2023 Lexus LX500d and LX600 Review

The 2023 Lexus LX is a majestic beast of a vehicle, bold and commanding on the road. It’s the kind of car that makes you feel like royalty as you cruise down the café strips of Toorak or Point Piper. But don’t let its regal exterior fool you – this luxury SUV packs a punch when it comes to tackling our rugged big brown land, too.

It’s a long overdue update with almost nothing carried over from the old model, yet the formula remains unchanged.

There’s a new body-on-frame platform, which is shared with the highly capable Toyota LandCruiser, new downsized V6 petrol and diesel engines rather than V8, and significantly upgraded interior and technology.

It’s no surprising then that customer wait list is already stretching to 12 months and beyond.

So, what makes the new Lexus LX tick? Let’s find out.

How much does the Lexus LX cost?

First, let’s talk about the price.

The LX500d kicks off at $148,800 plus on-road costs, making it around $10,000 more than the same engined LandCruiser Sahara ZX, while the LX600 with a twin-turbo V6 petrol starts from $152,300.

Our ‘White Nova’ LX500d F-Sport tester lobs in at $171,800, with the Graphite Black four-seat LX600 Ultra Luxury carrying a price tag of $210,800 plus on-road costs.

On the outside

The LX has always been known for its bold and aggressive styling, and the 2023 model is no exception. The latest interpretation of Lexus’ spindle grille is larger and more pronounced, giving the car an even more assertive look.

The LED headlights and taillights are sleek and modern, and the massive 22-inch wheels give the LX a commanding stance on the road.

Lexus designers have also done a bit more to separate the latest LX from the LandCruiser, especially around the rear, which is a good thing.

Side on however, we would have loved to see more differentiation as there’s still a lot in common with the LandCruiser, although that’s evidently not something that worries LX’s buyers.

What is the Lexus LX like on the inside?

Once, again, we are glad to report Lexus hasn’t just slapped a badge onto the LandCruiser’s interior. The luxury marque has gone to some lengths to differentiate the LX not just with a redesigned dashboard, but also in the use of trims, materials, as well as LCD screens.

Inside the LX, you’ll find a spacious and luxurious cabin packed with advanced technologies. The electrically adjustable massage seats come in a variety of good quality, premium materials like leather, wood, and metal, and are incredibly comfortable and supportive, offering extensive adjustments.

Once onboard, you are greeted by a mesmerising start sequence with blue particles swishing along before the Lexus logo appears. The comfort entry system then slides the driver’s seat forward to your pre-set position while the bespoke steering wheel, with wood grain and leather no less, lowers itself towards you.

The digital instrument cluster is crisp and offers a variety of information, flanked by manual gauges for oil and water, temperature, battery status, and fuel level.

Ahead, a widescreen head-up display projects the LX’s speed, revs, cruise control setting and navigation information onto the windscreen.

The latest-generation infotainment system is intuitive and easy to use, and features a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, navigation, and premium sound system. Like the latest NX, Lexus’ new touchscreen infotainment system is a vast improvement over the frustrating old trackpad device.

The 25-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system is one of the best we’ve ever encountered, offering exceptional clarity and definition, along with a solid bass. The distinctive leaf-like speaker grilles also add a touch of interest to the otherwise functional cabin. With an embedded Data Communication Module, the latest LX is capable of over-the-air software updates, too.

The new ‘Hey Lexus’ voice control also works relatively well, enabling you to adjust things like the airconditioning (by saying “Hey Lexus, I’m hot”), entering sat-nav destinations and even opening the sunroof by speaking to the car.

One of my favourite features of the 2023 Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury is the rear-seat entertainment system. It comes with two 11.6-inch screens that are mounted on the back of the front seats, which means passengers in the back can enjoy their own movies, music, or games while you’re on the road. And it’s the back seats you’ll be clamouring for, too, with its ottoman and massaging function, you really do feel like the King here.

Unlike some of its more road-focused rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLS, BMW X7 or Audi Q8, the LX’s off-road credentials are almost unrivalled. There’s an above-view camera mode that is not only useful during off-road, but when negotiating tight parking spots, too.

Most of the car’s off-road information such as steering angle, suspension height adjustments, brake/accelerator status and even G-forces, are shown on a 7.0-inch touchscreen below the main screen.

Below that are buttons for the air-conditioning, drive modes, high/low-range, multi-terrain select 4×4 modes, off-road traction control, downhill assist control and crawl control which are also displayed on the screen.

For the full specification, check out the official Lexus LX website here.

There are plenty of storage dotted around the vast cabin including a large bin between the front seats with a nifty side opening on both sides, sizeable door bins and rear seat pockets.

Rear seat passengers haven’t been forgotten, either, with tri-zone climate control, cupholders and USBs for all three rows.

Unlike some 7-seats configuration, the third-row is actually adult-friendly with enough legroom to get comfortable, although headroom is still a little tight. They might also have to invest in some yoga classes to climb in.

When not in used, the two third-row seating fold into the floor electrically to create 982L (VDA) of boot space (174L when they are up). You’ll also find a 220V power outlet.

How safe is the Lexus LX?

In terms of safety, the LX has a wealth of advanced driver assistance systems.

Standard safety features include:

  • 10 airbags
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian (day/night) and cyclist (day) detection and intersection turn assist
  • Front and rear Parking Support Brake with obstacle and vehicle detection
  • Emergency steering assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Adaptive cruise control with curve speed reduction function
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane Trace Assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Tyre pressure monitoring

What’s underneath the bonnet?

The Lexus LX500d is powered by a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel shared with the LandCruiser. It develops 227kW at 4,000rpm and 700Nm between 1,600-2,600rpm.

The LX600 on the other hand, uses a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol with 305kW and 650Nm – 35kW and 120Nm more than the old 5.7-litre V8. This thing is a powerhouse – it can go from 0 to 100km/h in just 7.0 seconds (1.0 second quicker than the LX500d), which is impressive for a vehicle its size.

Both variants send power to a full-time all-wheel-drive system via a 10-speed automatic transmission, along with a low-range transfer case and centre Torsen diff locks.

All grades are also fitted with a trailer wiring harness with towing hitch, allowing a braked towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes.

And despite its power, the LX still manages to get decent fuel economy – claimed 8.9L/100km (11.7L/100 tested) for the LX500d, and 12.1L/100km (15.2L/100km tested) for the LX600.

What is it like to drive?

We don’t blame you if you think the LX is a luxury sedan because in some ways, it is. You are bathed in luxury and comfort and the large SUV goes about its business without much fuss.

You luxuriate in the sumptuously soft and super comfortable leather captain seats (in the Ultra Luxury), all the while oblivious to the potholes or ruts the car is wafting down.

And while our test was mostly conducted in the urban environment where most of them will spend their lives; we did steer the LX off road and as expected, it hardly broke a sweat.

Its Multi-Terrain Select system which adjusts the suspension to adapt to different driving conditions, whether you’re on a rocky trail or a smooth highway makes most tricky situation a child’s play. There are multiple terrain-specific drive modes, including Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow and Rock. This means the LX can handle rough roads and off-roading with ease, while still providing a smooth and comfortable ride on the tarmac.

Another trick up its sleeve is the Multi-Terrain Monitor which uses an array of cameras to give you a transparent view of the terrain below to greatly assist with off-road use.

The LX’s suspension also features auto-levelling that maintains the vehicle at a consistent height regardless of load conditions such as number of occupants and towing.

The new turbo-diesel V6 is a big step up from the old diesel V8, with generous reserves of power and deep waves of torque.

And while some 10-speed automatic transmission can feel indecisive due to the sheers number of ratios, the Lexus’ unit has no such foibles.

What is the LX’s running costs?

The LX comes with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty along with Lexus’ Encore Platinum ownership programme.

The latter allows the owner to borrow another Lexus for up to four times during the three-year membership, for up to eight days at a time – handy for when you want an LC Convertible for a weekend away, or an LS sedan for a gala dinner.

The luxury SUV also comes with capped-price servicing for the first six scheduled services at $595 with a shorter-than-average intervals of six months or 10,000km.

Verdict

Design & Comfort

8.5/10

Performance & Handling

7.5/10

Quality

8.5/10

Economy

7.5/10

Equipment & Features

8.0/10

OUR SCORE

4.0/5

Our Score: 4/5

+ Plus

  • Excellent twin-turbo V6 engines
  • Luxurious interior and comfort
  • Compelling off-road abilities

Minus

  • Long waiting list
  • Short service intervals
  • Worse approach and departure angles than the previous generation

Overall

The 2023 Lexus LX is an impressive luxury SUV that offers a perfect blend of power, comfort and off-road ability. It’s a vehicle that makes you feel like a royalty on the road, and is packed with advanced technology and features that will make your driving experience enjoyable.

However, if you can forego some luxuries, the Toyota LandCruiser presents a stronger case, especially if you’re planning on hitting challenging terrain on a regular basis.

2023 Lexus LX pricing and specifications

Price (excluding on-road costs):From: $148,800

LX500d F Sport as tested: $171,800

LX600 Ultra Luxury as tested: $210,800

Warranty:5 years/unlimited kilometre
Warranty Customer Assistance:5 years roadside
Service Intervals:6 months/10,000km
Country of Origin:Japan
Engine:LX500d

3.3-litre twin-turbocharged common rail direct injection V6 diesel:

227kW @ 4,000rpm, 700Nm @ 1,600-2,600rpm

LX600

3.5-litre twin-turbocharged intercooled, direct injection V6 petrol:

305kW @ 5,200rpm, 650Nm @ 2,000-3,600rpm

Transmission:10-speed automatic
Drivetrain:Four-wheel drive, dual-range
Power-to-Weight Ratio (W/kg):LX500d: 87.3

LX600:118.0

0-100km/h (seconds):LX500d: Claimed: 8.0

LX600: 7.0

Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km):LX500d: Claimed: 8.9/Tested: 11.7

LX600: Claimed: 12.1/Tested: 15.2

RON Rating:Diesel, 95
Fuel Capacity (L):110
Body:5-door SUV, 5 seats
Safety:ANCAP not rated, 10 airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, VSC, Pre-Collision Safety System with Pre-Collision Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Trailer Sway Control, Adaptive High-Beam, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, 360-degree camera, ISOFIX
Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B):5,090/1,990/1,895/2,850
Boot Space (min/max) (L):LX500d: 1,109/1,960

LX600: 767 (max)

Turning Circle Between Kerbs:12.8
Ground Clearance:205
Wading Depth:N/a
Approach Angle:22
Departure Angle:22.8
Breakover Angle:22.7
Kerb Weight (kg):LX500d: 2,685

LX600: 2,660

Towing Capacity (kg):Braked: 3,500/Unbraked: 750
Entertainment:12.3-inch colour touchscreen with “Hey Lexus” voice control, satellite navigation, AM/FM/DAB+, Bluetooth, USB, AUX, CD/DVD, iPod, 25-speaker Mark Levinson Sound System

11.6-inch rear seat entertainment system

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