New, however lots old fashioned
For starters, the 2022 Lexus LX 600 rolls on the identical 112.2-inch wheelbase it has since 1995. Lexus calls this, along with the automobile’s tread and suspension articulation, the “golden ratio” as a result of it supposedly delivers wonderful off-road functionality and using consolation, although on pavement that second declare is fairly unfaithful (extra on that in a second). As earlier than, the LX options body-on-frame building, a double-wishbone entrance suspension and a dwell axle ‘spherical again for rock-crushing ruggedness. This automobile is now constructed on the automaker’s International Structure F platform, which is 20% stiffer than earlier than, thanks partly to further spot welds and extra structural adhesive.
Relying on the trim stage and suspension setting, the chassis offers as much as a 27.4-degree strategy angle and a 26.3-degree departure angle. The LX 600 can climb hills at as much as 45 levels, deal with 44-degree steady inclinations and drive by 28 inches of water.
For even larger off-road prowess, the LX might be outfitted with Energetic Top Management, a $1,300 possibility that features particular actuators on every shock absorber. Utilizing hydraulic stress, they supply 4 totally different journey heights: low, which makes it simpler to get out and in of the automobile, regular for on a regular basis use, after which Excessive 1 and Excessive 2 for trail-pounding obligation. Because of new hydraulic circuits and controls, the time it takes to regulate this SUV’s top has been minimize in half.
Different off-road-specific options embrace six driver-selectable terrain modes, low-range gearing and crawl management, which maintains a set pace whereas creeping alongside the path. A phalanx of exterior cameras show you how to see obstacles across the automobile whereas rock crawling, and they need to complain so much lower than having a buddy spot for you.
Measurement-wise, the 2022 Lexus LX 600 is 0.8-inch longer than its predecessor and 0.4-inch wider. Its total top stays the identical, although the A-pillars have been pushed rearward by 2.8 inches for a extra planted look. Serving to this luxurious SUV slim down, the doorways, fenders, hood and roof are all manufactured from aluminum, adjustments that assist cut back the curb weight by a claimed 441 kilos.
F Sport upgrades
The LX 600 is obtainable with 4, 5 or seven seats and is offered in 5 trims. F Sport Dealing with and Extremely Luxurious are each new grades for 2022. The latter has seating for 4, courtesy of two VIP second-row chairs. These soft buckets are divided by a beneficiant middle console that includes a management display. These fashions additionally profit from further sunshades, overhead air vents for added consolation, and an ottoman built-in into the rear of the passenger-side entrance seat backrest, an opulent contact.
The instance seen on this assessment is the boldly styled F Sport variant. These fashions function distinctive suspension tuning and a Torsen limited-slip rear differential. Inside, you may additionally discover a sprinkling of model-specific logos and striped aluminum trim that appears nice. Particular entrance seats with extra bolstering and distinctive inside colours (together with vibrant pink) are additionally provided. However extra noticeable than any of those cabin fitments is the F Sport’s blacked-out, mesh-filled grille and rear diffuser. Lesser grades function 18- or 20-inch wheels, however this mannequin — and the Extremely Luxurious trim — rolls on 22-inch solid aluminum wheels.
An expensive however cramped inside
In contrast to its, um, daring exterior, the LX’s cabin is far more cleanly designed. The dashboard is elegantly formed and the leather-based used all through is creamy smooth. Three screens are included, with a broad-but-short 12.3-incher serving because the multimedia hub. The infotainment system that lives there’s extraordinarily snappy and intuitive, with a contemporary, flat aesthetic. This look, nevertheless, clashes with the 7-inch show that lives beneath it and the 8-inch digital instrument cluster. With gradients and shadows, the interfaces on these smaller panels appear like they have been designed by a distinct workforce.
The LX 600’s entrance buckets are pretty, smooth and supportive, although the second row is not as good, being noticeably snugger. The third row is tighter nonetheless, barely in a position to accommodate 6-foot-tall adults, although they are going to slot in a pinch. The decrease cushion is virtually on the ground and headroom is a bit restricted, however there’s extra legroom again there than you would possibly count on.
Cargo house, nevertheless, is a bit disappointing. Behind the third row there’s simply 11 cubic toes, which seems like greater than it’s. Virtually talking, there’s sufficient room for a couple of grocery luggage, although the house is so shallow they will most likely get squished a little bit when the hatch closes. It is extra lifelike to drive round with that aft-most bench folded, wherein case you get a way more cheap 44 cubes. Drop the second row and that quantity grows to 64, although the backrests depart a big step within the flooring, so do not count on to only slide cargo in.
Whoever coined the phrase “there isn’t any alternative for displacement” knew nothing about increase. The previous-gen LX’s pretty 5.7-liter V8 has been jettisoned in favor of a 3.5-liter (technically 3,445 cubic centimeters, however who’s counting?) twin-turbo V6. Small however mighty, this engine delivers 409 horsepower and a stout 479 pound-feet of torque, not less than when working premium gas as Lexus recommends. If you happen to’re counting, that is 26 further hp and 76 additional lb.-ft. of twist in comparison with the bellowing V8 it replaces.
Hushed fairly than sonorous, this new engine is totally nice. It delivers a great deal of oomph all through the rev vary and, not surprisingly, the entire shebang feels uncannily much like Ford’s EcoBoost V6 of the identical displacement. Except for low-end grunt, this Lexus is impressively potent up high, the engine providing an additional surge of energy from about 5,000 to six,000 rpm. Lexus claims this luxo-barge can scamper to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, although it feels faster than that.
Except for its responsive new engine, the LX advantages from one other essential powertrain improve: a transmission with 10 speeds as a substitute of eight. Clean and servile, this gearbox fades into the background like beige wallpaper, shifting easily and well. Bury the accelerator and downshifts could be a little gradual to manifest, however that is my solely grievance. This transmission additionally helps the LX 600 return first rate gas economic system. Anticipate 17 mpg metropolis and 22 mpg freeway. In blended driving I am getting round 17.2, which is a bit off the EPA’s 19 mpg mixed score. However nonetheless, this rig is far extra environment friendly than its predecessor, which stickers at simply 14 mpg mixed.
A disappointing journey
This SUV’s new powertrain is a winner, however in any other case it is a dud to drive — on pavement not less than. The F Sport mannequin, with its distinctive suspension tuning, has a jiggly journey that borders on obnoxious. The adaptive shock absorbers allegedly have 650 ranges of damping however appear to make little distinction. Paradoxically, the journey is not harsh or stiff, however the physique is always shifting round, even on easy roads. Each enlargement joint or speck of filth on the asphalt will get transmitted on to the passenger compartment. I am unable to bear in mind testing one other automobile that feels this unsettled, and I’ve reviewed the rough-and-tumble Jeep Wrangler on many events.
Regardless of the poor journey high quality, the LX 600’s electrically assisted steering is fast and correct, which helps make this SUV really feel only a bit extra manageable. The electrically managed braking system is likewise assured and modulation is seamless.
Maintaining you protected, this SUV comes with the Lexus Security System Plus 2.5. This consists of options like automated emergency braking, pedestrian and bicycle owner detection, lane-keeping help and automated excessive beams. Adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go functionality is included, too, and it is good sufficient to speed up round slower-moving visitors once you sign earlier than making a lane change. As adaptive cruise management programs go, this one is merely OK as a result of the lane centering is inconsistent, usually tugging on the steering wheel.
Overprice and underdeliver
The 2022 Lexus LX 600 begins at $88,245 together with $1,345 in vacation spot charges. That is loads of scratch, however it solely goes up from there. This F Sport Dealing with mannequin checks out for a princely $105,005. Except for supply, the one additional to inflate that determine is the $2,660 Mark Levinson sound system. If you happen to choose as a substitute for the range-topping Extremely Luxurious mannequin, you may be shelling out round $128 grand, which is so much of dough, although to be honest, that is nonetheless far lower than a loaded Vary Rover.
Except for its off-road functionality, refined powertrain and assumed long-term dependability, there’s, sadly, not a lot I really like about this SUV. Its styling is a bit too aggressive, the inside is cramped, and its journey is solely not aggressive within the twenty first century. As luxurious off-roaders go, I would take a Vary Rover or Mercedes-Benz G-Class over this Lexus any day of the week. Hell, I would fairly have a bare-bones, blue-collar Chevy Tahoe, which is extra spacious and cozy inside and begins at a mere $52 grand.