If you are the sort of affluent individual who needs room for every aspect of life, including autos, then there are few better full-size, luxury SUVs than the 2012 Lexus LX570. Not only does it have plenty of room for a cadre of personnel, it ascertains they are comfortable and cossetted as well. What more could you ask for? Seven others can be driven to that special somewhere in the mountains where the dawn is magnificent, but there’s no road in or out.
Those in the back seats can watch a DVD on the way out, preparing themselves for the beauty of nature. Or they can just rub their hands across the leather, reveling in its softness. Passengers in the second row have a power-sliding seat that can movie 4.1” fore and aft. The third row has standard power retractable seats. The split rear tailgate features a power upper door, while the bottom section raises and lowers giving you more flexibility when accessing the cargo space. Now the leather trim inside is black instead of the original gray. The wood is bird’s eye maple. Standard features include four-zone independent climate control, front-seat power-seat cushion extenders, a rear back-up camera, navigation and nine-speaker sound system with iPod/USB connectivity.
With the Luxury Package you can now get a heated steering wheel for those cold mornings in paradise. The package also includes a cool box for beverages, semi-aniline leather-trimmed upholstery, an African Bubinga wood-trimmed shift knob, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats and specially finished wheels. If that’s not enough, request the optional rear-seat entertainment system, which plays DVDs and uses a 9” widescreen. To up the sound to greater levels, opt for the 19-speaker Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound audio system. It uses 450-watts of power and 15 channels to create serious tunes.
For safety the Lexus is instilled with ten standard airbags including front knee airbags, front and second-row seat-mounted side airbags in the outboard seating positions, and side curtain airbags for all three rows. One of the options I truly enjoy is the wide view front and side cameras. You can use this system in tight settings, such as parking garages. The cameras are mounted in the front grille and under the passenger outside mirror. Press a button on the dashboard and see the views on the center navigation screen. The system works up to 7.5 mph while displaying the front and side views in split-screen. It’s what this LX570 is all about – allowing drivers to explore their environmental preference in comfort and style.
For the price of the LX570, which is high, you aren’t just paying for luxury and the nameplate, this is a quite capable machine. It’s powered by a 5.7-liter V8, producing 383 horsepower and 403 lbs.-ft. of torque. The engine features dual variable valve timing controlling both the intake and exhaust valves. The length of the intake tract varies between two lengths improving torque depending on the engine speed and demand. This enhances the Japanese SUV with a 7000 lb. towing capacity, which is not bad for a luxury vehicle. The LX570 comes with a six-speed automatic transmission that you can also shift manually. The transfer base gives you fulltime four-wheel drive including low range capability for true off-roading while the limited-slip locking center differential uses a Torsen system to split the power 40:60 front to rear. Its active traction control uses both the brake and throttle to control wheel spin as well as functioning with stability control to keep the SUV pointing the direction of the steering wheel. But you can de-activate if for off-road situations where more precise control is required. There’s even a crawl control — operates both the throttle and brake — for working your way over truly rough terrain. No worries, the driver can always override the system and brake manually. Hill-start holds the LX570 and keeps it from rolling backwards when you ignite the Lexus on steep or slippery surfaces.
The suspension of this body-on-frame SUV includes active height control (up to two inches) and a variable suspension control system which reacts more quickly and has a greater range of motion than previous models. Since the suspension has three adaptive settings (Comfort, Normal and Sport) the shock absorber damping can be adjusted based on road feedback through the changing spring rates for either more comfort or better control. Everything on the road goes through standard 20” alloy rims with huge 285/50/R20 tires.
All in all, there’s not much missing if you are seeking a large luxury SUV for your portfolio. But don’t confuse the LX570 for its cousin! In its Toyota mode this is the world-famous Land Cruiser. The difference between the two is mostly within the name and how each is marketed. Both have serious capability, but the Lexus adds just about every luxury convenience and feature you desire.