The 2016 Lexus LX 570 gets updated styling, a freshened interior, a new transmission and a boost to its infotainment and safety systems.
The big rig from Toyota’s luxury division comes ready and willing to pull trailers, lug cargo or transport eight people. A receiver hitch, a heavy-duty chassis, and seats that fold to reveal big cargo space hand the utility end of the equation. Yet its cabin comes swathed in leather and artisan wood trim and has an app that makes dinner reservations.
The LX 570 belongs to a shrinking class of truck-based SUVs with genuine off-road talent and enough muscle to pull an Airstream trailer. These old-schoolers can still be found at the very top of the market, where size and capability remain just as important as luxury. The LX 570 delivers in both respects.
This third-generation LX 570 debuted as a 2008 model. That makes it a dated product and it has felt like one for some time, but updates for 2016 seek to address that.
The 2016 Lexus LX 570 features a redesigned exterior highlighted by the one-piece Lexus spindle grille; a new 8-speed automatic transmission; more safety features; upgraded multimedia infotainment with larger 12.3-inch screen and remote touch interface; panoramic camera; upgraded climate system; larger screens for the rear-seat entertainment system, the latest version of Lexus Enform Service Connect, and the list goes on.
The LX 570 shares off-road DNA with the Toyota Land Cruiser. It comes with full-time four-wheel drive with hill start assist and crawl control. There’s also a terrain selector to assure maximum traction whether you’re climbing rocks or negotiating a blizzard.
The Lexus LX 570’s closest competitor is the more capable, more up to date Range Rover. There’s also the Mercedes-Benz G-Glass, a dated product. For buyers who intend to stay on the pavement there is the Cadillac Escalade and Infiniti QX80.
LX 570 comes with a 5.7-liter V8 that lays down 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. New for 2016 is an 8-speed automatic transmission and selectable driving modes. A height-adjustable adaptive suspension and 20-inch wheels complete the mechanical setup. The LX 570 comes ready to tow up to 7,000 pounds. As luxurious as it is, the main draw here is brute capability.
Although the LX 570 doesn’t have the cleverest interior packaging, it gives up nothing in terms of luxury and convenience. Beyond the expected power assists and leather and wood trim, you’ll find adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera system, slim key card access, and a multitude of sensors to assist with parking.
New for 2016, the Climate Concierge system monitors the temperature of all four climate zones and makes individual adjustments to fan speed and the heated seats and steering wheel. The navigation system features a massive 12.3-inch high-solution screen, which doubles a video display for the built-in media player.
When a front impact is imminent, the collision mitigation system automatically tightens seatbelts and primes the brakes for maximum response, applying them if necessary. Pedestrian detection has been added to the system for 2016. You also get the protection of Lexus Safety Connect, which provides automatic cash notification, live emergency assistance, and stolen vehicle recovery.
The 2016 Lexus LX 570 ($88,880) comes in a single, trim level. (Price is MSRP before $940 destination charge).
The Luxury package ($1,190) adds upgraded leather upholstery, special wood trim, and ventilated front and second-row seats. Other major options are limited to a dual-screen rear entertainment system and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system for a concert-quality experience.
The Lexus LX 570 retains its familiar boxy shape, but the outside is crisper for 2016 thanks to subtly revised body panels and full LED lighting. It also receives the same spindle grille design as the rest of Lexus line, which erases any nagging resemblance to the Land Cruiser.
It looks prestigious, but we would not call the LX 570 beautiful. The giant, hourglass-shaped spindle grille ties the LX 570 more closely to the rest of the Lexus line, but it does improve its appearance.
The LX 570 is capable of handling up to eight passengers across three rows.
As expected, the first two rows offer abundant head and leg room, along with fine visibility.
The third row can accommodate three passengers, but only in a pinch. We wouldn’t want to be marooned back there on anything but a short jaunt. The 50/50 split third-row seats fold against the sides of the cargo area, not down into the floor.
With both rows folded, 83 cubic feet of cargo space is available, similar to that of Infiniti and Range Rover, but less than what the largest American SUVs offer (Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon XL Denali).
The dashboard features strong horizontal lines cribbed from the flagship LS sedan. The effect is amazingly car-like and a huge improvement over the previous tall-stacked design. The linear-grain wood trim extends to the steering wheel, console, and door panels.
Most infotainment functions can be controlled through a touchpad system known as Lexus Remote Touch. Using just a finger, the driver calls up menus and make selections on the central dash display.
The LX 570 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. That’s brisk performance for a curb weight of 6,000 pounds, although newer competitors are faster off the line. It’s much the same story with efficiency.
The 2016 LX 570 is EPA rated at 13/18 mpg City/Highway, or 18 mpg Combined. That represents a slight improvement over 2015, but nothing to write home about.
Handling is about what we would expect for a big SUV. Despite its rugged underpinning, the LX 570 delivers a supremely quiet and comfortable ride, not unlike a luxury sedan. Road and wind noise are effectively filtered out, leaving only the satisfying roar of the V8 when you hit the gas. Its size and weight, combined with full-time four-wheel drive, give you a feeling of security in even the nastiest weather, which may be the LX 570’s greatest strength in everyday driving.
The LX 570 is quite capable in rugged terrain.
The LX 570 has always been a capable off-roader and hasn’t changed a bit in that regard. Even as gentler SUVs and car-based crossovers proliferate the market, it adheres to the tough-but-plush formula from a generation ago. With this year’s gains in comfort and convenience, Lexus has ensured that the plush side of the LX 570 is up with the times.
Driving impressions by The Car Connection. Words by John Diether.