What is white on the outside, red on the inside, and almost inconceivably large? If you guessed Moby Dick, you guessed wrong (but kudos on your literacy). It’s the 2017 Lexus LX 570! And there is only one reason to buy it. Status.
Does driving this SUV, so large, so exclusive, and so white affirm to owners and onlookers that “yes, I am monied.”? Perhaps, but don’t think for a moment I’m going to harp on and on about western decadence comrades. You’re here for a review, and that’s what you’re going to get.
The exterior of the LX is hosed down with Lexus corporate styling. It looks like the other Lexus SUVs there’s just more of it. The body is large enough to make 20″ rims look reasonable
Our press car was trimmed out in red upholstery. The LX’s interior is its strongest feature. Passengers are swaddled in sumptuous leather and the tree carcass details are lovely. Front and center in the dash is a massive screen positioned above the requisite Lexus analog clock, because luxury car drivers want to be pampered with archaic technology.
The front and second row seats will spoil passengers. Passengers in the second row have their own monitors to watch whatever wealthy children watch (probably stocks) and the fold down arm rest has a bevy of buttons. Lexus boasts seating for eight in its biggest SUV. But eight of what exactly? The power folding third row is viable in a pinch, but it’s not really big enough for grown ups
It’s as quiet as a tomb on the highway, that is, unless you crank the stereo. The bass this 19-speaker system emits will arouse the envy of any pimply adolescent male within a four block radius. And so will the variable ride height. That’s right, this thing is on bags. I’ll admit to taking a sordid pleasure in airing out the suspension every time I parked. The console has built in beverage cooler. It also has Lexus’ mind-numbing infotainment interface.
Under the expansive hood, there’s a great big V8 that makes a heap of power, 383 if you’re dying to know, and a load of torque. It’s not particularly clever, but it will haul the LX’s leviathanic bulk to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. That’s backed up by an eight-speed transmission that sends power to all four wheels all the time.
The gas mileage numbers on this vehicle are enough to make you blush, and too horrific to mention here (kids might read this). But if you’re in the tax bracket that can afford to sink 100 grand into the family hauler, you’re either an oil sheik, or you’re buddies with Rex Tillerson and I bet you get a discount on gas.
The ride was noticeably rougher when comfort mode was not selected. The steering is numb, the brakes do their job, and handling is what you would expect in a three ton luxo-barge. It’s a very comfortable vehicle to ride in, but perhaps not the most rewarding to drive.
The LX is based on Toyota’s Land Cruiser, a time-tested rough and ready off-roader and perhaps it is capable off road, but how many will ever see any sort of rugged terrain? I’d wager next to none. It’s too pretty to get bushwhacked and too heavy to be any in the mud. No, it’s far more likely to be used by bluebloods to get from one Aspen chalet to another without shaking their monocles loose.
Maybe I don’t understand because I’m an unwashed bumpkin. Perhaps my lowbrow, proletariat sensibilities are too coarse to appreciate such refinement. But if I was going to buy something with a base price of $91,000, I’d want to feel like I was driving the future. While there is a lot to behold in the LX, it feels dated.
All dolled up, the press car cost $100k. It’s an outrageous amount. And when you compare it to other cars in this category, it’s slower to accelerate, slower to stop, and hauls less. I have had a lot of fun at expense of the poor LX, but the truth of it is there are better ways to spend this kind of dough. Like on a Tesla AND a Toyota Highlander, or a pair of suburbans, or anything else really.
“Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.” – – H. Melville
Huge thanks goes out to AMFM Productions for putting together this video!
Car guy, small business owner, award-winning writer and proud papa.