The sheer size of the 2017 Lexus LX 570 may intimidate some, but it drives much like a somewhat older-style big luxury car, probably even better.
The 200-inch-long LX 570 four-door hatchback weighs fully 6,000 pounds, but its smooth 5.7-liter dual-overhead-camshaft, 32-valve V8 generates 383 horsepower and a whopping 403 pound/feet of torque. It thus does 0-60 m.p.h. in a brisk 7.3 seconds and allows fast 65-80 m.p.h. highway passing. It shines as a long-distance cruiser but is easy to handle in town.
Lexus says the eight-passenger, four-wheel-drive LX 570 tops out at 137 m.p.h., which is when aerodynamic drag on this high, wide and handsome SUV's body must fight it from going much faster. I don't know what the wind noise would be at that speed, but found the LX 570 to be very quiet at 75 m.p.h. Cabin quietness, after all, is expected of a luxury vehicle.
This is no gas/electric hybrid, so one pays the price for such bulk and performance in gasoline bills. The EPA figures are 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 on highways. Lexus says 91-octane fuel is needed for the best performance.
On the other hand, this Lexus has a 24.6-gallon fuel tank, so if you accelerate sensibly, the smooth eight-speed automatic transmission, which has handy paddle shifters, will do its best to keep you close to the EPA estimates.
I found the hydraulic power steering to be precise, but it was heavy and I couldn't find anything in the owner's manual that told me how to lighten it. However, the steering is precise and the LX 570 is easy to maneuver, with a 38.7-foot turning circle.
Handling is good, thanks partly to vehicle stability and traction control systems, and a driver can use a console control to switch from "comfort/eco" to "sport" mode for more aggressive street driving or to handle such things as mountain roads. The comfort/eco mode is the most suitable during city/suburban driving.
The ride is smooth, but occasionally-and surprisingly-gets a little floaty in comfort/eco suspension mode. The brakes are powerful and have a brake-assist feature for surer stops.
Thank goodness there's at least moderately sized illuminated running boards because even a long-legged driver, such as myself, requires extra effort to get aboard. And the two power side-folding third-row seats are hard to reach, although the second-row seat powers forward to allow easier entry.
Occupants sit high in the classy interior, with its genuine wood trim and nifty leather seat stitching. Front seats feel as if they provide good support during long journeys.
It's easy to load cargo into the big two-piece tailgate.
The LX 570 has an active height-control system and an off-road crawl mode for for rough terrain. I don't know how many LX 570 owners will want to subject this posh SUV to such terrain-they might be best off getting a Toyota Land Cruiser, on which the LX 570 is based.
The console has 747-style controls, the dashboard has a pushbutton start, power steering wheel and easily used controls, although a few secondary ones are hidden to the left of the steering column. After all, there's only so much room to put lots of controls, even in a big guy like the LX 570.
A large dashboard screen contains all sorts of information to which you can scroll-the sound system and such. There are plenty of storage areas, including a "mile-deep" covered console bin. But the second-row headrests block rear vision when raised.
Safety items include side air bags, all-speed dynamic radar control, blind-spot monitor, lane departure alert and a pre-collision system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection.
The LX 570 has most, if not all, the comfort and convenient features you'd find in a big luxury car, including a premium 9-speaker audio system. There thus aren't lots of options.
However, extras include heated and ventilated front and second row outboard seats, a Mark Levinson sound system with 19 speakers, heated wood steering wheel, rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens and wireless headphones, heads-up display and 21-inch (instead of the standard 20-inch) alloy wheels.
You pretty much know what you're getting with any Lexus model, so buyers of the LX 570 should have no disappointments.