By KBB.com Editors
The LX is the biggest, most powerful SUV in the Lexus lineup. Based on the venerable Land Cruiser, this 8-passenger model from Toyota's luxury division is stuffed with amenities and technology. The 2013 Lexus LX is among the few SUVs that offers both refinement and extreme off-road capability. With a mahogany and leather interior, and off-road features such as a crawl mode and terrain-response system, the Lexus LX will feel welcome at the Waldorf or the wilds. But the LX's capabilities do not come cheap. In addition to its $82,000 starting price, the Lexus LX can be a financial drain at the gas pump, too. To move its 6,000-pound heft, the LX uses a big, thirsty 5.7-liter V8 engine that is rated at just 12 mpg city/17 highway.
If you want a big SUV that can tame the wilds yet still get you to the opera on time, the Lexus LX will fit the bill. The LX also has a sterling history of reliability and high resale value.
Do you really need a 3-ton luxury SUV that can crawl over boulders and wade through rivers? If you're among the majority of buyers who will never utilize these abilities of the Lexus LX, far less money can buy you just as much refinement, a more versatile interior, and better fuel economy in a vehicle like the Audi Q7, Infiniti JX, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, or Buick Enclave.
The LX returns for 2013 with new exterior design tweaks that include Lexus' "spindle" grille, new taillights, and turn signals incorporated into the side-mirror housings. Inside, the instrument panel has been updated, and drivers get the Easy Access system that automatically retracts the seat and steering wheel when entering and exiting the vehicle.
Driving Impressions Though large in size and with a 6,000-pound curb weight – that's several hundred pounds more than a Cadillac Escalade – the Lexus LX 570 feels planted on both freeways...and curvy roads. Though it has rugged body-on-frame construction like a truck, the LX has a comfortable ride thanks to its Adaptive Variable Suspension. The system offers three driver-selectable modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport. The Comfort setting is good for everyday driving, while the Sport mode stiffens things up for a more spirited feel. The Normal mode is a happy medium. With a 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds, the Lexus LX 570 is moderately quick for such a big, heavy vehicle. Where this vehicle stands out from car-based crossover SUVs is in its off-road capabilities. More than just snow and dirt trails, the Lexus LX is built to tackle extreme terrain. Paramount is a 2-speed transfer case and the LX's "crawl" mode, which literally drives the vehicle at toddler-like speeds so the driver can focus on steering the big vehicle on steep terrain.
EASY ACCESS SYSTEM
Getting in and out a big, high vehicle such as the Lexus LX 570 can be an awkward affair, especially if you're one to have the front seat and steering wheel close together. This feature eases what we call ingress and egress – entering and exiting – by retracting the steering wheel and driver's seat for more room.
Those willing to take such an expensive SUV off-roading will discover the LX 570 has the chops to go where few others can venture. One reason why is Crawl Control, which regulates the throttle and brakes of the 2013 Lexus LX so the driver can concentrate on maneuvering the vehicle when climbing or descending extreme terrain. Think of it as cruise control for Moab.
The Lexus LX has three rows of seats and can fit up to eight passengers in its leather-clad cocoon. The 2nd-row seats fold and tumble forward. Unlike most other 3rd-row seats, those in the LX 570 do not fold forward but to the sides. This creates a flat load floor, but eats up valuable room on the sides. Both rear rows are power-operated, a real help when you don't have the strength or inclination to wrestle with seats. Legroom is good in the 2nd-row, but tight and adult-unfriendly in the third. The heated front seats are plush and also available with ventilation for hot days. Four-zone climate control, meanwhile, is standard for further passenger comfort.
The Lexus LX 570 has traditional SUV looks. In other words, it's boxy, bold, and rugged. Like its sibling the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Lexus bucks the trend of crossover SUVs that are "softer" and more rounded. This design for the Lexus LX 570 is appropriate, as it remains a formidable off-road machine. The new spindle grille adds athleticism and elegance to the LX's front, as do its also-new LED daytime running lights and high-intensity discharge headlights. The rear bumper is now brightened with a stainless steel accent. Large running boards add visual appeal and, more pragmatically, they help passengers climb in.
Befitting an SUV that starts at over $80,000, the 2013 Lexus LX 570 offers plenty of features to make it more comfortable, safe, and capable. Every LX has permanent 4-wheel drive, quad-zone climate control, a power moonroof, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a leather interior with mahogany wood trim, and a 14-way driver's seat. On the tech and entertainment side, there's a navigation system with backup camera, Lexus' Enform infotainment system, and a 9-speaker AM/FM/CD player with HD Radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, and USB and iPod inputs. Safety features include 10 airbags, stability control, Emergency Assistance Button, and a system that, in the event of a severe accident, notifies an agent who will attempt to contact the driver and can send help if needed.
Already well equipped in standard form, most extras available in the 2013 Lexus LX 570 are bundled into packages. Such options include ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated 2nd-row seats, and a center-mounted cool box for food and beverages. Tech features include radar-based cruise control and pre-collision system, a dual-screen DVD rear-seat entertainment system, surround camera system, and – for audio enthusiasts – a superb Mark Levinson audio system with 19 (yes, nineteen) speakers.
The LX 570 is powered by a refined 5.7-liter V8 that makes 383 horsepower and a stout 403 lb-ft of torque, which helps this SUV tow up to 7,000 pounds. The LX has a full-time 4-wheel-drive system with a Torsen limited-slip differential – with manual locking – and 2-speed transfer case. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic.
383 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
403 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17 mpg
The 2013 Lexus LX 570 has a starting price of around $82,000. Adding the feature-packed Luxury Package pushes that price to nearly $90,000. At these prices, the 2013 Lexus LX is at the high end of 3-row luxury SUVs, costing tens of thousands more than vehicles such as the Infiniti JX, Acura MDX, Mercedes-Benz GL350, Buick Enclave, and Audi Q7, though all of those rivals have a V6 rather than V8 engine, don't have the off-road chops of the LX, and, except for the Buick, seat seven instead of eight. Then again, all those rivals also get much better fuel economy, especially the diesel-powered Audi and Mercedes. The LX's starting price is about $20,000 more than that of the Infiniti QX56, and about $18,000 more than that of the Cadillac Escalade, both of which can also seat eight passengers. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2013 Lexus LX. Resale value is a brighter spot. Like its rather closely priced brother the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Lexus LX 570 is expected to hold its value very well over the years.
By Princess Stephanie (CO) on Monday, February 18, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "rugged luxury"
Cons: "over-priced ??"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My husband surprised me with a 570 for my Birthday. What a gift! It's the nicest car (SUV aside), I've ever driven. We live in Vail, CO most of the year and it's incredible in the snow as well as powerful and quiet while climbing the mountain passes on a dry road. I liked the body style of my 470 better, but 570 puts it to shame in every other way. Stephanie C."
By Gina (CA) on Friday, January 04, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable, incredible quality, low service costs"
Cons: "Gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We have owned one LX570 (45,000 miles currently) and two LX470s (180k miles on our current one!). The LX570 is a fine continuation of the LX470 model,however I preferred the slightly narrower wheel base/size of the LX470 which makes it more maneuverable and those incredible lighted running boards had us standing and staring at it, with our jaws dropped, in the garage after we brought our first 470 home. I consider the LX470 a collectors item - was perfect for taking my son and friends to overnight soccer games (Lexus has THE BEST Navigation - much better than our BMWs, Ford truck), good for pulling a horse, like a rolling house! The LX570 takes that tradition farther by having the built-in refrigerator in front arm rest and we have DVD w this one (but rarely use - don't lose remote control as necessary to operate it!) But as an engineer, what really sold me on the Lexus SUVs when first driving them in comparison to Lincoln, Infinity, and other brands is their Engineering! I personally like the engine timing better on the LX470 than my husbands BMW645i (I know that is blasphemous) but the 470 just runs so smoothly. Became loyal Lexus buyers because almost NOTHING HAS BROKEN on 4 Lexus cars we have had aside from brake changes (I made to 80,000 highway miles on the RX450h we own and that my daughter now drives), the LX470/570s typically go ~65k for brakes with me driving. We do the minimally recommended maintenance and my husband changes the oil!! Our dealer service (very reasonable . . gives labor discounts & much cheaper overall than the BMW service) states he has 470s with 300k miles still running perfectly. All the electronics, engine, etc. are incredibly well engineered. The RELIABILITY of these cars is phenomenonall! The gas mileage is NOT!! I picked up the 570 last year right after the tsunami out of concern they might become scarce and we wanted to have one for when the 470 wears out, also hoping the larger engin might be better for pulling 26ft boat. Still, wish they had kept the LX470 body, however, until such large SUVs get phased out as fuel standards increase, these are too useful to be without. Truly great SUVs, I cannot imagine any European or American brands measuring up to these."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Mike (VA) on Thursday, June 14, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lacks literally nothing in convenience."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"It's pricy and don't gripe about the fuel mileage. But as a master of the road it's simply the best vehicle I've ever owned. I've had 5 large domestic SUV's. They simply don't compare. The quiet smooth ride compares to that of an Audi A-8 which I've owned as well. It will "gadget" you to death which leads to it's plump owner's manual. It is truly a creature of comfort and style. It's price tag is hefty - but there's nothing that compares if you want a reliable, quiet, powerful SUV that is fully capable of off roading, but drives like the smoothest sedan you could find. Go ahead and spoil yourself."
11 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By nick (North Brunswick, NJ) on Tuesday, January 18, 2011
overall rating 9 of 10rating details
"Also owned 2000 model LX470 this is better more luxury and best of the features than any other SUV on the Planet. What a fun to drive and 19 speaker 450 watts is amazing."
8 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By andrew (NEWPORT BEACH, CA) on Thursday, December 09, 2010
overall rating 10 of 10rating details
"JUST BOUGHT THE CAR TONIGHT, THE CAR IS VERY FAST FOR A BIG SUV AROUND 6.1 SECOND O-60, VERY SMOOTH, THE LEATHER IS PERFECT. LOVE THIS CAR"
1 person out of 6 found this review helpful
By NH (Fort Lauderdale, FL) on Wednesday, September 15, 2010
overall rating 5 of 10rating details
"I purchased my 2010 Lexus LX 570 in mid December 2009. At first I was delighted then after 3 to 4 months I began to notice the wear on my seats and the severe back pain that I was getting. I tried to increase the lumbar suppport but it was maxed out. I then relaised that my seat was too high and that the center console arm rest was too low but the seat was at the lowest setting. Now I have to drive with both my arms stretched out in front of me which gets tiring after about 100 miles! My dealer told me that they could redo the foam in the seats but could not get my seat any lower. The air venting in the seats is also very weak and not what I expected. The other problem that I am having is that my LX drinks gas. Without the power shifting on it was getting less than 10mpg and now with it on I am lucky to average 14.5mpg and I have to fill up several times a week. Not having the 3rd row rear seats folding flat is also unfortunate. The rest of the vehicle is superb, the phone works seamlessly unlike my old LX 470 and the sound system is amazing. I am trading it in this week for a Mercedes GL 350 turbo diesel which will get close to double the miles per gallon in the city, I think and my back pain will be gone! If you are tall with a thinner body type (I am 5ft 9in female) don't even think about the LX 570! Also my real estate clients say they are uncomfortable in the back seat too!"
5 people out of 10 found this review helpful