- Quality materials
- Clean instrument panel design
- Excellent towing capabilities
- Smart off-road electronics
- Heavy handling
- Subpar ride quality
- Terrible fuel economy
- Third-row seat doesn't fold completely into floor
The 2009 Lexus LX 570 is not as distinctive as a Range Rover or an Escalade, but it is loaded with worthwhile technology.
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.
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.