by Tony West and Bill P.
Lexus aims to dominate the lux SUV market by making worthwhile competitors to the Escalade and the Infiniti QX80. The 2014 Lexus LX 570 is, simply put, a mini mobile mansion. After we reviewed the new LX, and it was time to return it to the fleet, I thought I saw Bill wipe a tear. Weeks later I’m forcing myself not to compare the LX 570 to every truck we drive. While the 2014 Lexus GX is turbo luxury, the LX 570 is ultra luxury blended with everyday functionality and off-road capabilities. We tested the 2014 Lexus LX 570 in some bi-polar winter weather in Chicago. Yet the LX 570 outperformed each test in style.[divider]
Sexy Big-Body Design
The 2014 Lexus LX 570 has some expected upgrades like the infamous spindle grille, along with LED daytime running lights, tail lamps, and fog lamps. The Lexus LX 570 also has HID headlamps. The stout 8-passenger LX 570 is spacious inside and strong and versatile outside.
Body-on-frame construction with high strength steel makes the LX 570 rugged and resilient, capable of trekking through nearly any road condition. Aiding aerodynamics is the rear spoiler and shark fin antennae.
The exterior of the LX 570 is styled with chrome bezel around the fog lamps, chrome door handles, and 5-spoke 20 inch wheels with liquid graphite finish. The 2014 LX 570 also features pop-up headlamp washers, a tow/hitch, and a rear bumper protector accented in chrome. Lexus’ LX 570 looks beautiful. Exterior color options like Claret Mica and Satin Cashmere Metallic contrast very well with the soft Aniline leather interior colors.[divider]
Stunning Powertrain Perfectly Tailored
The Lexus LX 570 handles the highway overall better than its brother, the GX 460. Where the GX 460 attacked the road with a roar of rpm’s, the LX 570 achieves the same results with less effort. In fact, 90% of peak torque comes on stream at under 2,200 rpm.
The Lexus LX 570 comes standard with a 5.7 liter V8 engine with 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque. The 32-valve V8 has dual variable valve timing and Electronic Throttle Control with intelligence. The engine is mated to an electronically-controlled 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential Shift and available paddle shifters. The LX 570 is a quiet ride thanks to its sound insulated frame, but also because of Adaptive Variable Suspension that auto adjusts to what road conditions require. Variable Gear Ratio Steering and Electronic Throttle control allow for fluid steering with optimal power delivery to each wheel.
Full time four-wheel drive is just right in the LX 570, very strong and agile, still with a touch of sophistication. Whether in torrential rain, crossing a foot-high snow bank, or driving on icy roads the four-wheel drive system with other features, keeps the ride quiet and tranquil. Full Time 4-wheel drive employs the Torsen limited slip differential that responds to changing road conditions by quickly adjusting the power ratio. With no driver input, the ratio can be adjusted from 40:60 front/rear to 50:50 if the situation needs. This was especially helpful when I eased over ½ a foot of snow and ice.
Four-wheel drive can be adjusted from H4-normal mode to L4-low mode for maximum torque on steep hills, in mud or sand, or towing heavy loads. And there is a center differential lock button. The Multi-Terrain Control button is one of my favorite features on the LX 570. The MTC button allows drivers to adjust handling to specific road conditions like “low” for rocks, “low-medium” for uphill, “medium” for mogul and snow, and “medium-high” for mud and sand. The Lexus LX 570 is also equipped with a Multi-Terrain ABS system that gives drivers five settings for brake force.
Crawl Control, another innovative feature, offers drivers multiple settings to literally crawl the LX 570 over extremely rough surfaces or up a steep hill. With Crawl Control equal throttle and braking power is delivered to each wheel without the driver accelerating or braking. Crawl Control utilizes Turn Assist that tightens the LX 570 when cornering. Hill Start Assist and 2nd Start both will prevent the LX 570 from sliding back on a very steep hill. And Electronic Brakeforce distribution uses Brake Assist to adapt braking force to adhere to any driving circumstance. The Lexus LX 570 comes standard with electro-hydraulic suspension with double wishbone front suspension and four-link rear suspension.[divider]
Sophisticated Premium Interior
The only thing better than the LX 570’s smooth ride is its beautiful interior that’s replete with leather, Mahogany, and chrome trim. The interior is where the LX 570 shines harmoniously blending premium luxury, high end entertainment, and dynamic functionality.
The LX 570’s cabin gives everyone premium comfort with a 14-way adjustable driver’s seat and 8-way adjustable front passenger seat both with heating and ventilation. The LX 570 also has power sliding and reclining heated 2nd row seats and a 4-zone climate control system. The supple black or parchment leather with soft illumination creates the perfect balance of ambient light and tranquility in the cabin. The LX 570 also has illuminated chrome scuff plates, Active Height Control, and an Easy Entry system to aid mounting and loading.
With the 3rd row seats folded, the LX 570 has 41 cubic feet of rear space and 83 cubic feet with the 3rd and 2nd row folded. With three rows erect, the 8-passenger LX 570 is still spacious and has adequate trunk space.
I appreciated the overall layout of the front seat that concaves in an “M” shape to give the front row maximum legroom. The dash is also vast with a wide panoramic view of cars in front from the hood to the street. That’s impressive given so many crossovers and trucks that are trying to look more like sedans.
Even the A-pillar is slimmer than other SUVs so I had less of a blind spot. Impressive is the heated leather steering wheel with its plethora of adjustable dynamic features. Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for manual mode are optional.
A TFT multi-information display shows the driver helpful info like wheel angle, outside temperature, navigation, the Multi Terrain selection, and the odometer.
Other information is available with the digital dash like tire pressure, Crawl Control settings, shift position, and warnings. Buttons to adjust suspension, braking, and 4-wheel drive are easily accessible adding to the interior’s sophistication.
They only issues with the LX 570’s interior was the absence of some important buttons like the button to adjust vent speed, or the button for the a/c bi-level setting. And even with 4-zone climate control, my feet were cold much of the time. The floor had vents in the rear, but the driver’s vents for the feet weren’t strong enough. Storage in the LX 570 is okay. With many cup holders and a cool box, beverage space isn’t a problem. But I prefer more space like the storage box in the floor of the rear.[divider]
A 9-speaker premium audio system is standard in the Lexus LX 570 with a DVD player and optional Sirius XM satellite radio. Lexus HDD Navigation was pretty good, not as detailed as the navigation in the GX 460.
Navigation includes Bluetooth and Lexus Enform with Destination Assist and eDestination with optional NavTraffic, NavWeather, fuel prices, sports, and stocks. Lexus Enform includes AppSuite that has options for using Pandora, Bing, Yelp, iHeartRadio, MovieTickes.com, and OpenTable.
For an extra $6,000 buyers can get the Luxury Package that includes a 19-speaker Mark Levinson Surround Sound System and the Dual Screen Rear Entertainment System. The Luxury Package adds a cool box, heated steering wheel, and Semi Aniline leather and Mahogany wood trim. The Mark Levinson sound system is pristine and includes a 6-disc DVD changer and DVD playback. The Dual Screen Rear Entertainment System includes two screens on the front headrests with wireless headphones, remote and AV input.[divider]
Safety Optimal and Convenient
Safety features in the Lexus LX 570 support the dynamic on and off-road functions. The LX 570 offers ten standard airbags and Active Front Headrests that auto adjust to support drivers and passengers in a collision. The Pre-Collision system uses sensors to detect an imminent collision and prepares the driver and passengers by activating multiple features to support the cabin, brake the LX 570, and cushion a blow. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control uses the same sensors to keep the LX 570 a safe distance between cars. The LX 570 also utilizes the Vehicle Stability Control, Active Traction Control, Brake Assist, and Multi-Terrain ABS to enhance safety.
Fully loaded, the 2014 Lexus LX 570 retails for $88,000. The LX 570 competes very well with the G-Class Mercedes Benz and crushes the Acura MDX and the Toyota Sequoia. With a 7,000 lb towing capacity, the LX 570 is great for travel, work, or leisure. And with a stunning interior with on and off-road features, LX 570 has everything a luxury truck lover could ask for. While Bill said he’s reluctant to take the 2014 LX 570 up a mountain, the LX could handle most any terrain- from snow to rocks, gravel to water, and everything in-between. Brawny undertones set off by a stylish shell and ultra luxurious interior is why the 2014 Lexus LX 570 appeals to affluent customers. The 2014 Lexus LX 570 has an MSRP of $81,000.