Lexus LX 570 Axes Third Row, Goes For Less Is More Approach

Well this is a weird idea. You know how SUVs always seem to aim for that elusive third row? Even if there’s no room back there, automakers find a way to cram that final row in so they can say they have a “family-oriented” product or something along those lines? Yeah, that. Well, Lexus has decided the cool thing about their LX 570 is how they have taken the third row out.

Lexus’ whole counter trend here comes down to two words: cargo capacity. By ditching the third row, the LX 570 gets you 50.5 cubic feet of carrying space behind the middle row, versus “just” 44.7 cubic feet for the three-row model.

Lexus also throws in a roof rack with rails. So, without coming out and saying it, it becomes plenty plain to see the LX 570 is about hauling stuff, and not necessarily kids.

One Stop Shop

As a matter of fact, Lexus has paired down a lot about what you can and cannot get in the LX 570. For example, unlike a lot of cars, the LX 570 comes in one, and only one trim level. Lexus uses the phrase “one comprehensive trim level” which sounds kind of stern to me, but let’s go with it for now. This mono-spec trim level, they say, “enhances customer value by making ordering a vehicle as easy as choosing the exterior and interior colors.” No fuss, no muss, badda-BING! ya got yourself an SUV. I can appreciate that, but it does seem rather counterintuitive in this day of everything must be personalized to me, for I am special. And on top of that, they are going to try and sell this idea to Lexus customers. This is not the Ford Model T/’any color you want so long as it’s black’/basic transportation demographic they’re aiming for here.

Yes, the LX 570 comes with a lot of standard luxury goodies like a leather interior, four-zone automatic climate control, a power tailgate, moonroof, and 20-inch wheels. It also comes standard with Intuitive Park Assist and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and all those other safety doo-dads that help you be a much more lazy driver than you should. You can also chuck in the standard Panoramic View Monitor and the 12.3-inch Navigation screen, I suppose.

Until now, the LX has been a three-row luxury vehicle with seating for up to eight. However, Lexus said some customers indicated they did not use the third row and expressed a preference for more interior cargo space. Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Useful Tech

Standard gear also includes Lexus Enform Remote so you can remotely view and control certain features on your SUV. Stuff like locking or unlocking the doors, remote-starting or stopping the engine or climate control (handy on cold or hot days), or locating the vehicle in a parking lot (because you have no short term memory). The app works on both iOS and Android devices, by the by. They also give you Lexus Enform Safety Connect, which puts you in touch with Enform response centers 24/7/365 in case something goes really wrong (e.g. bad part of town at night scenarios). Also included is Lexus Service Connect that can relay the vehicle’s service needs to you so you can set up reminders and alerts and schedule appointments and such. Both subscriptions are complimentary for the first 10 years of ownership. Which is a nice perk.

Power & Performance

The underpinnings of the LX 570 are just like those of its sibling. It looks like the three row version with the same grille, trim, and triple-beam LED headlamps. On-road or off, the LX 570 is propelled by a 5.7-liter V8 engine, putting out 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft. of torque when coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This adds up to 7,000 lbs. of towing capacity (there’s a standard integrated tow hitch receiver). The engine produces 90 percent of its peak torque at 2,200 rpm, which will help when towing.

Yeah, of course there’s a bunch of computer controlled stuff that makes driving around in the 570 easier. Long gone are the days of getting out of the truck with a pair of slip-joint pliers to lock the front hubs. Thanks to a Drive Mode Select dial on the center console, the LX 570 adjusts this way and that through the powertrain and Adaptive Variable Suspension. They work in seamless coordination without the driver noticing very much.

The body-on-frame construction provides ruggedness and durability for challenging driving conditions, according to Lexus. Photo: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Pricing

Although they don’t say when you can pick up your new Lexus LX 570, they do say the starting price is $84,980. HOLY SH-how much? You have got to be joking? That’s what a Corvette ZO6 goes for. I mean, I get these things are nice and all that, but that’s a lot of green. Right. Right. I get it. Not everyone shares my vehicle priorities. So if you are one of those people who takes off to the mountains with a few friends for a weekend of snowboarding or needs to haul a lot of jai alai gear down to the fronton, you might want to consider the Lexus LX 570.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.

Photos & Source: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

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