For those searching for a high-end luxury SUV, the 2018 Lexus LX 570 is indeed a premium choice. Starting at $86,175 (which includes a $1,195 destination fee), the LX 570 can be configured with two or three-row seating (the former is new for this year), is packed with technology and safety features, and is powered by a stout V8 engine with multiple all-wheel drive settings. And as it's based off the Toyota Land Cruiser, it has a level of off-road performance that's among the best of any factory-built vehicle in the world.
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2018 Lexus LX Overview
What's New for 2018
The Lexus LX 570 enters 2018 mainly unchanged from last year, however, Lexus is now offering a Safety and Service Connect service for 10 years at no additional charge. Owners can also delete the third row of seats.
Choosing Your Lexus LX 570
The LX 570 is the king of the Lexus SUV line. It is available in a two-row (five-passenger seating) and three-row configuration (eight-passenger seating). Going with the two-row LX drives the price down to $86,175, compared to the three-row's $91,175 starting price. Regardless of how many it seats, the LX is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine that belts out 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. The drawback of this power is a less than stellar EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 13 miles per gallon city, 18 mpg highway, for a combined 15 mpg. According to Lexus, both body styles return the same EPA-estimated mpg.
Power is delivered by way of an eight-speed automatic, which propels the standard all-wheel drive and 20-inch wheels. Crawl control (which is a low-speed, off-road cruise control system), multiple terrain selection features, and a hill start assist setting bolster the LX's off-road credentials. Automatic LED exterior lighting, automatic wipers, a windshield wiper de-icer package, and a power liftgate are also standard with the LX 570. There are six exterior colors and five interior color patterns available.
Arguably the best features of the 2018 LX 570 are found inside. Push-button start, a sunroof, a four-zone automatic climate control system, and leather upholstery are included. The three-row layout is configured with a 40/20/40-split second row and 50/50-split third row seats that are power operated. The LX 570 also includes multiple safety systems including automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot monitoring system, a 360-degree parking camera, an adaptive cruise control unit, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The 2018 Lexus LX 570 has a features a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a mouse-like center controller. A navigation system is standard, as is Bluetooth, a USB port, and a smartphone application suite that includes Apple Siri Eyes Free, which allows users to access Apple's virtual assistant through the LX's interior microphone without physically connecting their phone.
When it comes to upgrades, the Lexus LX 570 comes with two package options for those who select the three-row seating configuration – the two-row setup doesn't offer any optional extras.
A Luxury Package for an additional $1,190 adds heated and ventilated front and second-row seats, a perforated leather-trimmed interior, and a climate control concierge (a sensor suite that monitors the internal temperature and adjusts the HVAC system, as well as the heated and ventilated seats). A $2,005 dual-screen, rear-seat entertainment system can also be added. Standalone options include a color heads-up display for an additional $900 and a Mark Levinson surround sound, 19-speaker audio system for $2,350. Consumers can also upgrade to 21-inch wheels for $745, and those with Qi-compatible devices can add a wireless charging pad for $75 extra.
For families with multiple children or consumers with additional cargo space needs, the 2018 Lexus LX 570 is a premium choice. But ultimately, this brutish SUV is hard to recommend. Sure, it has some hot technology and nicer interior materials, but the driving experience is virtually identical to the more affordable Toyota Land Cruiser. Before you drive home in an LX, check out the Toyota dealer next door and see if the Land Cruiser will satisfy your needs.
2018 Lexus LX Review
A combination of old-school SUV, and leather- and wood-trimmed luxury yacht, the large-on-the-inside and -outside 2018 Lexus LX offers big V8 power, a lush cabin, and plenty of towing capability. However, most buyers will never need or use its off-road prowess, body lean in cornering is copious, the third row is tiny and awkward, while fuel economy numbers are execrable.
The top-of-the-line T8 plug-in hybrid is a winning combination of power and efficiency, offering 400 horsepower with 17 miles of all-electric range. Sadly, it adds at least $13,000 to the XC60’s price, which makes it less of a bargain.
Instead, we’d opt for the competent base turbocharged engine in Momentum trim. Here’s where Volvo’s suite of standard features shines, including a panoramic moonroof, sharp LED headlights, a power liftgate, and a smooth nine-inch infotainment touchscreen (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible). Most advanced safety features are also included, like automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist. The base trim still allows the option for Volvo’s excellent air suspension, which we would add. We’d also add all-wheel drive, which includes heated front seats along with all-weather peace of mind.
Even with all these features, our XC60 doesn’t push too far north of $40,000:
- Model: 2018 Lexus LX 570 Two-Row
- Engine: 5.7-liter V8
- Output: 383 hp / 403 lb-ft
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
- MPG:13 City / 18 Hwy
- Options: None
- Base Price:$86,925 (including a $1,295 destination charge)
- Best Value Price:$86,925
Better on pavement than the Toyota Land Cruiser it was cloned from, the LX's ride is composed and smooth, thanks to soft tires with high sidewalls and beefy front and rear anti-roll bars. And despite tipping the scales in the neighborhood of three tons, it passes strongly with plenty of power in reserve, courtesy of the 5.7-liter V8 it also shares with the Land Cruiser. It generates 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque, and has and a towing capacity of 7,000 pounds. While the suspension is also inherited from the big Toyota, the LX adds a bit of tech finesse with an adjustable ride control system that also raises and lowers it, along with a five-mode traction control system engineered to match the suspension height to the road surface.
Off-road, the four-wheel-drive system splits power 40:60 front to rear through a Torsen limited-slip differential that can be locked with the press of a button. A crawl control system will keep the car moving at a constant speed over any terrain. Another switch operates the traction control system that clamps the inside wheel to give the LX a tighter turning radius, which helps mitigate its mammoth size.
At the same time, the tires and suspension may absorb bumps with ease, but they don’t communicate much of the road through the light but numb steering system, the low front air dam reduces the approach angle, while copious body lean is the norm when cornering. Finally, the LX's fuel economy – an EPA-estimated 13 miles per gallon in the city, 18 mpg on the highway, and 15 combined – is abysmal when compared to anything but a Hummer. Although formerly par for the course on large vehicles, even big SUVs have come aboard the efficiency wagon, with competing brands offering more efficient drivetrains.
The LX's social-climbing statement begins up front with a massive iteration of the corporate spindle grille. Move past that landmark and you're met with squared-off corners, big taillights, the stance of an NFL linebacker, and a slick, split tailgate – the likes of which haven’t been seen since the demise of General Motors' A-body wagons.
The side sills neatly mask nine inches of ground clearance, and the suspension can be lowered by two, making ingress to the lavish, tuxedo-friendly, leather- and open-pore wood-lined interior easier. There's plenty of space for five adults in the first and second rows, with those up front treated to supportive, generously-sized chairs slathered in soft leather. For those so inclined, richer leather, ventilated seats, heated second row seats, and a heated steering wheel are offered as options. Most of the functions are controlled by user-friendly knobs, buttons, and switches, with off-road options directed from the center console.
At the same time, the LX is compromised by a truck-based frame and corresponding high cargo floor, while the optional third row – which contains an ambitious three seat belts considering its size – flips up and rotates to the sides, creating a narrow space and further limiting cargo capacity. Lastly, the brilliant 12.3-inch infotainment screen is hampered by the brand's antiquated, haptic-feedback, mouse-like controller that's not only irritating, but often too distracting to operate when driving; while Android Auto and Apple CarPlay aren't even offered.
The Best and Worst Things
A plush cabin and terrific towing capability are offset by a clumsy, tiny third row and horrible fuel economy. Besides, how many buyers really need this much car?
Right For? Wrong For?
Style-conscious upscale buyers looking for a true adventure vehicle will appreciate the LX's wide range of safety features, lavish gear, top-shelf finishes, and off-road skill.
At the risk of sounding repetitious, those wretched fuel economy numbers will surely be a turn-off to eco-friendly consumers.
The Bottom Line
Capable of crossing the outback as well as patrolling tony neighborhoods, the 2018 Lexus LX coddles occupants while offering impressive off-road and towing capabilities. But its old-school luxury charm is hampered by elephantine handling, an awkward, cargo-volume-robbing third row, and dreadful fuel economy.