Sometimes Lexus is criticized for being too conservative or too boring. Truth be told, in some instances that has applied. But Lexus just revealed the redesigned fourth-generation of its flagship SUV LX series, and the 2022 Lexus LX 600 will most definitely not be labeled boring or conservative. That’s for sure.
A closer look at the specs and the photos, along with the videos they released, shows a true flagship that takes Lexus in a new, bold direction.
Remember that big grille from the sedans that some disliked and others found exciting? Wait until you see the huge, bold grille on the LX 600. I have a feeling it will be another instance of love/hate. Plus, thanks to a new platform, the LX drops weight, which it needed to. Oh, and say goodbye to the V-8 as well.
However, the clunky Lexus touchpad system is gone (can we get an amen?), replaced with what Lexus calls an HMI (human-machine interface).
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most exciting new features for the 2022 Lexus LX 600.
Yes, you saw that right, the LX 600 will have a four-passenger option. While this may go against the trend where many similar-sized SUVs try to cram in a third row and claim six or seven passenger capacity, the LX 600 goes the opposite direction on certain trims. And we are okay with that.
The versatility of the seating options is a huge plus for the LX. Its standard grade is two rows, and seats five on the lower trims. The Premium, Luxury and F-Sport trims will have seven-passenger capacity with a fold-flat third-row seat, for those who will want such a configuration.
But, let’s take a look at a new trim offering known as Ultra Luxury. It’s named as such because it offers an incredible rear luxury set up including a four-passenger-only configuration.
That’s right, a four-passenger SUV option is standard on the Ultra Luxury trim. Count me in!
This trim is all about passenger comfort. For example, the front passenger seat, if unused, can move forward, and the seat reclining angle can be controlled up to 48 degrees.
Additionally, the rear seat display, behind the front passenger seat, can fold down to allow for forward visibility, offering an airy VIP seating experience with a maximum leg space of 43 inches. This seating posture is easily achieved with the push of one rear control panel button. There’s even a footrest behind the front passenger seat that can be deployed to provide maximum comfort, from head to toe.
The two rear passengers will see brand new seats, focused on comfort with curved headrests, seatbacks and cushions that gently wrap around the head, hips and lower body. With so many of today’s SUVs trying to cram in as many passengers as possible, the new LX goes the opposite way and would make a great executive vehicle or even a fleet vehicle (think executive limo or high-end Uber).
One of the most frustrating things about previous-generation Lexus vehicles was the clunky and unintuitive touchpad system. It was not easy to navigate and was oftentimes confounding. In short, it needed to be replaced. So, it is a relief to hear Lexus is going in a new direction.
The new Lexus Interface multimedia system uses technology known as human-machine interface (HMI) to enhance the interaction through sight, touch, and voice. With a12.3-inch upper touchscreen and added LX-exclusive 7-inch lower touchscreen the experience seems significantly improved over the previous generation.
Managing Editor Jill Ciminillo noted the improved infotainment system in her first drive experience in the 2022 Lexus NX and was equally relieved to see the touchpad be gone. It seems the high-end LX will also have loads of technology, presented in a much more intuitive way.
The 2022 Lexus LX is built on the GA-F platform, which is a body-on-frame build and is new to the Lexus lineup. While LX does share some common components with Land Cruiser, GA-F is further refined for Lexus products as represented in the LX.
One of the big perks of this platform is the 2022 Lexus LX 600 sees a 441-pound drop in weight thanks in part to aluminum doors.
As for the powertrain, the new LX will have a high-output, high-torque 3.5-liter V-6 twin-turbo gasoline engine. I recently drove the 2021 Lexus LX 570 with the big V-8 in it, and I was not impressed. Toyota made a splash when it announced there was no more V-8 engine for the Tundra. Clearly Lexus is following suit.
Frankly, these turbocharged V-6s are outstanding and create all the power you could want. Plus, with the slimmed-down weight, the total performance should improve for the LX.
Lexus has done well offering its sporty line on other vehicles, and now the F-Sport trim comes to the LX line for the first time. The F-Sport is recognizable on the exterior with a special F-mesh design spindle grille and black chrome highlights. Plus it rides on 22-inch forged aluminum wheels. Inside, there are exclusive design touches like textured leather and the F-Sport emblem applied throughout.
I’ve driven many variants of Lexus vehicles (sedans and SUVs), and the F-Sport always makes them look better.
Looks aside, the F-Sport brings its own driving dynamics, too. F-Sport features uniquely tuned standard front-and-rear performance dampers, a Torsen LSD and a rear stabilizer. Special tuning of the EPS and AVS adds to the distinctive driving performance of the F-Sport.
Getting in and out of bigger SUVs can be a problem for some people (ahem, Jill Ciminillo). But the LX makes getting in and out easier thanks a feature called Active Height Control (AHC). This plus the new Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) help improve grip, traction and control in various conditions.
So the AHC is more than just something to help vertically challenged people get in and out easier, it serves a major purpose when there’s heavy snow on the road.
There are three settings for vehicle height while the vehicle is in motion (Normal, Hi1, and Hi2) and a Low setting for passenger ingress and egress. Vehicle height automatically adjusts when the vehicle is in motion, and when at a standstill, lowers for easier passenger ingress and egress.
I mentioned time spent in the previous generation LX and how disappointed I was. It was a big SUV that felt so dated and lacked any wow factors. Plus, it had a six-figure MSRP. But this new LX has some wow. I only listed five things, but honestly, there’s more to like. There’s crawl mode and a multi-terrain select mode with six settings including the aforementioned deep snow mode. You probably won’t go off-roading in this, but you certainly could.
We don’t know the pricing yet for the 2022 Lexus LX 600, but you can bet it will be heading toward the $100k mark, as the current LX has a base price of $88,275. At least this seems to offer so much more value and performance.
And about that grille and those looks. Well, some may not like it (ahem, Publisher Tim Esterdahl), but some of us give kudos to Lexus designers for being bold. You can’t call them boring and conservative any more.
Boldness is what you need from your flagship SUV.