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Lexus LX 600 delivers big in size, comfort, and performance Featured

Posted On Tuesday, 28 March 2023 22:32 Written by
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The Lexus LX 600 is the luxury automaker's flagship three-row SUV, and received a refresh for the 2022 model year. The Lexus LX 600 is the luxury automaker's flagship three-row SUV, and received a refresh for the 2022 model year. Photo courtesy of Lexus

In the stratosphere of the automotive world, you will find a small number of extra large land yachts also known as three-row luxury SUVs.

These flagship offerings from the biggest luxury names battle head-to-head to be chosen by elite buyers willing to shell out well into six figures for the latest and greatest luxury rides. In the Lexus lineup, the vehicle battling in this class is the LX 600, which was fully updated for the 2022 model year, then saw some minor changes for the 2023 model year.

Holding from four to seven passengers, depending on configuration, it battles heavy hitters in the segment including the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS, BMW X7, Range Rover, and Lincoln Navigator.

WIth a body-on-frame design that boosts its off-road prowess, sharp design inside and out, and much-improved tech offerings, the LX stands out as a leader in a segment where a vehicle must do everything right to be successful.

I recently tested a Lexus LX 600 F Sport, and I’m back with a full report on how well it competes.

LOOKS

While there’s more to a vehicle than appearances, looks will always remain a key consideration for buyers at this price point.

The exterior design of the LX 600 features one of the boldest and most in-your-face looks in the class. Its massive grille and headlight design stand out in the segment, and make the LX one of the most recognizable SUVS on the road today.

Yet even with its large frame, somehow the designers have managed to make it look a bit sleek when seen from the right angle.

The LX features LED headlamps and LED tail lamps, a power moonroof, power rear door with kick sensor, and roof rails. Its large ground clearance is also something you instantly notice.

The LX 600 is a big machine, with a wheelbase of 112.2 inches, length of 200.6 inches, 78.3 inches of width and 74.6 inches of height. Total weight comes in at 5901 pounds.

Wheels start at 20 inches, but upgrading to the F Sport model gets you 22-inch forged alloy wheels and other styling touches. There’s also an option for active height control, allowing you to adjust vehicle height to match road conditions.

Moving to the interior of the LX 600, there are multiple seating configurations available, depending which trim level you choose. Base model offers a five-passenger, two-row setup. The next three trim levels offer three rows and comfortable seating for seven passengers. And the top trim level, Ultra Luxury, returns to two rows, and only seats four passengers (middle row eliminates bench and adds Captain’s Chairs).

In terms of pure quality, luxury oozes from all areas of the interior of the LX. One highlight is the black and red leather upholstery, which is very comfortable for all passengers, and all surfaces and materials used inside the vehicle are top-notch, including a leather-wrapped dashboard and sharp trim throughout the vehicle.

Other interior features include ambient lighting, heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats and second row seats, heated outboard second-row seats, power-folding second and third rows, wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel, manual rear sunshades and even a fridge in the center console.

In terms of space, the LX gives you the best of both worlds. If you have a lot of people to transport, you can easily fit 7 in this vehicle without any issues. Everyone will have plenty of leg room and head room, even those in the back row, which you cannot always say.

Meanwhile, if transporting a lot of cargo is what you're concerned about, the LX is an extremely versatile vehicle. Both the second and third rows fold easily, allowing you to maximize storage space.

With all three rows up, you only have 11 cubic feet of storage space, but that grows to 44 cubic feet with the third row down. Stowing the second row seats gets you up to 64 cubic feet. If you opt for the two-row setup in the LX, maximum storage space gets boosted to 71 cubic feet.

These are decent numbers and can handle some serious cargo, but lag behind some three-row luxury competitors.

HOW’S THE RIDE?

With a big luxury ride like the LX 600, you need a strong power plant to get things moving. And Lexus delivers with a 3.5-liter, twin-turbo V6 engine, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Output numbers are a healthy 409 horsepower, and 479 pound-feet of torque, and all trim levels get full-time four-wheel drive. This powertrain has its origins in the Toyota Land Cruiser.

These numbers are far from shabby, though it’s worth noting that some rivals offer even higher-powered engine options.

You also get a towing capacity of up to 8,000 pounds, and the 0-to-60 time is roughly 6.5 seconds, which is quite solid for the class. The powerful engine provides excellent acceleration both from a stop and after you are moving. Merging onto the highway and making passes is not a difficult chore.

In terms of the quality of the ride, with the LX being the largest vehicle in Lexus's fleet, I was not expecting sports car nimbleness.

But at the same time, this is not some lumbering beast that struggles to make turns and navigate the roadways by any means. Particularly with the F sport model that I tested, you get an engaging, responsive ride that is actually enjoyable. This is not something often said about vehicles in this size class.

One optional feature is adaptive suspension dampers, which can help to improve overall ride comfort and handling. And the F Sport model features a more aggressively tuned suspension and rear stabilizer bar.

If you find yourself needing to do some basic off-roading, the LX 600 has the capability to hold its own, with 8.9 inches of ground clearance.


TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

The LX 600’s tech offerings are centered around an infotainment system that includes two screens (12 inches on top, 7 inches on bottom), and a mix of physical and touchscreen controls. The system is a major improvement on previous models that featured a difficult mouse-controlled system.

The new setup is a bit tougher to initially master than some rival vehicles’ systems, but once mastered it becomes second nature to use it.

The best part is the excellent voice command system. Whether you are changing your music selection, making a phone call, or setting up navigation trips, the system understands you very well. I ended up using my voice controls more than the touch commands.

Tech features on the LX 600 include the navigation system, dual-touchscreen infotainment system, 10-speaker audio system, Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multiple USB ports (4 or 6, depending on trim level), and a wireless phone charging pad.

Audio enthusiasts have the option to choose a more prolific 25-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound system on the top two trim levels.

Moving on to safety, you’ll find the usual Lexus array of safety features that will help you in almost every circumstance, including:
— Forward collision mitigation alerts you to an impending collision, and applies brakes if needed
— Lane departure mitigation steers you back into your proper lane if you start to veer.
— Blind-spot monitor works at all times, even if you are moving the vehicle in reverse.

— Adaptive cruise control keeps a steady distance between you and the vehicle ahead, braking and accelerating as needed
— An excellent 360-degree camera system that gives you an eagle-eye view of the LX 600 and its surroundings
— Backup camera also includes dynamic guidelines to help you in parking situations

Lexus also offers a limited self-driving capability that helps the vehicle steer itself on both highways and regular roads. The driver must keep hands on the wheel and be ready to regain control if needed, but the system generally handles turns quite well and slows down when needed. This type of setup can be helpful on longer road trips, especially during highway driving.

The standard automated emergency braking is also equipped with both pedestrian and bicyclist detection, in addition to detecting other vehicles.

There’s also an option to include a head-up display that shows key information in front of the driver, projected onto the windshield.


MPG

In terms of fuel mileage, the official numbers on the Lexus LX 600 F Sport I tested were 17 city, 22 highway and 19 combined.

Reality didn’t match those numbers in my experience, as I averaged roughly 13 mpg during my time driving the LX 600 F Sport.

And while I wasn’t driving to maximize fuel mileage, these numbers are still a bit disappointing, and one chink in the armor of the LX 600 when compared to rival large luxury SUVs.

PRICE

When dealing in luxury rides of mammoth size, the price tags are not for the faint of heart. My test vehicle was priced at $107,585; and the LX 600’s base price starts about $89K. And you’ll shell out nearly $130K for the top Ultra Luxury trim level — which can easily compete with the most upscale offerings from the biggest luxury brands.

Five trim levels are offered: Base LX 600, Premium, F Sport Handling, Luxury and Ultra Luxury.

Buyers looking for a bargain won’t find it here, but you get what you pay for. Upscale looks and design, strong performance and all the latest tech in an extremely roomy package. Buyers will have to decide whether these lofty prices are worth it, or whether downsizing to a smaller ride or considering lower-priced alternatives are better options.

Warranty coverage includes:
— Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
— Powertrain warranty covers 6 years or 70,000 miles
— Complimentary maintenance for the first year or 10,000 miles


BOTTOM LINE

The LX 600, Lexus' largest luxury ride, features tons of space for passengers and cargo, bold exterior design, high-end interior, an impressively agile ride, plus strong safety credibility.

Luxury SUV shoppers would be wise to include it in their list of vehicles to test. 

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: Lexus LX 600  
  • Price as tested: $107,585 (starts around $89,000)
  • Best feature: Powerful ride, spacious design, tech and safety offerings   
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury SUV buyers seeking one of the biggest, boldest, and most upscale offerings available    
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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