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Overview (Final Score: B)
In many respects, modern sport utility vehicles in the luxury segment are a throwback to the 1990s when capable, trail-ready machines were the expectation and luxury was a nod to the affluence of the buyer. The LX appeared as an entry into this somewhat exclusive segment, which had been dominated by the Range Rover series. Based on the Land Cruiser and its legendary off-pavement credibility, the LX became known for its numerous Baja 1000 wins.
The 2016sees several updates as an extensive midcycle refresh. Most of those changes are to the exterior, which is now much more contemporary and far less boxy than it was before. Interior changes are minimal but substantial, including a much larger infotainment screen and larger entertainment screens for the optional rear seat system. Comfort points have also been improved. Otherwise the LX 570 is still a large, luxurious Land Cruiser.
For those looking for a family ready machine capable of hauling up to eight people, a lot of gear, and towing toys along for the ride, the 2016 Lexus LX 570 is a solid choice. Most of its good points are those that make the Lexus lineup the best-selling luxury brand in America.
What We Love About the 2016 Lexus LX570:
- Very high expectation for reliability and dependability.
- Solid new exterior design that improves on the previous generation.
- Excellent off-road capability that is second to none.
What We Don’t Love About the 2016 Lexus LX570:
- Worst infotainment interface on the market.
- Fuel efficiency is very sub par.
- Third row is clunky, including when folded up to increase cargo.
Interior Comfort, Quality, Ergonomics (9/10)
The 2016 LX 570 sees a bit of improvement to an already excellent interior. The front seating is almost without compare, being well beyond excellent and truly fitting what a luxury SUV of this caliber should have. They are roomy and accommodating in every way possible and are constructed of rich materials of excellent quality. This fits with the dashboard which, though outdated in design, is nicely done. We especially liked the large 12+ inch infotainment display, new for this year, and the larger driver information screen at the center of the instrument cluster. These are both clear and easy to read.
Controls are good and for most daily driving, they are within reach and intuitive. Some of the more hardcore off-road controls, such as the suspension lift, Low-4WD, and crawl-creep will require the driver to look away from the trail to find the right switch, but that is not very dangerous given their limited use compared to more common things like wiper-washers and gear selection.
The second row in the LX 570 is well done with plenty of room at all points. We’re fans of the layout in the big LX and like the added room that the slightly wider body build has offered. Shorter occupants in the second row will have a harder time seeing out the windscreen, given the high position of the front two seats, but with the optional rear entertainment now on big 11.6-inch screens, little ones will have plenty to do. The second and third rows also benefit from the new Climate Concierge added for 2016. This monitors temperatures in four climate zones (two up front, second row, and third row) and adjusts individual fans and seat heating to keep temps on target.
Sadly, the third row keeps the odd side-folding setup of previous model years, which restricts cargo space and offers only low-cushion seating suitable only for kids. Some competitors in this large SUV market are offering adult-friendly third rows, but the Lexus line seems to be missing that in the LX and GX series.
Those side-folding rear seats, which fold down and then up and to the side, mean less usable cargo space at rear. Most rivals fold down and flat into the floor. The Lexus does have a dual tailgate with a separately opening rear glass, though, which makes loading some items much easier.
Infotainment in the 2016 Lexus LX 570 is based on the Remote Touch interface that is found in all Lexus vehicles. This features a huge 12.3-inch display that sits at the center of the dash with a wide aspect ratio. Information is easy to read and the widescreen is a natural for split-screen use for better info-display. Sadly, it is controlled by the mouse-like Remote Touch system.
That uses a small mouse-like knob on a wrist-rest type rise next to the gear selector. Moving the mouse moves a selection highlight on the screen and a few quick buttons for the main menu and so forth are ahead of the mouse for faster jumping to common points. Selection of items can be made with a double mouse tap or by pressing one of the two side “Enter” buttons on the wrist rest. Although it might seem intuitive by description, it’s much less than being so in person.
Users must look at the screen and hunt-peck their way through selections, making using the infotainment more a navigator’s (right seat) tool than a driver’s tool. It might be interesting to see statistics on how many Remote Touch users become involved in distracted driving-caused wrecks.
Outside of the clunky interface, the Remote Touch system is very capable and relatively easy to learn to use. Navigation works well and most of the expected smartphone integration of today is present in the suite of Lexus Enform apps. We’re also big fans of the upgraded Mark Levinson sound system.
Fuel Economy (8/10)
Although the MPG ratings of the Lexus LX 570 are not that great, most buyers in this exclusive segment are not likely worried about fuel economy returns. Given its low economy numbers, the LX does return a good amount of mileage per tank of fuel, which is more likely to be higher on the luxury SUV owner’s expectations list.
The EPA rates the 2016 LX 570 at 15 mpg combined, with 13 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. In the real world, we saw close to that with an average of 11.4 mpg over more than 300 miles of mixed driving at high altitude (5,000+ feet). Competitors do return better numbers than this routinely, we should note.
We were very impressed by the well-vetted 5.7-liter V8 that powers the LX 570 and surprised at the intelligence in the new eight-speed automatic transmission it now sports. That transmission is largely tuned for improved towing and torque delivery, rather than for fuel economy, which shows in the EPA numbers given above. It means, however, that the standard hitch the Lexus LX 570 is equipped with gives the SUV a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds. When under a load of about 5,000 pounds, we saw little hesitation in the Lexus’ get-up.
That’s because the big 5.7L is putting out 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque with low gearing offered in the first couple of transmission gears to get this big SUV going. The four-wheel drive system is full-time with hill-start assist, crawl control, and a multi-terrain selection system for optimizing off-pavement performance.
The underpinnings of the LX 570 are from the legendary Land Cruiser, which should explain its extreme capability as a luxury SUV. There are few who can boast the kind of confidence that the LX has off the beaten path should you take it there.
On the road, the 2016 Lexus LX 570 is a very comfortable ride. It absorbs the road well and carries itself nicely. It’s a quiet highway ride and a luxurious short- or long-haul driver. Around town, however, the LX’s large size is unavoidable and it becomes difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. This is helped with a backup camera (standard) and good visibility for the SUV’s size.
Off the road, the LX 570 is a great machine. It’s as capable as anyone could ask it to be, going just about anywhere you’d like to get and doing so with confidence. Few machines, with the exception of those specially made for the terrain, will get someone as many places as the LX can. And in luxury.
Total Score and Competitive Comparison (67/80, 84%)
There are several worthy competitors to the 2016 Lexus LX 570. Theis often considered the top of the segment, with a lower price point and better drive experience, but which cannot compete with the LX off the road. The is another solid competitor, with similar off-road capability to that of the LX 570 and a similar price point. Finally, the big Infiniti QX80 is found at lower cost and with a better interior experience to the LX, but without the same off-road cred.
For buyers in the luxury SUV segment, the big 2016 LX 570 is a good choice if the longer-term is the primary consideration and off-road capability is a must. There is little that the LX 570 cannot accomplish and will do so in luxurious style.
Read the FULL REVIEW Now to get more expert tips on the 2016 LX 570’s safety, reliability, exterior and pricing.