Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2013 Lexus LX 570.
The Lexus LX 570 is the undisputed king of the Lexus line-up.
While many other Lexus models are getting the hybrid treatment the 2013 Lexus LX 570 is big and bold with a monster 5.7 litre V8 petrol engine under the bonnet.
It’s also packed with just about every luxury you can squeeze into a vehicle, especially when you tick the box for the optional enhancement pack which adds $16,000 to the price tag (as my test vehicle had).
The standard features list is a great place to start in a review of a premium luxury SUV, and it sure is extremely generous.
In the Lexus LX 570 you get; a 19 speaker stereo system, front and rear DVD screens, power adjustable steering, power seats front and back, cooler box in the centre console, illuminated side-steps, 20” alloys, cruise control, sunroof, satellite navigation, reversing camera, bi-xenon headlights and parking assist.
And the list goes on.
The enhancement pack adds paddle shifters, distance control cruise control, heated rear seats, additional rear ventilation and upgraded premium wood-grain inserts.
So it sure is well stacked, not surprisingly you need a big engine to move all this around and that’s what you get with the V8.
Delivering 270kW and 550Nm the petrol engine does a very good job of moving the 2.75 tonne monster Lexus around.
Not surprisingly fuel consumption isn’t great, the claimed consumption is 14.8L/100 – driving very conservatively in the city I couldn’t do any better than 19.5L/100, on the highway I got that down to about 18L/100.
These figures make this the most uneconomical car I have ever tested; the Lexus even used more fuel than the wild 6.4 litre Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8!
So it’s got a bit of go and plenty of features, what’s it like otherwise on the road?
Well I was disappointed.
The 285/50 series tyres on the 20 inch wheels do nothing to soak up cracks and potholes, these low-profile tyres look good on a nice set of rims like these, but those looks absolutely come at the cost of comfort.
And in a $140,000+ premium luxury SUV is there anything more important than comfort?
As you would expect the big Lexus wasn’t built for corners, it rolls and wallows and easily gets upset if pushed a bit too hard.
The suspension in the Lexus LX 570 is adjustable between ‘sport’, ‘normal’ and ‘comfort’ modes; essentially this is a choice of three disappointing “nothings”. Sport just makes the ride in the Lexus feel even more harsh and uncomfortable with no noticeable improvement in cornering ability.
Soft doesn’t improve the harshness from the tyres; it just makes the Lexus float around like a ship in a storm.
I was also less than enthused by the brake pedal feel which was soft and spongy, a firm press of the brake pedal gets the nose of the Lexus spearing down and the stopping ability just didn’t fill me with confidence.
The steering though does get a pass-mark with a feeling a little more direct than the Landcruiser, ironically this could possibly be put down to the low profile tyres.
From the driver’s seat visibility is excellent, though the large ‘A’ pillar on the passenger side does block visibility to the left of the vehicle at intersections.
Inside the cabin the Lexus has some good and bad points, firstly the good stuff – the luxuries. It literally has just about everything you could ever want in a car.
Lexus has also done a very good job with the fit and finish which is excellent, the interior also gets a lift from the use of some nice chrome work.
The gauges and driver info screen are also attractive and easy to read.
On the downside, just like the Landcruiser front and rear legroom in the Lexus LX 570 is poor given the overall gigantic size of the vehicle.
Cabin storage areas are also very small and this is exacerbated by the cooler box which takes the place of the usually handy centre console bin.
A major frustration I had with the Lexus was the climate control system which took an eternity to switch on (about 30 seconds after starting the engine); it also never remembered the previous settings!!
I was also not keen on the use of wood-grain on the steering wheel – it’s hard, cold and slippery.
As already covered the enhancement pack also includes paddle shifters – if ever there was a car that didn’t warrant the inclusion of these gimmicks it’s the LX 570!
The Lexus LX 570 hasn’t been ANCAP tested but does boast a lengthy list of active and passive safety systems.
Summing it up, well as you may know I absolutely loved the Toyota Landcruiser GXL that I reviewed last year. The V8 diesel engine felt more willing than the petrol V8 in the Lexus LX 570 and used about 40% less fuel!
The Landcruiser is also half the price of the Lexus!
Despite all the standard features I was very disappointed in the Lexus RX 570 and would certainly look elsewhere if I had a stack of cash and the need for a premium SUV.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 5.7 litre V8 petrol delivering 270kW and 550Nm
Transmission: Six-speed auto
Safety: Not tested
Price: From $140,400