2022 Lexus LX 600 F Sport - Review by David Colman +VIDEO
More than you have any right to expect from an SUV
Special Correspondent to THE AUTO CHANNEL
Logic would seem to dictate that an SUV weighing nearly three tons should not be entitled to wear an F Sport badge. Yet somehow, the all-new 2022 LX 600 merits the appellation in spite of its size and bulk. Lexus has not stinted on turning every trick in the book to make this 5,665 pound behemoth a legitimate example of the F Sport brand. With a brand new V35A-FTS twin-turbocharged, 409hp V6 under the hood, this mega bus scoots from zero to sixty in 6 seconds flat. While there are times when you feel like you need a pair of tugs to help dock it in a parking spot, once underway the LX 600 F Sport will surprise you with its predictable handling, multiplicity of drive modes, and superb interior configuration. Although the Toyota Land Cruiser is no longer offered in the USA, Lexus has taken up the slack with this better-than-ever version of the Land Cruiser.
The downside of the new offering is price. The last 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser sold for $85,665 to $87,995. The price range for the new LX 600 starts at $88,245 and runs all the way to $127,345. The F Sport we tested carried a base price of $101,000. Add to that $1,300 for Active Height Control, $2,660 for Mark Levinson 25 speaker Surround Sound Audio, $595 for Premium Paint ("Manganese Luster"), and $450 for Roof Top Cross Bars, and you're looking at a $107,585 SUV that's so exquisitely turned out you'll never want to take it off road.
But could you ever. With the right off-road rubber, this Lexus is capable of tackling anything from the Rubicon Trail to the daunting rock shelves at Moab. For street running, however, Lexus equips the LX 600 F Sport with 8J x 22 inch forged alloy wheels shod with street compatible Dunlop Grand Trek all-season radials (265/50R22). These tires work well in the urban environment, giving a comfortable ride quality plus decent grip at the impressive G-Force levels the LX is capable of generating on paved roads. The F Sport package retunes the suspension for ambitious driving and adds a rear anti-sway bar to the mix. Our test vehicle further benefitted from the optional air height control to tailor ride quality to street needs (low setting) or dirt road travel (high setting). The big Lexus transitions in a matter of seconds from one ride height extreme to the other at the touch of a button.
And speaking of buttons, I counted 37 different buttons or switches on the front of the dash and the top of the center console. You can add another 22 by including the additional buttons festooning the steering wheel, the left side of the dash, and the armrest of the driver's door. Add in the bevy of controls regulating seat height and posture, and you've got more decisions to make than if you were flying a Cessna twin. For the record, the Owner's Manual section on "Switches" lists 47 separate entries. Managing this menagerie of information can be a challenge, one we found puzzling when we attempted to alter Drive Mode from "Normal" to any of the other available options (Sport, Sport+, Custom). Lexus has turned this operation into an act requiring two switch operation. First, you press the Drive Mode Switch on the dash which illuminates when engaged. Normally, toggling this switch again would change modes, but here, you must then adjust the adjacent Mode Select knob to engage a new setting.
One thing that is uncomplicated about the interior of this SUV is its sheer size and the ultra luxurious handwork Lexus invests to make the LX 600 more comfortable than your living room. After an easy conversion of the 3-row interior from 7 seats to 2, we loaded a bike through the tailgate door and set off on a day-long journey that includes a bike ride and a visit to Home Depot. After filling an oversized orange shopping cart with this, that, and the other. it suddenly dawned on us that maybe there wouldn't be room to transport everything plus the bike. But with a whopping 41 cubic feet of interior space on offer here, loading the purchases was so easy we could have found room for another cart as well. This Lexus is enormously useful as a transportation device.
It also saved our lobster roll lunches from spoiling while we went for a bike ride. Lexus fits a really effective chiller compartment under the armrest between the front seats. Just running the LX for a short period chills the compartment for hours, even with the engine off. When we completed our day-long outing, those lobster rolls were even colder than when we stored them. While it may be expensive, the new Lexus is worth it, because the LX 600 does more than you have any right to expect from an SUV.
2022 LEXUS LX 600 F SPORT
ENGINE: 3.5 liter V6, twin-turbocharged and intercooled, aluminum block and heads, port and direct fuel injection
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 17MPG City/22MPG Highway
PRICE AS TESTED: $107,585
HYPES: Di It All, Go Anywhere, Take the Whole Team
GRIPES: Mind Boggling Control Panels
STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10