This week I’m behind the wheel of the 2021 Lexus LX 570 -- Lexus’ flagship SUV that shares a body-on-frame platform with the Toyota Land Cruiser. This is a limited-edition LX Inspiration Series, exclusive to the three-row LX model and limited to just 500 models. It’s quite possible this could be last year for the LX with a reported all-new, and more luxurious, flagship replacement (the LQ) potentially arriving in 2022, with a hybrid variant as well, so stay tuned.
Sure the LX may not have had a total redesign in awhile, but the look of the current generation still holds plenty of allure for me in Eminent White Pearl, worth the extra $425 paint charge in my book. It looks sharp with all the contrasting black chrome accents from the Inspiration Series package. That includes the 21-inch wheels, black Lexus grille with a black chrome surround, black headlamps with smoked lenses, black fog lamps, window accents, dual tone mirrors, door handles, roof rails and more. Lexus’ terrific premium triple-beam LED headlights flank the grille up front. Anti-slip running boards with integrated courtesy lights adorn the sides.
The LX cabin is well-crafted and built with quality, premium soft-touch materials like you expect from Lexus. It’s Inspiration Series exclusive Black interior with Rioja Red accented cabin looks terrific, too. An optional Luxury package nets a semi-aniline leather-trimmed interior with contrast stitching. I love the espresso wood trim in here, along with glossy black accents and silver trim pieces across the dash and door panels.
The LX’s comfortable driver’s seat is 14-way power adjustable - 12-way power for the passenger. The only things I think missing for me are massage seats and a cushion extender. The leather-wrapped and heated espresso wood steering wheel looks and feels great. The driver gauges are a mix of digital and analog.
The center console houses a leather-wrapped gear shift knob, the Remote Touch Interface to control the infotainment system, along with drive mode, off-road and AWD controls. This is where you’ll also turn on the heated and ventilated seats along with the steering wheel. A great optional feature is a cool box.
Second-row passengers will ride in comfort with wonderful seats, and a large drop-down center console that puts climate, heated and ventilated seat control at their fingertips. Open up the padded area and you’ll find a remote for the optional dual rear-seat entertainment system. The 2nd-row windows also sport manual sunshades.
You have power-sliding 2nd row 60/40 split seats that allow easy access to the third-row. The 50/50 power-folding third-row seats are easy to operate from controls in the cargo area.
The LX 3-row’s roomy cabin seats up to 8. The first two-rows are plenty roomy but the third-row could be a bit tight for some adults.
Other unique features include Lexus illuminated door sill badging, door projector lamps with the LX logo, and nice Inspiration Series carpeted floor mats throughout the cabin as well as the cargo area.
Technology is a hit and miss story in the LX. The 12.3-inch infotainment screen with navigation, which is not a touchscreen, is certainly a hit. It’s one of my favorites in the industry with great graphics and great resolution. It can split three ways to display various information, including available four-zone climate with concierge which coordinates the temperature of the heated steering wheel and cabin areas. You control the infotainment system with a joystick like controller on the console. The multi-media screen houses a backup camera with a panoramic and multi-terrain monitor.
Connectivity, however, still has a ways to go in the LX when it comes to smartphone integration. While Amazon Alexa is new for 2021, it does not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The LX 570s Voice Command also didn’t seem as robust as the exceptional Dynamic Voice Command available in other Lexus vehicles.
The LX’s power rear liftgate opens to reveal impressive cargo space, and with the power third-row seats up you’ll get 81.3 cubic-feet of area. A separate tailgate opens manually. Inspiration Series cargo mats give the space a premium look, too. You’ll also get a 120V AC power adaptor in the back.
The LX shares a platform with the Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s powered by a 5.7-liter V8 that delivers 383-horsepower and 403 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s mated to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic and is equipped with standard all-wheel drive and off-road capability. It’ll tow up to 7,000 pounds. The acceleration feels great with the V8 providing confident power to this 6,000 pound SUV.
Ride and drive
I enjoyed the LX’s quiet ride and drive both in city and highway driving. The steering is great, I can also really feel the different level of driving engagement between Comfort, Normal Sport S and Sport+ drive modes. The LX suspension provides a smooth, comfortable ride. Brakes are worth a special mention, as you need confident, large brakes for a vehicle this size and weight. These are so impressive as to be one of my favorite features.
The LX is also a vehicle Lexus designed for family adventures so it’s also off-road capable with standard AWD and off-road modes. Active Height Control adjustable suspension raises the vehicle three inches for better clearance.
As you might imagine, with a V8 engine and weighing in at 6,000 pounds, fuel economy is not exactly the LX 570’s strong suit. You’ll get 14 MPG combined in city/highway driving.
What you’ll Pay
The LX 570 starts from just over $91,000. The Inspiration Series #2 package and other options on this vehicle take it to $104,318. Other options include a Luxury Package, which includes the semi-aniline leather seats, the Dual Rear-Seat Entertainment system with 11.6-inch displays, color head up display, wireless charger and amazing 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.
The LX 570 Inspiration Series certainly offers a lot of luxury, comfort and cargo space in a smooth-riding large SUV, but is missing some connected technology and a few features I’d expect to see, like massage seats, for the $100K+ price point.
2021 Lexus LX 570 Inspiration Series
- What I liked most: Looks, cabin comfort, enjoyable ride and drive; confident brakes; nice cargo setup.
- What I would change: Add massage front seats as well as Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
- MSRP: Base price $91,580, as equipped $103,815.
- Fuel Economy: 12 mpg city/16 mpg highway/14 mpg combined.
- Official Color: Eminent White Pearl ($425).
- Odometer reading when tested: 870 miles.
- Weight: 6,000 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Full Size Spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 200” long/78”wide/75.2” high.
- FWD, RWD, AWD: Standard AWD.
- Towing Capacity: 7,000 pounds.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 24.6 gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
- 2021 Lexus LX 570 Inspiration Series in a few words: An enjoyable to drive, comfortable and well-crafted SUV with a stylish interior.
- Final Assembly Location: Aichi, Japan.
- Manufacturers website: Lexus
- Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, 6-year/70,000 mile powertrain coverage. 24-hour roadside assistance; 6-year corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.