2019 Lexus LX570 new car reviews

When the current generation of Lexus LX went on sale back in 2007, few would have predicted that it would still be around 12 years on. Well here it is, and to Lexus’ credit, they have made meaningful changes to the LX, including the ever-polarizing grille. Lexus has made efforts to keep up with the Jones in terms of tech, and for the most part, they have—navigation notwithstanding.

The 6000-pound Lexus makes do with a 383-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 which puts the power down via an eight-speed transmission. Fuel economy is a combined 15, and it requires premium.

What’s new for 2019? According to Lexus:

  • Outside mirror puddle lamps now incorporate the “Lexus” logo
  • Digital clock in Multi Information Display
  • Lexus Enform Remote includes smart watch and Amazon Alexa skill integration

Ah, right. No new colors to speak of for 2019, but some optional luxury features that can be had—our tester came so equipped—which include “LX” projector lamps in each door. What does that mean? Well, as you open the door at night, it illuminates the ground with “LX”.

All of that tech comes at a price, and we hope you’re sitting down: The Lexus LX570 starts just shy of $91,000, with our tester hitting the scales at $99,710.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

“Hi, I’d like a big SUV that’s bathed in leather, offers a cramped rear seat, and costs about a hundred grand.”

“Ah, you’re here for the Lexus LX570.”

The Toyota Land Cruiser, the raw clay that forms the big Lexus, makes sense as there’s still a place in this world for body-on-frame construction and V8 power. It’s something that can tackle the wilds for decades to come.

Once wearing Lexus clothes, though, it loses its charm–like it’s being forced to be something that it’s not. It’s trying to be refined but lacks the proper foundation. A nice suit paired with cheap sneakers. (I don’t know, fill in your own analogy.)

The ride comes off as spongy–not refined, not controlled. It doesn’t feel like a Lexus. Lexus-like? Maybe.

And the looks? Well, not for me: too slab-sided in the rear along with a face that just doesn’t fit. Again, forced.

I’m trying to think of where this one makes sense. I can see someone who wants luxury yet truly lives off the beaten path–perhaps the owner of a ranch or a Third World power broker.

The other, however, is just someone who feels the need to order the most expensive Lexus SUV possible. If that’s the case, I’d say keep looking–or just buy the Toyota version, although that won’t really save you any money. The Land Cruiser still has its flaws, but it’s also a proven, 10-year-old design that is what it is.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard
Publisher Emeritus

There is so much not to like about the Lexus LX 570. From its egregious $100,000 price tag, to its skittery handling, to its antiquated interface, the LX 570 is a really bad vehicle.

Where do we start? Its 5.7-liter V8 engine puts out 383 horsepower, which is something many six-cylinder engines now do while getting nearly twice the 16 mpg this Lexus constantly provided while gulping expensive premium fuel. Of course, with this poor fuel economy, the Lexus must be viciously fast. Nope, straight line performance is run of the mill at best.

Inside, the leather is nice and many, many cows were sacrificed to help you get your hundred grand worth. The interface is so clunky and antiquated that we just switched to using our phone for navigation and gave up on the radio.

There were several more annoying features on our test vehicle. Perhaps smartly, the tire warning system extends to the spare tire, and we kept getting a warning light that we had tire problems. Turns out, our spare had 2 psi too much air pressure in it, which set the whole system off. While we have never experienced a tire warning system that has indicated a pound or two too much pressure, we just reached under the beast to let a little air out of the tire. The valve stem does not point down, where you can reach it, so you must take the spare tire down to alleviate this annoyance. At that point, we left it as it was and went on with our day.

Out on the road, the Lexus feels heavy and somewhere between a bit nervous and trying to guide and unguided missile. Truly, this is not a driver’s car. The slightest bit of wind or bump in the road unsettle the Lexus so much that you feel you need to slow from highway speeds. And going around a corner is akin to entering a rodeo and trying bronco busting on for size. The pitching that occurs while trying to maneuver any corner at more than idle speed will spill your coffee and make you reach for the grab handles to hold on for dear life.

Sure, this thing can tow your race car, but so can a whole lot of other so-called trucks at less than half the price. I can’t remember when I liked a vehicle less than I liked the Lexus LX 570. How did this thing ever reach America’s roads and who would buy one of these?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard

Tim and David have already done a great job excoriating this thing, so I'll be quick: This is the worst new car I've ever driven.

I'm far from rich, but I think this is the automotive equivalent of buying your own personal rail-car to tour the country in: obscenely-expensive, over-decorated, slow and at the end of it all you really just see the backside of the bad parts of every town. But hey–you get to tell your friends at brunch all about it! Burn this thing with fire, then recycle it into something better like an off-brand Cola can.

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela

Ah, the Saudi-mobile. While LX570 sightings may be on rarer side here, I can personally report that they’re all over Saudi. I cannot tell you how many times I’d search for an Uber, only to have the driver show up in an LX. They’re comfortable from the back seat, but for this review I stayed up front.

This is a lumbering oaf, but to be honest, I didn’t expect anything else. I can be a lumbering oaf myself, so I actually enjoyed driving the LX570, at least to a point. It has a sport mode, but I’m not quite sure what changed when it was engaged; maybe it just loafed harder? I can report that eco mode was a bit harrowing, as the transmission seemed to start in a gear much, much higher than first which led to a “Oh no, did I just break a $100k vehicle?” moment that I’d soon like to forget.

I’d also like to forget the paddle shifters. Just no, Lexus. And the gas mileage while we’re at it. Good night it’s inefficient. And you know what? The navigation plus the mouse to navigate the screens. Just when you think you have the cursor right where you want it, BAM! A bump jolts your hand and the mouse with it. I understand that this is the future, but maybe there’s a better way to implement it. And the navigation is laughably out-of-date; did they steal it from the second generation Prius?

So, what’s to like? The stereo is pretty nice, but it should be for the $2350 price of the Mark Levinson system. It’s also a nice place to just well, loaf. It eats up the highway miles with little effort and the climate concierge does a good job of conditioning the temperature throughout the cabin and under your tush. Why yes, I want my rear to be at a perfect 71 degrees, thank you.

But for $100k, there are much better places to loaf. Like a Lincoln Navigator, or even the new Aviator.

Lexus, Lincoln is coming.

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