HEELS ON WHEELS: 2014 LEXUS LX 570 REVIEW
HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel
INTRO TO THE LX 570 VEHICLE
One of the top luxury SUVs on the market, the Lexus LX570 masterfully pairs performance with craftsmanship for a utility vehicle that can pretty much tackle anything you throw at it. From a driver-selectable multi-terrain four-wheel drive system to a dual-screen rear DVD player, this ride thrives on both rugged and urban terrain.
I drove a 2014 Lexus LX 570 with the standard 383-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 Dual Overhead Cam engine mated to a six-speed Sequential Shift automatic transmission throttle control system with intelligence (ETCS-i). The full-time four-wheel drive system features a TORSEN limited-slip differential. Other standard performance highlights include Hill-start Assist, crawl control, an advanced suspension system, variable gear-ratio steering, a driver-selectable multi-terrain system, and swiveling front headlights. Available in just one model (with optional packages), the LX570 includes as standard features: leather and wood trim; power and heated front seats; moonroof; four-zone automatic control; running boards with tow hitch; twenty-inch wheels; power liftgate; push-button start; reclining and power second row; power-folding third row; rearview camera; and an assortment of modern technology like navigation, a nine-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, HD Radio and Internet radio, all accessed through the Lexus-exclusive Enform infotainment system. Total vehicle price as described begins at $82,630 without optional packages.
Largely unchanged from last model year, the Lexus LX 570 is able to seat up to eight and competes with other box-shaped luxury SUVs like the Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and the Infiniti QX56.
HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA
Stylish But Comfortable Results: Without doubt the Lexus LX 570 pampers and spoils passengers from every seat. My test drive features almost an additional $7k in optional packages, such as the dual-screen DVD players, upgraded leather upholstery with ventilated seats, an upgraded nineteen-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, and Intuitive Park Assist with a wide front and side view on the backup monitor. The power side-folding third-row seats and power liftgate take all effort out of actually doing anything strenuous with loading cargo; yet note the elaborate folding system does take up valuable cargo space. Unfortunately the DVD screens don’t fold down, encouraging children to expect entertainment even on the smallest of trips. I would have liked to see a few more standard conveniences, like side-rear window pull-up shades and power adjustable pedals, for the price.
Reliability & Safety Factor: Standard safety features include a comprehensive airbag system, multi-terrain anti-locking brakes, electronic brake distribution, vehicle stability control, pre-collision system, Lexus Safety Connect with automatic collision notification, and Smart Stop technology. The Lexus LX570 has not been rated by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Cost Issues: At $82,630 for a base price, this SUV is far from practical. A fully loaded GMC Yukon Denali hovers around $70k.
Activity & Performance Ability: The sophisticated four-wheel drive system is easy enough to operate with clear switches at the lower center console. You’ve also got Sport or Comfort suspension that can smooth out any road imperfections or intensive the handling. If you’re not going to worry over every dirty shoe that enters the white-detailed cabin, the LX570 is a stress-free chariot for all journeys, from horizontal highways to snowy inclines. Tight parking and driving situations, however, do show the LX570’s cumbersome side as visibility and turning radius is challenged.
The Green Concern: Fuel economy is a bit unnerving as the LX570’s monstrous V8 engine gets 12 miles-per-gallon city and 17 highway for a shocking 14 combined.
FINAL PARTING WORDS
Undoubtedly luxurious, capable and comfortable, the 2014 Lexus LX570 is a practical choice for a unique handful, and will likely never see the challenging trail terrain it is designed for. If that’s not a bother, then just sit back and enjoy the pampering.
©2014 Katrina Ramser