Mogul, Loose Rock, or Mud & Sand – to optimize Active Traction Control.  A driver-selectable low range for the transmission, something many other luxury SUVs lack, provides low-speed crawling capability for handling steep off-road declines. 

Shifting into low range engages Active Height Control, which raises the vehicle to increase ground clearance by two inches.  Low-range capability is augmented by Crawl Control with Turn Assist and Hill-start Assist Control.  Crawl Control carefully manipulates the throttle and brakes to help maintain a steady slow, even pace on steep declines or while maneuvering over rough, uneven or difficult surfaces. 

The Hill-start Assist Control can prevent the LX 570 from rolling backward when moving from a stop on an incline.  The features make the LX570 into a goat if you are willing to take your expensive Lexus on mud, dirt and rocks.  We never got a chance to try the capability of the system but it promises to be very good.

Most good things in life are not cheap and the LX570 falls into that category.  The base price starts out at $82,630.  With a few options our LX570 came out to just under $90,000.  That is some serious cash but you will also continue to pay because when you have a 6,000 pound vehicle and a 383 hp engine, it will burn a lot of fuel.  EPA numbers for the LX570 are 12 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway and the LX asks for premium fuel. 

If you want a vehicle that can do it all, the LX570 is a very good choice.  It is a very capable vehicle and would be at home taking you to the opera as well as Home Depot.  If you can afford the price tag and the fuel economy, there is no reason you should not go for a test drive right now because you will love it.

Specifications

Category: SUV
Size: Full-size
Market Segment: Luxury
Weight: 6000 lbs

Dimensions
Length: 197.0 in.
Width: 77.6 in.
Height: 75.6 in.
Wheelbase: 112.2 in.
Ground Clearance: 8.9 in.
Front Track: 64.6 in.
Rear Track: 64.4 in.
Weight Distribution: 51/49
Drag Coefficient: 0.35

Passengers
Passengers: 8
Passenger Volume: 158.9 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume: 15.5 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume (Seats Folded): 83.1 cu. ft.

Front
Leg Room: 42.9 in.
Head Room: 38.3 in.
Shoulder Room: 61.0 in.
Hip Room: 58.8 in.

2nd Row
Leg Room: 34.4 in.
Head Room: 38.9 in.
Shoulder Room: 61.4 in.
Hip Room: 58.5 in.

Third Row
Leg Room: 28.3 in.
Head Room: 35.8 in.
Shoulder Room: 62.3 in.
Hip Room: 56.6 in.

Engine
Fuel: Gas
Engine Type: 5.7L V8
Power: 383 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque: 403 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Highway Fuel Economy: 17 mpg
City Fuel Economy: 12 mpg
Forced Induction: None
Direct Injection: No

Drive
All Wheel Drive
Front Suspension: Double Wishbone
Rear Suspension: Multi-Link

Tires and Wheels
Wheels: 20" Aluminum
Front Tires: 285/50R20
Rear: 20" Aluminum
Rear Tires: 285/50R20

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