2009 Lexus LX 570 Review

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Trevor Wild Trevor Wild Author
April 21, 2009

The 2009 Lexus LX 570 is not as distinctive as a Range Rover or an Escalade, but it is loaded with worthwhile technology.

TheCarConnection.com drove the 2009 Lexus LX 570 to bring you a succinct overall take in this Bottom Line. TheCarConnection.com also researched available road tests on the new LX 570 to produce this conclusive review and to help you find the truth where other car reviews might differ.

The LX 570 enters its second model year after being completely redesigned for 2008. The LX 570 remains an equipment-laden version of the Toyota Land Cruiser and has the same 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 engine, along with a host of safety features and high-tech off-road aids.

The 5.7-liter engine has plenty of power for rapid passing and easygoing cruising on the highway, with very smooth gearshifts. The ride is firm but settled, and the LX stays 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 2009 Lexus LX 570, especially on tight city streets.

The V-8 is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifting and a Torsen limited slip differential for the full-time four-wheel drive. Towing capacity is 8,500 pounds; combined with the engine's torque, it makes the LX 570 well suited for towing the motorboat out to the launch. Fuel economy for an unladen LX 570 is a low 12 mpg city.

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An active height control can lower the 2009 Lexus LX 570 about two 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.

Three rows provide seating for eight inside the 2009 LX 570. The interior is more ornate than that of 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, the third-row seat design isn't large enough for adults and doesn't fold flat into the floor.

Luxury features include: 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 2009 Lexus LX 570. New for 2009 is an optional Luxury Package featuring semi-aniline leather-trimmed seating and Bubinga wood trim. A new cool box for beverages adds convenience, and a new SmartCard key enhances vehicle security.

The LX 570 boasts 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 2009 Lexus LX 570, along with front- and second-row side airbags, side-impact airbags covering the second and third rows, and front knee airbags.

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2009 Lexus LX 570

Styling

Although it does indeed have a luxurious interior, the 2009 Lexus LX570 doesn’t offer a lot of visual excitement.

The 2009 Lexus LX 570 isn't particularly distinctive. In fact, Cars.com says this Lexus 2009 model "resists attempts to make it truly distinctive," mainly due to "its body-on-frame construction." They add, “Something about the shape of the taillights and their chrome surrounds recalls Lincolns.” Kelley Blue Book notes that the company wanted the Lexus 2009 LX 570 "to have a more muscular appearance than the LX 470, so [it] went with the L-finesse design theme, which includes a wider stance and more subtle design lines." For all that, Motor Trend contends this 2009 Lexus is "still basically a Land Cruiser in fancy dress," though ForbesAutos likes it enough to declare, “its exterior styling is statesman-like, exuding security and stability from every angle.”

According to Cars.com, the interior of the 2009 Lexus LX 570 has "broken no new ground in terms of materials or design.” ConsumerGuide says the 2009 Lexus SUV's "cabin decor lacks the richness of other premium rivals, looking more 'upscale Toyota' than true elite class." Here, Edmunds parts ways with the others, describing the Lexus 2009 LX 570's interior as "richly appointed, with exceptional leather and wood trim crafted of Bubinga, an African rosewood often used in private jets and high-end musical instruments."

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2009 Lexus LX 570

Performance

The 2009 Lexus LX 570 attempts to balance speed and mass, but oftentimes mass wins.

For a vehicle of its size and price, the 2009 Lexus LX 570 has a lot of raw power and handles remarkably well.

According to Cars.com, the 2009 Lexus LX 570 is in fact "named after its 5.7-liter V-8 engine," adding that it puts out "a total of 383 hp" with a "torque rating [exceeding] 400 pounds-feet." Automobile reports, "the big SUV has plenty of brute force. Its 5.7-liter V-8 produces 383 hp and 403 lb-ft of torque."

ConsumerGuide attests that the Lexus LX 570's "muscular V8 and smooth, responsive transmission deliver good highway-speed passing punch." According to Cars.com, this "transmission is a new six-speed, which adds 2,000 pounds of towing capacity for a total of 8,500 pounds." But, it’s not perfect. Automobile contends "the driveline clunks when you're moving off from a stop."

The engine's extra torque makes the LX 570 well suited for towing the motorboat out to the launch. Towing capacity is rated at 8,500 pounds, but EPA estimates of 12 mpg city, 18 mpg highway for this Lexus are "abysmal," as Automobile describes them; to make matters worse, "Lexus recommends premium-grade gas," reports ConsumerGuide.

Automobile says the 2009 Lexus LX 570's "truck suspension pitches and heaves constantly." On the other hand, Cars.com proclaims this Lexus 2009 model's suspension system suspension "is a sophisticated combination of air springs and adaptive shock absorbers that automatically optimize for comfort, performance and body control." This source adds that "multi-terrain antilock braking...is claimed to detect loose surfaces and react accordingly" (as on gravel, snow, and so on). ConsumerGuide agrees with the former, reporting that the 2009 Lexus LX 570's "self-adjusting shock absorbers do little to enhance ride quality on any of the three available settings."

An active height control can lower the 2009 Lexus LX 570 about two 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 adaptable suspension, with electronically controlled shock absorbers, has quicker responses and finer adjustment than before.

Edmunds is entirely in awe of all aspects of the 2009 Lexus's handling characteristics: "If there's a fault in the whole driving experience, it's that the LX 570, perhaps because of its superb capabilities, is a bit bland to drive." ConsumerGuide likes the quality of the brakes, which "have ample stopping control with progressive, well-weighted pedal action." However, they remark "the steering is too light for our tastes but is quick and has good feedback."

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2009 Lexus LX 570

Comfort & Quality

While not the most space-efficient SUV, the 2009 Lexus LX 570 does rank high in comfort.

A well-finished, well-built interior with three spacious rows of seating greets passengers of the 2009 Lexus LX 570.

Kelley Blue Book reports that the 2009 Lexus's "interior is comfortable and has enough room for eight passengers and a lot of luggage and gear" with "best-in-class second- and third- row legroom" and "30 inches of headroom in all three rows," so "tall passengers can be transported without a complaint." Edmunds, however, notes, "the third row still has a knees-up seating position that's suitable only for kids." ConsumerGuide comments, "both rear seat rows are comfortably padded but need longer cushions, especially the 3rd row." The front seats are very generously apportioned and immensely comfortable. But there are some inadequacies of the interior design—namely, the third-row seat design isn't large enough for adults and doesn't fold flat into the floor.

According to Edmunds, storage and cargo room aboard the 2009 LX 570 model is adequate; "since the third row isn't totally removable, the LX 570's maximum cargo capacity is 83 cubic feet, average for a midsize SUV but notably below the capacity of many other large SUVs." ConsumerGuide, however, praises "ample interior storage [that] includes bi-level dashboard glove box, twin-lid console bin, and large map pockets on doors and seatbacks."

The 2009 Lexus "maintains Lexus's library-quiet reputation. Highway wind rush is impressively low, but coarse-surface tire thrum is noticeable. So, too, is the V8's classy-sounding growl at full throttle,” reports ConsumerGuide.

ConsumerGuide also notes that the "Lexus interior...impresses for high-quality materials and thorough detailing." MotherProof points out, however, that while "the Lexus [2009] LX 570 is a very well-appointed truck...it's a truck nonetheless."

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2009 Lexus LX 570

Safety

A long list of safety features on the 2009 Lexus LX 570 and sheer bulk should keep occupants feeling secure.

The 2009 Lexus LX 570 offers one of the longest lists of standard safety features in any vehicle, yet crash-test results aren’t available.

"A comprehensive array of standard safety features, including stability control, antilock brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags and roll-sensing full-length side curtain airbags," reports Edmunds, adding, "Lexus' pre-collision system is optional." Perhaps its best protection is its size; Popular Mechanics quips that if one "ever did hit anything with it at high speed, it would probably bounce off, since it's such a big, strong tank of an SUV."

ConsumerGuide says that the Lexus LX 570's "high stance and rear-roof styling hamper visibility, but that's offset by large door mirrors, standard front and rear obstacle detection, and rearview camera." As with many of the higher SUVs, rearward and sideway visibility can be an issue.

Cars.com reports that the 2009 Lexus "boasts 10 airbags. In addition to the usual front and front-seat side-impact bags are second-row side-impact airbags and a knee airbag for each front occupant" along with head restraints—which are installed on the 2009 Lexus LX 570 for the first time.

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2009 Lexus LX 570

Features

Including one of the world’s finest sound systems, the 2009 Lexus LX 570 has everything an SUV driver needs.

The 2009 Lexus LX 570 comes with all the features most luxury-SUV shoppers will be looking for—and then some.

Thankfully Lexus has simplified its lineup. Edmunds reports "one base trim level" of the Lexus 2009 LX 570, "which comes standard with 20-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, a power liftgate, wood and leather interior trim, power and heated front seats with driver memory settings, keyless ignition, four-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth and a premium sound system with six-CD changer, satellite radio and auxiliary audio jack."

Edmund says "gadget junkies can choose from several options." These include "a rear-seat entertainment system, ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats, and adaptive cruise control." In addition, the 2009 Lexus LX 570 can have a park-assist system "equipped with front and sideview video monitors for better visibility." A 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system is also optional and offers spectacular sound.

With 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, luxury features abound. Cars.com confirms this 2009 Lexus's "many standard features include touch-screen navigation with real-time traffic information and a premium stereo with XM Satellite Radio."

According to ConsumerGuide, the navigation system is the only downside, as it’s "simple to program but annoys by absorbing some basic audio and climate functions, such as air conditioning on/off."

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