2019 Lexus LX Review

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2019
The Car Connection
2019
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz
October 18, 2018

The 2019 Lexus LX 570’s brash, in-your-face styling is balanced by a calming interior and a cosseting ride.

The 2019 Lexus LX 570 marries go-anywhere ability with edgy styling. It’s a beast ready for the wilds—even if those wilds are manicured lawns and leafy boulevards.

Its styling may not be for everyone, but the LX 570 bests the Land Cruiser in key ways that have made the Lexus more popular than the Toyota. We rate the 2019 LX 570 at 5.8 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Underneath its toney looks and soft leather, the LX 570 is  a Toyota Land Cruiser. The two share a muscular V-8 engine, rugged four-wheel drive, rock-hopping ground clearance, and the ability to seat up to eight passengers.

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After adding a five-seat model to the lineup last year, the LX 570 adds Amazon Alexa compatibility for 2019. Unchanged are its 383-horsepower 5.7-liter V-8, 8-speed automatic transmission, and full-time four-wheel drive. Unlike the Land Cruiser, the LX 570 has a hydraulic height-adjustable suspension that gives it a creamy ride over any kind of terrain.

The LX 570 doesn’t hide its heft as well as some rivals when hustled down a curvy road, such as the Land Rover Range Rover or Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, however. Fuel consumption also pales compared to rivals with hybrid tech.

The LX 570 pampers inside with soft leather, fine wood, and a car-like design. Numerous trim and upholstery options allow for a fair amount of personalization. The front seats are chair-like with a commanding view of the road ahead, while the second row has good space for three adults. Row three—which is optional in the LX 570, mandatory in the Land Cruiser—powers away when not in use but is best for kids.

Though Amazon Alexa compatibility is now part of the LX 570’s repertoire, its infotainment software is frustrating and is primarily accessed via a bulky, computer mouse-like controller.

Another point in the Lexus’ favor is its long warranty and its dealers’ reputation for impeccable service.

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2019 Lexus LX

Styling

The 2019 Lexus LX 570’s razor-sharp looks stand out, that’s for sure.

The 2019 Lexus LX 570 is not a subtle machine. From its angular grille that cuts deep into its front bumper to its bulging sides, it makes every effort to stand out.

We’re not totally sold on its exterior, but we like the 2019 LX 570’s car-like dashboard enough to elevate it to 6 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The LX 570’s basic shape has been around a while—more than a decade now—and has become a familiar sight in Nordstrom parking lots. An update a few years ago gave the LX 570 a version of the automaker’s so-called “spindle” grille design with squinting headlights. It works from some angles, but the low-hanging bumper seems at odds with an SUV designed for serious off-road work.

From the side, the sharp angles give way to plump curviness echoed at the rear. L-shaped LED taillights round things out. The LX 570 has a two-piece tailgate with a bottom section that flops down like a pickup truck.

Inside, the 2019 LX 570’s wide, low dashboard could have been plucked from one of the automaker’s sedans. A tall center console takes up residence between the leather-clad front seats and houses a control knob for the wide infotainment screen.

Lexus offers a wide array of interior trim combinations for the LX 570, including light tans, warm reds, and coal-bin blacks.

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2019 Lexus LX

Performance

The 2019 Lexus LX 570 is a beast with a soft side.

The 2019 Lexus LX 570’s supple suspension takes bumps in stride and it is better off road than its big wheels and plus interior might suggest. We land at a 6 for performance, taking a point off for handling that doesn’t mask its three-ton weight. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The LX 570 has a 5.7-liter V-8 engine rated at 383 hp and 403 pound-feet of torque, minuscule bumps of 2 hp and 2 lb-ft over the Toyota Land Cruiser thanks partly to its thirst for premium rather than regular unleaded fuel. An 8-speed automatic shuttles power to all four wheels and the LX 570’s transfer case has a low range for more serious terrain or lugging a heavy boat out of a lake.

That big V-8 gives the LX 570 good acceleration from any speed, although we’ve noticed the transmission’s tendency to hunt for gears on climbs.

Underneath, the body-on-frame LX 570 uses a hydraulic suspension to dampen the road. Its solid rear axle and independent front suspension imply truckiness belied by the cosseting, comfortable ride quality. Even with its available 21-inch alloy wheels, the LX 570 feels like it could swallow crater after crater without disturbing its occupants.

The LX 570’s handling is reasonably composed, but its steering is light and there’s more lean into corners than in the Land Cruiser with its trick sway bars.

At highway speeds, the LX 570 cruises silently and smoothly and its atrocious fuel economy ensures regular bio breaks.

Away from the pavement, the LX 570 boasts plenty of tricks: a crawl control system that lopes it along at a walking pace, multiple traction control modes, and a high setting for its suspension to clear boulders and maybe a goat or two. There’s one bummer, though, and it’s a big one: The massive grille cuts deep into the front bumper and reduces the LX 570’s angle of approach.

Lexus rates the LX 570 to tow up to 7,000 pounds.

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2019 Lexus LX

Comfort & Quality

The 2019 Lexus LX 570 earns its luxury badge with a leather-lined interior.

Though it may roll down the same assembly line as the Toyota Land Cruiser, the 2019 Lexus LX 570’s interior shares little with its rugged sibling.

Its luxurious feel gets it a point above average, as do its front and middle rows. We award another for its impressive cargo-hauling ability. That brings us to a 9 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

LX 570s fitted with the optional third row force too many compromises so they would lose a point.

Up front, the LX 570’s comfortable seats are power-adjustable with memory for the driver. They’re covered in soft leather and are heated and cooled. Real wood trim—stained, glossy, or open pore—covers the dashboard, center console, and door panels. Softer semi-aniline leather is optional as part of a $1,200 package on all LX 570s.

Row two has enough space for three adults to sit abreast, with good leg and foot room. The standard running boards help those with shorter legs climb aboard.

Last year, Lexus made the third row optional—a good move, we say. Unless you really need occasional-use seats for kids, stick with the five-seater. The third row is a chore to access and has limited space for feet. When it’s not needed, the third row powers up somewhat out of the way while blocking rearward over-the-shoulder vision. The seats are not removable, either.

With the third row deployed, the LX 570 has about 16 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold the third row up and that grows to about 45 cubic feet. Models without the third row have 5 more cubic feet of space. Maximum cargo-carrying capacity is about 140 cubic feet for the two-row and about 135 cubes for the three-row.

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2019 Lexus LX

Safety

The 2019 Lexus LX 570 hasn’t been crash tested, but it has good active safety tech.

Federal and independent crash testers have not smacked the 2019 Lexus LX 570 into a wall in the name of science, so we can’t assign it a score here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The LX 570 comes with a good, but not especially impressive, array of active safety features. In addition to its 10 airbags, the LX 570 includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, and lane-departure warnings.

Most rivals go further with active lane control and advanced cruise control systems that allow for limited hands-off driving. The LX 570’s hydraulic steering system is too old-school for such a cruise control system.

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2019 Lexus LX

Features

The 2019 Lexus LX 570 is old-school luxury, minus a few nice tech features.

The 2019 Lexus LX 570 comes in two basic configurations with a handful of option packages and choices for interior and exterior trim finishes. We rate it at 6 out of 10, giving it a point above average for its customizability and another for its luxury features, but we take one back for a frustrating infotainment interface. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Two-row LX 570s seat five passengers and aren’t as customizable as three-row versions. They’re hardly spartan, though, with standard leather upholstery, wood trim, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, active safety tech, and a power moonroof. A package with heated and cooled front and rear seats and upgraded leather costs a reasonable $1,200 on top of the LX 570’s $87,000 base price.

That’s the LX 570 we’d buy.

For those who need a third row of seats, the LX 570 three-row starts at about $92,000. That’s a hefty premium that works out to about $1,700 per added occupant. The three-row LX 570 offers the same option package as the two-row and can also be upgraded with a Mark Levinson-branded audio system and a rear-seat entertainment system.

Lexus LX 570 infotainment

The LX 570’s dashboard features a 12.3-inch widescreen for its infotainment system. The crisp screen is a bright spot, but the software and controller are not. The system is bulky to use and requires inputs from a computer mouse-esque knob that takes up considerable center console real estate.

Lexus this year added Amazon Alexa ability to the LX 570, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are not available. The system includes several USB inputs and Bluetooth connectivity. A wireless charging pad for cellphones is optional.

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2019 Lexus LX

Fuel Economy

The 2019 Lexus LX 570 is one of the least-efficient vehicles available.

The 2019 Lexus LX 570 isn’t the SUV you’ll want to own if you’re an executive at an eco-friendly company.

Its 13 mpg city, 18 highway, 15 combined EPA ratings are atrocious. We rate it at just 2 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Making matters worse is that Lexus recommends costly premium fuel for the LX 570. The Land Cruiser, which uses the same engine, runs on less expensive regular unleaded.

The LX 570 isn’t available with any sort of hybrid tech or a stop/start system to conserve fuel, either.

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$85,830
MSRP based on LX 570 Two Row 4WD
 
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5.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 9
Safety N/A
Features 6
Fuel Economy 2
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