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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
The big SUV has plenty of brute force
muscular V8 and smooth, responsive transmission
the 2008 Lexus LX 570 handles exceptionally well
Experts at TheCarConnection.com finds the 2008 Lexus LX 57 has a lot of raw power and handles remarkably well for a vehicle of its bulk--at a price.
A new 5.7-liter engine has plenty of power for rapid passing and easygoing cruising on the highway, with very smooth gearshifts. 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--a shocking 115 more ponies and 75 more lb-ft than last year's LX470." The 2008 Lexus LX 570 is in fact "named after its 5.7-liter V-8 engine," according to Cars.com, which adds that it puts out "a total of 383 hp" with a "torque rating [exceeding] 400 pounds-feet."
Teamed to the V-8 is a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifting and a Torsen limited slip differential for full-time four-wheel drive. ConsumerGuide reports that the Lexus 2008 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." It’s not perfect, though--Automobile contends "the driveline clunks when you're moving off from a stop."
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 EPA estimates of 12 mpg city, 18 mpg highway for this 2008 Lexus are as "abysmal" as Automobile describes them; to make matters worse, "Lexus recommends premium-grade gas," reports ConsumerGuide.
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 ride is firm, 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. Automobile says the Lexus 2008 LX 570's "truck suspension pitches and heaves constantly." On the other hand, Cars.com says this Lexus 2008 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 by reporting that the 2008 Lexus LX 570's "self-adjusting shock absorbers do little to enhance ride quality on any of the three available settings."
ConsumerGuide likes the quality of the brakes, which "have ample stopping control with progressive, well-weighted pedal action." However, they feel "the steering is too light for our tastes but is quick and has good feedback."
Edmunds was entirely in awe of all aspects of the 2008 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."
Driving the 2008 Lexus LX 570 is an exercise in speed versus mass—and in terms of handling, mass wins.