2023 Lexus LX Review

2023 Lexus LX - Lexus biggest SUV powers it way to the front of the class.


Long a luxury twin of the now-departed Toyota Land Cruiser, the LX went on its own in a 2022 redesign. Switching to the current Toyota truck platform, the LX now shares some underpinnings and engines with the Toyota Sequoia and Tundra. LX remains a large, four-wheel drive 4-door wagon with seating 4, 5 and 7 passengers. Competitors include the Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, Land Rover Range Rover, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GLS.

Trim levels include LX, Premium, F Sport Handling, Luxury and Ultra Luxury. All get a turbocharged 3.4-liter V6 tat makes 409 horsepower and 479 lb. ft. of torque. Sole transmission is a 10-speed automatic. All models come with four-wheel drive. Towing capacity is 8,000 pounds.

The LX has 5-passenger seating. Premium, F Sport Handling, Luxury adds a two-place third row for 7-passenger capacity. Ultra Luxury deletes the second- and third-row benches and adds two power-adjustable captain's chairs. Prices start at $89,000 and climb to more than $130,000. Standard safety features include forward-collision warning with brake assist, lane-departure warning and lane-centering assist, blind-spot warning with cross-traffic alert, 360-degree camera system and automated parking system. In addition to its unique seating option, the Ultra Luxury adds height-adjustable suspension digital rear-view mirror, premium leather upholstery, and rear-seat entertainment system with twin 11.4-inch screens.

With a 0 to 60 MPH time of about 6.2 seconds, power from the turbocharged V6 proves plentiful and the 10-speed automatic shifts smoothly enough. Though it's down two cylinders to most competitors, the engine offers plenty of torque to jump off the line and provides sound passing punch.

The standard four-wheel-drive system offers a low range, terrain modes, crawl mode, hill-descent control, and an available height-adjustable suspension. There's also a no-cost 18-inch wheel option for serious off-roaders who want to avoid replacing expensive street-minded wheels and tires.

The LX is EPA rated at 16 MPG city and 25 MPG highway and, like all of the vehicles in this class, requires premium-grade gasoline. For comparison, competitors are within one MPG around town and the Lexus is, by far, the most efficient on the highway. In routine driving, the Lexus can impress with an average north of 20 MPG, provided you have a light throttle foot.

In daily driving, most are likely to find the ride of the LX to be comfortable and controlled, but badly broken roads expose the truck-sourced chassis and low-profile tires, creating a queasy feeling at times. Unlike competitors at Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz, the LX has no sporting intensions - even in F Sport Handling trim. The steering is slow and lacks road feel and there's copious amounts of body lean in quick maneuvers. Brakes have good stopping power.

Interior noise levels are Lexus low, meaning the LX is one of the quieter vehicles in the class. The upright design does lead to a bit of wind noise from the cowl and side-view mirrors, however.

Though the LX is all new, the interior has a very traditional feeling with lots of buttons and switches and luxurious materials throughout. The dash is dominated by a large 12.3-inch infotainment screen that seems a bit of an add on. But at least it is up high and easy to reach and see. The instrument cluster and head-up display are exceptionally sharp.

Feeling a bit like living-room armchairs, the front seats are extremely comfortable and supportive. Ditto for the second-row seats. Third-row seats are not nearly as comfortable, however. The real surprise are the executive-style lounge chairs in the Ultra. Offering exceptional comfort, adjustability and room, they feel like first-class airline seats. Speaking of room, front- and second-row passengers will find good head and leg room. Third-row passengers are squeezed. Outward visibility is fine forward and to the sides, but somewhat blocked by thick pillars and a smallish rear window.

Equipped with the latest safety and technology features, the LX can be a bit daunting at first, but after a few days, most operations become second nature. Wireless support for Android Auto and Apple Car Play is standard and there is a wireless charging tray and USB ports throughout.

Cargo capacity is definitely a notch below the Caddy or Lincoln, but on par with the M-B and Land Rover models. Total capacity is 71 cubic feet, but things get muddy from there with the different seating configurations. The third row does stow into the floor, but because the second row does not, that creates an uneven load floor. On the bright side, the tailgate does have a separate-opening window. A nice touch for the class. Interior storage is great with lots of open and covered bins throughout.

Bottom Line -- The new LX is infinitely better than the model it replaces, but still suffers from a few shortcomings like an uneven ride, muddled controls, and a cargo-capacity deficiency. There's a lot to like as well including all the comfort-and-convenience features, powerful engine and quiet interior. Like all of the vehicles in the class, the LX is expensive and since there's the similar Sequoia in the Toyota lineup, that makes the price premium more about Lexus experience, service and retail.

Mark Bilek

Mark Bilek is the Senior Director of Communications and Technology for the Chicago Auto Trade Association and the General Manager for DriveChicago.com. He is also responsible for developing and maintaining the Chicago Auto Show Web site.

Mark has been reviewing vehicles for more than two decades. Previously, he was associate publisher at Consumer Guide, where he oversaw publication of Consumer Guide Car & Truck Test, Consumer Guide's Used Car Book, and ConsumerGuide.com. He was also responsible for publication of "Collectible Automobile" and various hardcover automotive titles. In 2001 and 2002 he served as president of a Midwest Automotive Media Association. Mark has appeared on NBC TV, ABC TV, Fox News, WGN and MotorTrend TV as an automotive consultant. He hosts the Drive Chicago radio show on WLS 890 AM and was a regular guest on WGN Radio's Steve & Johnnie show. Mark lives in the northwest suburbs with his wife and three sons.