The 2011 Lexus LX 570 (Base MSRP: $79,455), like the 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser that it's based on, is a large SUV with a unique blend of capabilities. The LX 570 excels at tackling off-road driving and is stuffed with luxury features, according to reviewers. Like the legendary Land Cruiser, the LX 570 is also known for its bulletproof reliability. Most critics agree, however, that the sky-high base price makes it a hard sell compared to cheaper and equally luxurious competition. Furthermore, many also point out that if the off-road chops are appealing, the Toyota Land Cruiser is cheaper and identically capable, albeit less plushly appointed.
Four-wheel drive is standard, as are a number of driver aids designed to tackle tough off-road scenarios; electronic shocks can vary ride height, a center differential can split torque fore and aft, and a crawling feature maintains vehicle traction over steep grades and adverse terrain. While the chassis is heavy duty and abundantly capable, TheTruthAboutCars.com questions "why these tires and the three-speed crawl control are on the same vehicle," alluding to the stock rubber that's optimized for on-road comfort. Still, one reviewer finds that "you'd really need to pull a bonehead move to get the LX 570 stuck." Considering that most large luxury SUVs never see terrain more challenging than a gravel driveway, most reviewers call the benefits of the Lexus LX's hardcore off-road chops into question.
Experts rave about the LX 570's 5.7-liter V8. It produces 383 horsepower and 403 pound feet of torque. An AutoWeek editor flatly claims that "the powertrain is as smooth as there is in the biz." No reviewers disagree. Edmunds.com says the engine "provides remarkable acceleration for such a heavy vehicle and makes quick work of towing tasks." That's no exaggeration, as the LX's maximum towing capacity is 7,000 pounds. With such impressive credentials when it comes to power and towing, fuel economy is expectedly poor. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the LX 570 a dismal 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway/14 mpg combined.
The LX 570 is a solid on-road performer as well. The steering is characteristically light and overboosted, but the ride is quiet and smooth according to most reviews. Even cornering is good for an SUV of this size and weight, but the experts make it clear that you still know you're piloting a nearly 3-ton truck. About.com notes that the "LX stops surprisingly well, considering the amount of momentum it can generate." (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Interior material quality is unrivaled according to reviewers, particularly with the optional Luxury Package. Automobile Magazine likens the LX 570's cabin to a cashmere sweater, describing how many surfaces are covered in "creamy, semi-aniline leather and accented with African bubinga wood, the same type of timber used to make those gorgeous Gibson guitars." The article goes on to say the cabin is "crypt-like in its silence." One reviewer found the layout and quantity of buttons inside the car to be overwhelming though.
Nearly everything is standard on the LX 570, too. In addition to the exotic trim materials and off-road technology, the LX 570 comes with luxuries like a nine-speaker premium audio system, rear DVD entertainment system, heated and cooled seats, and power-folding second- and third-row seats. Lavish available options include a heated steering wheel; mahogany wood trim; a 450-watt, 19-speaker, Mark Levinson sound system; and dynamic cruise control.
Cargo capacity and third-row seat comfort and design could be better. Maximum cargo capacity is 83.1 cubic feet, smallest among large SUVs. The third-row seats are powered to fold up at the touch of a button, but like the Land Cruiser on which the LX is based, they fold up and against the walls of the cabin on each side, occupying what would have been useful cargo space. Furthermore, reviewers unanimously pan the third-row seat comfort because the cushion is mounted so low to the floor. It's best suited for small children. Still the LX 570 can technically accommodate eight passengers when necessary.
The Lexus LX 570 has a reputation for excellent quality and reliability, as reported by one leading consumer advocacy organization. The LX 570 is covered by a standard four-year/50,000-mile warranty.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway safety has crash tested the LX 570. It does come with a plethora of safety equipment though; front airbags, front-side airbags, full-length curtain airbags for all occupants, second-row side airbags, front knee airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, on-board telematics, antilock brakes and active front head restraints are all standard safety equipment. Lexus also offers an optional pre-collision warning system that can detect and prepare for an impending collision.
Experts agree that the 2011 Lexus LX 570Ôs combination of attributes are a bit perplexing. It is an incredibly capable off-road machine that is configured for on-road driving, and reviewers often express dismay over the $80,000 as-tested price. Competitors offer nearly as much luxury and performance, but often cost thousands less. Finally, the 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser offers essentially the same off-road and on-road experience for thousands less, too.
Note that there is no 2012 Lexus LX. As with the Land Cruiser from which it's derived, it skips 2012 entirely in favor of a revised 2013 model.
Aside from Lexus styling and an upgraded interior with more options, the Lexus LX 570 is essentially the same vehicle as the Toyota Land Cruiser. Edmunds.com editors consider this a boon and enjoy the same luxurious ride, off-road capabilities and stunning V8 engine.
Review: 2011 Lexus LX 570 SUV, Editors of Edmunds.com, March 4, 2011
ConsumerReports.org is one of the best sources for automotive reviews and analysis as editors take a thorough and unbiased approach to rating vehicles. They offer useful reliability data on the LX 570, though they don't road test the vehicle. They do road test the nearly identical Toyota Land Cruiser though.
Review: Lexus LX 570, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
ConsumerGuide.com says the LX 570 is impressive in many aspects, but the sky-high price makes it a niche player even among luxury SUVs.
Review: 2012 Lexus LX 570: Road Test, Editors of ConsumerGuide.com, Not Dated
FuelEconomy.gov is a consumer site from the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy that provides estimated fuel-economy ratings for every new vehicle. The 2011 Lexus LX 570 is a thirsty vehicle, with a 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway/14 mpg combined fuel-economy rating. Not surprising for such a large vehicle, but even other large luxury SUVs fare better.
Review: 2012 Sport Utility Vehicles, Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy, Not Dated
The expensive LX 570 makes an impression on the reviewer for its serious off-road chops and luxurious amenities, but ultimately he can't make its "odd combination of attributes make sense in suburban America," alluding to the fact that virtually no buyers actually take their $80,000 SUVs off-road.
Review: Review: 2011 Lexus LX 570, Michael Karesh, Jan. 28, 2011
Lori Hindman reviews the 2010 Lexus LX 570, which is virtually identical to the 2011 model, with a focus on a real-world family environment. The reviewer notes that the interior lacks clever storage and seating flexibility like many other more modern designs, making it hard to rationalize as a good choice for hauling kids and cargo.
Review: 2010 Lexus LX 570, Lori Hindman, Nov. 4, 2010
7. Automobile Magazine
Automobile Magazine performs the only recent comparison test of the 2011 Lexus LX 570, pitting it against the redesigned 2011 Infiniti QX56 (this test, in fact, is one of the only recent comparison reviews of any large SUVs). The reviewer has a soft spot for the LX 570 and its progenitor, the Toyota Land Cruiser, but concludes that the Infiniti QX56 beats it handily for a variety of reasons.
Review: Comparison: 2011 Infiniti QX56 vs. 2011 Lexus LX570, Donny Nordlicht, April 7, 2011
AutoWeek.com editors provide their opinions here in "Review Note" format, meaning multiple editors give their opinions in a brief manner. Reviewers all note the high price of the Lexus LX 570 and find its combination of strengths to be a bit of an anachronism when it comes today's SUV market.
Review: 2011 Lexus LX 570: Review Notes, Editors of AutoWeek.com, Nov. 14, 2011
TechCruch.com focuses on the technological goodies that come with the 2011 Lexus LX 570. The drivetrain technology is described as top-notch, while the infotainment system feels antiquated, especially in a vehicle of this price range.
Review: Review: The Lexus LX 570 is An All-Terrain Electronic Fun House, Matt Burns, July 27, 2011
Michael Harley from Autoblog.com reviews the 2009 Lexus LX 570, which is the same as the 2011 model year in every substantial way. The reviewer likes the uncompromising blend of off-road ability, on-road comfort and traditional luxury.
Review: Review: 2009 Lexus LX570 is Three Tons of Luxury with a Dollop of Off-Road Mastery, Michael Harley, Oct. 7, 2009
About.com samples the 2011 Lexus LX 570 and comes to the same conclusions as most other experts. The LX 570 is technically impressive in nearly every way, but competition with more modern designs and lower price tags make more sense. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: 2011 Lexus LX 570, Jason Fogelson, Not Dated