The Lexus LX570 is a full size sport utility vehicle, something of a departure from the midsize models I usually review.  As a vehicle with limited appeal in terms of sales, this review will be limited mostly to photo and video content.  Please stay tuned over the next few weeks for our reviews of the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Highlander and Mitsubishi Outlander.

 


Gallery:

Here are a few examples of some carseats I installed.  Left, a Britax Frontier 90 Combination Harness Booster seat and a Britax Advocate Convertible Carseat in the second row.  Center, a Britax Parkway SGL in a third row seat.  Right, a Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Infant Carseat in the second row.

LX570BritaxAdvocateFrontier LexusLX570ThirdRowLegroom LexusLX570PegPerego435

Top Likes:

  • Relatively quiet interior and smooth (adjustable) suspension
  • Seating is heated/ventilated and very comfortable
  • Good towing capability at 7000 lbs.
  • Decent interior space for a full-size SUV
  • Heavy duty 4WD off-road capability
  • Second row seat is fairly practical for carseats
  • Mark Levinson audio is good, but not worthy of the brand name
  • Plenty of power, but throttle is somewhat twitchy from a stop

Top Dislikes:

  • No crash safety testing from IIHS or NHTSA
  • Minimal advanced safety features are optional
  • Dismal Fuel Economy 12 mpg city, 17 mpg highway.  I managed under 13 mpg around town.
  • Awful handling.  It’s a land whale, and drives like it.
  • No LATCH or top-tether in 3rd row.  Un-excusable at this price.
  • Third row seats fold awkwardly upward
  • Third row middle seat is over a split and very narrow.
  • Second row monitors project into seating area, could interfere with space for rear-facing carseats
  • More expensive and less practical than some competition
  • Quirks: Satellite radio cuts out periodically, even with clear, unobstructed sky.

 

Conclusion:

The Lexus LX570 is a niche vehicle.  Yes, it has heavy duty towing and off-road capability, being based on the same platform as the Toyota Land Cruiser.  But will more than a few people really be taking an $80,000+ luxury SUV to tow their camper over boulders and mountain streams?  Apparently less than 5,000 per year have even bought one since it was refreshed for 2013.  My pick in the full-size luxury SUV category is the Mercedes Benz GL Class Bluetec.  For over $10,000 less, nicely equipped with every advanced safety feature, it is superior in almost every important regard.  The Audi Q7 TDI and Infiniti QX60 Hybrid are other fine luxury choices that are very flexible for families with children and get a lot better fuel economy for a much lower price tag.