7.18.2015

Without Compromise: The 2015 Lexus LX570

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Lexus LX570
The 2015 Lexus LX570.
Compromise is how most things in life get done.  You give a little, I give a little, each party gets some, but not all, of what they had hoped for.  There are many who believe compromise is good.  Thank God Lexus does not, for compromise and excellence are almost always mutually exclusive.  And the LX570 is all about excellence.




Side view of 2015 Lexus LX570
2015 Lexus LX570.
As our Publisher and Executive Editor noted in his review of the 2014 LX570, the full-size luxury SUV field really comes down to three players (four, if you count the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, which hadn't been introduced at the time of Michael's piece): Range Rover, the Mercedes-Benz GL and the Lexus LX570. All three are intended to be fully capable off-road and foul-weather vehicles that don't hold back on luxury, targeting a buyer base for whom price is somewhere between a lesser concern and no object.

The LX570's base price of $82,930 delivers a proven SUV (underneath the Lexus styling treatments is a Toyota Land Cruiser) with a 383-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 engine.  That is significant power, but it is tasked with moving six thousand pounds worth of vehicle, so it is not a hot rod.  Its 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds is neither fast nor slow, but just about right.  Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the EPA estimate for fuel economy is 12 miles per gallon city, 17 highway.  In a mix of city streets and urban freeways, we recorded 14.  Michael saw 16.8 last year in a largely highway run from Sacramento to San Francisco and back. The fuel tank is 24.6 gallons, which works out to 295 miles in town and 418 on the highway, using the EPA estimate. And, at the current Phoenix average gas price of $2.90 a gallon, filling up is a $71.34 proposition.

But again, these are not troubling numbers for the buyer of a no-compromises luxury SUV, who focuses on value over price. And the LX570 is three tons of value.  Standard equipment includes active height control, 20-inch wheels with a liquid graphite finish, a full complement of safety features, multi-terrain anti-lock braking, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, vehicle stability control, crawl control with turn assist, active traction control with multi-terrain select and trailer sway control (the LX570 can tow up to 7,000 pounds).

Also standard, a theft-deterrent system with vehicle immobilizer, high-intensity discharge headlamps, integrated fog lamps, LED daytime running lights and taillamps, dual-swivel adaptive front lighting, rain-sensing variable intermittent wipers and de-icer, the Lexus Enform Security and Destinations app suites, tire pressure monitoring, illuminated running boards, a tow hitch with a ball mount, a first aid kit and a tool kit.

Interior view of 2015 Lexus LX570
2015 Lexus LX570 interior.
Inside, there's a nine-speaker Lexus Premium surround-sound audio system with HD Radio, multi-adjustable power heated front seats with memory, a power-folding third row seat, a power-sliding second row seat and carpeted floor mats.

Of course, our test vehicle had options to make the LX570 even more luxurious:

The Luxury Package ($1,510)---Semi-aniline leather-trimmed interior with contrast stitching, heated and ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a center console-mounted cool box, SmartAccess card key, wood-trimmed door switch plates and a rear center armrest cover.

Mark Levinson Audio System ($2,350)---An upgrade to a 19-speaker reference surround sound audio system featuring DVD-Audio and DVD-Video playback.

Intuitive Park Assist ($1,000)---A wide-view front and side monitor, with cameras in the front grille and passenger-side mirror.

Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Seat Entertainment System ($2,005)---With wireless headphones and audio/video inputs.

With $925 delivery, processing and handling fee, the as-tested price came to $90,720.

Lexus' own website shows that the competition (Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz GL and Escalade) is tough. There are many areas in which the others have moved ahead---eight and nine-speed transmissions, fuel economy---but the LX570 has an ace in the hole---legendary Toyota reliability.  And for the person of means who puts value above cost, that is an important consideration.

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