“Wow, that is huge,” is what my wife said when she first saw the all-new 2016 Lexus LX 570 parked in the garage. And it’s true this is one massive machine – measuring at over sixteen and half feet long, six and half feet wide (without the side mirrors), and towering at over six feet tall. This hefty beast weighs in with a curb weight of six thousand pounds. As Lexus’s largest vehicle by far, the LX 570 left a big impression.
The vehicle gained an exterior design refresh and features the now ubiquitous one-piece Spindle grille, satin chrome trim, and new standard LED headlights, turn signals, and fog lights. I found the design to be sleek, and a bit masculine. With the LED headlights on, sharp lines of the grille, and overall mass of the LX 570, the vehicle must look like an NFL linebacker charging down the highway at speed.
With our gear packed and two nephews in tow, we set off for a weekend adventure in Big Bear just in time to catch the last weekend of the snow season.
Technology and luxury amenities is what separates this vehicle from the others in this category. In typical Lexus fashion, standard features include a 360-degree view camera system, heads-up display, and climate concierge. Lexus has upped the ante with additional refinements such as a large 12.3-inch multimedia screen. The nephews were kept entertained by the dual screen Rear Seat Entertainment System with large 11.6-inch screens, which played on rotation a collection of Disney movies throughout the trip…thankfully the vehicle comes with bluetooth headsets to keep the sounds of the cartoons in the back.
Another interior upgrade that we found helpful for this trip was the center console cool box, which kept a few waters and the kids juices cold on the road without having to resort to bringing an ice chest.
Did I mention this vehicle is large? When it comes to packing for trips storage and cargo space matter. The split rear tailgate with power upper door made it easy to quickly access some of our luggage along with place a few bags of weekend groceries in the trunk. With the motorized third row seats folded (which is something fun to play with) even more space can be utilized and it easily fit my camera gear and long snowboard bag without any major issues (although it required the center seat between the two kids’ child seats to be folded down).
The LX 570 is made for a family of up to 8 and when it comes to family safety is the main concern. Lexus has made every effort to alleviate any worry with their standard safety system+. There are ten standard airbags, driver-assist technology, pre-collision system, pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, intelligent high beam, and an all-speed dynamic radar cruise control. Luckily, these systems are in place for peace of mind and I never had to experience any of the alerts during my time with the vehicle. However, due to the size of the vehicle I found the blind spot monitor useful as well as the 360-degree view camera system which helped tremendously in tight parking situations.
The drive from Los Angeles to Big Bear is mostly open freeway, but once you get to the base of the mountain that is where the fun begins. Heading up the twists and turns of the road, the vehicle handled with ease. I switched from the various driving mode options throughout the trip changing from Comfort mode on the freeway, which gives the smoothest ride, to Sport S+ mode for the mountain drive. Sport S+ dials up the powertrain response and adds a firm dampening control to prioritize handling agility, which was needed for the sweeping turns up and down the backroads of the mountain. The 5.7-liter V-8 engine with its 383 hp paired with an eight speed automatic transmission had no issues powering up the hill with the full load of passengers and gear.
I didn’t get the chance to really test out the off-road performance offered in the vehicle as it is equipped with a four-wheel Active Traction Control system to help control wheel slip. The roads in Big Bear were clear of ice and snow, blame it on global warming or the ground hog. I would of loved to take it off road a bit to test in the elements and select one of the offered off-road modes, rock, rock and dirt, mogul, loose rock, and mud and sand, but Big Bear just didn’t have those conditions, so I guess for the next trip I’ll have to plan a trip to Moab.
The price is one thing that makes the purchase a bit hard to swallow starting at just over $88,000.00 (with the model I tested at over $96,000.00). Yet, with all the amenities, comfort, and styling along with space for up to 8 it does make a case for itself. Lexus managed to modernize and refine their largest SUV and strike a balance between luxury and off-road performance creating the ultimate daily urban commuter and weekend adventure vehicle fit for the entire family.