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2021 Lexus LX Review

As the Lexus version of the Toyota Land Cruiser, the 2021 LX 570 blends excellent off-road abilities with tasteful high-quality luxury. Yes, this big Lexus SUV is a rugged body-on-frame truck beneath the skin, but inside it’s like a raised LS 460 sedan with three rows of seats and adaptive air suspension that adds a plushness to the ride quality of this big 6,000-pound machine.

Powered by a 5.7-liter V8 with 383 horsepower, the 2021 Lexus LX 570 has a dual-range full-time 4-wheel-drive system with locking center and rear differentials. This means it has the abilities of a mountain goat, able to scramble up tricky dirt hill climbs that will strand most car-based crossover SUVs. At the same time, the LX 570 has an abysmal EPA city fuel economy rating of only 12 mpg.

Lexus sells a 2-row/5-seat LX 570 and a 3-row/8-seat version. The 5-seater has 53.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seat. The 8-seater has a measly 16.3 cu ft behind its 3rd row, but that increases to 41.6 cu ft with that rearmost seat folded up against the sides of the cargo hold.

The Lexus LX has not been redesigned in more than a decade. Devotees say it’s a classic that doesn’t need to be redesigned. That’s one of the reasons why they like it so much.

What’s New?

It’s a relatively quiet year for this big Lexus SUV. The 2021 Lexus LX 570 now has Amazon Alexa compatibility, and Nori Green Pearl paint has been added to the color palette. Moreover, there’s a new interior color called Glazed Carmel, and the Sport Package has been updated with a new grille, front fascia, black headliner, and 21-inch alloy wheels.

Perhaps the most significant Lexus LX news for 2021 is the debut of the new Inspiration Series. This LX – limited to 500 units and available in Black Onyx or Eminent White Pearl – is an especially opulent 3-row model with black chromed grille, smoked headlights, black 21-inch alloy wheels and a black interior with semi-aniline leather and red accents. See the 2021 Lexus LX models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Great off-road capability
  • Plush cabin
  • Meticulous build quality
  • Excellent reliability
  • 2-row or 3-row versions

What We Don’t

  • Abysmal fuel economy
  • Minimal cargo space behind third row
  • No Apple CarPlay/Android Auto

How Much?

$86,580-$99,310

Fuel Economy

With a 5.7-liter V8 engine sending 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque through an 8-speed automatic to all four wheels via a full-time 4-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing, the LX has a big appetite for fuel. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the 2021 Lexus LX 570 is rated at 12 miles per gallon city/16 mpg highway and 14 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2021 Lexus LX 570 is available in a single trim level across two models: the two-row version ($86,580) and the three-row version ($91,580). The 2021 Lexus LX 570 Inspiration Series, available only as a 3-row model, starts at $99,310. These prices, for the record, do not include a destination charge of $1,025.

Standard features include 20-in wheels, adjustable-height suspension with adaptive dampers, adaptive LED headlights, fog lights, a power liftgate (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, 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.

Safety and tech features include forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, a blind-spot monitor, and a rear cross-traffic alert, plus a surround-view parking and off-road camera system, parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and a 12.3-in center console controller.

The Luxury Package adds perforated semi-aniline leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel trimmed in leather and wood. It also has projector door lamps and Climate Concierge, a system that monitors and manages the temperature of four separate climate zones inside the LX.

The Sport Package, exclusively for 8-seat Lexus LX 570s, comes with an updated grille and front fascia, along with forged alloy wheels, a black headliner, and semi-aniline interior leather in black, cabernet, or Glazed Caramel.

Stand-alone options on the Lexus LX 570 include a color head-up display, a wireless smartphone charger, a refrigerated “Cool Box” in the center console bin, and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. There’s also a rear-seat entertainment system with two 11.6-in displays.

Safety

The 2021 LX 570 comes standard with 10 airbags (front, front-side, front-knee, second row-side, and full-length side curtain), stability control, trailer sway control, hill-start assist, and forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking. It also has a lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and the Lexus Enform Safety Connect emergency communications system.

Behind the Wheel

The 2021 Lexus LX 570 shares its body-on-frame chassis and V8 powertrain with the Toyota Land Cruiser. Lexus, however, gives the LX height-adjustable adaptive air suspension that reduces body roll when cornering and generally makes for a controlled driving experience. Sport and Sport+ driving modes tighten the chassis and steering a bit, giving the driver a touch more confidence on a twisty road.

Given its legitimate 4WD system – with its low-range gearing, locking center and rear differentials, and Multi-Terrain off-road settings – the 2021 Lexus LX 570 has a go-anywhere capability that few other vehicles can match. The height-adjustable suspension also helps, so the LX is your friend in actual off-road situations or r when you’re just trying to get home on a snowy night.

On the other hand, the LX can feel a bit cumbersome on the road. The steering is slow, and the brake travel on a model we sampled was far too long. Also, the 5.7-liter V8, while strong, doesn’t match the effortless thrust of rival engines in the Lincoln Navigator or the Mercedes-Benz GLS.

Inside, the LX 570’s third-row seat that flips laterally against the cargo area walls instead of into the floor. This reduces cargo capacity, but 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. On a positive note, the LX 570 has power-sliding second-row seats that free up valuable space for those in the third ow. Average-size adults can fit reasonably well in all three rows of the Lexus LX 570.

Unfortunately, all of their luggage couldn’t come along. There just isn’t enough space behind the third row. If people-hauling is more important than go-anywhere capability, a Lincoln Navigator or a Ford Expedition would be a much better idea.

Nor is tech integration great. The LX 570 suffers from its 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 LX cabin is beautifully crafted and covered in soft leather. It represents a clear step up from the Land Cruiser, but the Land Cruiser does have 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 the road, but its 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 hasn’t had a full redesign in a dozen years, so you won’t be missing much by going with a used or certified pre-owned version. In 2016, the LX interior was upgraded significantly over the Land Cruiser’s.

Used Mercedes-AMG G-Class – This boxy Benz, developed as a military vehicle with a pair of live axles and locking differentials front, center, and rear, can go anywhere the
LX 570 or Land Cruiser can. The G isn’t as luxurious as the LX, but it’s just as capable.

Questions You May Ask

What’s the Lexus LX 570’s warranty?
Lexus backs its 2021 LX 570 with a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus six years or 70,000 miles of powertrain protection.

Where is the Lexus LX 570 made?
The Lexus LX 570 is built at Toyota’s Aichi plant in Japan.

What is the fuel economy of the 2021 Lexus LX 570?
The EPA rates the 2021 Lexus LX 570 at 12 mpg city/16 mpg highway/14 mpg combined. That’s the price you’ll pay for owning a 3-ton full-size SUV with a V8 and permanent all-wheel drive.

Which is the biggest Lexus SUV?
The LX 570 is the biggest Lexus SUV. It offers seating for up to eight in a package that’s large but a bit more compact than, say, a Chevrolet Tahoe or a Mercedes-Benz GLS.

What’s more expensive, the Toyota Land Cruiser or the Lexus LX 570?
The Lexus. But not by much. The 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser has an MSRP that starts at $85,415. The 2021 Lexus LX 570 starts only slightly higher, at $86,580.

Autotrader’s Advice

We like the 2021 Lexus LX 570’s blend of luxury and off-road capability. If you’re not planning to use your LX as a family hauler, we’d recommend the 2-row/5-seat model. It has a very large cargo compartment that easily holds a couple of mountain bikes or a week’s worth of camping gear, and you’ll have no trouble reaching that remote trailhead. Find a Lexus LX for sale

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