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Lexus LX 2024 review: 500d + EP 7-seat - off-road test

The Lexus LX line-up has a solid reputation as off-road vehicles and towing platforms.

And there’s plenty of excitement about the new-generation Lexus LX500d because it’s essentially a tarted-up version of the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series – it’s built on the same platform as the 300 and even has that model’s 3.3-litre V6 twin-turbocharged diesel engine and 10-speed auto.

Sure, it’s not as tough looking as the new Prado-based Lexus GX, but if you like your off-roader with more than its fair share of posh trimmings then perhaps a Lexus LX500d is your cup of tea.

However, with a price-tag topping out at more than $150,000, does this luxury 4WD wagon actually deserve your attention or should you look elsewhere?

Read on.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 8/10

The seven-seat LX500d is the base-spec in the three-variant diesel LX line-up – below the F Sport and Sports Luxury – but you wouldn’t know it from its price-tag.

The LX500d retails for $157,061 (excluding on-road costs), but our test vehicle has an optional Enhancement Pack (which includes 22-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, hands-free power tailgate with kick sensor, $5500) and has been fitted with a towing set-up (towbar etc, $1545 fitted) pushing its price up to $164,106 (excluding on-road costs).

The sunroof – an Enhancement Pack inclusion – is power-adjustable The sunroof – an Enhancement Pack inclusion – is power-adjustable

As standard the LX500d features list includes a 12.3-inch multimedia touchscreen (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Bluetooth), a 25-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, heated and ventilated power-adjustable seats, woodgrain steering wheel trim, 8.0-inch multi-information driver display, four-zone climate control, 7.0-inch touchscreen and separate control panel for rear passengers, multi-terrain monitor with panoramic view, and 20-inch alloy wheels (but, as mentioned, our test vehicle has the Enhancement Pack with 22-inch alloy wheels).

It has a digital rear-view mirror, adaptive variable suspension with low, normal and two high settings, as well as full-time four-wheel drive, a low-range transfer case, locking centre differential, and a variety of driving modes (including off-road modes) and driver assistants.

Exterior paint choices include the no-extra-cost Onyx, or options such as Liquid Metal, White Nova (F Sport models only), Sonic Quartz (not available on F Sport models), Titanium, Graphite Black, and Khaki Metal (on our test vehicle), all of which incur an extra cost.

The optional 22-inch alloy wheels add to the look The optional 22-inch alloy wheels add to the look

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design? 8/10

The LX500d, in keeping with its positioning in the luxury slice of the market, is an imposing, premium-looking vehicle. 

Lexus puts the LX500d’s dimensions at 5100mm long (with a 2850mm wheelbase), 1990mm wide, and 1885mm high (1895mm in the Enhancement Pack-equipped LX500d). This is a big, classy SUV, inside and out, and it’s more than just a 300 Series LandCruiser in a shiny suit.

It's an imposing, premium-looking vehicle. It's an imposing, premium-looking vehicle.

The optional 22-inch alloy wheels (part of the $5500 Enhancement Pack) add to the overall polished look. 

The interior is a classy mix of woodgrain trim, Hazel leather accents, soft-touch surfaces, Shimamoku ornamentation, plush but supportive seating, and even comfortable arm-rests.

Lexus puts its dimensions at 5100mm long 1990mm wide, and 1885mm high Lexus puts its dimensions at 5100mm long 1990mm wide, and 1885mm high

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside? 8/10

The cabin is a cavernous, plush space and driver and passengers are all generally well served in terms of practicality and comfort.

The tech is simple enough to locate and operate – it was easy enough to get Apple CarPlay working – and the screens are big: the horizontal 12.3-inch multimedia unit upfront, an 8.0-inch screen (to monitor air-con, adaptive air-suspension height, the 4WD system, and other vehicle information), a head-up display, plus a 7.0-inch touchscreen for rear passengers.

Heating and cooling are managed via the climate concierge and everyone can keep themselves as comfortably hot or cold as they like with separate controls.

The cabin is a cavernous, plush space The cabin is a cavernous, plush space

Storage is only reasonable for such a voluminous interior with a variety of door pockets, cupholders (eight in total), glove box, a deep centre console (with multiple ways to open the lids) as well as map pockets for the second row, cup-holders in the centre fold-down armrest and cupholders for the third row.

The Lexus has a Qi wireless charger and front and rear USB-C charging ports – one up front, two in the second row, and two in the third row. 

There’s a 12V DC socket (front and rear) and a 220V socket in the rear cargo area.

The tech is simple enough to locate and operate The tech is simple enough to locate and operate

Power-adjustable seats up front mean the driver and front passenger can dial-in their favourite seating position and these seats are very comfortable. Even the second row is plush, but the third row is not quite at that comfort level.

Second-row passengers have air con and entertainment controls, and an HDMI port.

The sunroof – an Enhancement Pack inclusion – is power-adjustable and allows plenty of natural light in through the top.

Even the second row is plush Even the second row is plush

The Lexus LX500d has a claimed 174L (VDA) of cargo space when seven seats are in use; 982L when five seats are being used (that’s with each half of the power-folding third row stowed flat at the push of a button); and 1871L when all seats are stowed away (the 60:40 folding second-row seats tumble-fold forward), except for the driver and front passenger, of course. 

The tailgate has a foot-swipe-to-open sensor (part of the $5500 Enhancement Pack).

  • It has a claimed 174L (VDA) of cargo space when all seats are in use It has a claimed 174L (VDA) of cargo space when all seats are in use
  • And 982L when five seats are being used And 982L when five seats are being used

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its engine and transmission? 8/10

The Lexus LX500d has a 3.3-litre V6 twin turbo-diesel engine, producing 227kW at 4000rpm and 700Nm between 1600-2600rpm.

It has a 10-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, a permanent all-wheel-drive system, low-range transfer case and a lockable centre diff. 

It also has six on-road drive modes – including Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport S, Sport S+ and Custom – and off-road drive modes.

It has a 3.3-litre V6 twin turbo-diesel engine. It has a 3.3-litre V6 twin turbo-diesel engine.

The V6 is an impressive fit in this behemoth, but even though this is a smooth-shifting SUV, there’s a leisurely, rather than lively, overall feel to how the engine and auto work together.

Because it is so hefty – with a listed 2690kg kerb weight – the Lexus does need a bit of heavy right boot to get going off the mark and during overtaking moves.

Driving – What's it like to drive? 7/10

This Lexus feels tighter and better controlled than previous iterations on sealed surfaces, but it’s still a big rig so it’s no surprise when body roll continually creeps in, with this hefty SUV revealing wallowing tendencies even at optimal ride height. 

The suspension set-up – adjustable dampers, double wishbones at the front, a four-linkage rigid axle at the rear, stabiliser bars front and rear – irons out any major issues, but, even with consistent support from the adaptive variable suspension, it’s not perfect.

Steering is light and precise and adds to this posh 2690kg beast’s overall feeling of low-key composure.

This is a very nice cabin in which to spend time as NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels are kept to a minimum.

The optional 22-inch alloy wheels add to the look The optional 22-inch alloy wheels add to the look

As mentioned earlier, the drive modes include normal, eco, sport and each adjusts throttle response, engine outputs, and gearshifts to suit the driver and the driving conditions.

Now for a few on-road niggles…

The brake pedals feel too spongy in their action – from stomp to stop – but the ventilated disc brakes front and rear do manage to wrench the Lexus to a controlled halt when needed.

The V6 and auto work well together, and though that transmission remains a smooth shifter, 10 gear ratios still seem like too many to me but, alas, that’s the way of the world.

The V6 is an impressive fit in this behemoth The V6 is an impressive fit in this behemoth

To the off-road portion of this test…

The LX500d is a great open-road tourer but it does reveal some flaws when it comes to 4WDing – but more about those later.

As well as its robust mechanicals, the Lexus has off-road-capable Cruiser underpinnings with dirt-biased tech thrown into the mix as well. 

There’s plenty of glass around so driver-to-track visibility is fine, steering feels light but takes on a clinical precision during low-speed, low-range 4WDing.

And ‘clinical’ is exactly how the Lexus continues to feel off-road – with multi-terrain select driving modes offering auto, dirt, sand, mud, deep snow, and rock options; with a multi-terrain monitor and panoramic view helping you ‘see’ everywhere on the track; with active height control helping you to lift the vehicle’s body in order to improve off-road angles at the push of a button; and don’t forget about downhill assist control, hill-start assist, crawl control, and off-road traction control.

It also has six on-road drive modes It also has six on-road drive modes

The danger is that – with so much tech working away at making everything so easy and safe – the driver feels completely removed from the off-road experience. The LX500d isn’t the only culprit, not by a long shot; most of the current crop of off-road vehicles are increasingly offering a sanitised, hyper-controlled version of 4WDing rather than the visceral experience many of us know and love. I’m old and grumpy, sue me.

Our test vehicle has all-season Dunlop Grandtrek 265/50R22 112V tyres, which are fine for sealed surfaces, but they’re not at all suited to the demands of low-range 4WDing in tough conditions, even more so on these 22-inch rims.

Unbraked towing capacity is 750kg, braked towing capacity is 3500kg. The LX500d has a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 3280kg and a gross combination mass (GCM) of 6780kg.

It has a full-size spare tyre and that’s mounted under the rear cargo area.

Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range? 7/10

The Lexus LX500d seven-seater has a listed fuel consumption of 8.9L/100km on a combined cycle.

Our actual fuel consumption on this test, from pump to pump, was 12.2L/100km. Note: our test included a lot of low-range 4WDing. 

The LX500d has an 80-litre fuel tank – so, going by that on-test fuel consumption figure, you should be able to get a driving range of almost 656km from a full tank.

It has a listed fuel consumption of 8.9L/100km It has a listed fuel consumption of 8.9L/100km

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating? 7/10

The Lexus does not have an ANCAP safety rating as it has not been tested.

Safety features include 10 airbags (driver and front passenger: front, knee, side; rear: side), AEB with pedestrian detection and daytime cyclist detection, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera with rear camera washer, adaptive cruise control, road sign assist, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, tyre pressure warning system, and more.

It has a reversing camera with rear camera washer It has a reversing camera with rear camera washer

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs? 7/10

The Lexus LX500d has a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Capped-price servicing applies for three years or 60,000km, whichever occurs the soonest. 

Service intervals are scheduled for every six months or 10,000km intervals with each appointment costing $495 a pop over that period.

Lexus Encore benefits – including a loan vehicle during services, service pick-up and return, as well as valet parking offers and fuel discounts – are standard for new Lexus owners.

The Lexus LX500d is a luxury seven-seat 4WD wagon with a big price-tag to match its full-to-bursting standard features list.

The interior is now more cool than cheesy and as a daily driver and long-distance tourer the LX500d offers very impressive levels of comfort and refinement – and it’s no posh pretender off-road either.

Sure, it’s much more of a city conveyance than a country wagon, but the LX500d is spot-on for those who have a premium SUV on their mind.


Based on new car retail price


Daily driver score


Adventure score


adventureguide rank

  • Light

    Dry weather gravel roads and formed trails with no obstacles, very shallow water crossings.

  • Medium

    Hard-packed sand, slight to medium hills with minor obstacles in all weather.

  • Heavy

    Larger obstacles, steeper climbs and deeper water crossings; plus tracks marked as '4WD only'

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