A CHAUFFEUR’S PARADISE: 2023 LEXUS LX 600 ULTRA LUXURY
In the world of car reviewing, manufacturers like to send us the crème of the crop when it comes to their vehicles – the more features it has, the nicer it is, the more we’re apt to provide a positive outlook on their product. But when Lexus sent us the all-new, completely redesigned full-size LX 600, replacing the previous generation LX 560, we weren’t quite sure how to approach our review considering the LX they sent was more about being driven rather than being the driver.
First and foremost, the first thing anyone will notice about the new LX 600 is its monumental size. It is David verses Goliath the moment anyone sees that colossal sized grille heading towards them. And then there is the interior that has more legroom than a business class cocoon on a British Airways 747 Airbus. But before we get into this new luxury lifestyle the LX has fallen into, lets get the boring bits out of the way. Now that Toyota has generated a completely new chassis for the Tundra and Sequoia, the LX 600 gets to take part in this benefit riding on same GA-F global platform. This platform keeps the LX planted to its truck roots that also makes it one of the more capable vehicles when the off-road trail ends and the adventure begins with an all-new terrain management system, crawl control system, full-time four-wheel drive with a low-range transfer case and nearly 9-inch of ground clearance with its air suspension.
With the lost of two-cylinders in the engine bay, it makes up with in turbochargers as it is now powered by a 3.4-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6, pumping out 409-horsepower with 479 lb-ft of torque coupled to a fantastically engineered 10-speed automatic transmission. Given its behemoth 6,000lbs, it will hustle to 60-mph in just under 7-seconds.
But lets be frank, the LX 600 isn’t one to be rushed, drive it like a high-class chauffeur and it responds like a proper luxury limousine with dignified grace. My example was on the top tier of the LX food pyramid in its Ultra Luxury cladding that features a standard active height control system that was smoother than a freshly polished stone countertop. It is immensely quiet inside even at speeds excess of the speed limit and despite the steering being as numb as my Botox’ed upper lip, it handled itself in a stately disguise that doesn’t bend or wobble dramatically on aggressive turns.
However, as much as the LX 600 was a charming delight to drive, this dream boat luxury enterprise requires a hired driver in order to take advantage of all of the luxury equipment that occupies the rear seats. Unfortunately, I am too cheap and apparently chauffeurs don’t like to work for free. Nonetheless, with the Ultra Luxury packaging, the LX 600 is transformed into an oasis of comfort with massaging heated and cooled rear seats that are fully power adjustable through a center console touch screen and dual screen entertainment monitors with app-based connectivity. Should one sit on the right side of the rear seats, and they’ll have massive configurability by adjusting the front passenger seat to contort into a lounge-like setting with a pop out footrest ottoman.
Sitting in the front as a passenger or driver, some amenities are lost like the massaging seat feature that is offered in the back. That can easily be forgiven once getting settled in one of the best, most comfortable, well-designed interiors. The LX features a fantastic new 12.3-inch touch screen infotainment display that’s about as easy to use as they come – I do find it disappointing that with such a large screen how little it will display at any given point such as you can have navigation and the radio on the same screen, or navigation and Apple CarPlay running at the same time. And considering how gorgeous the interior is, the small 7-inch touch screen interface that manages the vehicles four-zone climate control system and other unnecessary settings seems like an afterthought.
With the Toyota Land Cruiser no longer being available in the USA market, the LX 600 is sort of picking up where the lost but not forgot icon has left off. However, with so much luxury, comfort and performance, there is a drawback to the LX 600 compared to its competitors like the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, and it all comes down to its size. Keeping to its off-road sustainability, the LX 600 is several inches shorter than its competition which shows in the cargo capacity and when equipped, its third-row comfort making it still one of the tightest seat configurations from a full-size SUV.
However, as for the LX 600 Ultra Luxury and its starting price of $127,845 the Grand Wagoneer, Escalade and Navigator aren’t quite the competitors that the Ultra Luxury faces against. As a vehicle meant to be escorted around in, the LX 600 Ultra Luxury makes for a chauffeur’s bargain against the $169,000 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 and near $100,000 cheaper than the $218,000 Range Rover Extended Length Autobiography.