BY H. THROTTLE
The “atomic silver” Lexus LX-570 SUV was the test car this week that captured my attention and that of many interested neighbors. This cool vehicle has a suggested list price of $89,360, along with additional options to a final price of $97,196. The extras included rear-seat dual-screen entertainment systems.
Assembled in Aichi, Japan, the craftsmanship of leather, chrome and genuine wood trim make this a luxurious eight-passenger all-wheel-drive vehicle.
The LX-570 is a large vehicle built to work and pull a boat or trailer. It has a spacious rear cargo area with power rear-lid lift. Twenty-inch wheels with five-spoke polished graphite rims add to the ride and powerful appearance.
This vehicle presents a 383-horsepower engine capable of 403 pounds of torque, almost twice the power of popular four-cylinder engines. The transmission is the Lexus/Toyota eight-speed sequential transmission with the full-time four-wheel drive.
There are three drive modes of eco, comfort and sport that influence the fuel economy of the thirsty V8 engine, which averaged 13 mpg in the city, 18 on the highway and a disappointing average of 15 overall.
Safety is prime consideration with the vehicle. The LX 570 has first and second-row seat-mounted side airbags and advanced dual-stage seat supplemental restraint system, as well as all of the latest Lexus safety equipment and SST that will stop the vehicle from striking a forward object.
During the test drive, I had a white Suburban pull out from a stop sign and the LX-570 system hit the brakes as my foot reached the brake pedal. The new safety systems, such as radar cruise control and blind-spot monitoring, really make for safer driving. Lexus/Toyota has taken a lead in safety features.
The ride is soft and comfortable with spacious interior. The manual drive is assisted by paddle shifting located on the steering wheel. The center console is computer driven with a hand-control pad for screen control. There is a voice-control option for navigation and phone controls.
What I liked best about this vehicle was the size and stature, a power-drive offering and a strong, safe feeling behind the wheel.
Drawbacks would be the price compared to other all-wheel drive choices, the low fuel mileage with 13 mpg, and the gas tank label requesting premium fuel only.
Lastly, the eco choice greatly reduced power, which was an effort to economize on fuel consumption, but the end result is poor performance in that mode. The sport mode was by far the best mode, and the surge of power from the 383 horsepower was worth the extra cost of gasoline.
This is a major investment for a distinctive driver who desires quality, safety and performance over price.
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