2022 Lexus LX600 First Drive Review: Comfortably Niche

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick


Engine: 3.4L V6 Turbo
Output: 409 hp, 479 lb-ft
Transmission: 10AT, 4WD
US fuel economy (MPG): 19/22/17
CAN fuel economy (L/100KM): 14.2/10.8/12.7
Starting Price (USD): $88,245 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (USD): $101,470 (Premium, inc. dest.), $105,005 (F Sport, inc. dest.), $127,940 (Ultra Luxury, inc. dest.)
Starting Price (CAD): $109,095 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (CAD): $122,095 (F Sport est, inc. dest.), $153,995 (est, inc. dest.)

My first impression of the 2022 Lexus LX600 happens at 7,200 feet, and roughly 7,200 miles from where it feels built for.

That’s not to say the latest Lexus flagship is totally out of place. We’re in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which throws stunning snow-capped vistas at me quicker than Hollywood can mine our nostalgia. A wholly acceptable spot within North America to launch a new luxury SUV, Santa Fe is. I’m pretty sure the Lexus team practically sold a ski-tripping family on a new one just by having the fleet parked in front of the hotel.

After over a dozen years, the Japanese luxury brand’s SUV flagship has received a much-needed generational change. As you’d expect after so long, that’s made for dramatic improvements across the board, from refinement, technology, capability, and yes, even fuel economy. The result is a big-time rig that wouldn’t look out of place launching over dunes outside Tabuk. That genuine off-road capability marks it out amongst the large luxury SUV crowd—only now it comes with better road manners.

What’s new?

The new LX rides on the TNGA-F platform, a body-on-frame solution you’d find under the Toyota Tundra and Land Cruiser. The latter is no longer available in North America: Toyota has axed the legendary Land Cruiser ’round these parts, so your only choice for that legendary off-road prowess is the big-grilled Lexus.

The styling is evolutionary, building off the last major redesign of the previous-gen LX. Lexus has tidied up the front end, with a few different grille treatments depending on trim. Angular, swollen wheel arches give the rig a more assertive stance. Head around back and there’s that most common of modern car design elements, the full-width LED bar, linking up two simple taillights. There’s a big “LEXUS” just below, a move the brand says will continue on future models.

Lexus was keen to keep what it calls “the golden ratio” intact for the LX600. That means the same 112.2-inch (2,850 millimeters) wheelbase as before, and a length just barely over 200 inches (5,080 mm). Minimum ground clearance is 7.87 inches (200 mm), while the different bumper designs have shaved the angles of approach and departure to 21.0 and 21.7 degrees, respectively. Those numbers are for the base model with 20-inch wheels; throw some 22s on there with the Active Height Control (AHC) suspension, and we’re talking 27.4 and 26.3 degrees, respectively.

Out goes the old 5.7-liter V8 for a much smaller 3.4-liter V6. It might be down two cylinders but it’s up a pair of turbos, so outputs rise to 409 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed auto handles shifting duties.

2022 Lexus LX600 interior and comfort

If the changes outside are minimal, the interior is a transformation. Say goodbye to the sunken cliff face of before, with an analog clock at the summit. In its place is a canted surface, a small touchscreen up top and a smattering of physical buttons. Sure, you can poke and prod at that screen to set the temperature. But there’s still honest-to-goodness toggles to do it, the ones you can operate without looking. Same goes with the big, fool-proof rotary dials for drive modes and range select.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 Review: Wafting Wunderkind

It’s not the digital chic of the latest Escalade, nor the nautical equilibrium of a Range Rover, but the LX feels sturdy. Like something you’ll hand down to your kids. Every bit of the interior of these pre-production units feels great to the touch, from the chunky grab handles, the redesigned steering wheel, and the smooth center console—the latter is available with a chiller, too. An available wood pattern (“takanoha”) is handcrafted to resemble the pattern of a hawk’s feathers. F Sport models can come with an appropriately shouty red leather interior.

The new Ultra Luxury trim emphasizes how much these big SUVs have supplanted traditional limos. It cuts the seating count to four, and drops a huge center console between the rear seats. At the press of a button, the seats can recline up to 48 degrees. For maximum comfort, make sure to nab the passenger-side throne, to make use of the fold-out ottoman. The center console includes its own wireless charger, USB-C and HDMI ports, additional storage, and full climate controls via touchscreen. Oh yeah, and massaging functions.

The Premium, F Sport, and Luxury trims all pack in three rows of seats. Legroom is generous in the first two rows, measuring 41.1 inches (1,045 mm) in front and 36.6 (930 mm) for the middle. The third row is fine for adults in a pinch, but the 35.2 inches (895 mm) of headroom and 31.1 inches (790 mm) of legroom make it the tightest fit in the class. The Ultra Luxury chops 2.75 inches (70 mm) out of the second-row legroom to make space for those magical moving seats.

Regardless of how many spots are behind you, though, the front seats are excellent. Comfortable with just the right amount of contouring, they’re high but not too high, with a wide range of adjustments to give a clear view over the long hood.

2022 Lexus LX600 technology and features

I’m all too happy to find the latest Lexus infotainment inside the LX600. I raved about it on the NX first drive, and it’s just as good here. Measuring 12.3 inches across, the screen is crisp and clear, responding quickly to inputs. The menu system keeps things easy, and there’s always the option of “Hey Lexus”-ing your way to the next ranch. If you’d prefer to talk to your own phone, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard.

SEE ALSO: Jeep Grand Wagoneer vs Cadillac Escalade Comparison

That big screen comes in handy when we head off-road. Switch to 4Lo and the exterior cameras take over, with views to the front, sides, and rear. This is when the smaller 7.0-inch screen below takes center stage, with the controls for Multi-Terrain Select, Drive Mode Select, and Downhill Assist Control.

A 10-speaker sound system is standard, but every tester on-site had the superb 25-speaker Mark Levinson setup. It’s the most speakers Lexus has ever stuffed into a vehicle, and at 2,400 watts, the most powerful. It will shake your insides if you let it.

Naturally, there are a bunch of other luxury goodies too, like heating and ventilation for the front and outboard second-row seats, a huge powered moonroof, power-folding seats, head-up display, and six USB ports.

2022 Lexus LX600 driving impressions

Make no mistake: the LX600 still drives like a body-on-frame SUV. It is deliberate in its movements, and soft in its responses.

There’s much more linearity to its touch points now, though. The brand will say much about the “Lexus Driving Signature,” and it shines through. The switch to electric power steering is a big reason why, allowing the engineers to give the LX a light but positive feel. The big rig has shed 441 lb (200 kg) for this fourth generation as well, while chassis rigidity is up 20 percent from additional spot welds and higher-strength steels. It might be 200 inches long, but the LX600 feels smaller from behind the wheel.

I spend most of my on-road time with an LX600 Premium with Appearance Package. Lexus expects this to be a rare option, but off-roaders will appreciate it for the 18-inch wheels alone. Just look at those chunky sidewalls! It’s a blast from the past in an age where nostalgia is king. Combine the big sidewalls with the adaptive variable suspension, and the LX600’s ride is downright cushy. There are four damping modes (Comfort, Normal, Sport, and the 4Lo-exclusive Mogul Control), and they do as they say on the tin.

The afternoon’s off-roading session, somewhat counter-intuitively, is in the F Sport Handling—the most road-biased trim there is. The thinking? If the F Sport can handle the (admittedly light) trail, there’s no reason any other trim can’t. The on-screen graphics show a lot of lateral and longitudinal lean, but sure enough, the LX600 breezes through, never losing composure.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Lexus LC Convertible Review: A Future Classic

Crawl control now has an even firmer grasp on available grip. On a steep, uneven gravel drop, the LX600 will inch along at one of five available speeds, the proverbial determined tortoise. When an individual wheel encounters clear air, the system adapts, so there’s little of the scrabble that existed in previous versions of the system. Meanwhile, Multi-Terrain Select now allows drivers to use any of its six drive modes in 4Hi. Need a skosh more clearance? Jack the adjustable hydraulic suspension to its tallest of four settings.

Another trick up the LX600’s sleeve is a turn-assist that essentially locks the rear wheels on trails for a tighter turning circle. It’s effective, with the sound from the dragged gravel being the most obvious cue it’s working.

I don’t mourn the loss of the V8. The new twin-turbo V6 has plenty of muscle, and the 10-speed auto keeps the digital needle right in the thick of that 479-lb-ft plateau. It’d be nice to see the Tundra’s hybridized version of this engine here, however. I put it to Vinay Shahani, VP of marketing at Lexus. He has the typical “can’t comment on future product” response, but adds that the company feels “just fine with the powertrain we have.” Even without battery assistance, the new engine is a much lighter drinker than before. The F Sport manages 19 mpg in the afternoon, bang on the EPA average rating, despite off-roading and a photo session.

2022 Lexus LX600 pricing

All these improvements come at a minor price increase over last year’s model. For 2022, the LX600 starts at $88,245 in America, after destination. That’s a difference of $470; peanuts really, when you take into account all the extra features this model has. Up from the base you’ll find the Premium ($96,345 / $109,095 CAD), which is where the Canadian lineup starts. In the middle of the lineup is the F Sport Handling ($102,345 / $122,095 CAD), and the Luxury ($104,345 / $129,345 CAD) slightly above. The leap up to Ultra Luxury (Executive VIP in Canada) is a steep $127,345 ($153,345 CAD).

Shahani tells me the new F Sport should make up a significant chunk of sales, around 1 in 4. The Ultra Luxury will be understandably rarer, but should serve its purpose as a true halo model. It’s the Range Rover Autobiography approach to personal luxury, but with baked-in Toyota reliability.

SEE ALSO: 2022 Land Rover Range Rover Debuts with Three Rows, Upcoming PHEV and EV

Final Thoughts: 2022 Lexus LX600 First Drive Review

The 2022 Lexus LX600 carves its own path. There’s a sense Lexus knows it can’t win at the numbers game—the Escalade outsold the LX over 10:1 last year. And that’s okay.

The Land Cruiser thrives halfway around the globe, and yet its genes still shine through in the LX. It’s no surprise really, especially now that the Lexus essentially replaces it in North America. Now there’s no more in-fighting. With the proliferation of the available trims—specifically the swanky Ultra Luxury—Lexus is embracing a more globalized idea of luxury. Given its multicultural target audience, that sounds like a recipe for success.


How much is does the 2022 Lexus LX600 cost?

The new model starts from $88,245 ($109,095 CAD).

When can you buy the 2022 Lexus LX600?

The LX will begin trickling into US dealerships now; Canadian sales began January 20.

Will there be a 2022 Toyota Land Cruiser?

Not for the US market: the LX600 rides on the same platform, but is more luxurious.

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  • Hasn't abandoned off-road ability
  • Vastly improved ride and handling
  • Class-competitive infotainment and tech


  • Tight rear seats in two- and three-row forms
  • Just one engine
  • Ultra aside, not as lux-feeling as competition
Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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 1 comment
  • Mike Rosenberg Mike Rosenberg on Jan 27, 2022

    Lexus LX600 when you upgrade to the Mark Levinson there is no longer a CD player sad day for audiophiles.the best quality music comes from a CD not from your i phone or any streaming services.Mark Levinson was always known for playback of the best quality that is no longer true.i will enjoy my 2021 Lexus RX450h with the Mark Levinson CD player as long as I am able.maybe if a lot of people complain to Lexus they will bring back the Mark Levinson CD player