What is it?
Big, brawny, and weighty, is what it is. The 2019MY Lexus LX (Luxury Crossover) 570s is a 2500kg plus behemoth with looks that polarise and that may frighten small children.
Although not made clear, the ‘s’ part of its name presumably stands for Sports, thanks to the extra bits of plastic added.
Oh, and the blue whale swallowing grille too.
There are two models, one with a 5.7L petrol V8 and the other with a more economic 4.8-litre diesel — but economy is not a figure associated with the machine as Lexus itself quotes 14.4L/100km for the combined cycle.
I can’t really complain though, as I finished on a figure of 14.8L/100km. Bear in mind, however, that the big Lexus has two fuel tanks, one 93 litres, the other, a reserve, 45 litres.
What’s it cost?
It’s hefty, not just in mass, but in price too, and starts at a lick over $168,000 — plus on-road costs.
Not surprisingly though, being based on Toyota’s Land Cruiser means there’s a swag of kit included.
In the convenience stakes there is a cool box between the driver and passenger, that’s good for a six pack — no less.
The three rows of seating are all power operated. Front row as per normal, middle for fore and aft, and third row up and down.
Rear air controls and the remote control for the twin 11.6 inch viewing screens are located in a fold out section in the second row seats, with inputs are on the rear bottom of the centre console.
Above the front row seats is a sunroof, not a full length glass roof though.
Front and centre row seats are heated and vented, the latter needed during Australia’s “mild” summer conditions.
There is, naturally, the mouse control that Lexus has, and yes, it’s as fiddly as ever. But it does connect to a huge widescreen display located front and centre on the dash.
We’re seeing more and more of this from car makers, as it’s been found the higher eyeline for screens is safer.
The driver has a fairly standard looking dash, in that there is a pair of proper analogue dials, not a full digital screen, There is the standard looking smaller screen in between, with varying info obtained via tabs on the steering wheel. Head Up Display, is useful and unobtrusive.
Safety is high, with every mandated electronic assistance device fitted. That means Autonomous Emergency Braking (with Euro flashing tail lights), Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert etc.
Most makers fit six airbags, Lexus goes for dual knee bags, front side, side, and curtain bags as well.
Entertainment comes from a high end Mark Levinson audio system, with DAB. There also looks like a set of headphones for the front seat passenger.
Naturally storage for drinks and cups is well catered for, and there is a inconveniently placed smartphone wireless charge pad just ahead of the gear selector — inconvenient because that’s probably the only spot they could put one.
Where they could have located it, in the centre console, is taken up by the drive mode dial and a dial for crawl control in the highly unlikely event it sees off-road action.
Why’s that? There are extra plastic protrusions along with the side steps that would catch any form of pebble or twig and be easily ripped off the main body work.
This would detract from the blockish LED rear, head and driving lights — but nothing can draw the eye from the black plastic grille.
Looking for all the world like the baleen strainer in a whale’s mouth, it’s made of a different looking pattern to other Lexususus. To say it dominates the front end is to say Corporal Klinger’s schnoz tended towards the large side.
Then there are the 21-inch diameter black painted alloys. With 275 wide, 45 profile rubber — you’d be forgiven for thinking ride quality is crap.
What’s it go like?
It’s a mix of “hurry up and wait” and “geez, that’s okay”.
The aforementioned rubber does a fantastic job of hanging on to the tarmac, as they should.
The height adjustable suspension does a decent job of flattening out the road too. It’s rarely uncomfortable and is supple enough for pretty much all tarmac driving. Even rolling over the sharp angled metal speed bumps in shopping centres is reduced to the inconvenience of a small sneeze.
Where it falls down is in the all important get up and go stakes. And, to a lesser degree, the hurry up and stop department.
Acceleration, even from a 5.7-litre V8 with 270kW and 530Nm is . . . blunted. That’s because it has to lug around well over 2500kg — before fuel, cargo, and passengers.
Peak torque arrives at 3200rpm. That means dialling up a few revs to really access the potential. Even though it’s a superbly slick and seamless 8-speed auto, that mass just dulls anything resembling performance.
Off the line it feels as if it should pull up its skirts and skedaddle, but it doesn’t. Mid range overtaking also needs a bit of planning.
But, the extra suspension work adds to the confidence level overall. You’re never left wondering if the machine will hang on — it does.
Punt it into some good corners that small cars may have trouble with, and the mass transfer expected isn’t there. It remains controlled and balanced.
It’s a pity, then, that the brakes don’t imbue the same level of confidence. The top end is spongy, before rapidly transitioning to a grab, with the nose dip suddenly.
Taken on a day trip to the beautiful seaside town of Kiama, the big Lexus shows that, as a four-wheel drive, it’s a beautifully relaxed cruiser.
The comfortable seats, four-zone climate control, low ratio gearing for the auto, and unassuming highway ride quality made the near two-hour trip as unstressed as sleeping on a down filled mattress.
What we like?
- Extensive feature list
- Chully bun in the console
- Electric third row seats look cool going up and down
What we don’t like?
- Whale eating grille
- Weight really hurts performance
- $168K plus is a big ask
The bottom line?
It’s a question of value, more than anything. Other brands offer similar sized and similarly spec’d vehicles for less. And although built on the mechanicals and legend of a Land Cruiser, off-road work is unlikely and really not advisable thanks to the extra body work.
CHECKOUT: Big LX still likes a drink
CHECKOUT: Lexus turns up the volume
Lexus LX 570s, priced from $168,000
- Looks - 6/106/10
- Performance - 6/106/10
- Safety - 9/109/10
- Thirst - 6.5/106.5/10
- Practicality - 6/106/10
- Comfort - 8/108/10
- Tech - 9/109/10
- Value - 5/105/10