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2020 Lexus LX Review

As a gussied-up Toyota Land Cruiser, the 2020 Lexus LX 570 brings the Land Cruiser’s dynamic off-road capability to the well-heeled crowd. To be sure, the LX 570 is more plush, with an upscale Lexus interior and luxury appointments. Lexus addresses some of the Land Cruiser’s handling and ride shortcomings with the LX 570’s adaptive suspension. It’s not ideal, but it does deliver a somewhat more nimble and comfortable experience.

Interior space is less than generous. Even in the two-row version, cargo space is tight. In the three-row model (with a split third-row seat that folds up against the sides of the cabin) the available cargo space behind the third row is nearly nonexistent and almost useless behind the second-row. You sacrifice a lot of space and convenience for the LX 570’s off-road prowess.

Lexus hasn’t performed a major redesign of the LX 570 in more than a decade. There are others in its price range that are more modern and passenger friendly.

What’s New for 2020?

Lexus pretty much left the LX 570 alone for 2020. A new three-row Sport Package with some unique exterior accents and upgraded seating materials sums up the changes. See the 2020 Lexus LX models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Go-anywhere off-road capability
  • Strong towing capacity
  • More refined ride and handling than Land Cruiser sibling
  • Plush cabin and meticulous build quality

What We Don’t

  • Terrible fuel economy
  • Frustrating tech interface
  • Minimal cargo space behind third row that folds laterally against cargo walls
  • Cumbersome on-road handling

How Much?

$87,675-$91,380

Fuel Economy

The LX 570 comes with a 5.7-liter V8 engine that produces 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque. The standard 8-speed automatic is paired with a 4-wheel-drive system that includes low-range gearing. Fuel economy is estimated to be 13 miles per gallon in the city, 18 mpg on the highway and 15 mpg in combined driving. During a week-long test, we can confirm these dismal estimates are accurate.

Standard Features & Options

The 2020 Lexus LX 570 is available in a single trim level across two models: the two-row version ($87,675) and the three-row version ($91,380). Prices include the $1,025 factory destination charge.

Standard features for both include 20-in wheels, adjustable-height suspension with adaptive dampers, adaptive LED headlights, fog lights, a power lift gate (with manual option), various off-road technologies (including Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select), a Class-4 towing hitch, heated power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, roof rails, running boards, proximity entry and push-button start.

Inside, you get a sunroof, 4-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated power front seats (10-way driver, 8-way passenger, 4-way lumbar), driver memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a power-sliding 40/20/40 split second-row seat (manual recline) and, in the 3-row model, a power-operated 50/50 split third-row seat that flips up against the cargo area sides.

Technology features include forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, a surround-view parking and off-roading camera system, parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, Lexus Enform Safety Connect emergency communications, Lexus Enform Remote services, the Remote Touch tech interface (a 12.3-in display, center console controller), one USB port, integrated navigation and a 9-speaker audio system with a CD player, a media player interface, auxiliary audio jack, and satellite and HD radios.

The Luxury package adds upgraded leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front- and second-row seats and an enhanced "Climate Concierge" automatic climate control system. There are also stand-alone options available only on the three-row LX 570. These include a color head-up display, a wireless smartphone charger, a refrigerated "Cool Box" in the center console bin, a 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system and a rear seat entertainment system (two 11.6-in headrest-mounted displays, an HDMI input, a DVD player and wireless headphones). You can also add 21-in wheels and a heated steering wheel to any LX 570.

Safety

The 2020 LX 570 comes standard with a comprehensive array of safety equipment that includes 10 airbags (front, front-side, front-knee, second row-side and full-length side curtain), stability control, trailer sway control, hill start assist, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert systems and Lexus Enform Safety Connect emergency communications (accident notification, stolen vehicle location and emergency roadside assistance with a panic button).

The LX 570 has not been crash tested by a third party.

Behind the Wheel

The LX 570 shares its basic structure, burly V8 engine and much of its hardcore off-road-ready, mechanical underpinnings with the Toyota Land Cruiser. However, the LX has a height-adjustable and adaptive suspension that reduces body roll when cornering and generally makes for a more controlled, less cumbersome driving experience. Lexus also includes Sport and Sport+ drive modes that tighten things up just enough, including the steering, to make the LX 570 driving experience more confidence-inspiring (but in no way sporty).

Yet, even if the LX 570 is better to drive than the Land Cruiser, it still shares most of its benefits and detriments. Its legitimate 4WD system with low-range gearing and Multi-Terrain off-road settings provide go-anywhere capability that few other vehicles can match. That height-adjustable suspension helps, too. Whether that means actual off-road excursions or trying to escape from a snowy mountain parking lot (as we did during our time with an LX 570), this burly Lexus provides more capability and confidence than a Lincoln Navigator or other high-end luxury SUVs.

On the other hand, it’s still pretty cumbersome to drive relative to those rivals. The steering is slow, and the brake travel is crazy long (beware the initial moments of a test drive). The V8 engine, while certainly strong enough for the task, can’t match the brisk, effortless thrust of rival engines in the Navigator or the Mercedes-Benz GLS. And then, there’s fuel economy, which is dismal even for this gas-swilling group of monster SUVs.

Inside, the LX 570’s hardcore off-roading hardware results in third-row seats that flip laterally against the cargo area walls instead of into the floor. This reduces cargo capacity (though you could always get the 2-row model). Legroom in the way back is also compromised by the seats being so low to the floor, but unlike in the Land Cruiser, the LX 570 has power-sliding second-row seats that at least free up valuable space for those in the third-row. We found that average-sized adults could fit in all three rows with reasonable comfort.

Unfortunately, all of their luggage couldn’t come along. There just isn’t enough space behind the raised third row (9.1 cu ft. is less than most 3-row crossovers), so if people-hauling is more important than go-anywhere capability, a Navigator would be a much better idea. Total cargo capacity, even with the 2-row model, is poor for the segment.

So too is tech integration, as the LX 570 is yet another Lexus that suffers for its frustrating Remote Touch interface. The joystick-like knob on the center console that controls the dash-top 12.3-in display is clunky and distracting. This is a shame, because the rest of the cabin is beautifully crafted and covered in soft leather. It represents a clear step up from the Land Cruiser — the design is even different. Then again, the Land Cruiser has a more user-friendly touchscreen.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Lincoln Navigator — The Navigator provides superior space, power and fuel economy, along with a swanky cabin and lower base price. However, it can’t go the places that the LX 570 can.

2020 Land Rover Range Rover — The Range Rover is perhaps the closest to the LX in providing a combination of luxury and go-anywhere capability. It’s more civilized on road, but reliability tends to be worse.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class — Like the Navigator, the GLS is better suited to on-road environments and people-carrying. It’s very luxurious, and for the same price as the LX 570, there’s the far more powerful GLS 550 model to consider.

Used Lexus LX 570 — The LX has been around without a full redesign for 11 years now, so you won’t be missing that much by going with a used or certified pre-owned version. However, it received its current styling and more overtly Lexus interior for 2016 — before then, it was much closer to a rebadged Land Cruiser.

Autotrader’s Advice

We would opt for the three-row model, as it should have better resale value, and those way-back seats are at least useful in a pinch. We would also opt for the Luxury package (love the ventilated front and rear seats) as well as the superb Mark Levinson sound system. Find a Lexus LX for sale

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