In an age of electric cars and the eventual arrival of autonomous driving, the 2018 Lexus LX 570 is a dinosaur. Essentially a Toyota Land Cruiser with a Lexus grille attached, the LX 570 is a burly, old-school SUV built to go where vehicles with this much leather upholstery rarely do. In the SUV world, it’s about as far from, say, a Tesla Model X as you can get.
But if you want a big luxury SUV with genuine off-road and towing capability, there are few choices. Short of a Range Rover, Bentley Bentayga, or the rival Infiniti QX80, the LX 570 is about as rugged as you can get while still retaining the niceties of a high-end vehicle. Which is why the big Lexus continues to stick around — it will roll into the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show with some minor updates.
While Lexus is adding a third row of seats to its RX crossover for the 2018 model year, it’s subtracting one from the LX. Previously offered only with three rows of seats, the 2018 LX 570 gets a two-row option, which Lexus claims increases cargo space from 44.7 cubic feet to 50.5 cubic feet. It’s meant to appeal to empty nesters who tend to carry more gear than people, Lexus says. No changes were made to the exterior, which means we still have to look at the same ugly mug. Some vehicles wear Lexus’ trademark “spindle grille” well, but the LX isn’t one of them.
The LX 570 retains a 5.7-liter V8 as its sole engine option. The V8 produces 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque, and is mated to an eight-speed automatic. Use of a mechanical four-wheel drive system with low range (rather than a more modern all-wheel drive system) gives the LX genuine off-road capability. Lexus also offers five driving modes (Rock, Rock and Dirt, Mogul, Loose Rock, and Mud and Sand) and a Crawl Control feature to make driving on the rough stuff easier. The LX 570 can also tow up to 7,000 pounds when properly equipped — something the average crossover can’t do.
Old-school off-road prowess is married with a host of modern tech features. The LX 570 comes standard with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s married to Lexus’ questionable Remote Touch Interface controller. The Lexus Enform Remote app allows iOS and Android smartphone users to control certain vehicle functions remotely. Standard safety features include adaptive cruise control, park assist, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, and a panoramic camera system.
The 2018 Lexus LX 570 starts at $86,175, including a mandatory $1,195 destination charge. That may seem like a lot, but the price includes all available equipment; the only options are interior and exterior colors.
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