When most SUVs prove too small, underpowered, or just not fancy enough, you’ve got to step up into big-boy territory. Say hello to the 2017 Lexus LX.”
Wether It’s Driving to Vail for a Ski Weekend, Cruising to Scottsdale for Golf, or Michigan Ave. for Shopping, the LX 570 Will Do It — in Style.
There comes a time when “sense” isn’t longer needed to purchase a vehicle. The only things that matter are: desire, exclusivity, and status. Those reasons alone allow vehicles like the 2017 Lexus LX570 to exist. Oh, and the fact that it’s incredibly capable off-road, but we doubt the average owner will actually exploit such capabilities.
We recently had the opportunity to feel like an upper crust family for a period of time, and we learned quite a bit. Furthermore, we realized that large and luxuries SUVs do in fact make awesome family vehicles, but that’s no news to anyone, is it? The press vehicle Lexus kindly loaned us for a week came with a $93,340 sticker price, and all the attitude in the world. So, how did our family do with it? Fairly well I’d say. We pretended to be in a higher tax bracket, and even used the LX to shuttle our daughter’s pre-school class on a field trip! Needless to say, they were pleased!
At nearly 200-inches long, 78-inches wide, and 75-inches tall, it’s not compact by any means. And tipping in at 6,000-pounds, it’s extremely heavy, too! In fact, we somehow managed to get it stuck on soggy grass due to its sheer weight! True story!
The mass of the Lexus LX570 hampers lots of things, but none quite like it does fuel efficiency. During our week-long test we averaged 10.6 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway. That’s a deficit of 2.4 mpg city and 1 mpg highway according to the EPA estimate.
One area where this behemoth shines is at maneuvering and parking. It’s hard to believe it, but Lexus worked wonders with the turning radius and overall dynamics. We’ve struggled more while parking a Honda Civic than this SUV. Of course, the 360-degree bird’s-eye view and backup camera make the task even easier.
In the history of automobiles, glamour has never come cheap. The Lexus LX570 isn’t exactly a head turner, but it doesn’t go unnoticed. We mean, how could it? Arrive to your destination and the massive grille makes the initial introduction for you, and by the time you get out of it, people already know you mean business.
On the other hand, when Missi drove the LX around town she perfectly fit the “rich soccer mom” stereotype. A stereotype only surpassed by Range Rovers and Escalades.
The 21-inch chromed wheels are shiny enough to dazzle bystanders, but not ostentatious enough to look gotti. On the other hand, opening the split tailgate screams, “single-piece tailgates are too cool and simplistic for me.”
Lexus’ 5.7-liter V8 engine cranks out 383 horsepower, which we initially thought would make for a relatively bland ride because of its weight to power ratio. It turns out that’s not the case — unless you’re on ECO-driving mode. On Comfort and Sport-Plus mode, the LX570 moves swiftly and quickly despite its weight. A stab at the throttle rewards you with silky-smooth acceleration reminiscent of a Rolls Royce. Oftentimes Lexus tends to subdue the engine in exchange for comfort, but not in the LX. There’s no hiding 403 lb-ft of torque and a 7,000 lb. towing capacity.
With seating for seven, and capacity for up to four car seats, it’s more than enough for large families. Plus, with 10 airbags throughout, and cutting-edge active safety technology, little and big ones will be cocooned in a safety. Furthermore, during our field trip excursion with a total of three kiddos, access to the third-row has more than ample, and moving the second row seat out of the way was simple enough for a 6-year-old to perform.
It’s hard to sum up the LX’s interior. It’s not opulent like most would expect, it’s not high-tech like the Germans, but it’s also not economy. For example, a direct competitor of the LX, the $90 grand Infiniti QX80 Limited has a much more simplistic and almost economy-looking interior.
It’s nice, we suppose. The leather is supple, the center console isn’t great but it’s functional, and the seating position is alright. (The seat wouldn’t go as low as we’d like.) In fact, the only things that remind you that you’re driving a $94k SUV are the 12-inch center screen and the wood/leather steering wheel. Funny enough, the fancy steering wheel is 40 percent wood, which doesn’t feature heating coils inside it, so you really only have a 60 percent heated steering wheel.
The rear is about as spacious as it gets without crossing into limousine territory. The second row features built-in window shades and a control pad built into the armrest. From there, passengers can operate the rear climate system as well as the heated and cooled second row seats. The rear seats are the best seat in the house, period.
It’s hard to sum up a vehicle like this. Making a case for buying an SUV this expensive and elaborate isn’t easy, and not just because of its price. It’s difficult because it really doesn’t excel at much, which in turn, makes it feel sort of worthless.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable, or a vehicle we’d gladly transport our family in. It just means there aren’t enough incentives to drool over it, to desire it. Lastly, the split tailgate is a pain in the rear, and so are the lateral folding third-row seats (though they are power-folding).
In the end, the Lexus LX570 is a heck of an SUV to transport three kids in the utmost luxury and safety while on a field trip!
2017 Lexus LX570
- Starts at $89,380
- Price as tested: $93,340
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