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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
truck suspension pitches and heaves constantly
self-adjusting shock absorbers do little to enhance ride quality
the 2009 Lexus LX 570 handles exceptionally well
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."
The 2009 Lexus LX 570 attempts to balance speed and mass, but oftentimes mass wins.