2013 Lexus LX570

2013 Lexus LX570
2013 Lexus LX570

The eight-passenger Lexus LX570 gets a new look front and rear for 2013, as well as the company’s new Enform communications technology inside. On a road trip test drive, the LX570 was roomy, comfortable and thirsty.

Creature comforts like a console drink cooler, heated and ventilated seats, zoned climate control and one of the quietest rides around made the LX570 a great interstate machine.

But with a combined fuel economy rating of 14 miles per gallon, the LX570 is thirsty for the required premium unleaded gas. It took more than a tank of gas for our test vehicle, loaded with four adults and all their gear, to make it to Seaside, located between Destin and Panama City. Once arrived and with luggage removed, the LX570 easily handled six adults and a child seat for trips in and around Seaside. City mileage is 12 mpg, and on the highway the rating is 17 mpg.

Not that much has changed for the 2013 LX570, which gets a new grille, new 20-inch alloy wheels and an upgraded interior. The SUV gets new LED daytime running lights, new headlamps and larger fog lamps. Both bumpers get a new look, and turn signal lights have been added to the side mirrors.

Long trips are not a problem for the driver or passengers in the LX570. The vehicle’s suspension system is adjustable to control damping via three settings: Comfort, for floating over road imperfections; Sport, for more control and a firmer ride; and Normal. Lexus recommends the Sport or Normal setting for a heavily loaded vehicle at higher speeds.

There is also an Active Height Control system that lowers the vehicle by about two inches for easy entry, then automatically returns to the SUV’s normal height when the vehicle speeds up. Combine that system with the twin tailgate setup — where the top glass has a power lift and a tailgate lowers — and the LX570 is very easy to load and unload. Cargo capacity is a whopping 83 cubic feet in this 6,000 behemoth. Towing capacity is 7,000 pounds.

Powered by a 5.7-liter V8 hooked to an electronically controlled 6-speed automatic transmission with a sequential shift feature, the LX570 has all the power you need for getting onto and staying up with traffic on the highway. Horsepower is 383 and peak torque is 403 lb.-ft. at 3,600 rpm. The full-time 4WD makes for sure handling in the buffeting winds and rain of thunderstorms that you inevitably encounter going to and from beach destinations.

Inside, the LX570 has Lexus’ new Enform system, which uses your smart phone (iPhone, Android and Blackberry all work) to connect to applications like Bing, OpenTable, Movietickets.com, or various internet radio systems. SiriusXM satellite radio is also included, along with a free 90-day trial period. NavTraffic and NavWeather are also included for a year.

The LX570 has not yet been safety rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but it is equipped with 10 standard airbags, including front-row knee airbags. Also included is an optional pre-collision system and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, a handy feature that keeps a set distance between the vehicle and traffic in front. A rearview camera comes with standard navigation, and an optional wide-view front/side camera is useful for tight parking situations.

The LX570 starts at $80,930, and our test vehicle was equipped with a $3,010 Luxury Package, a $2,350 upgraded Mark Levinson audio system with 19 speakers, the $1,000 wide-view camera system, and a dual-screen rear DVD entertainment system, bringing the bottom line to $89,295 plus freight.

It’s obviously not for all budgets, but if you have the dough, the luxurious LX570 is a comfortable and roomy road machine.

LEXUS LX570