A younger, slicker version of the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Lexus LX series has always been just as capable as its Toyota sibling, but has sadly suffered the same outcome as the new age Land Rover. Forever trapped in purgatory on paved roads, the LX series has become more of an accessory for the wealthy than the wealthy All-purpose off-road vehicle embedded in its DNA. The biggest indicator is the Land Cruiser’s discontinuance in the States, a magical place where interesting and capable vehicles die unless they’re shiny, massive gas guzzlers.
2021 brought Lexus the fourth generation of the LX Series and sees a wealth of updates, trim and optional equipment to accommodate the now discontinued Land Cruiser. It has a solid reputation that can be lived up to by seeing how the third generation has been in production for fourteen years. The LX600 is now lighter, more powerful and of course retains its classic Toyota reliability to dethrone the Cadillac Escalade, BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS.
Here’s how the 2022 Lexus LX600 compares to its luxury SUV competition.
Styling and design of the Lexus LX600 and its competitors
The LX 600 is available in a number of trim levels, LX, LX Premium, LX F Sport Handling, LX Luxury and LX Ultra Luxury, five in total. With a very similar look to its Toyota sibling, the Lexus looks controversial spindle grille, you get an even bigger, more chrome-plated update meant to improve airflow to its V6 engine. Its all-new body-on-frame design, combined with a stiffer structure, is now 441 pounds lighter than the previous third generation.
Lexus also introduced us to its first-ever LX F Sport Handling, a new trim for 2022 with a new body kit, upgraded 22-inch wheels and a race-inspired interior, further fueling people’s interest in sporty SUVs (which sounds like an oxymoron sounds). ).
The Escalade uses five distinct trims: Luxury, Premium Luxury, Premium Luxury Platinum, Sport, and Sport Platinum. Unsurprisingly, Germany’s competitors are far more sophisticated when it comes to features and packaging. The BMW offers three iterations of its X7: xDrive40i, M50i and Alpina XB7. Simply put, its base model, sport model and luxury model. MB completes the package with three models. The basic GLS 450 with optional AMG equipment package, its 4MATIC diesel and the stunning GLS 600 Maybach.
Lexus LX600 technology
In what Lexus has dubbed “the most advanced LX ever,” the all-new user interface connects its driver through its 19-inch touchscreen, or voice-controlled smart assistant, which appears to be learning habits and patterns to get smarter over time. Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto are standard, the rear seats are equipped with two 11-inch LCD screens that can use two different video sources at the same time.
The LX 600 also uses a heads-up display with standard information like speed and RPM. It is also able to connect to Lexus pedestrian alert and Front Cross Traffic Alertto warn the operator when an approaching vehicle or pedestrian is awaiting a collision. The key piece of the LX’s technology, however, is its Intelligent assistant. A voice-activated Lexus First system that can adjust the temperature, provide directions, change music channels and more with a simple command “Hey Lexus”.
Technology across the board is largely the same, with all rivals having some version of voice commands, heads-up displays, cell phone apps and ultra-adjustable seats. In this case, however, the Escalade sets itself apart from the competition. With its implementation of his Great cruise, the Escalade is able to drive hands-free, change lanes automatically and much more. The only downside is the limitation to “Super Cruise Roads”. 200,000 miles of compatible roads across North America.
Interior of the Lexus LX600
The interior of the LX can only be described as exquisite, offering a choice of seven seats, a variety of eight different interior colors, adjustable ambient lighting and reclining rear seats. Another practical feature is the one-touch automatic. At the touch of a button, the LX automatically configures the seats to offer maximum cargo space by temporarily moving the front seats forward where the second and third rows fold down.
The LX 600 has come a long way with its interior quality, but cannot top the Maybach. Widely regarded as the benchmark for ultra-premium, sophisticated and supremely comfortable interior options, the GLS 600 is no exception. From its tailor-made seats, cooler with champagne glasses, five different wood grain finishes and its generous sunroof, the Maybach has yet to be dethroned in the interior department.
Although the average buyer of a full-size luxury SUV isn’t generally concerned about fuel economy, a fair share is used as a family van. With the average MPG in the segment struggling to hit 20mpg, every single mile is crucial. Thanks to its lighter frame, the LX 600 sees 17 in the city and 22 on the highway, for a combined 19 mpg. A major improvement over its third-gen predecessor, which saw 12mpg, 16mpg and 14mpg respectively.
But if you take a closer look at the fuel consumption numbers of these competitors, the xDrive40i is the clear champion. During the Car and Driver road test, the X7 saw a staggering 28mpg on the highway, although the city mpg is rated at a lower 19mpg. Although some of these rivals offer more fuel-efficient diesel options, we’ve compared their petrol engines for brevity.
All models in the LX series are equipped with Toyota’s V35A FTS engine; a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6. The same engine could be found not only in the Toyota Land Cruiser, but also in the Lexus LS 500, Toyota Tundra and Toyota Sequoia. The six-cylinder engine produces 409 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful LX ever. Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, the LX can tow 8,000 pounds with its tow wiring and components integrated directly into its platform, obviating the need for bolt-on gear.
As for its off-road chops, the LX has a permanent, short-range 4WD system, a Torsen center differential that can split power 50:50 between the front and rear axles, with the F Sport using a Torsen limited-slip differential. It’s also the only SUV among these competitors with an actual history of building off-road vehicles.
The Lexus can win the off-road challenge by a landslide victory, but its Bavarian competitor, the Alpina XB7, easily wins the performance class. Alpina specially tuned BMW’s N63 V8 to produce a stable of 612 of the finest German Thoroughbreds, an achievement that puts the XB7 in the running for the most powerful BMW of all time.
Prices of the Lexus LX600 compared to the competition
Those in the market for a full-size luxury SUV are won over by their high prices, but that certainly doesn’t intimidate many buyers. If that were the case, SUVs wouldn’t be one of the best-selling body styles around the world, if not the best-selling. Lexus’ flagship SUV is no different, with prices for all trim levels starting at:
- LX- $88,245
- LX Premium – $96,345
- LX F Sport Handling – $102,345
- LX Luxury – $104,345
- LX Ultra Luxury – $127,345
BMW’s options are as follows:
- xDrive40i – $74,900
- M50i – $99,800
- Alpina XB7 – $141,300
Cadillac’s price list looks like this:
- Luxury – $76,295
- Premium Luxury – $84,895
- Premium Luxury Platinum – $101,595
- Sports – $87,595
- Sports Platinum – $101,595
Finally we have the prices of MB as such:
- GLS 450 Base – $77,200
- GLS 450 AMG Line – $81,550
- GLS 600 Maybach – $160,500
When it comes to the luxury SUV market, the options seem endless, fairly redundant, and largely expensive. While it’s tough to beat the king, the Escalade, along with the BMW and Mercedes racing pedigree, there’s a reason its Land Cruiser sibling has been around for 70 years. Since the few extra dollars are inconsequential, the 2021 Lexus LX 600 and its Toyota reliability, capability, and practicality (for an SUV) can’t be beat.
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