Hefty price overshadows improvements
Lexus made all these upgrades to last year’s LX 600 and added new underpinnings (same as the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup) to make it a more capable SUV. In some areas the company succeeded – the large SUV became more luxurious and fuel-efficient than ever before.
However, one important thing overshadows the improvements – cost. Most of its competitors can beat the hefty $91,000 price tag for the base model that can skyrocket to roughly $131,000 when choosing an upgraded trim model. The competition includes the Audi Q7, Lincoln Navigator, BMW X7, Cadillac Escalade, Land Rover Range Rover, and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.
Perhaps cost is a major factor in popularity, because this group of rivals has unanimously outsold the LX brand for six years or more. Frankly, that’s not been hard to do, considering the LX has only sold a combined 27,192 in the past six years, including just 3,642 in 2022.
The largest SUV in the Lexus lineup, the LX has a big, imposing presence. It features a large grille, high ride height (8.9 inches) and has plenty of luxury characteristics. It offers comfort and versatility, good towing capacity (8,000 pounds), and handles fine for a big vehicle. It also has light off-road capability, thanks to its standard four-wheel drive, low-speed crawl control and multi-terrain select drive modes.
The improved engine is a 3.4-liter, V6 that generates 409 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. For a full-size SUV, it goes an impressive 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds and is also fuel efficient (17-22 mpg). All five trim levels (LX 600, Premium, F Sport Handling, Luxury, Ultra Luxury) come with all-wheel drive and a 10-speed automatic transmission.
We’ve always thought for a large SUV, the LX offers good handling and a quiet, smooth ride. It can maneuver well in tight spaces, yet the road driving is not as refined. The steering and braking are uninspiring and the SUV gets floaty at times.
Standard driver safety assistance features include surround-view parking camera system, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keep and tracing assist, traffic-sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beams.
The LX interior offers flexible seating that not all luxury models provide. One can avoid the standard second-row bench and in its place have comfortable two six-way reclinable captain’s chairs with power-adjustable footrests. The second row also has a full center console between the seats that comes equipped with a touchscreen and seat massage function. There is no available third row with the Ultra Luxury package.
The primary information center is a 12.3-inch touchscreen that has strong graphics and quick input, but can be a little tough to reach. The large display controls most media functions. There’s also a 7-inch touchscreen that handles secondary controls like seat settings and climate. Gone is the finicky joystick controller interface.
The LX600 comes with a somewhat perplexing digital rearview mirror. It combines a high-resolution camera that can check rear traffic conditions, thanks to an in-built LCD monitor that displays images from the camera. We didn’t care for the feature, probably due to our unfamiliarity.
The front seats offer terrific comfort and support, making them ideal for long drives. The LX provides 41 cubic feet of storage space behind its second row, which is average for the class. The space expands to 71 cubes with the rear seats folded down. Note the space behind a three-row is only 11 cubic feet.
Even with its multiple improvements like performance, interior makeup and new underpinnings, the 2023 Lexus LX 600 fails to distinguish itself from competitors. The starting price is high, so we predict no rise in sales for this large SUV.
AT A GLANCE – 2023 LEXUS LX 600
- Performance: turbocharged 3.4-liter, V6, 409 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 17-22 mpg
- Price estimate: $90,900 to $130,900
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 6 years/70,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 6 years/unlimited