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What most drivers will like about the Lexus LX570 is the combination of gracious around-town capability and its ability to go off-road in rugged winter conditions. That’s not something many large sport utility vehicles can offer these days.

There’s no substitute for the feeling of safety when navigating a snowy, icy road or driving in heavy rain. The conditions make many drivers tentative, a bit nervous, and wary of losing control. However, there is little trepidation with the LX570.

The full-time, four-wheel-drive system definitely helps relieve stress. And in case there is some trouble, it’s comfortable knowing that the LX570 is also equipped with hill-start assist, crawl control, and a driver-selectable multi-terrain system.

Big SUVs are certainly not as popular as in the past. The economic hard times that hit the U.S. several years ago, combined with fluctuating gas prices, led American car-buyers toward more cost-efficient vehicles.

2014 Lexus LX570

  • Performance: 5.7-liter, V8, 383 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 12-17 mpg
  • Estimated price: $82,630
  • Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain 6 years/70,000 miles; corrosion 6 years/unlimited; roadside assistance 4 years/unlimited

The LX570 also comes with a hefty price tag (estimated $82,630) and is a major gas guzzler. The mileage range is 12-17 mpg, but the guess here is the smaller number is more realistic. Lexus also suggests filling up with premium gas, which is another monetary drawback.

The LX570 seats eight people and remains a wonderful luxury SUV. It has an appealing look, an excess of power and performance, handles well for a big vehicle, and offers comfort and versatility.

The Toyota Land Cruiser is a competitor of the LX570, along with the Audi Q-7, Cadillac Escalade and the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.

There’s not anything new with this year’s version of the LX570. But there are some exterior changes that came in 2013. Lexus calls the new grille a “spindle.” The headlamps are also new and are equipped with LED daytime running lamps. The rear bumper and taillights were also revamped.

It’s hard to find any major fault with the performance of the 570. This is a powerful 5.7-liter, V8 that produces 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. It can tow up to 7,000 and also goes a very impressive 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds, which is mighty quick for a vehicle that weighs nearly 6,000 pounds.

Because the LX570 is a luxury vehicle, one expects a lot. Lexus loads up its top-of-the-line SUV with standard features like four-zone automatic climate control; leather upholstery; heated power front seats; 10-way driver; eight-way passenger memory functions; reclining and power-sliding second-row seat; power-folding third-row seat;  automatic collision notification; stolen vehicle locator; and emergency assist button.

The interior cabin is both stylish (complemented by wood accents) and comfortable. The second row is equally comfortable and there’s also lots of cargo space. A knock against the LX570 is the third-row could use more legroom and when folded up it limits cargo area. And the overall interior design and technology is a bit behind some of its competitors

If money is not an issue, the Lexus LX570 should be given a good look when shopping for a large SUV. It’s a vehicle that is big, attractive, safe, and provides excellent performance and comfort.