Following the launch of the massively hyped Toyota Land Cruiser 300, it was inevitable that we’d see a all-new iteration of its spindle-grille luxury counterpart, the Lexus LX. We already knew that the LC300 is already Lexus-like in terms of luxuriousness, which means the LX would deliver an even better experience for its occupants.
While the Land Cruiser was menacing, the LX takes it up a notch with a more imposing demeanor because of the extra-large spindle grille with chrome horizontal bars, wheel sizes of up to 22 inches, and a rear end with the new lightbar design and “Lexus” lettering first seen on the NX.
Even with the different Lexus styling touches, it’s easy to see shades of the LC300’s boxy shape. Is the design good? We’ll leave that up to you, but it sure does get the job done of getting noticed quite easily.
The cabin sets itself apart from the “utilitarian” Land Cruiser by giving you two screens to interact with—a 12.3-inch upper screen used for navigation, audio controls, and the Multi-Terrain Monitor, and a seven-inch lower screen where you’d find the climate controls and the vehicle-status display. There’s also an optional 25-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound system available. Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 comes as standard, with features like Pre-Collision System, Automatic Emergency Braking, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
The sole main variant is the LX600, and it has five versions. Ultra Luxury and F Sport grades make their first appearances on the full-size SUV.
The Ultra Luxury trim is what you’d get if you wanted the creature comforts of a business-class airplane seat on the road. The second-row bench seats are swapped out for captain’s chairs. The lucky occupant can then move and fold the front passenger seat with the push of one button for up to 1,100mm of legroom, with an available footrest to further enhance the VIP experience.
Additional luxuries include sunshades for the side and quarter windows, reading lights, and rear infotainment screens. The second-row center console also features a wireless charger, ample storage, USB ports, household-style outlets, and headphone jacks. Even the lid of the center cupholder is coated with scratch-resistant self-healing paint, and can be used as a table.
On the other hand, the F Sport trim receives 22-inch forged aluminum wheels and a blacked-out spindle grille. It also gets a special combination of an Ultra White exterior and a Circuit Red interior. The cabin gets exclusive F Sport seats. It’s not all cosmetics, though, as it gives you performance dampers, a Torsen limited-slip differential, and tuned rear stabilizer, steering and suspension.
The LX also enjoys the benefits of the new TNGA-F platform, shedding 200kg while improving on many aspects such as ride comfort, drivability and rigidity. The brakes and steering are now electronically controlled (brake-by-wire and electronic power steering). It’s also just as capable off-road as on the road with an Adaptive Variable Suspension that features Active Height Control.
The suspension has four settings that automatically adjust depending on the situation. “Low” is used to make passenger entry and exit easier when the vehicle isn’t moving, and “Normal,” “Hi1,” and “Hi2” are for driving on varying road conditions.
Just like the Land Cruiser, the engine gets downsized from the old 5.7-liter 3UR-FE V8 to the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V35A-FTS gasoline engine. Despite this, it has a higher output of 409hp and 649Nm. Coupled with the Direct Shift 10-speed automatic gearbox, the new powertrain will have a linear power delivery for a smooth, quiet and fuel-efficient ride, while still being capable off the beaten path.
The United States gets first dibs on the all-new LX, and it is scheduled to land in dealers in the first quarter of 2022. It’s only a matter of time it gets to our shores, but expect the SUV to command a hefty premium over the Land Cruiser 300’s P5.173-million starting price.