9. January 2013
The Lexus LX 570 was delivered to the office on December 21, 2012, the day, as you may recall, the world was supposed to end. As you may have noticed, it didn’t. And I’m sure we’re all glad of that.
But had the world been coming to an end that day, and if the end wasn’t some sort of instant cataclysm but more like the situation in the not-particularly-memorable 1998 movie Deep Impact, when there was time to move to higher ground, then the Lexus LX 570 would have been my vehicle of choice.
Imagine a massive volcano back there. . .
That’s because it combines the kind of comfort that one desires whether or not things are coming to a close—OK, the level of comfort you want to have on long drives, in particular, as those leather seat are to die for (figuratively speaking, of course)—along with the technological capability that would allow it to traverse the most trying terrain with nary a hiccough. Set the suspension setting to “Comfort” and even the roads around the Detroit metro seem smooth—and that’s saying something nearly analogous to “Rubicon.”
And while on the subject of demanding driving conditions, it is worth noting that the transfer case provides full-time four-wheel drive; there is a Torsen limited-slip locking center differential that distributes power as required, up to 40:60 front to rear. This is a serious SUV, which means that it is body-on-high-strength-steel frame. It has a 7,000 lb. towing capacity, which allows bringing along a lot of stuff in the back.
Making a run for it. . .
In addition to which, if one’s home were, say, to be hit by a comet, asteroid, or other UFO, the Lexus LX 570 has a sufficient amount of room on its interior to live in with more than a modicum of space: in addition to the 158.9 cubic feet of total interior volume, there are not only such available amenities as the 10-way powered driver’s seat, but if you opt for the Luxury Package (remember: You can’t take it with you), there is a capacious Cool Box in the center console for your beverages and cooled canapés (if a meteor hits, presumably this will raise temperatures) and heated and cooled front seats, as well as other features. And while you’re at it, you should opt for the 19-speaker Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound audio system because the vehicle is remarkably quiet such that it is an excellent venue for tunes, and it might as well be audiophile quality.
Cleverly folding seats for additional supplies and cargo. . .
The vehicle seats eight. That would be two in the front, three in the second row, and the same in the third—and while I did have two adults in that rearmost seat, and while they said they were comfortable (we were on our way to a nice restaurant for dinner and didn’t have to travel all that far to get there, unlike, say, having to escape from the urban environment), it should be noted that the third row can be folded up against the side of the vehicle (via pushbuttons, of course) to provide more cargo space in the back. And speaking of cargo and the back, there is a split rear tailgate, which initially seemed a bit odd to me—after all, most vehicles with tailgates have a single rear hatch—until I realized that it would be a seriously ungainly massive assembly of sheet metal and glass were it not so reasonably split.
And speaking of things that are dimensionally sizeable, it is worth noting that there is 8.9 inches of ground clearance, so even with a running board, accessing the cabin can be a bit challenging for those with a smaller stature, so there is an Active Height Control system that lowers the chassis by about two inches to ease ingress and egress.
The 2013 LX 570 features the new(ish) “face” of Lexus, meaning the grille is more hourglass shaped than broadly rectangular (Lexus calls this their “spindle grille,” yet for the life of me, I can’t see a spindle shape in it, and I even Googled it to see what I’m missing and I still draw a blank). Simply put: It looks great on the SUV, providing a bit of edge to what is really a massive two-box design with broad expanses of little-formed sheet metal.
Well beyond meteor-induced tidal waves. . . .
One thing about the LX 570 that you should be aware of whether it is a case of the aforementioned global catastrophe or a daily drive: it is recommended that you use premium fuel and you’re not going to get all that far on the 24.6-gallons on board. That is, the vehicle is stickered to provide 12/17/14 mpg (city/highway/combined), and even with an exceedingly light foot, I was in the 11.5 mpg vicinity, although (1) most of my driving was city and (2) it was mainly in the 20os when I was driving, so that has an impact on fuel efficiency.
No, the world didn’t end. But. . .[cue the R.E.M song].
Engine: 5.7-liter, DOHC, V8
Material: Aluminum block and heads
Horsepower: 383 @ 5,600 rpm
Torque: 403 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 112.2 in.
Length: 197 in.
Width: 77.6 in.
Height: 73.4 in.
Curb weight: 6,000 lb.
MSRP : $80,930
Price as Driven: $88,670 (incl. $875 delivery)
EPA: 12/17/14 mpg city/highway/combined