Club Lexus Reviews: The 2014 Lexus LX 570
Buyers looking for a luxury SUV from Lexus have three choices. They can go with the smallest member of the family, the RX. If they desire V8 power, customers can get behind the wheel of the larger GX. The LX 570 is available for those who want the big daddy of the range.
Not only is it the head of the Japanese automaker's brood of high-riding vehicles with its $82,630 base price. It's like a dad in real life -- a cool, rich, generous dude that likes to have fun and relax. Don't get too comfortable, though. The grand-daddy of all L-badged rigs is not a push-over. It won my love while I learned to respect it.
The LX 570 proved to be quite popular with my friends and family. Riding shotgun, my hipster pal Chris exclaimed, "Goddamn, these seats are comfortable!" His seat was adjustable 12 ways, but mine topped that number by two. Both buttery semi-aniline leather buckets could be equally heated or cooled, thanks to a $1,510 Luxury Package. The total cost is considerable: $89,555.
The seats in the second row gave their occupants plenty of options. They could be heated and electrically moved fore and aft. The back cushions were able to be manually reclined. This posh papa didn't just give me toys - it gave some to my buddies, too. Passengers between the rear doors were treated to their choice of a variety of media outputs from dual seven-inch LCD screens behind the front headrests.
My Lexus tester made picking up my niece from school easier. By throwing the Active Height Control System into its lowest setting, I was able to cut the distance from the ground to the car seat a little shorter. (Check out the following video to hear me gush about it.) Little Kylie's bottle was kept perfectly chilled by the cool box in the center console.
The LX 570 guided me with its back-up, front and side-view cameras. That last one was very helpful when making sure the truck's front end didn't eat into the parking space next to mine.
Even if I did, I don't think anyone would've keyed the Lex out of a moral objection to defacing something beautiful. The spindle grille is up front, but I was pleased to see it's waist wasn't harshly pinched. The width flows into the high-intensity discharge headlamps and glitzy LED daytime running lights. With an overall length in excess of 16 feet, the LX is definitely a large vehicle, but the pristine beauty of the Silver Lining Metallic paint distracted me from fully realizing its on-paper dimensions. Perhaps that's because the color camouflaged the chrome trim that framed part of the greenhouse and ran across the body side moldings; areas which would have stood out as yardsticks on a darker background. The Liquid Graphite Finish applied to the 20-inch wheels was as eye-catching as chrome, but more tasteful. Think burgundy silk instead of neon leopard print.
Although the LX 570 was pleasant, accommodating and giving, it demanded I be responsible. While cruising to one of Austin's many food truck parks, doing what I thought was 70, I soon realized the speedo needle was on 90 ("Officer, you've got to believe me! It's really that smooth and quiet.") I also had to be an adult when rounding curves, even with the Adaptive Variable Suspension set to "Sport." The big Lexus drove like a luxury sedan, so it was easy to forget I was wheeling around three tons that reached 75.6 inches into the sky. Control-enhancing safety nets such as Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Vehicle Stability Control were there to catch me, but driving into sharp bends at legal speeds occasionally made my blood ran cold. This heavy hauler is the kind of dad that will be friendly with you, but he will not be played a sucker. Show some damn respect.
This 8-seater is certainly a hell of a provider. It won't spoil you outright, though. You need to make your own way. Just hope that whatever you end up doing pays well. With mpg ratings of 12 city, 17 highway and 14 combined, the LX 570 will make sure you'll spend some quality time with it at a gas station. One outing with it, in which I took the 24.6-gallon tank from gas-light-on to "F," cost me $70. The following video touches upon the LX 570's thirst for pricey fuel:
However hard on me it may have been in some ways, the LX 570 was a source of strength when I needed it. For instance, merging into 70-mph traffic from an on-ramp. The 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque from the 5.7-liter V8 seemed well-suited for a body-on-frame off-roader of this size and weight. Not once did the LX seem short on grunt or muscular sounds from the big engine. The six-speed automatic was as smooth as cream when shifting. It didn't gear hunt at all while using cruise control through numerous elevation changes on my way to Fort Worth.
On sale since the 2008 model year but gradually updated and visually refreshed since then, the Lexus LX 570 is something of an old-timer in the industry. However, wisdom has come with that age. The 2014 version taught me how luxury feels, the value of convenience and that the laws of physics are to obeyed. Check it out in the galleries below.