KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 12/3/2012
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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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.
What's New for 2013
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.
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.
Notable Standard Equipment
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.
Notable Optional Equipment
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.
Under the Hood
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.