Large, powerful and extremely off-road capable with a luxurious interior, the Lexus LX 570 is quite the vehicle. While it isn’t as well-known as the other Lexus models, it should be. With all of its features, it stands out among the less capable, unibody competitors.
Lexus recently loaned me a 2014 Lexus LX 570 with a 5.7L V-8 paired to a 6-speed transmission. It is EPA rated at 12/17/14 city/highway/combined. The truly off-road capable SUV has an MSRP of $89,555. It has a welded steel unibody shell combined with a full-size steel ladder frame (body on frame) construction.
While other unibody SUVs are AWD and give the impression of being off-road capable thanks to their height, they don’t have anything on this Lexus. Not only does it have lots of power, it is 4wd with a locking rear differential and Toyota’s innovative CRAWL control with turn assist.
Here is the full list of features:
- Torsen Limited-Slip Center Differential
- Front Independent Double-Wishbone Suspension w/Adaptive Variable Suspension and Active Height Control system with Coil Springs
- Electronically Controlled Shock Absorbers and Stabilizer bars (Fr/Rr)
- Power-assisted Rack-and-Pinion Variable Gear Ratio Steering
- ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, CRAWL Control w/Turn Assist, Active Traction Control w/Multi-Terrain Select, Trailer Sway Control
The Torsen differential stands out because it is similar to the one used on the Ford SVT Raptor. Why do you need that differential? Lexus says:
The full-time four-wheel drive system in the Lexus LX 570 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.
In addition, the LX 570 has active height control. This feature allows you to raise the vehicle up 2 inches when driving at low speeds (like when you need to avoid off-road obstacles).
Last, but not least, is the CRAWL control with turn assist. This is a great feature which uses a combination of gearing, brakes and the engine to propel the vehicle through challenging off-road conditions. The driver simply turns on this feature, chooses a speed and sits back while the vehicle does all the work.
It pretty much goes without saying that this Lexus is large. In fact, it is the largest SUV that Lexus builds (and second priciest). Even though it is quite large, it is far from ugly and it actually quite stylish.
While the look was pleasing, it is often the little things that set off a vehicle. One of “little” features I liked about the LX was the lighting on the running boards. These lights have a set dimmer control where they stay on after you park your vehicle and turn off after a time period. I noticed them one night when I parked it in my garage and had to retrieve something. It was a handy feature then and I can see many occasions where it would be great to have.
While I liked most of the LX 570, I’m not crazy about the rear door hatch. Lexus built the “clam shell” design with the top hatch rising up like normal and a little half door that folds down. I’m sure some people might find it handy, yet I found it awfully annoying when trying to retrieve items from the rear cargo area.
One of the things that always grabs my attention with Lexus products is the superior fit and finish plus the quality of the leather. For those that haven’t sat in a luxury vehicle, it is incredible the differences between it and an economic vehicle. This Lexus is no different and it is simply stunning inside.
In the rear, the twin DVD players were a great feature for my family. While, we often have portable DVD players strapped to the headrest; the built-in quality from these players changed my opinion of them.
The only thing I didn’t care for was again in the rear. The third-row seats folded up and while the picture above makes it look there is plenty of space, I couldn’t fit many items lengthwise in the rear. While, they can lie down and fold forward, I didn’t see much of an improvement in cargo room.
This large SUV is quite surprising. While it is big, it is fairly easy to park (if you are used to driving a big vehicle). Also, it has plenty of power to get you anywhere you want to go. Normally, large vehicles are tough to maneuver and the ride is quite bumpy. None of these things are true for this vehicle. Overall, it was a pleasure to drive.
With the 5.7L V-8, I had plenty of power when I needed it and it rode well on dirt and highway roads. All in all, I didn’t find a driving situation that this vehicle didn’t excel at. Yes, it takes more time to park than a small car, but I never felt it was too cumbersome.
What do you think? Have you ever driven the LX 570?