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SHEER LUXURY
NOW WITH TWIN TURBOS

WORDS AND IMAGES PHILIP LORD

TOW TEST Lexus LX 450d

The big Lexus is sumptuous and sensible at the same time

It’s no secret that the Lexus LX SUV is based on the Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series, but it hasn’t been available with Toyota’s 4.5-litre twin-turbo V8 – until now.

Now the big Lexus is available with not only the 5.7-litre petrol V8 but also the more efficient diesel, making it perfect, you’d think, for caravanners wanting to tow in style.

Got one like it? Insure it here

BELOW The cream leather could divide opinions

LEFT We like chilled drinks, even without cabin service

ABOVE An unfamiliar layout may take a bit of getting used to

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD

It’s not all good news with the Lexus, as it loses some features standard in the petrol LX 570, such as rear media screens, front seat ventilation, back seat ventilation and heating and sunroof.

The diesel LX had to lose some weight to ensure it still had a half-decent payload, so the third-row seating standard in the LX 570 has gone (making the LX 450d a five-seater) and so too the 45-litre sub fuel tank of the LX 570. The main fuel tank (93 litres) remains.

WHAT’S GOOD

The Lexus is not just a tarted-up 200 Series. It is better specified than the Toyota, with a heap of gear unavailable on even the top-shelf LandCruiser Sahara. For example, the Lexus gets adaptive dampeners, hydraulic height-adjustable suspension, electric assist steering, 20-inch wheels, a bigger infotainment screen (12.3-inch versus 9.0-inch for the Sahara), wireless charging, ‘easy access’ seats and steering column, smart key card, rear sun blinds and leather-covered dashboard and centre console.

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CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

The LX 450d weighs 2740kg, has a 3350kg GVM and a 610kg payload. Gross Combined Mass for the Lexus LX 450d is 6850kg, so it can tow to its maximum 3500kg capacity while also at its maximum (GVM) weight.

The LX 450d is $134,129 (plus on-road costs), about $14,000 more than the LandCruiser Sahara and about $9000 less than the LX 570.

The price as tested was $136,771 (plus on-road costs) as the vehicle you see here had optional premium paint ($1500), towbar and wiring ($542), and electric brake controller ($600).

THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE

The seats are comfortable, vision great and main controls easy to use. The expansive 12.3-inch central screen is huge but the Lexus mouse controller takes some getting used to. There are better ways of drilling down into screen menus too; this system is a bit clunky. 

The Lexus is a big SUV but is easy to drive with light controls and steering. You don’t feel as though you’re driving a big truck.

The 4.5-litre diesel seems quieter than the same engine in the 200 Series, although it is not as turbine smooth or as quiet as the LX 570’s petrol V8. Wind and road noise are  almost non-existent too.

ABOVE Plenty of power in there // BELOW The 450d doesn't skimp, nor should it!

Got one like it? Insure it here

“In terms of safety, vision and looks, it’s hard to go past Clearview Powerfold Mirrors.”
Pat Callinan

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RIDE QUALITY

The Lexus has Comfort and Sport dampener settings but you would be unlikely to have it in Sport mode for very long – it is just too firm. You’ll notice a quiver over sharp bumps – that’s body flex, and it’s something the more modern monocoque frames of competitors such as Mercedes-Benz GLS-class and Range Rover won’t suffer.

The LX 450d’s rear-view camera screen has both side marker lines and a centre marker for the towball’s intended trajectory. It isn’t spot-on accurate but is still a good guide for getting hitched up.

Ride quality was better with the caravan hooked up, and this is the only time you’d resort to using Sport mode. The front end took a while to settle when towing in Comfort mode on some roads, while in Sport mode it was more composed.

ABOVE It's best to use Sport mode when towing // BELOW No instability here - the Avida was rock-solid

Got one like it? Insure it here

“When most vehicles get pushed around or sway even a little with buffeting from trucks going past, the Lexus did not even flinch”

TOWING
The big Lexus is very stable when towing, aside from a little front-end float, which was fixed by simply selecting Sport mode. When most vehicles get pushed around or sway even a little with buffeting from trucks going past, the Lexus did not even flinch.

When cruising at 100km/h with the transmission in sixth gear, the engine was turning at 1800rpm. Occasionally revs dropped to 1400rpm when the torque converter locked, but that was rare with the heavy Avida hooked up. 

The Lexus climbs steep freeway hills with only a slight drop-off in speed and engine braking is very good.

PROS
• Engine power/torque
• Towing stability
• Fit and finish

CONS
• Heavy on fuel
• Ride quality
• Some controls difficult to use

SPECS
Lexus LX 450d

Engine: 4.5-litre eight-cylinder twin-turbo diesel
Power: 200kW @ 3600rpm
Torque: 650Nm @ 1600-2600rpm
Gearbox: Six-speed auto
Kerb weight: 2740kg
GVM: 3350kg
Length: 4995mm
Towing capacity: 750/3500kg
GCM: 6850kg
Towball: 350kg
RRP: $136,771 (as tested)

For more info: lexus.com.au

Got one like it? Insure it here

FUEL CONSUMPTION 
The LX 450d drank down distillate at the rate of 22.1L/100km towing an Avida Rock van. This was a little on the high side as it included time taken with photography and some hill climbing.

VERDICT
The Lexus LX 450d is thirsty when towing heavy caravans but any LandCruiser 200 Series owner could have already told you that. Yet the Lexus also shares the 200 Series planted feel on the road with excellent stability and towing performance and adds a little more refinement, equipment and style.

NOW WITH TWIN TURBOS
SHEER LUXURY

WORDS AND IMAGES PHILIP LORD

TOW TEST Lexus LX 450d

The big Lexus is sumptuous and sensible at the same time

It’s no secret that the Lexus LX SUV is based on the Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series, but it hasn’t been available with Toyota’s 4.5-litre twin-turbo V8 – until now.

Now the big Lexus is available with not only the 5.7-litre petrol V8 but also the more efficient diesel, making it perfect, you’d think, for caravanners wanting to tow in style.

WHAT’S GOOD

The Lexus is not just a tarted-up 200 Series. It is better specified than the Toyota, with a heap of gear unavailable on even the top-shelf LandCruiser Sahara. For example, the Lexus gets adaptive dampeners, hydraulic height-adjustable suspension, electric assist steering, 20-inch wheels, a bigger infotainment screen (12.3-inch versus 9.0-inch for the Sahara), wireless charging, ‘easy access’ seats and steering column, smart key card, rear sun blinds and leather-covered dashboard and centre console.

BELOW The cream leather could divide opinions

LEFT We like chilled drinks, even without cabin service

ABOVE An unfamiliar layout may take a bit of getting used to

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD

It’s not all good news with the Lexus, as it loses some features standard in the petrol LX 570, such as rear media screens, front seat ventilation, back seat ventilation and heating and sunroof.

The diesel LX had to lose some weight to ensure it still had a half-decent payload, so the third-row seating standard in the LX 570 has gone (making the LX 450d a five-seater) and so too the 45-litre sub fuel tank of the LX 570. The main fuel tank (93 litres) remains.

Got one like it? Insure it here

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

The LX 450d weighs 2740kg, has a 3350kg GVM and a 610kg payload. Gross Combined Mass for the Lexus LX 450d is 6850kg, so it can tow to its maximum 3500kg capacity while also at its maximum (GVM) weight.

The LX 450d is $134,129 (plus on-road costs), about $14,000 more than the LandCruiser Sahara and about $9000 less than the LX 570.

The price as tested was $136,771 (plus on-road costs) as the vehicle you see here had optional premium paint ($1500), towbar and wiring ($542), and electric brake controller ($600).

THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE

The seats are comfortable, vision great and main controls easy to use. The expansive 12.3-inch central screen is huge but the Lexus mouse controller takes some getting used to. There are better ways of drilling down into screen menus too; this system is a bit clunky. 

The Lexus is a big SUV but is easy to drive with light controls and steering. You don’t feel as though you’re driving a big truck.

The 4.5-litre diesel seems quieter than the same engine in the 200 Series, although it is not as turbine smooth or as quiet as the LX 570’s petrol V8. Wind and road noise are  almost non-existent too.

ABOVE Plenty of power in there // BELOW The 450d doesn't skimp, nor should it!

Got one like it? Insure it here

“In terms of safety, vision and looks, it’s hard to go past Clearview Powerfold Mirrors.”
Pat Callinan

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

RIDE QUALITY

The Lexus has Comfort and Sport dampener settings but you would be unlikely to have it in Sport mode for very long – it is just too firm. You’ll notice a quiver over sharp bumps – that’s body flex, and it’s something the more modern monocoque frames of competitors such as Mercedes-Benz GLS-class and Range Rover won’t suffer.

The LX 450d’s rear-view camera screen has both side marker lines and a centre marker for the towball’s intended trajectory. It isn’t spot-on accurate but is still a good guide for getting hitched up.

Ride quality was better with the caravan hooked up, and this is the only time you’d resort to using Sport mode. The front end took a while to settle when towing in Comfort mode on some roads, while in Sport mode it was more composed.

ABOVE It's best to use Sport mode when towing // BELOW No instability here - the Avida was rock-solid

Got one like it? Insure it here

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

“When most vehicles get pushed around or sway even a little with buffeting from trucks going past, the Lexus did not even flinch”

TOWING
The big Lexus is very stable when towing, aside from a little front-end float, which was fixed by simply selecting Sport mode. When most vehicles get pushed around or sway even a little with buffeting from trucks going past, the Lexus did not even flinch.

When cruising at 100km/h with the transmission in sixth gear, the engine was turning at 1800rpm. Occasionally revs dropped to 1400rpm when the torque converter locked, but that was rare with the heavy Avida hooked up. 

The Lexus climbs steep freeway hills with only a slight drop-off in speed and engine braking is very good.

PROS
• Engine power/torque
• Towing stability
• Fit and finish

CONS
• Heavy on fuel
• Ride quality
• Some controls difficult to use

SPECS
Lexus LX 450d

Engine: 4.5-litre eight-cylinder twin-turbo diesel
Power: 200kW @ 3600rpm
Torque: 650Nm @ 1600-2600rpm
Gearbox: Six-speed auto
Kerb weight: 2740kg
GVM: 3350kg
Length: 4995mm
Towing capacity: 750/3500kg
GCM: 6850kg
Towball: 350kg
RRP: $136,771 (as tested)

For more info: lexus.com.au

FUEL CONSUMPTION 
The LX 450d drank down distillate at the rate of 22.1L/100km towing an Avida Rock van. This was a little on the high side as it included time taken with photography and some hill climbing.

VERDICT
The Lexus LX 450d is thirsty when towing heavy caravans but any LandCruiser 200 Series owner could have already told you that. Yet the Lexus also shares the 200 Series planted feel on the road with excellent stability and towing performance and adds a little more refinement, equipment and style.

Got one like it? Insure it here