- Off-road electronics make rock-crawling a no-brainer
- One of the best towing vehicles
- Nicely designed instrument panel and materials
- Rock-bottom fuel economy
- Ride quality isn’t so comfy
- Third-row seat doesn’t fold completely into floor
- All the feel of piloting three tons
The 2008 Lexus LX 570 comes loaded with worthwhile technology, but it's not as distinctive as a Range Rover or an Escalade.
The large Lexus LX SUV has been completely redesigned for 2008; with a much bigger, more powerful 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 engine, it's been renamed the 2008 Lexus LX 570, replacing the LX 470. Compared to the LX 470, the new model has more safety features, as well as high-tech off-road aids.
At heart, the 2008 Lexus LX 570 remains an equipment-laden version of the Toyota Land Cruiser, sharing its current 112-inch wheelbase, but now 4 inches longer, at 196.5 inches in overall length.
With 113 more horsepower and 73 more pound-feet of torque than the former 4.7-liter V-8, the 2008 Lexus LX 570 is much faster than the outgoing model. Teamed to the V-8 is a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifting and a Torsen limited slip differential for the full-time four-wheel drive. Towing capacity increases from 6,500 to 8,500 pounds, which combined with the engine's extra torque should make the LX 570 well suited for towing the motorboat out to the launch. But unladen, the LX 570's fuel economy is a low 12 mpg city.
Features to control the LX's ride and off-road capability abound in the new ute. There's an adaptable suspension, with electronically controlled shock absorbers that have quicker responses and finer adjustment than before. An active height control can lower the 2008 Lexus LX 570 about 2 inches for easier entry and exit, raise it at slower speeds, and lower it again at faster speeds to help out in aerodynamic and fuel-efficient ways. Crawl Control aids drivers in off-road situations requiring delicate throttle inputs--such as on steep boulder- or scree-covered slopes.
The new 5.7-liter engine has plenty of power for rapid passing and easygoing cruising on the highway, with very smooth gearshifts. The ride is rather firm but settled, and the LX stays quite flat in corners, although the LX 570's nearly 6,000-pound weight is an ever-present reality when maneuvering and braking. As with many of the higher SUVs, rearward and sideway visibility can be an issue in the 2008 Lexus LX 570, especially on tight city streets.
The 2008 Lexus LX 570 has seating for up to eight in three different rows, with an interior that's more ornate than that of its sibling, the Toyota Land Cruiser, with fine wood trim and matte-metallic surfaces. The front seats are very generously apportioned and immensely comfortable. But there are some inadequacies in the interior design--namely, that the third-row seat design isn't large enough for adults and doesn't fold flat into the floor.
Luxury features abound: four-zone climate control, power sliding second-row split seating, a voice-activated navigation system with Bluetooth, nine-speaker premium sound, XM Satellite Radio with real-time traffic advisories, and power third-row seating. A rear-seat entertainment system, adaptive cruise control, and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system are options on the 2008 Lexus LX 570.
The LX 570 has not yet been crash-tested by either of the major programs, but it includes one of the longest lists of standard safety features for any vehicle. Electronic stability control and enhanced anti-lock braking with an all-terrain mode are standard on the 2008 Lexus LX 570, along with front- and second-row side airbags, side impact airbags covering the second and third rows, and front knee airbags.