On a breakfast run from Dallas to Ardmore, OK on I-35, I had this massive urge to buy an RV. Call it the power of suggestion, for in most of those 90-minutes I’m confronted by countless RV dealers with their bright, shiny wares. Whether it’s a $300,000 diesel pusher or a $30,000 R-Pod, our innate desire to roam (and if you were delivered to Ellis Island, why wouldn’t you roam?) is reinforced by acres of diesels and trailers. Should you elect to tow your dream barge, there are few better choices than Lexus’ LX 570, Toyota’s venerable Land Cruiser – in a Luxe edition.
The LX 570, benefiting from the mildest of annual makeovers, is a legend already made, standing tall in a landscape of car-based crossovers – many of which are on Lexus’s own showroom. With its robust body-on-frame construction, V8 powertrain, available 8-passenger seating and 7,000-pound towing capacity, the LX 570 can be almost all thing to all peoples, whether starting your journey in Kansas or Kenya. We, of course, started ours in Dallas.
In a town where Chevy’s Suburban is ubiquitous, the sheer mass of the LX 570 can still surprise. Sitting on a wheelbase of 112 inches, and with an overall length of 200 inches, its physical footprint can fit in most garages (it even fit in our apartment garage in Dallas’ Uptown), but its combination of height and width makes the initial impression – or second impression – somewhat daunting. The mass is deflected by a relatively generous greenhouse, while accented in our test vehicle’s white finish; this was one helluva lot of white.
Inside, our 2-row LX is finished in a manner appropriate to a $90K window sticker. As Lexus notes, the interior is created by the takumi, Lexus’ master craftsmen. With carefully selected leathers complemented by wood trims, the ambience is rich while not straying from the required functionality. There are interiors with more visual pizzazz – I’m thinking Infiniti’s QX80 available trims – but none that are quite so elegantly (almost quietly) executed.
If there’s a visual or functional disconnect, it’s in the size of the dash-mounted monitor. While not so visually dominating as Musk’s Model X, this almost after-the-fact add seems discordant relative to the traditional vibe playing elsewhere, rather like the Queen wearing an Apple watch. But given the LX’s girth, its Panoramic View Monitor, Multi-Terrain Monitor and, of course, Blind Spot Monitor work to offset the sheer bulk of the LX, along with the more limited mobility of an older demographic. (Of course, buyers could also opt for a smaller vehicle.)
Under the LX hood is a moderately sized, 5.7 liter V8 offering 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque; that torque, and that torque is available at a modest 3600 rpm. Moving the LX’s 6,000 pounds through an 8-speed automatic, 60 comes up in a seamless 7.3 seconds, while moving in and out of traffic is as serene as you might hope it to be. You, of course, don’t buy 6,000 pounds of anything for its efficiency, but the Lexus delivers an almost-respectable 13/18/15, which is about what we can get from our Hemi-equipped Grand Cherokee.
What separates the LX from – as a for instance – its RX 350 stablemate is its 7,000 pounds of towing capability, along with real off-road chops. No, we wouldn’t go boulder hopping in the LX 570, but with almost nine inches of ground clearance and a real low range, it can propel you capably down the fire road, or get you to the boulders. We like that duality, and you won’t get it in an all-wheel drive, car-based crossover.
At the end of the day, the Lexus LX 570 – and its Land Cruiser counterpart – is probably at the end of its day. Since it sells to a global market, you’ll probably see a redesign, one which will hopefully hold on to the capability that makes Toyota’s Land Cruiser, well, a land cruiser. If you miss your chance to buy this one, consider pre-owned. For something built to last twenty years, you can capture the last fifteen at a more-than-reasonable discount.