Lexus LX570 is many vehicles in one: a genuine off-roader, a people mover with plenty of interior space, and a tow vehicle that can haul serious loads.

Being a Lexus it has impressively low noise levels and is very comfortable for its type. No matter what the road surface the big Japanese 4WD simply lopes over it with never a sign of it being unsettled.

Handling? If you’re comparing it with one of the big-three German SUVs, or the British Range Rover and prefer a semi-sporty feel you will be disappointed. But few will ever drive the big Lexus hard at corners, and if you do it hangs on pretty well considering it weighs close to three tonnes. Body roll isn’t too bad.

Australia is very important to Lexus and its parent company Toyota. So Japanese and Australian engineers got together to test prototypes of the LX570 in the Australian outback and the Great Dividing Range. Some 200,000 kilometres were covered over a three-year period and many improvements were made as a result.

Lexus_LX570_frontIncidentally, the Lexus LS range is heavily based on the Toyota LandCruiser, though quite a few of its body parts have been modified in an attempt to hide the relationship. The dash panel, seats and trim have all been designed specifically for the LX570. Quality leather, genuine timber, metals and carpet are used throughout.

There’s spacious room inside the LX570. It’s able to provide comfort for up to eight people all of whom can be adults, though four adults and four children is a more practical arrangement.

There’s power adjustment just about everywhere, with the second row seat featuring it for fore/aft adjustment, and the rearmost seats being powered away when not in use and down again as required.

Many Lexus LX570s are used for heavy duty towing, particularly of horse floats as the big 4WD has 3500 kg of braked towing capacity.

The LX570 really can go places where few others would dare to travel. While most vehicles in this price class are pretenders that appear to be 4WDs but are really only suited to soft off-road running, the Lexus has a tough body, variable ride height and the latest in mechanical and electronic aids to provide plenty of ground clearance and excellent traction.

Lexus uses two air conditioning units. These divide the vehicle into four individual zones to give just about everyone their own private climate via no fewer than 28 different ventilation outlets.

Entertainment comes from a Mark Levinson audio system featuring 19 speakers, including a 10-inch subwoofer. Rear-seat DVD entertainment is provided by a nine-inch screen with multiple connections.

Power comes from a twin-cam 5.7-litre petrol V8 engine that can accelerate the big 4WD from rest to 100 km/h in only 7.8 seconds. On a more realistic note, it has a six-speed automatic transmission and two-speed transfer box so can do a lot more than drag race away from traffic lights.

Fuel consumption is high. Our testing showed it to use around 11 to 13 litres per hundred kilometres in the gentlest of highway running conditions and figures close to 18 litres per hundred kilometres won’t be surprising in suburban commuting in traffic. If you’re carrying eight people, or a fair percentage of that number, this fuel use can be justified, but if you’re the only occupant the LX570 verges on being anti-social.

In its favour, the consumption of the LX570 is significantly lower than that of its honourable ancestor, the LX470.

Safety is highlighted by such features as radar that warns of possible collisions and takes action to try and prevent them, while cameras mounted into the front grille and the passenger side door mirror give the driver a wide view of potential blind spots.

Not a car for everyone, but those who do have a good sized bank account and who need a genuinely tough vehicle that can hold a lot of people and their luggage may well find this superbly refined machine from Lexus to be exactly what they need.


Lexus LX570 5.7-litre petrol five-door wagon: $140,045 (automatic)
Note: Prices do not include government or dealer charges. Contact your local Lexus dealer for driveaway pricing.

ABS Brakes: Standard
Automatic Transmission: Standard
Cruise Control: Standard
Dual Front Airbags: Standard
Front Side Airbags: Standard
Electronic Stability Program: Standard
Rear Parking Sensors: Standard
Reversing Camera: Standard
USB/Auxiliary Audio Inputs: Standard
Bluetooth: Standard
Steering Wheel Mounted Controls: Standard

SPECIFICATIONS (Lexus LX570 5.7-litre petrol five-door wagon)

Engine Capacity: 5.663 litres
Configuration: V8
Head Design: DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Compression Ratio: 10.2:1
Bore/Stroke: 94.0 x 102.0 mm
Maximum Power: 270 kW @ 5600 rpm
Maximum Torque: 530 Nm @ 3200 rpm

Driven Wheels: Full-time 4WD
Manual Transmission: Not offered
Automatic Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive Ratio: Not supplied

Length: 5020 mm
Wheelbase: 2850 mm
Width: 1970 mm
Height: 1920 mm
Turning Circle: 11.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 2750 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 93 litres (plus 45 litres in auxiliary tank)
Towing Ability: 750 kg (3500 kg with braked trailer)
Boot Capacity: 701 litres

Front Suspension: Independent, double wishbone, hydro-pneumatic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
Rear Suspension:Live axle, upper and lower trailing arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Front Brakes: Ventilated disc
Rear Brakes: Ventilated disc

0-100 km/h Acceleration: 7.8 seconds

Fuel Type: Petrol 95RON
Fuel Consumption – Combined Cycle (ADR 81/02): 14.8 L/100 km

Greenhouse Rating: 2.5/10
Air Pollution Rating: 8.5/10

Four years/100,000 km

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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