If you’re looking for information on a newer Lexus LX 570, we’ve published an updated review: 2019 Lexus LX 570 Review
The 2018 Lexus LX 570 mixes comfort, capability, space and reliability in its own special way. Currently in its third generation, which debuted way back in 2008, the LX deals with the passage of time like it handles tricky terrain — with authority, style and an apparent lack of effort.
This 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. This ultra-luxurious vehicle (with seating for up to 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.
What’s New for 2018?
There’s now a choice of buying the LX in 2-row or 3-row form. And the company’s Enform Safety and Service Connect (a telematics system similar to GM’s OnStar) is now free for 10 years, which is nine more years than before. See the 2018 Lexus LX 570 models for sale near you
What We Like
Muscular yet refined V8 engine; plush cabin; useful towing capacity; possible seating for eight; effective off-road equipment
What We Don’t
Polarizing front-end styling dominated by the "spindle" grille; high price; cramped third-row seating; thirst for fuel; no Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration
The LX 570 uses a 5.7-liter V8 that develops 383 hp and 403 lb-ft of torque. It’s linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission with a low range function, and all-wheel drive (with a Torsen limited-slip center differential) is standard. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 13 miles per gallon in the city, 18 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg combined.
Standard Features & Options
The 2018 Lexus LX 570 comes with two rows of seating ($86,575) or three ($91,575). Other than that, equipment levels are the same. Standard features include 20-inch wheels, adjustable-height suspension with adaptive dampers, adaptive xenon headlights, LED headlights and tail lights, fog lights, power tailgate, various off-road-ready technologies (including Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select), 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, 14-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory, 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 (along with a 4.2-in driver’s TFT color display), Remote Touch interface, navigation, 9-speaker audio system with CD/DVD changer, iPod/USB connectivity, plus HD 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 entertainment system (with 11.6-in dual screens), wireless smartphone charging and a 19-speaker/450-watt Mark Levinson audio system (highly recommended).
In the 2-row version, cargo space runs to 32.1 cu ft. behind the rear seats and 50.5 cu ft. when they’re folded down.
The 3-row version has 9.1 cuc 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.
A standard array of functions under the umbrella of "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 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 a forgiving adaptive suspension, which is most welcome over rough road surfaces and even more so when tackling a rocky trail. Plus, it has off-road talents to take people where many other SUVs fear to tread.
Cabin surfaces are covered with top-class materials, and the interior’s clean lines are enhanced by ambient LED lighting. The second-row seats are surprisingly low to the floor, but still comfortable — passengers in that spot 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 when rivals are producing more powerful and efficient engines. Even so, this remains a strong, smooth and enjoyable engine as long as fuel bills aren’t an issue.
Other Cars to Consider
2018 Audi Q7 — Seats up to seven and makes those all-important luxury, tech and style statements.
2018 Cadillac Escalade — Plenty of tech, comfort and presence.
2018 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.
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class — The 3-row GLS (the former GL) enjoys a powerful twin-turbo V8, opulent and spacious interior and considerable off-road talents.
2018 Land Rover Range Rover — 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 (CPO) specimen will be even cheaper. Yet, it still provides plenty of luxury and great off-road ability.
We’re liking the extra cargo space now made available by the 2-row version. Buyers will have their own take on whether that works for them. In general, this is a difficult choice. On the one hand, the LX is a beautifully built, highly capable and generously equipped Lexus, which is never a bad thing. On the other, it’s a thirsty and old vehicle with styling that could put off as many people as it attracts. Study the competition thoroughly before taking the plunge. And bear in mind that a revised model is possibly due for 2019.