The 2020 Lexus LX 570 is what you might describe a bit of an old school charmer, and is really quite an oddity in the world of SUVs. Since it’s a Toyota Land Cruiser at heart albeit with a nice suit and a lot of luxury, it’s really very good off road, as we discover later. True the competition these days is a lot more modern and if it’s on road speed you’re looking for then this is not it.
Instead the big and imposing LX delivers a truly calm and serene ride despite riding on a body on frame platform and providing an interior that oozes luxury. You might say it’s nearest rival is the Range Rover.
This big SUV needs a big engine, and Lexus only offers one option here, Toyota’s 5.7-liter V8, which is a bit long in the tooth but makes 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque mated to a smooth eight-speed automatic, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, why I have no idea. Wring it out and it will get from 0-60 in a little over 7 seconds, not particularly fast but that’s not really what the big LX570 is about.
So exactly how big is? Well it’s a shade under 16.5 feet long, over 6 feet tall in its normal ride height mode and 6.4 feet wide. Add the huge spindle grille and the LX is ready to plow through traffic like a combine harvester through a wheat field.
It’s a thirsty beast too, I trod lightly for the 5 days I had my 2020 Lexus LX570 tester and still only managed 11.5 mpg, which could get somewhat costly.
The LX 570 comes standard with a height-adjustable air suspension at all four corners, so it can squat down for easier ingress and egress, or rise up to tackle difficult terrain. All this and the sheer mass don’t bode well for driving fast, so despite handling bumps with composure it can feel lumbering and heavy. Add to that it’s preference to dive under braking, vague steering a lot of body motion and leaning in the bends and you learn to enjoy the Lexus at a slower pace.
Which is precisely where the LX570 is excels, ride quality is excellent in all modes even in Sport+, which didn’t do lot for me, so I stayed in Comfort for most of the time. You can waft around listening to the excellent 19-speaker Mark Levinson Audio System ($2,350) with little to no road or wind noise snuggled into the very soft leather seats.
Stuck in the mud, nope
Since the label says it does off road stuff we went in search of something that might challenge it and we were not disappointed. With a locking center Torsen differential, Toyota’s Crawl Control and multi-terrain selectable traction control, 4wd low ratio and hill descent control, it should be virtually unstoppable. So we headed out and found what looked to be a relatively easy dirt trail until, that is, we arrived at the muddy section. I thought it would be fine so continued on until I suddenly got completely bogged down.
On exiting the vehicle I realized the LX was up to its axles in mud and I was somewhat disturbed by this because here I was with a $1ooK vehicle stuck and it was starting to get dark. No need to worry, I got back in set it to low ratio and locked the center diff and slowly backed out of the ooze, which was some of the stickiest mud I have ever encountered. Good Job Lexus you did me proud. A quick wash the next day to remove a field full of now dry mud and all was back to normal.
I have to say the interior of the LX570 is a really nice place to spend time. I would probably live in it without a car if I didn’t have a home. The materials are all of the finest quality with beautiful Semi-Aniline leather (Luxury Package $1,190) covering everything. Of course the front seats are multi-way power adjustable and both heated and cooled.
My tester had the power third row seat option pushing the base price to $91,380, an add on I wouldn’t need but works well for larger families. The 3rd row does stow but they push out the side somewhat eating into the cargo space. The second-row seats have power sliding functionality and have adjustable backrests. They’re extremely comfortable, as well, though I didn’t spend a lot of time in them.
Infotainment offerings are typical from Lexus, you get a 12.3-inch display for the Enform infotainment, but the screen isn’t touch-responsive. Instead, you get to use Lexus’ the Remote Touch joystick on the shifter, which as I’ve said before is difficult to control.
My loaded tester had plenty of driver’s aids, pre-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and automatic high-beams all come standard as part of Lexus’ Safety System+ suite. Add the Sport Package (2,510) which includes an exclusive front grille, Front and lower rear spoiler and the dual screen DVD package (2,005) and my car came out to $101,775.
The big old Lexus is certainly enjoyable, very charming and a really nice place to spend time, especially on my commute, being perfectly isolated from the outside world. The only problem here is the LX 570 is more money than the Land Cruiser on which it’s based and Toyota’s version is better at doing all the off-road stuff.
2020 Lexus LX570 Numbers
BASE PRICE: $91,380
PRICE AS TESTED: $103,050
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 8-passenger, 4-door SUV
ENGINE: 5.6 liter DOHC 32-valve V-8
POWER: 383 hp @ 5600 rpm
TORQUE: 403 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
0-60 MPH: 7.2 seconds
CURB WEIGHT: 6,100 lb
GROUND CLEARANCE: 8.9 inches
CARGO VOLUME: 9.1 to 32.1 ft³, 83.1 ft³ with seat area
FUEL ECONOMY Combined/city/highway: 14/12/16 mpg
OUR OBSERVED: 11.5 mpg
PROS: Beautiful interior, smooth and silky ride quality, old school luxury
CONS: Huge fuel thirst, Feels and drives big