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2016 Lexus LX: New Car Review

If you’re looking for information on a newer Lexus LX, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Lexus LX Review

The 2016 Lexus LX 570 deals with the passage of time just like it handles tricky terrain: with authority, style and an apparent lack of effort. This full-size luxury SUV is in its third generation, which debuted way back in 2008. But a revamp for the 2016 model year attempts to keep things as fresh as possible.

The LX 570 is based on the renowned Toyota Land Cruiser, recognized as one of the best off-roaders ever produced, so it’s built using the old-school body-on-frame approach because that’s how serious off-roaders are usually made. Well, that and the fact that this generation is now 8 years old. There are advantages, however. This is an ultra-luxurious vehicle with seating for eight that can get to a ski chalet in the mountains, crawl up a muddy trail or wade through a creek. It can also tow up to 7,000 pounds.

What’s New for 2016?

The body is slightly longer and wider. There are styling revisions inside and out for this generation’s third facelift. Some modern safety features have been added, including LED headlights. A Drive Mode Select feature is new, and the suspension has more travel. The infotainment system receives an upgrade, and there’s a new 8-speed automatic transmission. See the 2016 Lexus LX models for sale near you

What We Like

Muscular yet refined V8 engine; plush cabin; useful towing capacity; standard seating for eight; effective off-road equipment

What We Don’t

Polarizing front-end styling dominated by the spindle grille; high price; third-row seating still tight; fuel economy not improved a great deal by that new transmission

How Much?


Fuel Economy

The LX 570 uses a 5.7-liter V8 that develops 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque. It’s linked to a new 8-speed automatic transmission with a low range, and all-wheel drive is standard. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates fuel consumption as 13 miles per gallon in the city, 18 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg combined. That’s an improvement over the 2015 LX of one mile per gallon in each cycle.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 Lexus LX 570 comes in one well-appointed trim level. Standard features include 20-inch wheels, adjustable-height suspension with adaptive dampers, adaptive xenon headlights, LED headlights and taillights, fog lights, a power tailgate, various off-road-ready technologies (including Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select), a Class 4 towing hitch receiver, power-folding heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, a roof rack and illuminated running boards.

The interior sports a power moonroof, keyless entry/ignition, leather upholstery, mahogany wood trim, a 14-way power driver’s seat with memory, a 12-way power passenger seat, heated front seats, quad-zone automatic climate control, a power-sliding second-row seat and a power-folding third-row seat.

Tech-wise, we’re looking at Bluetooth, Lexus Enform mobile app integration, Siri Eyes Free technology (enabling voice-activated features for compatible Apple devices), a 12.3-in touchscreen display (new for 2016, along with a 4.2-in driver’s thin-film-transistor color display), Lexus’ Remote Touch interface, navigation, a 9-speaker audio system with a CD/DVD changer, iPod/USB connectivity, HD Radio and satellite radio.

Options include 21-in wheels, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated and ventilated second-row outboard seats, a heads-up display, upgraded semi-aniline leather, a rear entertainment system (with new 11.6-in dual screens), wireless smartphone charging and a 19-speaker/450-watt Mark Levinson audio system (highly recommended).

According to a new measuring system employed by Lexus, cargo space runs to 9.1 cu ft. behind the third-row seat, 24.8 cu ft. behind the second and 45 cu ft. with both rows folded down. The competition fares just as well and sometimes better. Part of the issue is that the third row has a 50/50 split and then folds up to the sides rather than into the floor.


The added protective features for 2016 are a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, Intuitive Parking Assist, a panoramic-view monitor and a suite of functions under the umbrella of Lexus RX Safety System Plus: That’s a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and the ability to apply the brakes if necessary, radar-based adaptive cruise control, intelligent high beams and lane-departure warning.

Active front headrests, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (with multiterrain capability), stability control, trailer-sway control and 10 airbags (front, front-side, front-knee, second-row side, and full-length side-curtain) are all standard. Lexus also offers Safety Connect telematics with accident notification, stolen-vehicle location and emergency roadside assistance with a panic button.

This current generation has not been crash-tested, but don’t let that be a deal breaker.

Behind the Wheel

A big, posh SUV is never going to be the sporty machine of a driver’s dreams. The LX has other things going for it, such as comfort — which is most welcome over rough road surfaces and even more so when tackling a rocky trail — and off-road talents to take people where many SUVs fear to tread.

Cabin surfaces are covered with top-class materials, and the interior redesign brings cleaner lines. Ambient LED lighting is another new addition for 2016, along with USB ports for the second row.

The second-row seats are surprisingly low to the floor but no less comfy for that. Rear passengers gain an extra 1.6 inches in legroom thanks to the 2016 stretching. The third row is still strictly for little ones, though.

The Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class is a fresher rival and offers quicker twin-turbo V8s that also achieve superior fuel economy, so the luster of the LX’s 5.7-liter V8 has diminished. Even so, this remains a strong, smooth and enjoyable engine as long as fuel bills aren’t an issue.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Audi Q7 — Seating up to seven, this is a completely new generation that makes those all-important luxury, tech and style statements.

2016 Cadillac Escalade — The Cadillac Escalade offers plenty of tech, comfort and presence.

2016 Infiniti QX80 — Formerly known as the QX56, Infiniti’s top-of-the-line SUV is also derived from a legendary off-roader (the Nissan Patrol). It’s also considerably less expensive than the LX.

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class — The 3-row GLS (a new generation of the former GL) enjoys powerful twin-turbo V8s or a fuel-efficient turbodiesel V6, opulent and spacious interiors, and considerable off-road talents.

2016 Land Rover Range Rover — This is the original luxury SUV. When members of royal families need to leave the tarmac, they do so in a Range Rover. It only seats five, but boy, are they comfortable.

Used Land Rover LR4— The 3-row LR4 is considerably more affordable than the LX 570 to start with, and a certified pre-owned specimen will be even cheaper, yet it still provides plenty of luxury and great off-road ability.

Autotrader’s Advice

The LX doesn’t come out too well when compared with other, more modern luxury SUVs — although Lexus reliability is always a strong point. If towing, seating and off-roading capabilities are needed along with all the plushness, then give the LX a serious look. Find a Lexus LX for sale


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