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2014 Lexus LX 570: a large capacity, luxury SUV to use in the back-woods

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Driving a different vehicle every week can become a bit confusing at times, but that is common-place for most automotive journalists. There are those special weeks when you have a vehicle that you do not wish to give up. Such was the case of a 2014 Lexus LX570 during a January test-drive. I wished for more driving time.

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Okay, the Lexus LX570 is a big 'hunking' throwback from several years ago. In fact, the last review I wrote on the LX570 was when it was introduced as a 'new' model in 2009. It was being referred to back then as a re-make of the Toyota Land Cruiser. Back then, gasoline was less expensive and government mandates were not so obvious. Hybrids were still a curiosity and a large SUV was almost considered a status symbol.

My review of the 2009 model repeatedly referred to the attractiveness of the LX570, the elegant look, the rugged appearance, the inside roominess, and luxury appointments. Not much has really changed since then, except everything has gotten better. There will always be a market for those individuals who want a large-sized vehicle that is comfortable, luxurious, has great capability, and can go off-road. Sure, there is a wide range of pickup trucks that can meet that demand, but not many large SUV's and that is where this wonderful LX570 comes on the stage.

My test-drive LX570 was white in initial appearance, but called 'Starfire Pearl.' It was powered by a 5.7 liter, 32-valve V8 that provided 383 hp. It was matched with a 8-speed sequential shift automatic transmission. As a luxury SUV, it was completed with a lengthy laundry list of items, including dual-swivel adaptive front lights, rain-sensing variable intermittent windshield wipers, and even illuminated running boards. It was listed as seating eight persons and the third row of seats were power folding. The second row of seats were power sliding.

There were a few enhanced packages added on, at extra costs, of course. These included the 'Luxury Package' of leather trim and contrast stitching, front and second row heated seats, and a center console cool box. The Mark Levinson Audio System was upgraded to 18 speakers and a Surround Sound system. The Intuitive Park Assist provided wide-view front and side monitors. The entertainment system was a dual-screen DVD rear-seat style with wireless headphones.

The LX570 is equipped with 20-inch five spoke wheels and rugged all-terrain tires. This is a luxury people carrier, but it is also a serious off-road contender for those who want to experience that in luxury. During the week-long test-drive, it was certainly a benefit to have the off-road option to better navigate the severe weather situations that blanketed the area. Most of the week was spent in dirt, mud, ice, and snow and the LX570 rose to the occasion, acting more like an off-roader than a highway cruiser.

The MSRP was shown as $81,780 and with the added-on packages and destination charges, the bottom sticker price came to $89,555. The fuel economy was listed at 12 city, 17 highway, and 14 overall average. As is usual, I achieved better results, ending up with a 16.5 mpg overall average for the week.

For those select few who want to have a large capacity vehicle to carry people into the back woods in luxury, the Lexus LX570 is definitely an SUV to consider. The LX 570 is the type of vehicle that is so much fun to drive that you think of trips you can take just so you can drive it more. It is comfortable, tows easily, can go almost anywhere, and keeps you happy with just the right touch of luxury. Check it out yourself at a Lexus dealership.