2016 Lexus LX570 Quick Take: Bold One Gets Bolder
These days the pop phrase is “go big or go home,” and Lexus designers certainly took that to heart in the refreshed 2016 LX570. The brand’s signature “spindle” grille has been a source of comment since it was first introduced on the Lexus LF-Gh concept shown at the 2011 New York Auto Show, but despite generating more than its share of criticism Lexus designers did not back down in penning the revised face of the newest LX570. The luxury SUV features a spindle grille on steroids, giving it an unmistakable presence that some will love and others will shun. We leave that decision to you, but there is no doubt that there is a lot to love, in both the literal and figurative senses, about the rejuvenated LX.
Big on equipment
First off, packed with a wide variety of equipment including blind spot monitor with cross traffic alert, intuitive park assist and panoramic view monitor, the LX570 weighs a tidy 6,000 pounds, nearly matching its 7,000-lb towing capacity. While the LX570 doesn’t feel heavy, thanks in large part to its beefy 5.7-liter 383-horsepower V8 engine and 8-speed automatic transmission, it does feel palpably substantial. Its overall stature and the height of its standard 20-inch wheels (21-inch wheels are optional) enable it to offer 8.9 inches of ground clearance and, at the same time, make it a bit of a challenge to climb inside.
Once there, though, you might feel as if you’re in a mansion designed for a Russian millionaire. There’s a lot of stuff in there, and it’s all good, but some of it seems almost out-sized, like the dual 11.6-inch dual rear screens that are part of an optional rear seat entertainment system. The sheer size of the screens prompted my daughter to ask, “Can you take them out?” No, you can’t, so please pay attention because they can be knee-knockers.
Big nav screen
One place where a big screen is inarguably a good thing is on the dash. There the 12.3-inch display presents Lexus Navigation in great detail, making its real-time traffic come alive in ways that can help you avoid bumper-to-bumper bogs…or at least understand what you’re in for. We found the “Remote Touch Interface” controller a little skittish in our pre-production version of the new LX, but it wins big points for keeping fingermarks off the display. If you opt for the Mark Levinson top-level audio system, your ears will be treated to 450 watts of peak power driving 19 (not a misprint) speaker, which means your car system will likely be more sophisticated than your home audio system. Of course, if you can afford the LX570’s near $90,000 list price, you might well have a home audio system that costs more than a Kia tucked into a rec room cabinet.
Big on comfort
In all we were impressed by the LX570’s composure and comfort in typical driving conditions. Though the LX also has creditable off-road credentials, our time with the vehicle didn’t allow a rock-crawling expedition. But we did stuff the better part of a rowing team into its ample cabin, testing its third row, and it passed admirably. We wish the center console weren’t quite so busy, and we would appreciate cupholders that are not quite so far away, but those are minor quibbles in a vehicle this big, brawny and robust. Love it, or not, 2016 Lexus LX570 offers plenty of presence and capability with a level of luxury we’ve come to expect from Toyota’s upscale division.
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