2013 Lexus LX 570 SUV - FROM $81,230
The 2013 Lexus LX 570 offers a remarkable combination of around-town civility and off-road capability. But unless you utilize this capability, it's hard to justify a purchase when there are more space- and fuel-efficient choices.
What's New for 2013
For 2013, the Lexus LX 570 adopts the new "spindle grille" found on the brand's most recently redesigned models, along with some other minor styling tweaks. The interior gets a similarly subdued update with things like new trim types and a color instrument cluster display.
There are two ways to view the 2013 Lexus LX 570. On the one hand, it's the pinnacle of the Lexus SUV lineup, packing the most power, equipment and honest-to-goodness presence. If you're looking for the biggest, most capable and most opulent sport-utility on the block, then the LX 570 is a pretty good way to go. On the other hand, it can also be viewed as mass overkill. Its powerful V8 engine has an insatiable appetite for fuel, its go-anywhere off-roading abilities are unlikely to be utilized in suburbia and its three-row cabin isn't actually all that spacious.
In other words, the LX 570 isn't the most sensible vehicular choice. A large crossover like the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is cheaper, more efficient, handles better and has a more spacious third-row seat. Yet we'd be the first to admit that being sensible isn't a priority for everyone.
Whichever way you may fall, these issues aren't what we'd consider problems in the traditional sense. They don't speak of design faux pas or poor engineering. Instead, they are simply the inherent attributes that come with a decidedly old-school type of SUV dressed to the nines with all the comfort, convenience, pomp and circumstance at the disposal of Lexus. The 2013 Lexus LX 570 is quite honest about what it is and what it's not.
Behind the revised-for-2013 Lexus grille is essentially the Toyota Land Cruiser, a decidedly old-school type of SUV in its own right. They share the same stout body structure, 5.7-liter V8 engine and a full-time four-wheel-drive system that allows these eight-passenger brutes to take their owners to places most can only whimsically dream about. Yet, for the extra $10,000 it takes to buy the LX 570, one not only gets a full helping of Lexus luxury, but an electronically controlled suspension with adaptive ride height and damping control that provides a suitably smooth ride and improved on-road handling. There's no hiding from this truck's size, but it's far more civilized than you'd expect.
Of course, the same can be said for its primary competitor, the Land Rover Range Rover, which is arguably even grander in appearance. It offers even more sophisticated off-road technology and the availability of a seriously powerful supercharged engine. It doesn't have a third-row seat as the LX 570 does, but if that's a priority, Land Rover's suitably luxurious LR4 has a rearmost row that is far more useful than that of the Lexus anyway.
All things being equal, we'd probably opt for one of the Brits. But things certainly aren't equal when it comes to reliability. Lexus has a peerless reputation for reliability and build quality, while Land Rover most certainly does not -- quite the opposite, really. All said, the 2013 Lexus LX 570 definitely isn't the most sensible luxury SUV. But it's at least the more sensible choice among its big and brash competition.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Lexus LX 570 seats eight people in three rows. The third is a 50/50 unit that can be stored laterally against the cargo area's sides when not in use.
A single trim level comes standard with 20-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, automatic load leveling, adaptive and automatic xenon headlamps, a power liftgate, power-folding heated mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, running boards, a sunroof, cruise control and keyless ignition/entry. Inside, the LX has four-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated power front seats (10-way driver, eight-way passenger), driver memory functions, a reclining and power-sliding second-row seat and a power-folding third-row seat. Electronics features include a touchscreen interface, a rearview camera, a navigation system, real-time traffic and weather information, voice controls, the Lexus Enform suite of app-based services (including Pandora, Yelp and iHeartRadio), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD changer, satellite radio, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
The Luxury package adds ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a cooled storage bin and upgraded leather upholstery. Also available are an automatic parallel parking system, front and side parking cameras, adaptive cruise control (includes a pre-collision warning system), a dual-screen rear entertainment system, and a 19-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system with a six-CD/DVD changer. The ventilated front seats and heated second-row seats are available separately.
Powertrains and Performance
Every 2013 Lexus LX 570 comes with a full-time four-wheel-drive system that comes with hill-start assist, crawl control and a driver-selectable multi-terrain system. It's fed by a 5.7-liter V8 that produces 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is standard.
In Edmunds performance testing, the LX 570 went from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, which is quick for an SUV of its size and weight. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at a thirsty 12 mpg city/17 mpg highway and 14 mpg combined.
Every 2013 Lexus LX 570 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Also standard is Lexus Safety Connect emergency communications with automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle locator and an emergency assist button. The optional Lexus Pre-Collision System (included with adaptive cruise control) determines if a crash is imminent and automatically takes up the slack in the front seatbelts and primes the braking system for faster response in panic stops.
In Edmunds brake testing, the LX 570 came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet, which is excellent for such a large vehicle.
Interior Design and Special Features
Step inside the LX 570 and you'll find a cabin that's every bit as stylish as any Lexus sedan. Supple leather upholstery for each of the eight seating positions is complemented by wood accents, and this luxury lounge effect is amplified by the LX 570's comprehensive array of standard and optional features. Both the power-adjustable front seats and the 60/40-split power-adjustable second-row bench offer exceptionally comfortable accommodations. The 50/50-split third-row seat, on the other hand, is short on both legroom and headroom, making it really only suitable for kids.
The other downside to the third-row seat is that its two halves power fold toward the sides of the vehicle instead of folding flat into the floor. This means they eat into the usable cargo space behind the second row. There's still a healthy 41 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row and a maximum of 83 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded, but that's barely more than the much smaller Lexus RX 350.
The 2013 Lexus LX 570's calling card is its versatility. The powerful 5.7-liter V8 engine provides remarkable acceleration for such a large and heavy vehicle, and it makes quick work of towing tasks. Of course, you'll also likely get a fruit basket from ExxonMobil as a thank-you for all the gas you'll be buying.
Despite its body-on-frame construction and hefty weight, the LX 570 rides and handles well, with the electronically controlled suspension smoothing out bumps in everyday driving. The topper, though, is how good this luxury vehicle is once you leave the pavement. The LX 570's combination of rugged construction, advanced suspension design and off-road Crawl Control program lets owners easily motor through all but the toughest terrain.