Behemoth, mammoth, colossal are all words to describe the Lexus LX570 S.
At $168,089 it doesn’t come cheap but you do get a lot of kit, and a lot of car, for your dollar.
4WD capability with assist systems, eight seats, a luxury interior, all-inclusive entertainment, vigilant safety features and a load of electronics and tech.
If you go off the beaten track, why not do it in style?
The LX570 is big and bulky with its hulking body that will carve a path through any smaller prey on the roads.
With a face only a mother could love, the front end is intimidating looking with sharp angles and the (even bigger) mouth of the Lexus pinched spindle grille.
The gigantic 21” alloy wheels in black also enhance the robustness and side steps are available for boarding. Trust me you’ll need them.
Access to the rear is afforded by a split powered tailgate. Even the lower half has an electronic locking mechanism.
Despite any misgivings I may have about the drive or look of the LX570, the cabin is certainly a nice, comfortable place to be.
There’s a luxury feel to everything with leather everywhere, an analogue clock in the centre stack, and the gigantic 12” display (not touchscreen) greeting you upon entry.
It’s cavernous like a concert hall with ample separation between passenger and driver allowing for a wide floor console filled with switchgear and controls.
The door handles extend like buttress roots from the sill to armrest and the steering wheel sports a faux wood grain finish.
All seats, right to the last row are comfortable and enticing and every one of the eight passengers is covered by air vents.
The send row seats roll forward to allow access to the back and their headrests foldaway smartly.
The best trick though, are the third row seats that don’t fold into the floor as in many SUVs due to the spare tyre, but fold up electronically against the wall just by pressing two buttons in the boot.
Way too many to mention but aside from those electric folding last row seats and big centre display, the coolest features include a large cooler box in the floor console, heated steering wheel, heated/ventilated powered middle row seats, touch sensitive cabin lights, comprehensive HUD, and rear DVD screens with remote and headphones to keep everyone entertained.
Rear controls for the seats and A/C are located in the middle armrest which means you don’t have access to them if the middle position is occupied.
A very small but thoughtful consideration was a switch to turn the HUD on or off.
- Large 12.3” touchscreen
- Digital radio
- 4 zone climate control
- Heated steering wheel
- Paddle shifters
- Powered, heated, ventilated front and middle seats
- Three memory seat function
- Auto start/stop
- Push button start
- Joystick control
- Active chassis height control
- Sport modes
- Diff lock
- Hill ascent control
- Crawl function
- Cooler box
- Rear window blinds
- Induction phone charger
- Powered split tailgate
- Cruise control/speed limiter
- Head up display
- Heated steering wheel
- 360° Camera view
- 6” rear DVD screens
- Touch sensitive cabin lights
- Electric folding rear seat storage
Drive and Engine
The Lexus LX570 S is much like a massive elephant seal on the land and in the sea – it’s most ungainly on the road but it’s graceful on a dirt track.
What is uncomfortable on the tarmac and general town journeys is soothing and accommodating off-road.
You can really feel the mass of the LX570 as you experience plenty of body roll any time there is any lateral movement in spite of the variable suspension.
Naturally handling isn’t great and isn’t the most nimble of beasts.
It struggles to get up to speed in spite of the 5.7 litre, V8 engine, and, with a tonne of momentum, requires a lot more stopping distance not helped by the spongy brakes.
Between the lurching and swaying you’d think you were on the back of a camel.
The Lexus is however, very good in a straight line on the freeway, and is stable and planted mostly due to its large frame. And visibility is excellent aided by big wing mirrors and a multitude of cameras.
There are several drive modes including off-road and sport plus mode but even so the engine has to turn over a lot to shift the immense weight.
But off-road is where it feels at home.
The softer suspension and swaying experienced on the road and is now comforting with heaps of give to take in the bumps and drops.
Large wheels and tyres (275/50) help with this and as an occupant you just ride the wave as it navigates effortlessly over uneven terrain.
Active height control (AHC) takes care of clearance issues (you can even lower it when cruising for better efficiency) and a multi terrain select can handle any surface.
Of course the LX570 4WD is fitted with low range 4×4 and a diff lock as well as a crawl function for assisted drive over rocky surfaces which is like cruise control at slow, low range speeds.
- Trailer sway control
- Radar cruise control
- Lane departure warning
- Blind spot monitor
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Very luxurious on the inside
- Big space
- Varied functionality
- 7 seats
- DVD screens
Not So Good Bits
- Body roll
- Not good around city streets
- Large and hard to handle
- Spongy brakes
- Fuel economy
Built for off-roading in luxury, the Lexus LX570 S isn’t the most nimble on city streets and I wouldn’t recommend it as an everyday car.
It has an imposing presence on the road though it may be a fish out of water.
However, you do get a whole heap of features, comfort, electronics and space. And who doesn’t want that.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Lexus LX570 S
- Engine: 5.7L V8 petrol producing 270kW/530Nm
- Transmission: Eight-speed sports automatic
- Warranty: 4 years/ 100,000km
- Safety: Not tested
- Origin: Japan
- Price: from $168,089