What does it mean for a brand to be labeled “luxury”? What does it take to make a true luxury SUV? The 2014 Lexus LX 570 raises these questions. Can the LX be the most Lexus of all Lexus for 2014 and beyond? This review will attempt to answer these questions.
|STATS||Starting Retail Price||As Tested Price||HP / Lb-Ft|
|2014 Lexus LX 570||$82,630||$89,555||383 / 403|
|EPA Rating MPG||As Tested MPG|
|Rating: BUY IT!||12 / 17 Combined 14||Combined 15.7|
There is no doubt that this is a big SUV. However, it is surprisingly easy to enter and exit with the kneeling feature offered by the air suspension. You can tell this is a special vehicle the moment you approach and slide the hand into the door pull. The leather is ample, the buttons have a softer rubberized feel, and all the parts fit together just so. The interior has the fit, finish, and feel of the Lexus LS sedan.
The styling can be summed up as classical and conservative. The front grille and LED running light are standard Lexus fare and are unmistakable. The profile is straight, upright, and still reminiscent of the Toyota Land Cruiser of the 1990s and prior. The rear is finished off nicely with modern LED lights. The 2014 LX still has the two-part rear hatch with a short tailgate for those peaceful picnics in the great outdoors.
The LX interior is one of the highest quality. It may not be on the cutting edge of infotainment technology with high resolution 3D maps or seamless voice command integration, but it does not need to be. Why? It’s because once get inside, fire up the engine, and roll out – the superbly comfortable seats and the serene quiet of the cabin will cause all your worries to drift away. Who cares if you have the coolest map, when you moving along in a luxurious and capable vehicle such as this.
The interior space front and rear is more than adequate. The front captain chairs have great lateral support. This is a little odd and most welcome as most luxurious vehicles have flat bottoms and small side bolsters. There is plenty of leg, shoulder, and head room. That can be said for the first two rows. The power folding jump seats that constitute the third row are far less comfortable. They are fine for children who just graduated out of the booster seats or small adults.
This SUV has the interior ambiance on par with the best of luxury sedans, including the LS.
The 5.7L V8 that hides under the hood of the LX 570 is basically the same iForce 8-cylinder that you can find under the hood of the Toyota Tundra. However, this luxurious SUV cannot merely have the identical engine as the pickup truck, so it gets a barely differentiating 2 hp and 2 lb-ft bump up to 383 hp @5,600 rpm and 403 lb-ft @3,600 rpm. Should you be worried that this car does not have enough power, since many competitors have more? No, you should not. The LX provides one of the most civilized propulsion systems out there. The cabin is so quiet and isolated that you cannot hear or feel the engine at idle. When you slam or gently depress the throttle, there is a distant yet satisfying hum of eight cylinders doing their work, but you do feel the 403 lb-ft of torque by the seat of your pants.
Indeed, the LX 570 is not the quickest vehicle in the Lexus lineup, but that is not the point. As a Rolls-Royce engineer would say , “the power is adequate”. EPA rates the LX at a poor 14 MPG combined, but this test vehicle managed 15.7 MPG after a mixed driving and cold temperatures. It’s not too bad considering how big and heavy this car is.
The chassis and the suspension are the secrets behind the supreme Lexus qualities of the LX. This SUV has not forgotten where it came from. Yes, it has an independent front suspension, but it’s still highly capable in off-road situations. And it does it with a lot of computing power. Lexus calls the suspension Active Height Control System (X-AHC) and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system. This simply means that the LX has one of the smoothest and comfortable rides out there. It’s up there with the LS sedan or an Audi A8. There is a toggle switch that can take it from “Comf” to “Sport” and back, but my experience suggests that the “Sport” setting is not very different from “Comfort”.
There is the automatic kneeling function on the air suspension which lowers when you turn the engine off to allow for easier egress. You can also dial in up to three inches of ground clearance with toggle switch. The highest setting is only meant for very slow speeds, and there is a switch to turn-off automatic lowering for when you are fording a river. There vehicles is always in 4WD high “H4”. But you also select low gear “L4” and adjust automatic crawling speed with yet another switch. You can also lock you differential to get maximum traction in tough situations. In the end, you have enough switches and buttons to play with to satisfy most gear heads.
However, the standout feature of the LX is it’s relatively high and commanding seating position. Yes, the GX has a similar position and quality, but the LX simply has a larger footprint. The ultimate luxury vehicle should have a commanding view of the road, and the LX delivers.
The LX 570 has an increasingly bigger and newer field of competitors. They include: the new 2015 Cadillac Escalade, new 2015 GMC Yukon Denali, the familiar 2014 Infiniti QX80, updated 2015 Lincoln Navigator, and the Mercedes-Benz GL. This is a tough crowd. Especially, when you are talking about all the tricks and technology in the new SUVs from GM and Mercedes. The Lexus LX may be a bit more old fashioned, but it does it in a classic and understated way.
On the TFLcar scale of:
- Buy it!
- Lease it!
- Rent it!
- … or Forget it!
I give the 2014 Lexus LX 570 a Buy It! If you simply look at the sticker price, you may be questioning the hefty premium of the LX. After a week behind the wheel I came to a conclusion that this large SUV is the best Lexus of them all. If for no other reason than it’s the only Lexus that can balance excellent comfort and commanding off-road performance. In other words, it can take you nearly anywhere, it has a commanding view of the road, and it gets a TFLcar Buy It! rating.
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFL since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or simply ‘going for a drive’.