Courtesy of Lexus
It wasn’t difficult to spot the 2014 Lexus LX 570 parked on my Brooklyn block. Lumbering over the neighbor’s beat up econo-cars and colorful Mini-Coopers, the LX resembled a dinosaur. Many will argue that it really is one – it’s definitely a throwback to the previous automotive era. The LX is a rigid frame, truck-based, 3-ton SUV with a beating V8 delivering 383hp and 403lbs of torque. Like dinosaurs, these thirsty SUVs are kind of hard to come by these days (*disclaimer: dinosaurs are much harder to come by) – and for good reason. Gas prices have skyrocketed in the past decade, bringing trucks like the LX to near extinction.
Climbing into the LX, I took a minute - or maybe ten minutes - to try to acquaint myself with the array of knobs, switches, buttons and screens. I know, I know, I could’ve read the owner’s manual, but that would’ve taken a few weeks and with only a few days to test drive the LX I was anxious to get on the road. Getting the necessary seat and window adjustments right didn’t take long, though, and then it was off to the Catskill Mountains.
Despite its size and sizeable price tag (we’re talking 81k here), the LX doesn’t look ostentatious or flashy. Sure, it’s luxurious, but it's also rugged, and you certainly get a bit of a superiority complex with such a commanding view of the road. It didn’t take long for me to feel comfortable handling the beast, either. Cruising through New York, I started to feel like a weird cross between an oil sheikh and very well provided for soccer mom, thankfully without six kids in the back blaring Yo Gabba Gabba or whatever on the LCD screens behind the front headrests. My only company was my boyfriend, who I always delegate direction duties to, just so any wrong turns can partially be his fault.
Today there were plenty of wrong turns and a few traffic jams, but thankfully the LX is extremely comfortable, which helps when it comes to keeping driver and passenger irritation to a minimum. I only had to get out of the car to stretch my legs once, but that probably had more to do with the fact that I just really wanted McDonalds fries, which I view as an official accompaniment to any road trip. On the highway, I kept the LX in sport mode. The suspension firms and the gutsy V8 provided more than enough power to overtake anything that gets in the way (was that a rabbit, or a plastic bag that really looked like a rabbit? I’ll never know.) The ride was extremely smooth, rivaling that of any respectable luxury SUV. And unlike nearly all other luxury SUVs, the LX doesn’t break a sweat when confronted with unpaved paths.
Once I made it to the Catskills, I was eager to test out some of the ride’s off-road capability. Some say the LX is a dressed up Toyota Land Cruiser, but rest assured that the new suit hasn’t impaired the legendary capabilities that are so often attributed to the Land Cruiser. The LX is sold at a $3,000 premium over the Land Cruiser, but that is $3,000 well spent, considering the additional technology and exceptional trimmings that accompany the LX version, and drivers have noticed. Despite the Land Cruiser’s smaller price tag, the LX outsells its more casual twin. The 4x4 system had no problem gliding above dirt and rocks as the suspension comfortably absorbed the terrain, allowing me to focus on obstacles ahead (“Where the fuck is this hiking trail?!”) instead of worrying about a broken tailbone.
After a weekend of cruising through the Catskills, down the Palisades Parkway, and around New York City, the Lexus LX 570 proved itself to be an awesome ride, whether you’re the rugged, outdoors-y type or just a dad carting kids to baseball practice. I’m neither of those things and was still reluctant to give it up on Monday morning! So whoever you are, if you have the money to spend, the LX is definitely worth taking for a spin.
Base Price: $81,780
Engine: V8 5.7 liter
Horsepower: 383 hp
Torque: 403 lb.-ft.
0–60: 7.5 seconds
Top Speed: 137 mph