A Land Cruiser By Any Other Name: The 2022 Lexus LX 600 F SPORT
We knew the end was near. We said as much in our January review of the Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition. The Land Cruiser---fundamentally unchanged since 2007, would not be around for a new generation. But its upscale cousin, the Lexus LX (formerly the LX 570) would---and now it's here as the 2022 Lexus LX 600.
Toyota wasn't crazy to make this move. Land Cruisers and LX 570s usually sticker for within ten grand of each other the way most people bought them and that was rarely under $90,000. Why make two versions when they're spending Lexus money either way?
The new LX 600 is all-new. Not a single carryover. Perhaps the biggest change comes under the hood, as the old 383-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with an EPA estimate of 12 miles per gallon city, 16 highway gives way to a 409-horsepower 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 mated to a ten-speed automatic. It's quicker and more fuel-efficient at 17 mpg city/22 highway.
The biggest shortcoming I can find in the new LX is the second-row legroom. In this picture, the passenger seat is all the way back and the driver's seat is set for my 5'11" frame. There are two ways to solve this problem and both involve getting an LX 600 that seats fewer people. It's the third row that's causing the cramped mid-cabin. The base LX 600 seats five, with a base price of $88,245. And the LX 600 Ultra Luxury seats four---with twin captain's chairs in the second row. It starts at $127,345.
Up front where the driver sits, it's glorious---with a commanding view, buttons, switches and knobs where God intended and a lovely combination of power and quiet, with a bit of added handling prowess folded in with F SPORT models like our tester. The base price of the 2022 Lexus LX 600 F SPORT is $101,000.
Our tester had extra-cost options---active height control ($1,300), a stunning 25-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound audio system ($2,660), the Manganese Luster paint ($595), cross bars ($450), a carpeted cargo mat ($145) and wheel locks ($95). With $1,345 delivery, processing and handling fee, the as-tested price of the 2022 Lexus LX 600 F SPORT is $107,585.
That is a chunk of change, no doubt, but the last Cadillac Escalade we drove topped that by about four grand. The Escalade, being longer, accommodates three rows with less legroom penalty for the second row. I'm past the stage of life of having kids at home, but there are grandkids now. I see the appeal in three rows of seating. Lexus probably needs to consider a long-wheelbase version of the new LX sooner rather than later.