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2017 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 2017 Lexus LX 570 full-size luxury SUV is based on the renowned Toyota Land Cruiser, recognized as one of the best off-roaders ever produced by anyone. So it’s built using the traditional body-on-frame approach, because that’s how serious off-roaders are usually made. The advantages are that this ultra-luxurious vehicle with seating for eight 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.

The LX is now in its third generation, which debuted way back in 2008. Yet it deals with the passage of time like it handles tricky terrain — with authority, style and an apparent lack of effort.

What’s New for 2017?

After a major update last year, the LX stays the same for 2017. See the 2017 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 great

How Much?

$90,355

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 an 8-speed automatic transmission with a low range, and all-wheel drive is standard. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption as 13 miles per gallon in the city, 18 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg in combined driving.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 Lexus LX 570 ($90,355) comes in one well-appointed trim level. Standard features include 20-inch wheels, an adjustable-height suspension with adaptive dampers, adaptive xenon headlights, LED head- 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-adjustable driver’s seat with memory, a 12-way power-adjustable 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-inch driver’s TFT color display), Remote Touch interface, navigation and 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 head-up display, upgraded semi-aniline leather, a rear-seat entertainment system (with 11.6-in dual screens), wireless smartphone charging and a 19-speaker/450-watt Mark Levinson audio system (highly recommended).

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.

Safety

A standard array of functions under the umbrella of the Lexus Safety System Plus includes 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. Also included are blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, "intuitive" park assist and a 360-degree camera system.

Active front headrests, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (with multi-terrain 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, like comfort, which is most welcome over rough road surfaces and even more so when tackling a rocky trail, as well as off-road talents to take people where many SUVs fear to tread.

Cabin surfaces are covered with top-notch materials, and the interior’s clean lines are enhanced by ambient LED lighting.

The second-row seats are surprisingly low to the floor, but no less comfy for that, and rear passengers enjoy a decent amount of legroom. The third row is strictly for little ones, though.

The lure of the LX’s 5.7-liter V8 has diminished as rivals produce more powerful and more efficient engines. Even so, this remains a strong, smooth and enjoyable engine so long as fuel bills aren’t an issue.

Other Cars to Consider

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

2017 Cadillac Escalade — Plenty of tech, comfort and presence.

2017 Infiniti QX80 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-ClassThe 3-row GLS (the former GL) enjoys a powerful twin-turbo V8, an opulent and spacious interior, and considerable off-road talents.

2017 Land Rover Range RoverThe 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 (CPO) specimen will be even cheaper. Yet it still provides plenty of luxury and great off-road ability.

Autotrader’s Advice

There are plenty of positive things to say about the competition, but the effective counterargument is always, "Lexus build quality and reliability." If an LX is what you want, we’re not going to argue. Find a Lexus LX for sale

 

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