The 2020 Lexus LX 570 is a luxury full-size SUV that seats up to five in its two-row version and up to eight in its three-row version. It comes standard with a 383-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 engine that pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is standard. Competitors include the Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class. Standard features include leather-trimmed seats, wood trim, power-operated second and third rows, four-zone air conditioning, and navigation with a 12.3-inch screen. Standard active safety features include lane departure warning, full-speed adaptive cruise control, and a blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert.
It’s no secret that the LX is a fancified Toyota Land Cruiser, but there’s plenty to demarcate this luxury-brand model from the mainstream version. Lexus takes advantage of the Land Cruiser’s off-road-ready capability and buttresses it with enough premium gear to transform it into a luxurious, family-friendly SUV. The slight uptick in price versus a Land Cruiser brings an exterior overhaul, a refined and premium cabin, and a suite of driver-assistance features. The LX’s blend of off-road capability, size XL luxury, and V-8 power sounds remarkably similar to what a Range Rover offers. But despite appearances, this package is not just aging, it’s legitimately old—as its driving characteristics make clear. The LX serves its specific purpose adequately, but there are numerous, more attractive SUV alternatives if your mission requires plushness, a top-shelf image, and three rows of seats.
Lexus has added three new standard features into the LX lineup this year: Exterior puddle lamps project an image of the Lexus logo, a digital clock is now incorporated into the driver’s digital display, and Lexus’s Enform Remote app now features smartwatch and Amazon Alexa integration. The Luxury package now includes proximity-approach lighting that displays the LX logo on the ground outside the front doors and is now available on the Two Row model, as are optional 21-inch wheels and a heated steering wheel. Options include semi-aniline leather trim with contrast stitching, heated and ventilated front- and second-row seats, a dual-screen rear entertainment system, a head-up display, a Mark Levinson premium stereo, wireless device charging, a cooled storage box, and a heated steering wheel.
The LX has a huge presence, but the big body doesn’t necessarily translate to a grand ballroom of an interior. Every row of seating is livable, although none of them offer exceptional space. Large families with growing kids may be better served by the palatial Lincoln Navigator and its class-leading third-row spaciousness. The centerpiece of the LX interior is the 12.3-inch infotainment screen that towers atop the dashboard. It is complemented by the cabin’s extremely soft leather, real metal accents, and splashes of glossy wood that—refreshingly—don’t look tacky. The build quality and switchgear are worthy of the luxury label, despite the instrument panel’s somewhat cluttered cluster of buttons.
The LX’s infotainment system is controlled by a flat, joystick-like controller located to the right of the gear shifter. It is cumbersome to operate and, in our experience, difficult to safely use while driving. Regarding the actual infotainment system and organization, we have a generally positive view of Lexus’s Enform interface. In the LX, a massive 12.3-inch screen allows for convenient split-screen operation. The center console offers redundant climate controls and features much-appreciated volume and tune knobs. A flagship luxury SUV should come standard with every available piece of convenience technology on the market, but the LX has neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto. It also does not offer a data connection service for mobile Wi-Fi.
Behind the third row, the LX has room for three carry-on suitcases. With the second and third rows folded, we managed to fit 29 cases. That number beats the Range Rover by three but the short-wheelbase Navigator managed 33 and the long-wheelbase Lincoln packed a whopping 45 cases.