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Heels on Wheels: 2013 Lexus LX 570 Review


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2013 Lexus LX 570

HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE LX570 VEHICLE

The Lexus LX570 is an ultra-luxurious three-row SUV able to showcase both its craftsmanship and performance with depth and detail. This ute pairs a hefty 5.7-liter V8 engine with a 7,000 pound towing capability alongside a nineteen-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound system and dual-screen rear DVD player, making this quite the chariot to take trailing.

I drove a 2013 Lexus LX570 with the standard 383-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 Dual Overhead Cam engine mated to a six-speed Sequential Shift automatic transmission throttle control system with intelligence (ETCS-i). The full-time four-wheel drive system features a TORSEN limited-slip differential. Other standard performance highlights include Hill-start Assist, crawl control, an advanced suspension system, variable gear-ratio steering, a driver-selectable multi-terrain system, and swiveling front headlights. Available in just one model (with optional packages), the LX570 includes as standard features: leather and wood trim; power and heated front seats; moonroof; four-zone automatic control; running boards with tow hitch; twenty-inch wheels; power liftgate; push-button start; reclining and power second row; power-folding third row; rearview camera; and an assortment of modern technology like navigation, a nine-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, HD Radio and Internet radio, all accessed through the Lexus-exclusive Enform infotainment system. Total vehicle price is $80,930 as mentioned. Yet my test drive reached $87,795 with additional options.

Able to seat up to eight more comfortably than your living room, the LX570 competes with other well-to-do large SUVs like the Land Rover LR4 or the Infiniti QX56.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: Loaded as is, what pushed my test drive to an additional $8k were plush options like an upgrade beige and ventilated leather upholstery with contrast stitching, heated second-row seats, center console cool box, and more wood trim. It also featured the bigger nineteen-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. And Intuitive Park Assist with a wide front and side view on the backup monitor, plus a DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones. The LX570 is highly rated utility comfort with discerning choices in materials and design layout. The automatic folding second- and third-row seats paired with a power liftgate take all effort out of actually doing anything strenuous with loading cargo (omit lifting the cargo yourself).

Reliability & Safety Factor: Standard safety features include a comprehensive airbag system, multi-terrain anti-locking brakes, electronic brake distribution, vehicle stability control, pre-collision system, Lexus Safety Connect with automatic collision notification, and Smart Stop technology. The Lexus LX570 has not been rated by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Cost Issues: At over $80k for the LX570 without any optional features, real luxury proves it indeed has a price tag.

Activity & Performance Ability: What better way to test this luxurious beast than on a camping trip that required towing? Aside of worrying over every time dirty shoe entered the vehicle, the LX570 is a stress-free off-road ambassador with easy to understand performance options able to smooth out any road misunderstandings. And on most inclines, mud holes and rocky roads, the car can figures out what to do sans driver input. Even for flat highway journeys, Sport or Comfort suspension can sharpen the experience behind the LX570. Overall, with all its automatic features, the vehicle is far more functional than the LR4 – and a lot more reliable. You just won’t like your frequent visits to the gas pump.

The Green Concern: The LX570’s monstrous V8 engine gets 12 miles-per-gallon city and 17 highway for a shocking 14 combined. The LR4’s 5-liter V8 isn’t shy at sucking down gas either with the exact estimates.

FINAL PARTING WORDS The 2013 Lexus LX570 manages to remove all the sweat out of being a utility vehicle, placing absolute control into the driver’s hands at just the push of a button when it comes to performance or conveniences. However, at over $80k, it’s questionable of whether or not this luxury boat will ever see what’s its capable of on challenging trail terrain.

©2012 Katrina Ramser