—Redesigned. More power and torque. Roomy. Smooth ride. Good handling. Nicely sized. Off-road prowess. Safety features, Cons
—High step up. Scant cargo room with upright third-row seats. Bottom Line
—Lexus checks nearly all the luxury SUV boxes with this one.
The redesigned 2022 Lexus LX 600
is a successor to the LX 570 and comes in various models ranging from $82,245 to $127,345. It has a new powertrain, suspension, steering and brakes, besides some exterior/interior changes and the usual assortment of Lexus luxury car features.
I tested the LX 600 model that’s the most fun—the F Sport Handling which Lexus lists at $102,345, although options (including a $2,600 Levinson sound system) and a $1,345 delivery charge raised the bottom-line price.
The handsome F Sport Handling has, besides full-time 4WD, a tuned suspension, Torsen limited-slip different, rear stabilizer bar, performance dampers and crawl control. There’s also 22-inch forged F Sport wheel with dark gray metallic finish, sportier seats, perforated leather-trimmed heated steering wheel, aluminum pedals, F sport badging and unique front and rear fascias.
You expected something less expensive? Hey, this is the Lexus SUV that goes against other big luxury SUV guys, such as the Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade and Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
The LX 600 F Sport Handling, based somewhat on the Toyota Land Cruiser no longer sold here, has a trim size for its class. It has a 112.2-inch wheelbase and is 201 inches long.That means, unlike some rivals, that it actually might fit in a garage. Moreover, it is better styled than the Grand Wagoneer, which looks like someone added a shipping container to it at the last moment for extra interior room.
While the LX 570 had a V-8, the LX 600 has a smooth new 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 with 409 horsepower and 479 pound/feet of torque, outdoing the old V-8 in both areas. The V-6 works with a responsive 10-speed direct-shift automatic transmission. The 0-60 m.p.h time is officially 6.9 seconds, although the LX 600 F Sport Handling weighs approximately 5,500 pounds. It can tow 8,000 pounds.
Estimated fuel economy is 17 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on highways for a combined (city/highway) 19 m.p.g. Premium fuel is called for to fill the 21.14 gallon fuel tank, but fuel economy has been improved from the discontinued V-8.
The LX 600 has rugged body on frame construction, with a new, stiffer frame. That helps enhance handling. The 600 F Sport Handling model has, true to its name, minimal body sway for such a tall, heavy vehicle when moving fast on Chicago expressway ramps. Moreover, a driver can select via dial these driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sports, Sports S, Sports S+ and Custom.
The hood opens smoothly on struts, revealing that the engine is set fairly far back to help weight distribution and thus enhance handling.
I used the “Normal” and “Sports S” modes most the time and found that the ride doesn’t suffer much between Normal and the Sports modes. However, the steering tightens considerably between Normal and the Sports modes. I could feel some road bumps in every mode, but they didn’t really affect comfort. I suspect “Eco” mode is likely the best for long-distance travel.
Stopping power is strong, but I had slightly mixed feelings about the brake pedal. It has a generally linear operation but sometimes calls for a final hard pedal push to keep the LX from creeping a bit forward at, say, a stop sign.
There is good room for 7 passengers, with the third-row seats occupied. It was surprising that the third-row seats have decent room for 6-footers, at least for shorter trips. But reaching the third row involves flipping the rear seat forward and considerable agility.
There’s virtually no cargo room with the third-row seats in their upright position, but that row has a power fold-flat feature. The cargo area is impressively large with the third- and second-row seats folded down. The power hatch opens quickly, and a new rear suspension lowers the body floor for easier cargo loading.
All doors open widely. But It calls for more than moderate extra effort to climb aboard even the first and second-row seats, although fixed running boards help here. While those boards are a little too narrow for those with large-size foot wear, I predict that kids and non-athletic adults will use them to help get in and out. Large windshield-area grab handles help here. But getting a child’s seat in a second-row seat might be somewhat difficult because of the LX’s height.
There’s plenty of luxury in the attractive interior, which has soft-touch surfaces, nice stitching and attractive aluminum trim on the doors and very large center console. The heated and ventilated front seats offer above-average support and the second-row outboard seats also are heated and ventilated. There is a power tilt-and-slide moonroof with a sliding cover, semi-aniline leather-trimmed seats and large second-row fold-down armrest with extra-strong cupholders.
The front console might make some drivers feel a bit crowded, but contains an especially deep covered storage bin that can be opened by both the front driver and passenger. All cupholders are conveniently placed.
There’s a Lexus Interface with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, a 7-inch vehicle information display and an 8-inch multi-information display. Also, there is a mixture of touch-screen and physical controls. Another feature is wireless Apple CarPlay integration and wireless Android Auto compatibility, along with 6 USB ports and a wireless charger.
There are a large number of safety features. They include a pre-collision system, frontal collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and bicyclist detection, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, lane tracing assist, intelligent high beams and road sign assist. There also is a blind spot monitor, intuitive parking assist with automatic braking and panoramic view and multi-terrain monitors.
The LX 600 F Sport Handling was easy to live with, partly because I had no problems maneuvering and parking it.