Behind the Wheel: 2022 Lexus LX 600
Once upon a time, the Lexus LX was little more than an 80-Series Toyota Land Cruiser with nicer leather. While its styling evolved to help it be more distinguished from the popular overland Toyota, it never had to shoulder much of the off-roading work since the Land Cruiser was always there to scoop up that consumer. Sadly, on U.S. shores anyway, this is no longer the case. As a result, the 2022 Lexus LX finds itself facing the battle of offering high luxury and even higher levels of off-roading capabilities. Especially for the Land Cruiser consumer that’s been left with no other option.
This is certainly no small task and one we are thrilled to report that the LX has been completely victorious over! To achieve it, Lexus had almost completely reimagine the LX model for 2022. A strong engine sets us off on the right foot. A 3.5L twin-turbo V6, to be exact. With 409 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Officially making it the most powerful engine ever fitted to the LX. Paired with a 10-speed direct-shift automatic transmission, the abundance of power is delivered smoothly and even all the way up to redline.
From a design standpoint, the Lexus LX 600 embodies sophistication and strength. Communicating its utility off-road and refinement on it. An enormous grille dominates the front and is “blacked out” in the Luxury model. Flanked by sharp, triple-beam LED headlamps. At the rear, a sleek, full-width blade taillight stays softly illuminated at night, lighting up the new Lexus badging underneath. Big 22” forged alloy wheels and roof rails further elevate the dual- nature of the LX 600.
On the inside, the driver position is less bolt-upright and more relaxed. A new dual-screen infotainment system keeps audio, smartphone and navigation controls to the 12.3” upper display. While HVAC, off-road adjustments and other situational inputs are relegated to the 7.0” bottom screen. This keeps things well organized and simple. Preventing you from getting lost in a sea of settings and menus.
The top-tier model, with the Ultra Lux package, is treated to plenty of extra creature comforts. 4-passenger diamond-stitch leather seats with embossed headrests scream out upscale. Massagers are embedded in all 4 captain chairs, along with reclining features, heating and ventilation. The second-row seat on the right side even has a sliding ottoman so you can really kick up your feet and relax. Captain’s chairs are wide, supportive, and buttery soft. Rear occupants are further spoiled with dual video screens, Mark Levinson surround sound, wireless charging and sunshades. There’s thematic ambient lighting, heated wood and leather trim on the steering wheel, a cool box, 4-zone climate control and more. Without question, the Lexus LX 600 is already engineered to pamper your socks off. The Ultra Lux package cranks it up even further to levels never before seen from the LX.
So the luxury is there, but even more, relevant, the LX 600 utilizes a plethora of hardware and software tricks that help firmly establish it as a worthy alternative to the late Land Cruiser on rough and rugged terrain. Active ride height control on our Luxury model goes a long way to help you clear obstacles in the road. Toggling between the different driving modes also made noticeable changes to the adjustable dampers, steering effort, and gear mapping. The ride quality always felt soft and settled over a variety of road surfaces. Quiet and comfortable first and foremost. Progressive-wound rear springs with the limited-slip differential and rear anti-roll bar helped the chassis feel tight but never punishing.
Never before has there been so many options and so much variety in the Lexus LX line-up. The unfortunate exit of the Land Cruiser from U.S. shores had a certain vacuum effect that, thankfully Lexus was astute enough to notice and quickly respond to. In response, Toyota has delivered the most refined and off-road-ready LX ever. One that will surely please even the most die-hard Land Cruiser fan. Giving them way more polish and premium access than they ever thought they’d want or need from their dearly departed, tried and true, off-roading machine.
Price as tested: $128,030.00