The 2020 Lexus LX Is A Menacing Expense
A review of the $86,000 Lexus SUV.
Introduction and Background
The Lexus LX was first introduced in 1995 as Lexus' first proper SUV. Similar to most other SUVs of the time, it got awful fuel economy and sounded like it was about to explode. With 212 horsepower and weighing in at over 2,177 Kilograms (4,800 lbs), the 95' LX was not fast. The current, third generation LX has been produced for the last 12 years, with minor styling changes. It's a massive, luxurious SUV that is, in my opinion, priced way too high. Is it worth it? Why did 4,718 people buy it in 2019?
Trims and Pricing
Two trim levels are available in the LX: LX 570 Two-Row and LX 570 Three-Row, starting at $86,480, and $91,480, respectively. The LX is overpriced, to say the least, who pays $5,000 for another row of seating? If Lexus added the third row standard, it would be slightly better value.
Engine, Transmission, and Towing
The LX is powered by a 383 horsepower 5.7 L V8, which is a huge improvement over the old, 212 horsepower 4.5 L 6-cylinder engine. An 8-speed automatic transmission delivers the power smoothly to all 4 wheels and allows a towing capacity of 3,175 Kilograms (7,000 lbs), which makes the LX perfect for a camping adventure.
Fuel efficiency is, and never was, the LX's strong point, but it was designed in 2008, when emissions laws weren't so strict. The LX only manages to get 12 city / 16 highway, which is understandable for a 383 horsepower luxury SUV. With that said, the Lincoln Navigator, which has 450 horsepower, 4wd, and a third row, achieves 16 city / 21 highway. This shows how outdated the LX's powertrain is.
Interior Features and Comfort
With huge leather seats, and lavish interior styling, the LX is a great road tripper. Perforated leather interior trim, a heated 14-way driver's seat, a heated 12-way front passenger's seat, and a nine-speaker Lexus premium sound system are all standard features that make the LX a premium luxury SUV. On the other hand, most of these features are available in cars that are well under $86,000. Additionally, ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel are not standard, very disappointing for a car at this price point. Personally, I feel that the interior was underwhelming; it doesn't feel unique, and looks similar to most other luxurious Lexus'.
Although the LX hasn't been tested by the IIHS or NHTSA, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control, and high-beam headlight assist are all features that are onboard the LX standard. These features, along with Toyota/Lexus' great safety history, make the LX a very safe vehicle.
The most surprising thing about the LX is its sales figures, which were 4,718 in 2019. Sure, this is not a huge number, but the Kia K900, which I also reviewed, was only sold to 392 people in the same year despite the the fact that it is more luxurious and less expensive! Either way, the 2020 Lexus LX is a massive, powerful, and luxurious SUV that just isn't worth its price tag.