By KBB.com Editors
After a thorough revamping last year, Lexus' flagship SUV, the LX 570, rejoins the battle against industry giants such as the Land Rover Range Rover, Audi Q7 and Cadillac Escalade. A weak economy may hurt the entire segment this year, but with its powerful 5.7-liter engine mated to a six-speed transmission, an advanced suspension system and a sterling reputation for quality and reliability, the LX 570 stands ready to lure those few prospective buyers still shopping the full-size luxury SUV market. Those also looking for Lexus luxury with the option to traverse heavy terrain will find a solution in the LX 570.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for Lexus ride and interior quality teamed with off-road and towing capabilities, the 2009 LX 570 can fulfill your needs. The third-row seating and ample rear cargo room come in handy for extra passengers and hauling large items.You May Not Like This Car If...
The luxurious styling and tremendous utility come at a high price, so if you're looking for a less expensive SUV with almost as much utility as the LX 570, you'll have to look elsewhere. Side-folding third-row seats are not as space-friendly as flush-folding units found on other luxury makes.What's New for 2009
New for 2009 is the Luxury Package that adds semi-aniline leather seating, a cool box for beverages, a new SmartAccess keyless access device and 20-inch Liquid Graphite finished wheels.Driving It Driving Impressions
Though large in size, the 2009 Lexus LX 570 is stable at freeway speeds and on curvy roads as well as comfortable off-road. Three different ride settings are available: The driver can choose "Comfort," "Sport" or the default ride setting, which is somewhat between the other two. We found the Sport setting to be stiff, but it made the LX 570 agile enough for slower, curvy roads, and even the default setting was on the firmer side. The Comfort setting was perfect for everyday driving while still providing a stable ride. In the off-road environment, the Crawl Control feature made going up and down steep grades without having to touch the throttle or brakes as easy as setting cruise control. Our only complaints with this feature were that it was loud and sounded somewhat like a machine gun.Favorite Features
This feature is akin to cruise control for off-roading. When activated, the driver can select to go one to three miles per hour and have the vehicle crawl up or down rocky or uneven terrain at that chosen speed without having to use the gas or brake pedals.
Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound System
This sound system produces 450 watts through 19 speakers to deliver a harmonious balance of mid-range, high-pitch and deep bass sounds that are crisp no matter what the volume setting.
The 2009 Lexus LX 570 interior is comfortable and has enough room for eight passengers and a lot of luggage and gear. It has best-in-class second- and third- row legroom, thanks to a four-inch increase in interior length over the previous-generation LX 470. With over 30 inches of headroom in all three rows, tall passengers can be transported without a complaint and hauling large objects is easy, as the power-sliding second row and semi-powered third row fold conveniently to give a total of 83 cubic feet of available cargo space. Having the seats fold upward instead of into the floor, however, lessens the cargo bay's width.Exterior
Lexus wanted the LX 570 to have a muscular appearance while still conveying a luxurious image. To accomplish this task, Lexus went with its L-finesse design theme, which includes a wider stance and more subtle design lines. The wheel arches have more definition, the running boards are fitted closer to the body to give a molded look and 20-inch wheels nicely fill the wide wheel housings. Up front, the LX 570 has a wide grille and refined bumper that maintains the luxury brand's familiar face, while chrome accents adorn the door handles, moldings and taillights.Notable Standard Equipment
The 2009 Lexus LX 570 comes standard with a 5.7-liter V8 engine, a six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission, 20-inch alloy wheels, Adaptive Front Lighting System, a power-folding third-row seat, navigation system with back-up camera, four-zone climate control, Active Height Control for easy ingress and egress, an Adaptive Variable Suspension that adjusts the shock absorbers for optimal handling, full-time four-wheel drive and Crawl Control.Notable Optional Equipment
Options for the 2009 Lexus LX 570 include climate controlled front seats with a heated second row, 19-speaker Mark Levinson Reference Sound System, the Luxury Package, Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, a rear-seat entertainment system that includes a nine-inch screen and headphones and Intuitive Park Assist. This parking system incorporates a wide-view front and side monitor that draws from cameras in the front grille and under the passenger-side mirror to help the driver see unseen objects or obstacles, a benefit when parking or maneuvering in tight spaces.Under the Hood
The LX 570 is powered by a refined 5.7-liter V8 touting 383 horsepower and an impressive 403 pound-feet of torque. The LX 570's torque rating becomes useful when towing heavy loads – a maximum of 8,500 pounds – or going off-road. Although it's not a very fuel-efficient vehicle, and no one expects it to be, it is at least powerful enough to go anywhere a reasonable person would want to take it.
383 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
403 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/18
The 2009 Lexus LX 570 has a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $76,500. A fully loaded version can pass the $90,000 mark, which is just under a Land Rover Range Rover and a little more than a loaded Audi Q7 4.2. To see what consumers in your area are currently paying for the LX 570, be sure to check out the Fair Purchase Prices before going to the dealership. Over time, we expect the LX 570 to have residual values that best the Land Rover Range Rover, but not as strong as the Audi Q7 or even the mid-size Lexus GX 470.