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The 2015 Lexus LX 570 is a traditional body-on-frame SUV, intended more for the trail or heavy hauling tasks than for the suburban freeways and cul de sacs it's more often inhabiting. That said, uncompromising off-roading capabilities and excellent interior comfort are two things that the LX 570 delivers in spades. Just don't expect much in terms of fuel economy.
The LX is intended for the kind of weekend activity that encouraged the SUV craze in the 1990s in the first place. Towing is rated at 7000 pounds, and though Lexus doesn't offer any specific off-road packages, the LX 570 does have high ground clearance, and an available height-adjustable suspension that lifts or lowers the vehicle 2 inches, to pass over obstacles--or better yet, to help entry and exit. Crawl Control also helps in low-speed maneuvers over boulder-strewn paths or scree-strewn hillsides.
Packaging is one of the LX 570's downfalls as a passenger-carrying device. The seating suggests room for seven, but it can feel quite cramped when more than four adults try to clamber inside the cabin. The front seats are fine, but sit quite high; the second-row bench powers to and fro for more leg room, but the seat itself feels flat. While the second rows fold and flip fully forward to expand cargo space, the third-row seats flip up and rotate to the side—allowing, more easily, a flat, continuous load floor for longer cargo items. The disadvantage to the setup is that the third-row seats can't be completely removed, and they narrow the cargo space.
The modern LX 570 shares is 383-hp 5.7-liter V-8 with the Toyota Land Cruiser, along its six-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive system. It's a solid contender in the off-roading category, and while it drives well in straight lines on the highways, its size and weight aren't friendly to winding roads. It's not easy to maneuver, feels oversized for city streets, and allows the body to roll enough to discourage spirited driving. Gas mileage is legitimately bad, at 12/17 mpg, and there's no alternative drivetrain.
The LX 570 comes loaded with comfort, convenience, and entertainment features, and there are even more luxury upgrades available to equip the LX 570 at the level of any other prestige-level SUV. Bluetooth and a nav system are included, and from features like a 180-degree camera that can see each way at a blind intersection to power-assist middle-row seats, there's a lot to love in the everyday-useful feature department. And if that's not enough, optional extras include a rear-seat entertainment system, radar-adaptive cruise control, and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. African Bubinga wood trim, heated and ventilated seats, and custom wheels are also available. This year, the LX 570 joins the connectivity era with an updated Enform system that allows mobile-phone versions of Pandora and Facebook to be controlled through its audio system. It's yet one more of the jarring incongruities of a vehicle that feels out of touch in the Lexus brand.
For 2015, the LX 570 now includes Siri Eyes-Free Mode, which allows drivers to use their iPhone's Siri commands to control the infotainment system.