Luxury means different things to different people. One might consider the technology on board a new car to be luxurious, while another might regard the comfort of the drive to be the epitome of luxury. The fourth generation Lexus LX embodies just about every facet of splendour. Its cloud-like ride quality and list of luxury amenities define it as the ultimate road-trip cruiser, while its off-road underpinnings allows the driver to take the path less travelled.
It’s not a small car – in fact, one could refer to it humungous. You have the option of either four, five or seven seats, depending on the derivative you choose. But if it’s the ultimate in luxury you are after, the flagship four-seater LX 600 VIP model boasts independent, electrically adjustable and heated/ventilated seats in the rear that not only deliver 860mm of legroom, but also recline up to 48-degrees and massage you! In the rear of this model you will also experience wireless smartphone charging, four-zone climate control, and twin 11.6-inch displays with HDMI and wireless compatibility, all of which are operated via a centrally located rear control panel.
While we are on the topic of features, all LX models are specced to the hilt. Two central screens – a 12.3-inch touchscreen and a seven-inch display –house everything you need to control the LX. There are a few more traditional buttons around, which will be welcomed by those of us who still prefer a volume knob as opposed to a button onscreen. If neither of those appeal to you, you can control most features via voice control with the words, “Hey Lexus.”
Another great feature is the fingerprint identification for the ignition. You can register up to 10 fingerprints to authorise the engine start. On a more functional note, the LX has four cameras that provide unobstructed views of the surrounds – handy for a vehicle of this size. This multi-terrain monitor ensures you are able to see the front, rear, panoramic and even ‘see-through’ views.
No luxury SUV is complete without the right sound system, and the LX hits it out of the park with a 25-speaker Mark Levinson® Premium Surround Sound System. It is the most comprehensive system found in any Lexus and is “the symbolic cherry on the cake.”
Lexus’ new Tazuna cockpit concept, which takes its name from a Japanese word that describes a rider’s control of their horse using the reins, organises the principal controls and information displays within the driver’s immediate sightline, maintaining the principle of “hands on the wheel, eyes on the road.”
Under the bonnet sees a choice of either a turbodiesel or turbopetrol engine. The LX 500d models boast a 3.3-litre V6 engine with outputs of 225kW and 700Nm, while the LX 600 models sport a 3.5-litre petrol engine producing 305kW and 650Nm. Both offer buttery-smooth acceleration, but the petrol pot gives you a hint more exhilaration. If fuel costs are a consideration, you’ll want to opt for the turbodiesel with its claimed consumption of 8.3l/100km…which is a far cry from the 600’s 11.3/100km figure, which will be higher in the real world (I saw figures of up to 14.5l/100km).
Lexus talks about the LX experience as being one of unflustered comfort. This vehicle is based on the Toyota Land Cruiser 300, which is one of the most capable off-roaders available, so no matter where you take the LX, you’ll almost always be able to get out of any sticky situation… mud, sand, snow, whatever the terrain, the LX has your back.
You could consider the LX a sort of land yacht, and so it does come with a hefty price tag. It kicks off at just over R2.2 million, with the flagship 600 VIP model setting you back just over R2.6 million. But Lexus has added every creature-comfort to these cars, leaving you wanting for nothing.
The LX is the height of luxury and the quintessence of comfort. It showcases some of the latest features in automotive technology and it has the off-roading CV of a Land Cruiser legend. This is something quite special..