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Lexus LX 2021 review: 570 S

The V8-powered LX 570 S is the sporty, urban big boy Lexus.

Daily driver score

3.7/5

Urban score

3.5/5

When you look at a Lexus LX, you see a distinct resemblance to a Toyota LandCruiser. That’s understandable given that, fundamentally, the Lexus LX is a comprehensively gussied-up Toyota LandCruiser.

Built to put the luxury brand into the large SUV game, and taking advantage of Toyota's huge product portfolio, it's clear that this is not for chucking down the side of a mountain (although it can absolutely do that if asked, as long as you're on good terms with your local paint shop).

Lexus is - or more accurately, LX buyers are - very clear about how folks use the LX: it’s a city car. So it's got all the sophisticated city looks, with skirts and bling and big shiny alloy wheels. Whether there's a point to all that is irrelevant - there are clearly people, like you, who want a posh LandCruiser.

The LX is built to put the luxury brand into the large SUV game. The LX is built to put the luxury brand into the large SUV game.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

When you’re knocking on the door of $170,000, “good value” is relative. You’ll be pleased to hear, however, that the LX 570 S is properly loaded. You get 21-inch wheels, air suspension, comprehensive multi-terrain modes should you feel the need to get out amongst it, terrain cameras (with under-car view), variable steering, auto LED headlights, auto wipers, powered tailgate, reversing sensors, reversing camera, clearance sensors, sat nav, head-up display, power front seats, four-zone climate control, heated front seats, wireless phone charging, around-view cameras, sunroof, heated steering wheel, and heated outboard seats in the middle row.

The 12.3-inch screen is big but it’s the old Lexus system. The 12.3-inch screen is big but it’s the old Lexus system.

The 12.3-inch screen is big but it’s the old Lexus system, controlled by the weird mixture of touchpad and four-way rocker switch. It’s never been a satisfactory control method and the system itself is a little cumbersome, lacking Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The kids in the back should be sorted, though, with an 11.6-inch HDMI-input screen on the back of each front seat, and a set of supplied headphones so that, once the kids are plugged in, you can enjoy the 19-speaker Mark Levinson stereo in peace.

There are 11.6-inch HDMI-input screens on the back of each front seat. There are 11.6-inch HDMI-input screens on the back of each front seat.

Is there anything interesting about its design?

The LX came in for a facelift in 2021, perhaps to differentiate it from its Toyota sibling and, according to the press release, “[raise] its level of urban sophistication.” That kind of tells you where this car is going to spend all of its time, doesn’t it?

The LX came in for a facelift in 2021. The LX came in for a facelift in 2021.

There’s the new spindle grille that dominates the nose, with some clever detailing to make it look a bit more sporty and dramatic. Around the car there are modified bumpers, skirts, new wheel designs, all that kind of thing. It does look sportier, but there’s no way to hide the visual bulk of such a big unit.

The interior is largely unchanged. The interior is largely unchanged.

The interior is largely unchanged and the ruggedness is softened somewhat by semi-anline leather trim and alloy sports pedals. It’s terribly conventional and very usable, but there’s none of the excitement or innovation you'll find in other, more recent Lexus cabins.

How practical is the space inside?

Hellooo?! I think there’s an echo in here. This is one giant car, with eight seats available for the keen or foolhardy to squeeze themselves into. If you’ve got all eight deployed, the boot space starts at a reasonable 349 litres. Kick out the three in the back row and flip them up to the sides of the boot and you have 710 litres, although that figure is slightly down on what it could be as the seats don’t stow neatly away under the floor.

  • Boot space starts at a reasonable 349 litres with all seats in place. Boot space starts at a reasonable 349 litres with all seats in place.
  • Kick out the back row and flip the seats up for 710 litres. Kick out the back row and flip the seats up for 710 litres.
  • The seats don’t stow neatly away under the floor. The seats don’t stow neatly away under the floor.
  • The maximum boot space available is 1962 litres. 
The maximum boot space available is 1962 litres. 

Getting the third-row passengers out is a bit of a chore, because the middle row needs a hefty shove to move, while folding the third row jump seats is a power-assisted affair. The middle-seat passenger in the third row is hugely unlikely to be comfortable no matter their size, but the headroom is good anywhere you choose to sit, and the second row has heaps of legroom.

  All three rows should be reasonably comfortable. All three rows should be reasonably comfortable.

Scattered throughout are cupholders - I counted seven - and you get bottle holders in the doors. All three rows should be reasonably comfortable, with vents supplying climate-controlled air to each and everyone, and the middle row has its own set of controls.

Getting the third-row passengers out is a bit of a chore. Getting the third-row passengers out is a bit of a chore.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

The 5.7-litre petrol V8 is classic Toyota/Lexus, unstressed and unhurried, with 270Kw and 530Nm. All of this is harnessed to an eight-speed automatic and an extremely capable off-road setup that almost nobody who buys this car will ever use.

The LX 570 S will tow up to 3500kg braked and 750kg braked.

The 5.7-litre petrol V8 is classic Toyota/Lexus. The 5.7-litre petrol V8 is classic Toyota/Lexus.

How much fuel does it consume?

The official combined cycle figure of 14.4L/100km is fairly sobering but the real world is even more so - my time with the LX 570 S yielded an indicated 18.5L/100km, which was not unexpected given I spent a lot of time in urban and suburban driving. I don’t think that figure will come as a surprise to any owner of a 2600kg-plus petrol V8-powered four-wheel drive.

The official combined cycle figure is 14.4L/100km. The official combined cycle figure is 14.4L/100km.

The LX 570 S has twin petrol tanks (93 and 45 litres) for a whopping 138-litre capacity to swallow 95 RON fuel, which, on my figures should deliver 745km between fills.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

Lexus offers what I think is a unique four-year/100,000km warranty along with four years' roadside assist.

Capped-price servicing weighs in at $495 per service, almost $3000 over six services, and you'll be back at the dealer every six months or 10,000km before leaving with a loan car. Or the dealer will come and fetch the car from you and then return it freshly cleaned. Nice.

Lexus offers four-year/100,000km warranty. Lexus offers four-year/100,000km warranty.

LX owners also get access to Lexus Encore Platinum . This generous program includes Lexus on Demand (you can book another Lexus - such as an LS or an RC F if you’re feeling racy - four times per year at some airports or dealers) and eight valet parking vouchers for some Westfields and Chadstone in Melbourne, all booked through the Encore app. There’s also a bunch of benefits inherited from the standard Encore program.

What’s it like to drive around town?

First, some key figures - the LX 570 S is 5.08 metres long, 1.98 metres wide and 1.87 metres tall, depending on the height you’ve set the air suspension. It is Quite Large. Yes, cars like the Mazda CX-9 are as long and the Hyundai Palisade is nearly as tall, but given the LX’s humble origins, it just feels really, really big, and it looks it, too.

Featuring 21-inch wheels. Featuring 21-inch wheels.

That feeling is not helped by oddly heavy and slow steering. The latter quality is a result of its off-roading abilities, but you can’t help but wonder if the variable-ratio steering couldn’t be made a bit quicker for town use. The S in the 570 S also adds sportier dampers front and rear, which do the ride quality few favours. Smooth roads are fine, of course, but concrete roads induce a weird porpoising movement that some air-suspended Land Rovers get, and it’s not particularly pleasant, although if you don’t use one of those roads, you won’t notice.

The LX 570 S is oddly heavy and slow steering. The LX 570 S is oddly heavy and slow steering.

It's obviously a tricky machine to park and get around tight inner-city back streets. Our narrow suburban street posed a challenge when turning in and out of our narrow driveway with cars parked either side. And I did wonder about the strength of our driveway, given the heft of the LX.

I'm not going to pretend I enjoyed driving the LX, but it’s not bad to drive. You’re always aware of the sheer size and weight of the thing, though, as well as the conspicuous consumption of the very smooth and very agreeable V8. The engine does its best to shift the huge weight and the transmission is beautifully calibrated.

Once you’re on a motorway, progress is quite regal, too, so trips away in the LX will be supremely comfortable, even if you hit the busted-up dirt roads I accidentally ended up on. 

The Lexus is awkwardly big and not very fleet of foot when you're negotiating the commute to work, school or the shops. It slurps fuel at a rate we're not used to seeing these days and it's not the easiest to park, even with all of its cameras and beepers.

The LX is far more at home out on the highway, where it is incredibly comfortable and quiet. One imagines the diesel entry-level model would do it all, but with less consumption. If you must have a V8, the LX 570 without the S might be even more comfortable without the sports dampers.

Either way, it's a lot of car for the suburbs.

$168,767

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Daily driver score

3.7/5

Urban score

3.5/5
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.