Sophisticated SUV retains its niche
Roseville, CA- The economic hard times that hit the U.S. more than a decade ago led American car buyers toward smaller SUVs that didn’t have the bulk or the costly price tag of bigger models.
Despite the trend that less was better, the Lexus LX 570 still has retained its niche. Although never a huge seller, sales of the LX 570 have exceeded 4,000 for eight of the past nine years, including nearly identical sales the past three years – 4,512 (2020), 4,718 (2019) and 4,753 for 2018.
For a large SUV, the 2021 Lexus LX 570 doesn’t seem that big. It’s not clumsy like some rivals and provides more sophistication that one expects from a large SUV. The biggest decision for many buyers is whether to opt for two or three rows of seating.
When discussing the LX 570, it’s worth giving the renowned Toyota Land Cruiser a mention. The LX 570 shares the Land Cruiser’s basic design and rugged underpinnings, but there are significant differences, including exterior and interior styling, suspension equipment, and infotainment software.
However, when pulling the trigger on the LX 570, some might question whether it’s worth paying a minimum of roughly $87,000 for a large SUV that hasn’t changed that much since 2008, its last major redesign. Note that the 2021 Land Cruiser has a similar starting price of $85,700.
The Lexus LX 570 has an appealing look, an excess of power and performance, offers comfort and versatility, good towing capacity (7,000 pounds), and handles well for a big vehicle. The competition includes the Audi Q7, Lincoln Navigator, BMW X7, Cadillac Escalade, and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.
Legit off-road chops
This large SUV has legit off-road chops – 8.9 inches of ground clearance and five multi-terrain modes. The four-wheeling modes deliver impressive off-road ability, though the low-hanging front bumper will be awfully expensive to replace should it be wedged against a rock.
In off-road mode, the LX 570 also features an excellent traction management system and has an adjustable suspension that allows the SUV to get extra ground clearance if needed. In Crawl Control, the system will regulate the throttle and brake inputs as it slowly navigates its way along challenging terrain.
The lone LX 570 engine is a 5.7-liter, V8 that generates 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. The SUV weighs 6,200 pounds (300 more than the Land Cruiser) and has been clocked going 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds. Fuel economy is terrible across the board for large SUVs and the LX 570 is no exception, getting 12-16 mpg.
Despite its size, the LX 570 handles well and provides a quiet, smooth ride that never feels like it gets tippy, even on challenging roads and tight turns.
AT A GLANCE – 2021 LEXUS LX 570
- Performance: 5.7-liter, V8, 383 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 12-16 mpg
- Price estimate: $86,800 – $91,700
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 6 years/70,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 6 years/unlimited
The LX 570 has comfortable leather seating, a 14-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 12-way power passenger seat, and tons of leg and head room for first and second room occupants. The third row is good overall – especially for children – but adults could use more leg room. Third row seats can flip sideways, creating a flat floor. The second row is capable of moving forward and back.
The interior features a large 12.3-inch navigational screen. But the Remote Touch interface is not very user friendly and requires too many adjustments. The controls aren’t easily located and the menu can be frustrating, potentially taking attention away from driving duties.
We’re not fans of the fussy joystick and there’s Bluetooth audio, yet no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. We did love the cooled center-console box that last year became a stand-alone option.
If shopping for a large luxury SUV, the 2021 Lexus LX 570 should be given a good look. It’s a vehicle that is sizable, attractive, safe, and provides excellent performance and comfort.