The all-new 2009 Lexus LX is a true luxury vehicle first and foremost, with advanced safety, comfort and quality features. It’s a big, heavy vehicle that can tow big loads, haul heavy cargo, and transport people and gear across great distances in comfort. It uses the same heavy frame and stout powertrain as the Toyota Land Cruiser. Like the Land Cruiser, the Lexus LX 570 is designed for extraordinary versatility and an unusual combination of utility and luxury. But with the Lexus, luxury comes first. Designed for a different kind of use, the LX offers a number of qualities and features that the Land Cruiser does not. These include technological advances such as active headrests, wide-view monitors, adaptive front headlights, and an active damping suspension control system. The Mark Levinson audio system is a Lexus exclusive, and the interior is built using a higher level of materials and finish. The Land Cruiser is better equipped for rigorous off-road use; the LX570, also highly capable, has running boards and other conveniences that would become vulnerable in rugged terrain. The LX 570 is aimed more at the luxury car owner who occasionally needs guaranteed control on a snowy road leading to a ski resort, or safe traction on the graded dirt road leading to a ranch house or mountain fishing lodge. The ability to haul boats or horse trailers up to 8500 pounds makes this the most capable SUV offered by Lexus. Safety features are on a par with the best luxury sedans. Especially relaxing to drive on long trips, the LX is also equipped with a brace of thoughtful features to make around-town driving and parking more convenient. The Lexus LX competes with the Cadillac Escalade, Range Rover, and the Mercedes GL550. The group is similar in many ways, with similar operational characteristics, but the LX caters to the distinctly American addiction to torque even more studiously than the others. Powered by a 5.7-liter V8, the LX makes most of its power early in the rev range.
The Lexus LX 570 is visibly wider and taller-looking than the previous-generation LX 470, which it replaces. The design theme deliberately combines powerful, utilitarian design cues with smooth, sophisticated elements to create a balanced tension between the two. The taller hood line, broad mirrors, pronounced wheel arches and wide stance combine to suggest a more muscular character. From the side, smooth convex side panels and flowing sheetmetal integrate the running boards. A bold front grille, mounted at headlamp-level, emphasizes size and strength, and minimizes the bumper, which flows smoothly around the wheelwells. Combination head and tail light clusters are used to emphasize state-of-the-art technical qualities, which include adaptive front lights and high-intensity LED tail lights. Use of chrome as an accent is selective and restrained. To our eye, the package looks bigger than it is, and more sophisticated, without being garish. In actual fact, the LX is almost exactly the same size, or maybe a tad more compact, than its European competitor, the Range Rover. While not as distinctive as the Range Rover, the Lexus design strikes us as clean and timeless in a uniquely Japanese way. The LX has become a technology showcase for Lexus. It is the first Lexus to offer a wide-view front and side monitor system for hard-to-see areas, and incorporates the new Adaptive Radar Cruise Control and Pre-Collision System. Cameras are located inside the grille and side view mirrors, and the radar antenna is located behind the Lexus emblem in the front grille. All Lexus vehicles are assembled in Japan. The LX is assembled at the Yoshiwara plant, which was revised and revamped to produce the new 570, and the engines are produced at the Tahara manufacturing facility, where the LS sedans are produced. In all, the finished vehicles are inspected three times, testing for such qualities as quietness, steering wheel feel, color matching and door sound accuracy.
The cabin of the Lexus LX reflects Japanese ideas of simplicity, strict attention to detail, and functionality as a form of luxury. There are two interior decor options to choose from; black woodgrain trim with medium-gray leather, or ivory leather with dark brown walnut trim. We found both tastefully attractive, without being overdone, and consistent with Japanese design sensibilities. We’re told the wood is California Walnut.
Stylistically less pretentious than the competition, the all-new 2009 Lexus LX 570 still offers power, unique luxury features, and exceptional capability on and off the road. Lexus build quality should assure long-term value.
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