When we drove the Lexus LX 570 in January, we had a hard time understanding the logic of purchasing a $90,000 luxury SUV with extreme off-road capabilities that owners are unlikely to ever utilize, but at the same time, it was a surprisingly-enjoyable vehicle to drive that defied logic. As it turns out, awesomeness isn’t always logical. At least in comparison to a Range Rover, though, the LX 570 offered the promise of bulletproof reliability.
For 2016, Lexus has given its largest SUV a makeover to update some outdated technology and keep the LX 570 competitive in its class. While it isn’t a full redesign, enough changes have been made to the surface that only the door panels remain the same.
The changes most people will notice are on the outside, with the biggest difference being the addition of a more aggressive version of Lexus’s corporate grille. The previous LX 570 wore a much more toned down version of the spindle grille that may have initially looked bold and aggressive but didn’t look nearly as edgy after a few years.
The headlights get a more aggressive refresh as well, but they get more than just a new shape. The headlights, turn signals, and fog lights are all LEDs now.
Inside the cabin is where the most important changes take place, though. The previous LX 570 had luxurious leather covering most interior surfaces, but the infotainment system and the design of the center stack were both dated. This refresh takes care of both of those issues. The design of the cabin has been modernized, bringing it more in line with Lexus’s flagship LS sedan, and the infotainment screen has been stretched to a much-larger 12.3 inches.
Including a significantly larger screen should make it much easier to operate the infotainment system, also allowing the LX 570 to run the latest version of Lexus Enform. The update should be a huge improvement over what was available in the old version, especially with its improved and streamlined smartphone connectivity.
Under the hood, Lexus has left the same 5.7-liter V8 from the previous generation that makes 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. Power delivery and fuel economy should improve, though, with the inclusion of a new eight-speed automatic transmission that replaces the old six-speed one. Towing capacity has been improved, too, with the LX 570 now able to tow up to 7,000 pounds.
On the road, drivers will also appreciate the adjustable drive modes, with Comfort giving you the smoothest ride, Sport and Sport+ increasingly firming up the suspension and steering, while Eco does its best to maximize the thirsty V8’s fuel economy.
New safety features should also help sell the LX 570. Pre-collision detection with pedestrian detection, lane departure monitoring, intelligent high beams, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are now available, as well as a heads-up display that shows information like speed, vehicle information, and safety warnings.
Finally, the Lexus LX 570 wouldn’t be the LX 570 if it wasn’t fully-capable off road. Its body-on-frame construction is a hold-over from the previous version, and full-time four-wheel-drive comes courtesy of a Torsen limited-slip locking center differential that sends 40% of the torque to the front wheels and 60% of the torque to the rear wheels under regular driving conditions. The differential can adjust that split automatically as driving conditions change, however.
Active traction control monitors each wheel’s behavior, and Multi-Terrain Select allows drivers to adjust the traction control’s behavior based on driving surface. With settings for every surface from rock crawling to mudding, the LX 570 should be able to handle whatever you throw at it. In low range, it also comes with Crawl Control, Turn Assist, Hill Start Assist, and Variable Gear Ratio Steering.
The Lexus LX 570 might not be the most logical vehicle for sale in the U.S. right now, but with this redesign, Lexus is at least making a stronger case to buy it over the rest of the LX 570’s illogical-but-awesome competition. As long as you like the styling changes, it promises to be more capable on-road, more capable off-road, and much more luxurious to ride in. Plus, you can expect it to still come with the legendary reliability that both the Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX 570 are known for.