For 25 years the Lexus LX coexisted with the Toyota Land Cruiser with the former based heavily on the latter. But that all changed this year as a new LX launches this luxury SUV’s fourth generation, while the Land Cruiser is no longer available in the U.S.
The decision is a curious one, although Toyota does gain a new Sequoia for 2023, another model based on this automaker’s full-size truck frame. The LX continues as a nattier version of the Land Cruiser, while delivering off-road credibility.
Introducing the Fourth-Generation Lexus LX
For 2022, the overhaul was well past due, as the last “new” LX arrived in 2009 then underwent light changes since. Meanwhile, new competitors such as the BMW X7 arrived, and updated versions of the Cadillac Escalade, Land Rover Range Rover, and the Lincoln Navigator made the LX look positively aged.
We also recommend cross-shopping the LX with the Infiniti QX80 and the Mercedes-Benz GLS.
The changes for 2022 are dramatic, with new styling inside and out. The front fascia is dominated by an even more dramatic spindle grille than before, tamed somewhat in our test F Sport edition with blacked-out touches and a mesh appearance.
A curved hood, upright roof pillars, high waistline, and dramatic LED lighting are significant design details of note.
High-End, Roomy Interior
Inside, the LX’s interior offers a rich blend of high-end materials, including leather upholstery, metal trim pieces, and available wood accents. The base grade seats five, the three middle grades seat seven, while the range-topping Ultra Luxury models make room for four.
In models with three rows of seats, the first two are roomy and comfortable, while the third row is tight and best reserved for youngsters. The cabin itself is bright and quiet, with such amenities as zoned climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a power tilt-and-slide steering column available.
Cargo space, though, measures just 11 cubic feet behind the rear seat, but up to 71 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded flat. Lexus supplies ample storage compartments throughout the interior, a roof rack on top, and up to 8,000 pounds of towing capacity.
The LX is designed for long road trips with a boat or camper in tow.
Tech and Safety Equipment
On the tech front, the most significant change this year eliminates the reviled scratchpad that once controlled the infotainment system. In its place are a pair of touchscreen displays. The top 12.3-inch panel manages music, smartphone connectivity, and navigation.
The bottom 7-inch panel handles in-cabin controls, such as temperature and the available seat heating and massaging functions.
Most models come with a 10-speaker audio package with HD Radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and four USB ports. Our test model featured the 25-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, which delivers concert-like sound throughout the cabin.
Other tech features include a Wi-Fi hotspot, smartphone compatibility, and a wireless charging pad. Families with small children may find the available rear entertainment system with dual screens a fitting distraction for long trips.
On the safety front, the Lexus LX excels. Every conceivable driver-assist feature comes standard, including front automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and lane control. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, and traffic sign recognition are included. A head-up display is available.
New and Efficient Powertrain
All models come with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. With 409 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, the new engine outperforms the previous 5.7-liter V8. As before, four-wheel drive is standard.
High fuel prices are partially offset this year by the more efficient powertrain. This model delivers a combined 19 mpg compared to 14 mpg for the previous generation. You’ll need to fuel with premium-grade gasoline, however.
The LX’s powertrain is strong, with ample power provided from the start. Strong acceleration, excellent passing power, and a smooth-shifting transmission combine to make the LX a stout performer. Although we believe most buyers choose the LX for its around-town styling, this SUV also is a powerful performer off-road.
Indeed, with its terrain management system and crawl control, the LX is entirely suited to conquer the toughest conditions. It may wear Lexus threads, but its Land Cruiser connection becomes apparent when rock climbing.
Five Lexus LX Grades for the Choosing
Lexus offers the 2022 LX in five grades — LX 600 ($88,245); Premium ($96,345); F Sport Handling ($102,345); Luxury ($104,345); and Ultra Luxury ($127,345). Add $1,075 for the delivery fee.
Our test F Sport model eclipsed the six-figure mark and included a TORSEN rear differential, rear stabilizer bar, and performance dampers. However, we recommend starting your search with the Premium trim as it brings in an adaptive suspension system, a head-up display, three rows of seating, and a power-controlled third-row seat.
See Also – 2022 Lexus LX 600 Overview
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