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2018 Lexus LX 570 Review – bush-bashing in style




 

What is it?

The LX570 is Lexus’ flagship SUV that’s been around in its current form since 2008. It went under the knife three times along the way, with the latest facelift performed in 2016 where it has remained unchanged since.

It’s a large behemoth based on the oily bits of Australia’s favourite bush-basher, the venerable Toyota Land Cruiser 200. As such, the LX inherits its rugged off-road capabilities to ensure you are not undignified by driving just another Toorak truck.

Indeed, the LX’s off-road prowess is almost unrivalled. There’s proper high or low range four-wheel drive, variable speed crawl control, variable ride height, hill ascent and decent control, various driving modes to suit your mood and terrain, as well as more cameras than a Hollywood studio to assist in accurately placing the vehicle both on and off track.

With a massive lump of V8 lurking behind the children-frightening spindle grille, the LX also has proper towing capacity, all 3,500kg of it. That’s enough to effortlessly tow a fully laden horse float to the race course on derby day.

How much does it cost?

Priced from $143,160 plus on-roads, the LX 570 is a single trim proposition and in typical Lexus fashion, the interior is lavishly appointed.

The LX’s dashboard is bespoke to the model and is unmistakably more upmarket than the blue-collar interior of the Cruiser. There’s a massive 12.3-inch centre infotainment display with crisp graphics and a 4.2-inch driver’s information display, along with an excellent head-up display (HUD) that dispenses a raft of driving information including navigation prompts.

The dashboard, door trims and armrests are suitably covered in buttery soft leather, while the single-piece polished wood trim across the dash wouldn’t look out of place in the drawing room of a mansion.

However, we question the application of the same wood trim on the steering as it makes it slippery unless you’re wearing gloves.

To keep the kids and adults entertained, there’s a rear seat entertainment system with two tablet-style 11.6-inch screens mounted on the back of the front seats. The system comes with a 12V outlet, HDMI/USB connectivity, remote control and wireless headphones.

Second-row passengers also get their own armrest-mounted controls for the climate control and seat heating and ventilation.

Speaking of climate, the LX’s Climate Concierge is one of the neatest features of the car. As the name implies, it is the caretaker for all of the car’s climate control systems, from the air-con to the seat warmer/cooler and steering wheel heater. It automatically activates each of those features and adjusts the temperature based on the ambient conditions, ensuring the cabin is always ‘just right’. How thoughtful!

Unlike Euro marques with an option list that stretches longer than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s glamourous guest list, there are only two options for the LX – a $16,000 Enhancement Pack that bundles 21in-inch alloy wheels, heated steering, front seat ventilation and second row seat heater and ventilation, and a $1,500 premium paint – both of which are included on our test car.

The amount of luxury kit on the LX is nearly over-the-top and would have cost your first born on anything with a Euro badge.

Lexus also added a second model to the line up recently to make the LX even more enticing. The new LX 450d swaps the 570’s petrol 270kW/530Nm V8 with a 4.5-litre twin-turbo diesel V8 that churns out 200kW and a chubby 650Nm of torque.

How practical is it?

Very. There’s seating for up to eight adults in the palatial cabin, while getting on board is made easier by the air suspension that lowers the car when parked.

Once inside, it’s easy to find a good driving position, too, thanks to the multi-adjustable electric seats and steering column that moves out of the way for easy access.

The 2nd-row of seats could accommodate three adults quite comfortably, as there is no legroom robbing centre hump to content with.

There’s wireless phone charger upfront and USB ports to take care of everyone’s technology needs. Additionally, there’s a handy 220V AC socket in the boot space to power up your Nespresso machine while camping.

At the back, the 3rd-row of seats can be electrically folded to increase the already sizable 701-litre boot space. The split tailgate, which can double as a picnic bench, comes with good old fashion manual opening but can be closed electrically.

The vast glasshouse also means visibility is good all around and is aided by a 360o camera to make sure every corner of your car is visible.

With a massive 138-litre fuel tank, the LX 570 has a theoretical range of around 836km based on our test average of 16.5L/100km, enough to drive from Adelaide to Melbourne.

How does it drive?

The LX feels large and cumbersome around town but that’s not unexpected due to its rugged underpinning that is more at ease clambering over rocks and creeks than roundabouts and car parks.

There’s plenty of roll and pitch on anything other than a straight road. It doesn’t get much better with Sport mode that stiffens the air suspension but that’s beside the point. You don’t buy the LX to race around the track but for its superior off-road prowess and towing ability.

And while it may be equipped with a V8, the engine is truck-based and therefore doesn’t come with Lexus LC 500 level of acoustic quality or performance. There’s no majestic roar as your push the start button but what you get is respectable, effortless performance.

Its eight-speed automatic transmission is designed to suit the LX’s off-road biased character with short gearing to make the most of its 530Nm of torque.

Likewise, it’s steering is slow and can feel a tad weighty and imprecise around town, while the brake pedal has a spongy feel to it to prevent abrupt brake application off-road.

The good news however, is the LX 570 rides smoothly and is extremely comfortable and refined, with hardly any external noise intrusion into its luxurious cabin.

This or the Range Rover?

It’s like choosing between business class and first class. One is no less uncomfortable in business class with its lounge chair-like flat beds and designer menus, but for the ultimate indulgence, nothing beats first class if your wallet is deep enough.

The Lexus LX 570 has everything one could ask for – luxury, comfort, off-road capability and reliability. Attributes that are also found on the Range Rover that’s at least $60,000 more.

So it comes down to the depth of your pocket, the badge and possibly, how well acquainted you want to get with the service manager.

Verdict

Design and Comfort: 7.5/10

Performance and Handling: 7.0/10

Quality: 8.5/10

Economy: 7.0/10 

Equipment and Features: 9.0/10

Our Score: 3.9/5

Despite its age, the 2018 LX 570 blends genuine off-road abilities with Lexus’ trademark refinement, luxury, reliability and attention to detail.

Pros:

  • Genuine off-road abilities
  • Generous standard equipment
  • Spacious and comfortable

Cons:

  • Thirsty V8
  • Ponderous around town
  • Short servicing intervals
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2018 Lexus LX 570 pricing and specification

Price (excluding on-roads): From $143,160

As tested: $161,160

Tested options:

  • Enhancement Pack 1: $16,500
  • Premium Paint: $1,500
Warranty: 4 years/100,000km
Warranty Customer Assistance: 4 years roadside
Service Intervals: 6 months/10,000km
Country of Origin: Japan
Engine: 5.7-litre naturally aspirated, multi-point injected V8 petrol:

270kW @ 5,600rpm, 530Nm @ 3,200rpm

Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
Power-to-Weight Ratio (W/kg): 102.1
0-100km/h (seconds): Claimed: 7.7
Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km): Claimed: 14.4 / Tested: 16.5
Ron Rating: 95 Premium ULP
Fuel Capacity (L): 138
Body: 5-door SUV, 8 seats
Safety: ANCAP not rated, 10 airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, VSC, VDIM, Hill-start Assist Control, tyre pressure monitor, rear view camera, Lexus Safety System + (incl. Pre-Collision System (PCS), Active Cruise Control System (ACC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Adaptive High-beam System (AHS), Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA))
Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B) mm: 5,080/1,980/1,865/2,850
Boot Space (min) (L): 701
Turning Circle Between Kerbs: 11.8
Ground Clearance: 225
Wading Depth: N/A
Approach Angle: 25
Departure Angle: 20
Breakover Angle: N/A
Kerb Weight (kg): 2,740
Towing Capacity (kg): Braked: 3,500/Unbraked: 750
Entertainment: 12.3-inch high definition display, satellite navigation, 19-speaker, Mark Levinson premium audio system, Bluetooth, USB and AUX, DAB+, DVD player, dual 11.3-inch rear entertainment display with remote control and wireless headphones

Competitors: Audi Q7BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Range Rover, Infiniti QX80

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