Competes with: Infiniti QX80, Cadillac Escalade, Land Rover Range Rover
Looks like: Modernity has hit Lexus’ biggest SUV
Drivetrain: 383-hp, 5.7-liter V-8; eight-speed automatic transmission; four-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: TBD
Lexus has changed nearly everything you can see and touch in its biggest SUV while keeping the engine and underpinnings the same. For car shoppers, that means this is essentially an all-new model, especially considering the modernization of the interior and technology.
If you’re not a fan of Lexus’ spindle grille then you’re really not going to like the LX‘s front end. It is basically an even larger version of the new NX compact SUV with more real estate for the geometric wonder that is the grille. Except here on the LX there are added aesthetic “brackets” for each slat in the grille versus other applications of the design in the brand’s lineup.
The headlights also follow the brand’s recent design concept with upended “L” shapes of LEDs along the bottom of the headlight cases. The “L” shape is also found on either side of the lower bumper housing the fog lights. But those lights themselves appear to be a single circle at the bend in the L, not the entire shape.
Around back the taillights look similar to other Lexus SUVs and also those from BMW; however, with the enormity of the vehicle itself they appear small.
Twenty-inch wheels are standard with 21-inch versions available.
If you’re asking more than $80,000 for a luxury SUV it better look and feel like a luxury vehicle; the current LX is outdated when put up against the Cadillac Escalades and Range Rovers of the world.
The 2016 is entirely different inside with an overhauled dashboard, center console, gauges, steering wheel and basically everything passengers see and touch.
The changes to the tech offered onboard are also significant. There’s now a 12.3-inch-wide screen display atop the center console of controls that uses the Lexus Remote Touch interface, which is essentially a large joystick with a few buttons that help navigate and select information on the display. It’s not one of our favorite systems because the joystick has never seemed second nature in our testing.
A nine-speaker sound system is standard with a 19-speaker surround-sound system available. Those with iPhones will be able to use Siri Eyes Free but there is no option for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
An optional rear-seat entertainment package is available with larger 11.6-inch screens.
Under the Hood
Two things haven’t changed about the LX 570: It keeps its body-on-frame chassis for more capability, and there’s still a 5.7-liter V-8 engine under the hood. Power is rated at 383 horsepower and 403 pounds-feet of torque; the SUV can tow 7,000 pounds. A new eight-speed automatic transmission replaces the 2015’s six-speed setup. That could help mileage, which was rated at 14 mpg combined for 2015.
We’ve always been impressed with the comfortable ride of the LX 570, and the 2016 has an adaptive suspension that allows for adjustment for maximum comfort or for more aggressive handling. There are also drivetrain adjustments for more fuel-efficient or sportier driving.
A new suite of safety features called Lexus Safety System + is standard and includes a precollision system, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, Intelligent High Beam and adaptive cruise control.
A blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert is also standard along with a new panoramic-view camera system. We’re fans of systems like this that allow various angles around the car to help with parking, not just for when a car is backing up. With a vehicle this large it is even more helpful for drivers.