2021 Lexus LX570 5-DR SUV - Review by David Colman +VIDEO
The standard bearer of the SUV world
Story and Photos by David Colman
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
For 2021, the top drawer Lexus SUV, the LX570, has had a few new tricks added to its considerable repertoire of features. The test model we drove was equipped with the new-for-'21 Sport Package ($6,110), which replaces standard fitment wheels, nose and tail clips with alternate specification parts. Filling out the LX' fender arches are a visually riveting set of forged 21"x8.5" alloy rims with polished spokes. These mount trail rated Dunlop Grandtrek PT3A (275/50R21) radials. Oddly enough, if you stick with the standard 20x8.5 inch wheel, Lexus fits a 10mm wider tire (285/50R20) than the 21-inch offering.
The conventional grill of the LX570 gives way to a mammoth black spindle replacement. This sport grill plays off newly added front dive plane spoilers to give the massive SUV an unforgettable scowl countenance. The Sport Package also revises the look of the tail by adding a new spoiler. Chrome capped exterior mirrors and a black interior headliner complete the revisions.
The bottom line on this vehicle mounts quickly. Considering that the top line is $91,580, prepare yourself for a substantial outlay here. In addition to the six grand Sport Package, our test LX featured three other expensive options. Most noticeable was the Luxury Package ($1,190) which upgrades the interior with semi-aniline leather and adds contrast stitching. This extra attention to detail made the warm caramel-colored seats of our test Lexus look and feel so inviting you never want to debark at trip's end. Also featured in the Luxury Package are heating and ventilation for four seats, plus four zone climate control
The Mark Levinson Audio System ($2,350) distributes 19 speakers around the cabin for the 450 Watt "Reference Surround Sound" audio system that does a great job of imitating a concert hall. Add another $2,005 for a pair of DVD rear seat entertainment screens which are permanently affixed to the backside of the front seat headrests. The bottom line of our test Lexus totaled $105,295 thanks to a $900 Head Up Display, a $150 Espresso Heated Steering Wheel, and a $450 pair of Roof Rack Cross Bars. One of the LX' nicest features is the large center console's "Cool Box" which is connected to the AC system and can be activated via a switch to keep your lunch frigid.
The LX570 is a hugely competent off road vehicle. Lexus has designed the drivetrain of this SUV to conquer the toughest terrain assignments you can throw in its path. Unlike lesser SUVs, this one offers a center lock differential, and a dial for height adjustment that would make low riders drool. Finally, the transmission offers five different pavement drive modes and no less than four different off-road drive modes. Is it any wonder that the LX570 is the optimal tool for the toughest driving assignments worldwide? Even though it weighs 3 tons, the LX570 is powerful enough to cut a 0-60mph time of 7.2 seconds and crank through the standing start quarter mile in 15.5 seconds at 91mph. To post these numbers, Lexus has endowed the engine compartment of the LX with their 383hp, 5.7 liter V8 which also makes a romping 403lb.-ft. of torque. Connected to a paddle-shifted 8 speed automatic gearbox, the LX will tow a 7,000lb trailer. However, the 24.5 gallon gas tank is good for a range of just 288 miles in city driving and 336 miles on the open highway.
In some rather charmingly analog ways, the interior of the LX570 seems dated. For example, we enjoyed the old style non digital graphics on the dashboard, and the inclusion of a quartet of real gauges to monitor engine life. But in other respects, the interior seems arranged to annoy rather than placate you. This is especially true of the seating system in the three row edition we drove. In order to convert the second and third row benches from passenger seating to flat floor cargo area, you need to fold the third row benches against the sides of the rear fender wells. This is accomplished electrically, and is a breeze. However, to convert the second row from seat to storage requires way too much work. There's a hard to read, multi-step instructional placard mounted low on a rear door panel and written in pidgin English. When you're done folding the seats, you need to strap them up so they don't bounce around.
Except for trim, finish level, and price, the LX570 is virtually identical to the Toyota Land Cruiser. But 2021 marks the last year of Land Cruiser production. However, for those dedicated off roaders, and those who fear a dystopian future, Lexus will continue to build the standard bearer of the SUV world, the Lexus LX570.
2021 LEXUS LX570 5-DR SUV
ENGINE: 5.7 Liter V8 DOHC 32 Valves aluminum block and heads, port injection
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 12MPG City/14MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $106,590
HYPES: All Terrain Conqueror
GRIPES: Dated Storage Area
STAR RATING: 9.5 Stars out of 10