New Car Review
2014 Lexus LX: New Car Review
The 2014 Lexus LX 570 is the largest Lexus SUV, riding on a platform shared with the Toyota Land Cruiser. Unlike many luxury crossovers with carlike unibody construction, the LX 570 utilizes traditional body-on-frame construction that's built for serious off-road use. The problem is, most SUVs these days never get more serious than a gravel driveway, so the hardcore hardware is overkill for the typical shopper.
Is there room for this rugged Lexus in the world of modern luxury vehicles?
The answer depends on what you need your big rig to do. If you're just schlepping the kids to practice or the mall most of the time, there are many better choices -- and some of them are much more affordable. But if you plan to do any meaningful towing, the LX 570's 7,000-lb capacity puts it well ahead of most unibody crossovers. Also, the LX's off-road chops are no joke, so if you do need a luxury SUV that can crawl up a muddy trail or perhaps ford a modest river, this Lexus has you covered.
Given its lofty price and utilitarian roots, the 2014 LX certainly isn't for everyone. But if you like the idea of an ultra-luxurious 3-row SUV with legendary skills in the dirt, the LX 570 is one of a select few vehicles that fit the bill.
What's New for 2014?
The LX is unchanged this year.
What We Like
Powerful V8 engine; useful towing capacity; standard seating for eight; a true off-road champ
What We Don't
Polarizing "spindle" grille; poor fuel economy; cramped third row; high price; aging touchscreen
The LX 570 comes with a 5.7-liter V8 rated at 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque. Four-wheel drive is standard, as is a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the 2014 LX 570 at an abysmal 12 miles per gallon city/17 mpg hwy.
Standard Features & Options
The 2014 Lexus LX 570 is offered in one well-equipped trim level.
Standard features include 20-inch wheels, an adjustable-height suspension with adaptive dampers, adaptive xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, fog lights, a power tailgate, a Class-4 towing hitch receiver, power-folding heated mirrors, illuminated running boards, a sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, a roof rack, various off-road-ready technologies (including Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select), keyless entry/ignition, leather upholstery, mahogany wood trim, a 10-way power driver seat with memory, an 8-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, 4-zone automatic climate control, a power-sliding second-row seat, a power-folding third-row seat, Bluetooth, Lexus Enform mobile-app integration, a touchscreen display with a hard-drive-based navigation system and a 9-speaker audio system with a CD/DVD changer, iPod/USB connectivity and both HD and satellite radio.
Unlike the Land Cruiser on which it's based, the LX 570 offers a number of options in addition to the standard items. These include heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, parking sensors, upgraded semi-aniline leather trim, adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation, a wide-view front and side camera system, a dual-screen rear entertainment system and 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio.
In terms of interior storage, the LX 570 provides 15.5 cu ft behind the third-row seat, 41 cu ft behind the second row and 83.1 cu ft with both rear seating rows folded down. These are unremarkable figures for such a large vehicle.
The LX 570 comes standard with active front headrests, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, stability control and 10 airbags (front, front-side, front-knee, second-row side, full-length side curtain). Lexus also offers Safety Connect telematics with accident notification, stolen vehicle location and emergency roadside assistance with a panic button.
Crash-test data is unavailable for the 2014 LX.
Behind the Wheel
The LX 570's interior is getting on in years, and it shows in the rather basic touchscreen interface, which lacks the Remote Touch mouselike controller that's provided in most other Lexus models. Still, most cabin surfaces are covered with top-notch materials, and the upright dashboard underscores the LX's no-nonsense character. Unfortunately, the power front seats lack the extensive adjustability found in many LX rivals, while the second-row seats are surprisingly low to the floor -- and the third row is too cramped for adult comfort.
On the road, as much as we want to like the LX 570, it just fights us all the way. The handling is average at best, with lots of lean and body roll in the curves. The steering is light to the point of numbness, and the turning circle is epically wide. While the ride is smooth by traditional SUV standards, it's not as supple and cohesive as what you'll find in luxury crossovers.
As for power, the LX used to be a star with its beastly 5.7-liter V8. But now that the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, for example, offers quicker twin-turbo V8s that also get better fuel economy, the Lexus V8's luster has diminished. Nonetheless, this remains a strong and smooth engine that will likely satisfy if you don't mind quenching its prodigious thirst.
Other Cars to Consider
Infiniti QX80 -- Formerly known as the QX56, Infiniti's top-of-the-line SUV is derived from a legendary off-roader (the Nissan Patrol), just like the LX 570. It's also considerably cheaper.
Mercedes-Benz GL-Class -- The 3-row GL has it all: powerful twin-turbo V8s, a fuel-efficient turbodiesel V6 and an opulent interior. The only thing it lacks is real off-road cred.
Dodge Durango -- This one may seem like it's out of left field, but the nicely finished Durango actually has more comfortable second- and third-row seats than the LX 570, and it offers a 5.7-liter V8 of its own for half the price or even less. It can hold its own in the bushes, too, as it's based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
It's hard for us to recommend the LX 570 relative to other premium SUVs -- though if you need its towing and off-roading capabilities, that could be a different story.