Reviews

2015 Lexus LX 570 Walk Around



The most noticeable feature of the LX 570 is what Lexus calls the spindle grille, which visually unites the upper and lower air openings into a sharp hourglass shape, like a spindle stretching the imagination. A version of this spindle grill appears on every Lexus. The bumper is mostly hidden, so the spindle is visually dominant.

The LX 570 is the same length as the Range Rover but looks bigger, perhaps because there is more overhang, because the Lexus wheelbase is shorter. Or perhaps because of the chrome in the grille and rear bumper; or perhaps because of the slab sides. Or maybe it’s the 20-inch 10-spoke wheels, beautiful in alloy painted graphite.

Broad mirrors, pronounced wheel arches and a wide stance give it muscularity as well as bulk. The projector-beam lamps and LED running lights are sharply defined, while the recessed foglamps look deep and chiseled.

Interior

The Lexus LX 570 cabin is luxurious. There are two leathers, black or parchment, each with mahogany trim. There’s a dramatic difference between them: Black feels like a dark and intimate den, while Parchment makes a bright and cheery sunroom. While many prefer black or gray interiors, we like the Parchment. Stitching on the seats is precise. The Luxury Package upgrades to semi-aniline leather and extends the mahogany trim.

Still striving, the LX 570 has no less than four climate zones, with rear controls for temp and fan. A total of 28 vents distribute air flow, after being filtered for micro-dust and pollen, and blown by a blower with seven levels. The only problem, for the driver that’s all alone, is that the controls aren’t intuitive, and the fan knob is located away from the temp control, so your eyes have to move around.

Like any tall vehicle, entry takes a big step, so there are sturdy grab handles in front. But with Active Height Control, the car drops down 2 inches when it’s stopped. The roomy and supportive driver’s seat adjusts 14 ways, and the passenger seat 12 ways, with lumbar for both. When the ignition is turned off, the driver’s seat and steering wheel retract to make more room to exit. There’s a vast 43 inches of legroom in front, and the moonroof gives the rear seats the feeling of headroom, more than 38 inches.

Cubby storage for the driver comes up short, as there’s no place for a cell phone, keys, sunglasses or wallet. The lid to the center console is a padded extending armrest, hiding a Cool Box keeping a cold one at your elbow. Or your grapes cool, or your bait fresh, but maybe not both.

For groceries or other everyday uses, the 15-cubic-foot area behind the third row is sufficient. Third-row entry is made easy with a touch-and-tumble seat on the passenger side second row. It’s still a bit of a crawl, but the third row can handle two adults; they say three, but the person in the middle isn’t going to be happy unless the other two are gorgeous.

If it’s cargo you’re carrying, you’ll have 15 cubic feet behind the third row, good enough for groceries and things. The third-row seats split 50/50 and stow against the side of the cabin, creating 41 cubic feet. Then the second-row seats fold to double that space, to 83.1 cubic feet. The rear hatch opens using the key fob; the tailgate opens manually with a lever on the tailgate.

The cockpit switchgear is uncluttered, partly thanks to steering wheel controls. There’s a huge speedo and tach, perfectly lit in organic white, dominating the instrument panel and sandwiching neat round gauges for fuel, coolant temp, voltage and oil pressure. There’s also a digital display window squeezed in there, which offers too much information.

At the top of the center stack, a Thin Film Transistor (TFT) color multi-information display indicates steering wheel angle, digital speed, turn-by-turn navigation, multi-terrain mode, suspension height, outside temperature, current mpg, mpg since refueling, cruise range, miles driven since start, tire pressure, and warnings.

XM Traffic selects the least crowded route to a destination. The Mark Levinson option provides an upgrade equal to any automotive audio. A hard drive offers 30 gigabytes for music storage, playable through 19 speakers that generate true surround sound. The system is compelling and memorable.

Built into the interior are 10 airbags, including two knee airbags. A roll-sensing curtain airbag is designed to protect all three rows, and second-row passengers also have separate seat-mounted side airbags. All eight seats have three-point seatbelt systems. Active headrests are standard on the front seats. In the event of a rear-end collision, the headrests automatically tilt forward to limit the chance of whiplash injuries.

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