MAGIC CARPET RIDE: Even on the rough stuff, the Lexus LX570 combines capability with opulence.
MAGIC CARPET RIDE: Even on the rough stuff, the Lexus LX570 combines capability with opulence.

2017 Lexus LX570 review: Automotive glamping

EVEN mountain climbers deserve luxury.

The behemoth that is the Lexus LX570 can't only chase adventure, it can land you there following a cloud-like ride.

With a retail price of $143,030, it remains rare company in the upper-large SUV aisle. Making it unrivalled is the capacity to seat eight with a 2+3+3 configuration.

Another benefit is the LX's towing capacity, which was bolstered to 3.5tonne with this latest generation, making it the perfect accomplice for grey nomads and pony clubbers.

Value

Delivering an appraisal depends on how highly you rate capability. Given the strong lineage with the 200 Series LandCruiser, there is little terrain that would stop this beast.

Yet the question remains whether you could bring yourself to take a circa $145,000 vehicle off-road. Owners of the range-topping Sahara Cruiser ($115,490) do, and with the ability to raise and lower the suspension, as well as Multi Terrain Select that can be shifted to navigate rock, rock and dirt, mogul, loose rock, along with mud and sand ... this is no faux crossover.

There is certainly no skimping with the specification, as you would expect for this coin. Basic equipment includes sunroof, power tailgate, LED headlamps and running lights, four-zone climate control, leather trim, seating for eight, dual screens in the second row and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system with GPS satnav.

The luxurious eight-seat Lexus LX570.
The luxurious eight-seat Lexus LX570.

Safety

Gaining a five-star safety rating courtesy of the LandCruiser (the LX sells too few units to undergo independent ANCAP testing), it comes well equipped with most of the latest gizmos, 10 airbags, active cruise control which maintains a safe distance from vehicles in front, lane departure warning that sends a shudder through the steering wheel to remind the driver to straighten, high beams that dip automatically, front and rear cameras and sensors, blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.

The luxurious eight-seat Lexus LX570.
The luxurious eight-seat Lexus LX570.

On the road

Cushy, plush and the definition of a magic carpet ride, the LX570 is the epitome of luxury.

Most at home on the freeway, the creamy V8 barely sweats as it hauls the family with ease and with near cabin silence.

The trade-off is vague steering that makes the hulking SUV feel light. It's not difficult to drive, but there is ample roll in the corners if you hit the chicane too quickly.

Under acceleration it's responsive and smooth. It's no slow coach, just don't expect to keep up with an SS Commodore.

An array of console buttons make travelling off-road simple, lifting and lowering the suspension, and then the various modes for tackling the tough stuff including five-stage Crawl Control.

The luxurious eight-seat Lexus LX570.
The luxurious eight-seat Lexus LX570.

Filling the 93-litre fuel tank with premium unleaded won't give you much change from $125 - depending on prices at the time. And there's a fair chance you'll be on a first name basis with the attendant as the big machine drinks about 14 litres for every 100km (we got just less than that courtesy of some highway driving).

Inside it reeks of prestige in all corners. The central menu is controlled via small mouse-style operation that can be fiddly, and even the kids struggled to find their way through the controls to operate the rear entertainment system.

Central cup holders are excellent, doors have the capacity to hold bottles, and there is a massive fridge in the console.

With all seats deployed the boot space reduces to 259 litres - which is less than a Mazda CX-3. The third row folds, which then expands the capacity to 701 litres, while with all folded there is 1276 litres available.

The luxurious eight-seat Lexus LX570.
The luxurious eight-seat Lexus LX570.

Competition

The V8-powered Mercedes-Benz GLS starts from about $164,000, while the petrol Range Rover begins from $193,500 ... and if you're really well-heeled, then there is the Bentley Bentayga W12 from $427,300.

When it came to getting our machine on the road, the total cost was $171,965 as it was equipped with the optional Enhancement Pack, which added 21-inch wheels, vents and cooling/heated outer seats in the second row as well as the front and a heated steering wheel.

Verdict

There's an easy way to rile any Lexus buyer or an executive from the prestige marque. Just call it a flash Toyota.

You cannot deny the family resemblance to the 200 Series, although front and rear changes introduced last year set them apart. And once you step inside, the improvement in opulence is obvious.

Having eight seats is handy - we managed a family trip with six and had two adults in the third row.

Like most SUVs, the off-road capability is probably technology that won't be used by owners. It's really the towing capability and an ability to handle eight where the big Lexus shines.

The luxurious eight-seat Lexus LX570.
The luxurious eight-seat Lexus LX570.

Vital statistics

Lexus LX570

Price: $143,030.

Engine: 5.7-litre V8 petrol, 270kW/530Nm.

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive.

Safety: Five star, 10 airbags.

Thirst: 14.4 litres/100km (combined average).

Dimensions: 5080mm (L), 1980mm (W), 1865 (H), 2850 (WB).

Spare: Full size.

Towing: 3500kg.

Performance: 0-100kmh in 7.7 seconds.

Warranty: Four-year/100,000km.

Capped price servicing: Not available.


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