Five-Point Inspection: 2015 Lexus LX 570

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

The 2015 Lexus LX 570 is a large luxury SUV that’s designed to tackle just about anything mother nature can throw its way, but is this machine ready for life in suburbia?

The Lexus LX 570 is top-shelf utility vehicle that’s designed for serious off-roading. Think of it as a luxurious Japanese Jeep, or perhaps more appropriately as a reliable Range Rover. This vehicle is laden with features that give it the ability to climb mountains better than a bighorn sheep.

Like many of its rivals, including short-wheelbase versions of the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, the LX 570 features body-on-frame construction; it’s built like a truck for extra durability.

And to ensure it’s never short on capability this vehicle is augmented with full-time four-wheel-drive. In normal situations it sends 40 percent of the engine’s available torque to the front axle and 60 percent rearward, a split that supposedly improves on-road agility. This system also features a locking Torsen limited-slip center differential.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Cadillac Escalade vs. 2015 Lincoln Navigator

The vehicle’s Active Traction Control System (A-TRAC) is similar to Land Rover’s Terrain Response. It allows you to adjust how the four-wheel-drive system reacts to different surfaces. There are settings for mud and sand as well as loose rock, to name a few.

Of course the LX 570 comes with all kinds of other features designed to make it super capable out on the trail. It’s got things like turn assist, crawl control and hill-start assist as well as a driver-selectable low range. Further burnishing its rough-and-ready reputation, this vehicle is rated to tow up to 7,000 lbs.

But realistically, and this applies to the Range Rover as well, who takes one of these leather-lined behemoths off road? Navigating a tight, backwoods trail would be like attempting to sail the USS Iowa in our national mall’s reflecting pool. Sure, these are extremely capable vehicles but they’re unlikely to see a dirt road much less serious mud and rocks.

And it’s hard to blame owners for not wanting to tear up their high-end SUVs. Base price for the LX is an astonishing 84 grand! The model I tested wore a sticker price of $90,720, including $925 in destination fees. It was pumped up with options like a Mark Levinson sound system and rear-seat DVD players.

Aside from its apparent off-road prowess the LX 570’s other major draw is its luxurious interior. The cabin is constructed of quality materials including what has to be some of the softest leather ever put in a vehicle.

Of course this truck is loaded with features, too. Most of the latest gadgets and convenience items are accounted for, though the infotainment system feels like it’s about two generations behind the latest stuff. It’s pretty clunky when you use it. Still, about all that’s missing are heated seatbelts, a codpiece organizer in the center console and a frozen-drinks dispenser.

As its name suggests, the LX 570 is powered by a 5.7-liter engine. This burly V8 puts out 383 hp and 403 lb-ft of torque, numbers that are competitive though not class leading. By comparison the Escalade’s 6.2-liter engine delivers 420 ponies while the Navigator’s twin-turbo V6 pushes out 460 lb-ft of torque.

The only transmission available in this luxurious Lexus is a six-speed automatic and that’s OK because it works flawlessly. This gearbox is slicker than an olive-oil soaked Slip ‘N Slide.

Despite being a little down on horsepower and torque, this utility vehicle is still strong enough for a claimed zero to 60 run of 7.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to a frighteningly quick 137 miles an hour. This vehicle has the dimensions of a main battle tank, how can it move like that?

While hardly fast, the LX 570 has more than enough power. Its engine is smooth and quite responsive. Unfortunately though, it requires premium fuel and LOTS of it. I averaged about 16.2 MPG during my week with it, which, to be fair is a lot better than average. Officially it stickers at 12 MPG city, 17 highway and 14 combined.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Infiniti QX80 Review

Along with its brutish consumption this rig also feels rather cumbersome on the road. The steering, braking and body control are too ponderous for my liking and the LX feels a generation or two behind its rivals. But other than its propensity to float when the adjustable suspension is in comfort mode there aren’t any egregious faults.

If there is one standout aspect of the driving experience it’s definitely outward visibility. Thanks to its elevated height and relatively thin roof pillars, the views are grand and blind spots surprisingly small.

That all depends on how much money you’ve got stashed under the mattress. If you’re a member of the 1 percent and can afford a fleet of different vehicles the 2015 Lexus LX 570 could be a worthy addition to your garage, especially if you own a vacation home up in the mountains.

But if you’re not that wealthy and you’re going to be driving this SUV every day then it becomes a little harder to recommend. The LX feels ponderous, a bit outdated and it’s terrifyingly thirsty, plus it’s anything but a good value. Unless you need serious off-road capability there are better high-end SUVs on the market today.

GALLERY: 2015 Lexus LX 570

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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 1 comment
  • Johnls39 . Johnls39 . on Jan 21, 2015

    This vehicle is irrelevant nowadays and lost in the sea of Escalades, QX80s, GLs and Range Rovers. Lexus should had done a modest update in '13 when it had a chance but didn't. It is a nice looking vehicle but it is ancient now. Hopefully the next vehicle is a home run for them.