First up this is a Land Cruiser 200 Series wearing a tuxedo, there’s no escaping its underpinnings. But this model which arrived in 2017 has seen Lexus go crazy on the design and luxury front. Up front is a petrol 5.7-litre V8 while the Lexus Spindle Grille is undoubtably the wildest out of all its SUV range.
It starts to stray away from the Land Cruiser when you do a walkaround. The lights front and rear are distinct and LED all round. Plus, dark tint which makes our black example look even more imposing. That front grille is very divisive, but overall, I get a sense of this from most people – they hate it but want one.
You can’t escape the fact you’re in control of a 4×4 that’s more than five metres long, one that can seat eight. The wooden steering wheel, real wood inserts and the Lexus treatment has created a suitably luxury ambience in the cabin. It has a touch of old-world charm with even an analogue timepiece sitting front and centre.
The centre console area isn’t missing too many buttons. There’s an array of ways to feel privileged, such as heated and cooled front and rear seats, a heated electronically adjustable steering wheel, a centre fridge that they call a cool box and a quad-zone air-conditioning system that’s pumped out via a couple of dozen vents.
The sound system has Mark Levinson’s name on it and rocks away via 19 speakers. A set of rear entertainment screens are available for the 2ndrow passengers but remained covered via protective sleeves during our trip.
The thing drives as you’d expect but does grow on you. The adaptive air suspension supresses body roll frantically when in Sport or Sport Plus mode. I found it a real novelty feeling the system resist the 2.7-tonne, or over 3-tonne when loaded. Anything that heavy is bound to want to shake, rattle and roll. It does well, although can lead to a twitchy ride as it bounces side to side trying to handle like a hot-hatch.
Despite the big V8, it’s actually a little blunted. Compared to a 298kW Nissan Patrol and its upper spec Infiniti QX80, it’s actually a slouch. But it does pull like a road train at higher speeds.
The 5.7-litre petrol V8 is good for 270kW/530Nm. It’s hooked up to a slick eight-speed transmission that can be put in Sport mode or controlled via paddle shifters. My only complaint is that when in Eco mode the box can hunt around a little, probably because Eco and the LX are polar opposites. It’s a bit rich to ask the transmission to blunt the performance. It also has dual fuel tanks with a combined total of 138-litres.
There’s a fair degree of driver assistance technology. Radar cruise control maintains a safe gap autonomously between you and the car ahead. I did find the front sensors became clogged with snow, rendering the system useless. But I’ve seen this happen on plenty of cars, in far fewer taxing conditions. Sometimes fog and heavy rain can block the view of these systems.
The 12.3-inch centre infotainment screen looks the goods but lacks Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It also features the Lexus Remote Touch system, honestly solving a Rubik’s Cube would be easier than entering just a destination. Although, exaggeration aside I’ve become accustomed to it.
There’s a 360-degree reversing camera with rear-cross traffic alert. The beast could use more USB chargers with just two up front, it’s been awhile since I’ve used a 12V USB adapter in the front and rear. Although there’s a 230V power socket in the rear cargo area.
Prices start at $142,431 there’s an S version closer to 170K. Fuel economy is rated at 14.4L/100km. As you’ll see in the video, I averaged mid-16’s most of the time. It’s backed by a four-year/100,000km warranty. On the 10,000/6-month servicing intervals we sent it off to Parramatta Lexus. The car was collected by a member of the team and we were left a courtesy car. The LX was returned later that day, with a nice branded Lexus tissue box left on the front seat. Yes, Lexus Australia paid for the service, but the courtesy car is complimentary to all loyal customers of that dealership, when under warranty. Trust me I checked on behalf of my fake “Lexus” owning wife!
The Lexus LX 570 especially on this trip was perfect. Given the conditions it felt almost infallible and very safe. It’s the limousine version of the Land Cruiser Sahara. I love it, but I hate the fuel bills. It’s a 7.1 from me.
Chris is EFTM’s Motoring Editor, driving everything from your entry level hatch to the latest Luxury cars through to the Rolls Royce.
He has been in the media for 20 years, produced three Olympic games broadcasts, attending Beijing 2008 & London 2012.
Chris is married to Gillian and resides in Sydney’s North West. They have Sam the English Springer Spaniel and Felix the Burmese cat to keep them company, and recently welcomed baby Henry to the family.
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