Review: 2023 Lexus LX 600 boasts a host of new-generation improvements
The big Lexus LX is now in its fourth generation, the new LX 600 marking this newest rendition. It is Lexus’ largest SUV, and this generation sports some huge changes. A turbocharged V6, lighter-weight chassis, and improved interior layout are just some of them.
At a glance
- V8 dropped for a turbo-6
- More rigid chassis means less total weight
- Changes to the interior include a more usable third row
- Ride quality still ponderous
- No more "mousepad" for the infotainment!
The new-generation Lexus LX 600 was revamped from the ground up. It actually debuted in the 2022 model year, and is basically unchanged for 2023. Its new chassis, based on the completely redone Toyota Tundra pickup truck, is more rigid and lighter in weight than the thick truck base used before. This lightweighting is augmented by a smaller, lighter engine.
Lexus has dropped the big V8 that powered the LX 570 before, opting instead for the same turbocharged 3.4-liter V6 that is found in the new Tundra. This engine produces 409 horsepower (305 kW) in the LX 600, a boost from the 383 hp (286 kW) found in the previous generation. Torque is similarly improved to 479 pound-feet (649.5 Nm) versus the 403 lb-ft (546 Nm) before. Engine output in the new turbo-6 is good, balanced well between the lower-end RPM and the mid-range working space of the engine. The 10-speed automatic transmission is also a new addition for this powerplant. Four-wheel drive with a low-speed transfer case is standard.
With the 2023 Lexus LX 600’s new engine comes improved fuel economy as well. The EPA rates the LX 600 at 22 mpg (10.7 l/100km) on the highway, a pretty good jump from the previous-gen’s teenage numbers. In the real world, on a 42-mile (68-km) highway loop, we managed to meet that number, but only just. Most drivers are probably going to be at least a point below the EPA as a norm.
The 2023 LX 600 has a huge, roomy interior. There are a couple of options for it, including third-row seating that now has those seats folding into the floor when not in use – this is instead of up and to the side as before, which took up a fair amount of potential cargo space. Some packages do not have a third row option, however, so shop carefully when buying. The LX 600 with second-row captain’s chairs (which are premium level chairs, akin to what’s up front) and the third row is the most versatile setup you can get.
Another huge improvement for the LX (and Lexus in general) is the phase-out of the old joystick/mousepad control system for the infotainment system. Lexus has nixed that in favor of standard touchscreens that are both more intuitive and clearer to use. This setup is far less distracting than the clunky bounce of the selective cursor on the previous user interface.
Lexus has also started adding more USB ports for charging, now featuring them in accessible locations for the second row. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and a second-row wireless charging pad is an option. You can also get massaging seats back there, if you’re so inclined. But not up front. Nor is there an Alexa-like voice prompt interface like in the German competitors’ vehicles.
Storage in the 2023 Lexus LX 600 is good. There are convenient places up front and in the second row for devices, drinks, etc. Behind the second row is 41 cubic feet (1,161 liters) of cargo space, and about a third of that with the third row deployed. Towing is rated at 8,000 lb (3,629 kg) for even more options. There is no integrated trailer brake controller, though, so that will limit most towing to under 5,000 or so pounds (2,268 kg). It’s odd that this isn’t included, as it’s standard on the new Tundra from which the LX is derived.
Out on the road, the big Lexus LX 600 is still a ponderous, body-rolling SUV. This is definitely a truck, not a sports car, but visibility is good, and maneuverability where it counts (parking lots, garages) is better than expected. It has a comfortable, confident drive that absorbs the road well.
The 2023 Lexus LX 600 is priced starting at about US$88,000 before delivery and options. We expect that, as with the Tundra pickup truck, the LX will eventually get a hybrid model option to match the rest of the Lexus lineup’s offerings. But it won’t be this year.
Product Page: 2023 Lexus LX 600
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