Car Review: 2019 Lexus LX 570s

This Car Review Is About:
The 2019 model year Lexus LX 570s. The LX  (Luxury Crossover) has either a diesel V8 or, in this test car, a 5.7L V8 that drinks petrol. Drinks being the operative word. The price is just over $168,000 plus on roads.Under The Bonnet Is:
A thumping 5.7L V8 with 270kW and 530Nm, with these requiring 5600rpm and 3200rpm. In anything smaller those numbers would suggest something pretty hot. However, with the LX 570s weighing in at close to 3000kg (Gross Vehicle Mass is 3350 kilograms, by the way), it means leisurely progress. It’s not sluggish, but it’s not quick. Consumption is quoted by Lexus as being 14.4L per 100 kilometres, with our test run seeing a final figure of 14.8L/100km. That’s reasonable as most of the time was in suburbia. Mind you, that’s why there are a pair of tanks fitted, at 93Lin the main and 45L for the reserve. Towing is rated at 3500kg (braked) but with the engine’s best performance at 3500rpm and over, fuel consumption would skyrocket in any case.The transmission is an eight speed auto, fitted with drive modes and a crawler mode for any off-roading. Being based on one of the world’s best four wheel drive vehicles isn’t a bad thing, but there’s a hiccup outside. We’ll cover that separately. The auto is a pearler, and was very rarely found wanting in regards to slickness and ability. It was sometimes confused as to what to do, and typically that was stopping and getting underway quickly.

On The Inside Is:
Useable amounts of space, as one can imagine inside a big machine. That’s the start. There there is a single sunroof, 11.6 inch screens on the back of the driver and passenger seats for the mid row passengers, and they have a remote control that’s found in a centre fold out that also holds the rear section aircon controls. Input via HDMI is available and that’s located at the bottom of the centre console facing the middle row passengers. Wireless headphones are included. No USB ports, a strange and oddly disquieting oversight. But, in compensation almost, the middle row seats are heated and cooled too.The rear ‘gate is a split fold affair, with the top half powered and can be switched off for manual operation. This allows access to the third row seats that are powered. In normal position they’re folded up against the sides and buttons for lowering or raising are easily accessed.The front row is a pair of powered seats, heated and vented, and as comfortable as they come. It’s almost a gentleman’s club feel, as the seats are supple, supportive, and the dash’s look is classy and up-market. The LX 570s has the mouse control for the screen and again it’s frustratingly close to being good enough. Far too often that extra one percent of pressure required had the on-screen marker go one notch too far. Other than that, the interface is typical Lexus in that it’s easy to read and follow, especially with the sub-menu system. the sound system is from Mark Levinson, with a digital tuner sounding superb. The system is well balanced and provides a clarity equal to home theatre systems.The driver has a non digital dash screen, at odds with the rest of the tech the LX 570s has. Analogue dials bracket the traditional digital screen. That’s accessed via the standard steering wheel mounted tabs and buttons. As always, that part is easy to use.A nice touch is the large centre console mounted cool box. Fed by the aircon’s cooling section, it’s big enough to hold a six pack of cans and works tremendously well in cooling items to a cold temperature. An extra touch is the wireless charging pad that is somewhat inconveniently located in a niche at the bottom of the centre stack. Although it’s big enough to hold a ‘phone with a six inch screen size it’s not quite ergonomically on song.Storage for bottles and cups is appropriate for the passenger count, with all doors and centre consoles front and rear able to provide a spot. And should passengers in the middle row feel as if they’re too close or too far away from the front seats, they too are electrically adjustable. Nor is it light on for safety. Dual front kneebags, for example, plus the front/side/curtain bags. Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking with flashing tail lights are all here. Auto LED headlights, LED tail lights (they look great at night, too), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert add to the overall package nicely. Two ISOFIX mounts are there for the middle row.The Outside Has:
Lexus’ distinctive “spindle” grille up front. It’s….eye catching enough on the smaller cars, but in a redesigned  pattern in gloss black on a Land Cruiser sized vehicle it’s enough to frighten small children and challenge a blue whale for sifting plankton. The LX 570s gets some additional plastics up front and rear, too, and as good an off-roader it could be, they’re positioned just where a rock or tree stump would rip them off. Even a water crossing has the potential to do some decent cosmetic damage. That goes for the side skirts as well. But one suspects that the main base for this would be in suburbia anyways. However, should a person in a rural area have one, there is no doubt that it would be more than able to cope as long as there is a reasonably clear path.

It’s boxy when seen from the front or rear directly. Width is 1980mm, and height at 1865mm means it’s almost a 1:1 ratio in profile. Rolling stock is huge. Black painted alloys are 21 inches in diameter, and rubber is from Dunlop, at 275/55. That’s plenty of rubber for a footprint, and it also means the front end would “tramline”, following road imperfections momentarily.On The Road It’s:
Clear that it has a lot of mass. Punch it off the line and there’s a muted but distinct V8 rumble from each end. It slurs up through the gears just fine and the changes are largely seamless. Downhill runs have the ‘box holding gears nicely. Due to its mass the LX 570s is best driven with a judicious hand; even with the foot buried it’s not rapid from a standing start, and a more normal approach to moving forward yields better results. Rolling acceleration is adequate but, again, hampered by the mass of the LX 570s. Lexus quotes a kerb weight of 2510kg as a minimum, you see.

Handling is predictable and easily controlled. The steering is superbly weighted for the size of the machine and the wheels & tyres. It’s almost light enough for two fingered driving; on the wheel, not at cars outside. But the weight of the steering means both hands are better employed as that way the feedback is better communicated.

Sitting on height adjustable airbags with double wishbone suspension, the LX 570s does move about on the tops of the setup but never to a point that has the driver feeling out of sorts. Lexus have fitted higher performance dampers and the result is obvious to a seat of the pants driver. Initial compression on the damnable speed restrictors in shopping centres is brilliant, with virtually no wayward vertical movement in the cabin. In normal freeway driving it’s as composed as you’d want but that niggle at the back of the brain, knowing that it’s over two and a half tonnes, keeps you from thinking any sporty thoughts. And the brakes? They could do with some more initial feel. And when they do bite, they bite hard, pitching the five metre long machine forward on its somewhat shortish 2850mm wheelbase.The Warranty Is:
Four years or 100,000 kilometres, with the additional benefit of Lexus Drive Care. That covers items such as a up to $150 one way taxi fares, a courier service for small parcels, even personal and clothing costs up to $250. Contact Lexus for servicing costs, though.

At The End Of The Drive.
The 2019 Lexus LX 570s is a lot of car, with a lot of money for a buyer to invest in it. It’s comfortable to be in, reasonably easy to drive, has plenty of fruit but, for the money, a better drive package can be had elsewhere. A measure of how could be the Mercedes-Benz GLS 500. At the time of writing its drive-away price was just over $177, 600. Audi’s forthcoming Q8 with a turbocharged 3.0L V6 is looking at under $130K plus on roads. True, that’s a five seater but you get the idea.

And with the inexorable shift towards more fuel efficient powertrains, the consumption figures in this vehicle speak against it too. Plus, although undoubtedly a very good off-roader, the likelihood of it seeing such is akin to Elvis recording a new album with John Lennon.

More information can be found here.
Video review here: A Wheel Thing TV Lexus LX 570s

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