By Keith Buglewicz
The 2016 Lexus LX 570 is one of those rare luxury SUV models that's actually capable of going off road…far off road. Based on the ultra-stout and ultra-capable Toyota Land Cruiser, the full-size LX 570 SUV offers a heaping extra layer of style, sophistication, features and luxury. It's as rugged as it is refined, with a sophisticated terrain-response system allowing it to traverse almost any obstacle. Of course, the reality is that few 2016 LX 570 SUVs will ever go off road, with the possible exception of venturing down a rutted horse trail, utilizing its 7,000-pound tow rating. Like the Land Rover Range Rover, the LX 570 luxury SUV isn't cheap to purchase or operate, thanks to fuel economy in the teens.
If you want to have a full-size luxury SUV that will turn heads and deliver you in style to wherever you need to go, but still want serious off-road capability in case of a zombie apocalypse, look no further than the 2016 Lexus LX 570.
The 2016 Lexus LX 570 gets the Lexus "spindle" grille and LED headlights, which combine to conquer the once-subdued styling on this full-size luxury SUV. In addition, there's a new 8-speed automatic transmission, and parking assist. Inside, there’s a huge 12.3-inch navigation screen and additional controls for rear passengers.
Driving the new Lexus LX 570 SUV is a lesson in contradictions. On one hand, it's comfortable, quiet and refined. You're surrounded by the finest leather, beautifully...
... crafted wood trim, and all the luxury trappings you can imagine. Despite its size, it's practically graceful in corners; not sporty, but confident and comfortable. True, there's a bit more rumble in the ride than you might expect in a Lexus, but there's a reason: This is a real SUV. Under the leather and wood is a truck-type body-on-frame chassis. This rugged structure combines with a sophisticated 3-mode independent suspension setup, giving the big LX 570 a brutal ability to tackle and conquer off-road trails with ease. Where competitors like the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GL will call it a day, the LX 570 is more than capable of busting the brush and forging ahead thanks to its 2-speed transfer case and locking differential.
DUAL REAR SCREENS
Rear-seat entertainment systems are nothing new, but the dual 11.6-inch screens available in the 2016 LX 570 are something else. Bigger than many laptop screens, they provide a cinematic experience that your pampered (spoiled) little ones will otherwise loudly demand.
Forget the leather and wood trim: The 2016 LX 570 is a real off-road-ready truck, and if you take it off road, you’ll appreciate its Crawl Control mode. It controls the brake and throttle inputs slowing the LX on steep grades, letting the driver focus on avoiding obstacles.
There's no mistaking the 2016 LX 570 for anything but a Lexus when you sit inside. A huge 12.3-inch infotainment display juts from the center of the dash, controlled by the Remote Touch Interface. The center console is elegant and functional, with controls for this 4-wheel-drive (4WD) truck's low range, ride height, drive mode – including Eco, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ – differential lock and crawl control. Soft leather is on the seats, there are soft-touch surfaces everywhere, and even the comfy back seat gets its own audio and climate controls, plus two huge 11-inch video screens.
The now-signature Lexus "spindle" grille has made it to the biggest vehicle it has, and not surprisingly, it's the biggest yet. We're not going to sugarcoat it here: It's pretty darn over the top, and not everyone is going to like it, especially from this traditionally conservative luxury-car maker. Still, it's distinctive, there's no denying that, and we like the LED headlights. The back end is tamer, with angular LED taillights, and the new wheels look sharp. In profile it maintains the boxy and rugged look we expect from a 4WD truck, with running boards to help everyone climb in.
Every 2016 LX 570 comes standard with 4-wheel drive and a V8 engine. This Lexus SUV burnishes its luxury credentials with standard equipment like quad-zone climate control, a power moonroof, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a leather interior with your choice of wood trim, and a 14-way driver's seat. New this year is a 12.3-inch navigation and infotainment screen that utilizes the Lexus Remote Touch Interface controller. That includes a 9-speaker audio system with HD Radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, and USB and iPod inputs. In addition to 10 airbags, there's a system that can automatically send help after an accident.
Options for the LX 570 include a Mark Levinson sound system – get it – and a rear-seat entertainment system with big 11.2-inch dual screens. There's also a useful head-up display, and enhancements to the Lexus Enform suite, adding remote control and service intervals to the system. Other options include 21-inch wheels, and a luxury package that adds heated 2nd-row outboard seats and semi-aniline leather with contrast stitching.
There's only one engine for the 2016 Lexus LX 570: a 5.7-liter V8 putting out 383 horsepower and a stout 403 lb-ft of torque. It gives the big Lexus a tow rating of up to 7,000 pounds. All LX 570 models come standard with full-time 4-wheel drive, a system that can make the LX ready for the trail with the flip of a switch to lock the differentials, and a real knob to engage the LX's low-speed transfer case. New this year is an 8-speed automatic transmission, but with 6,000 pounds to haul around, it improves fuel economy only a little bit.
383 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
403 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18 mpg
The 2016 Lexus LX 570 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $90,000 when you include the $940 destination charge. However, there's a required $1,190 Luxury Package, which pushes the price up to $91,160. Add the Mark Levinson sound system ($2,350), rear-seat entertainment system ($2,005), and other options, and you can push the price to more than $95,000 without breaking a sweat. That's a lot of money, even compared to other high-end 3-row luxury SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz GL350 and Audi Q7, and even truck-based SUVs like the 4WD Infiniti QX80 or an AWD Cadillac Escalade. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2016 Lexus LX. Resale value is a brighter spot, with the Lexus LX 570 expected to hold its value very well over the years.