Lexus LX500d Review: Exudes Toughness, Strong Road Presence But Expensive Too | Auto News


Lexus LX500d Drive Experience: The Lexus LX500d demands attention at every turn. With its imposing size of over five meters in length and nearly two meters in width, a single glance won’t suffice. While it shares DNA with the Toyota Land Cruiser, Lexus designers have unleashed their creativity, evident in the unapologetically bold massive front grille and sharp LED headlamps. Sculpted bonnet with strong power lines adds more muscle to it.

The profile is equally impressive, with massive 22-inch wheels and strong lines that exude power. The rear quarter, highlighted by a thick chrome band at the D-pillar, adds to its commanding presence. Though the rear is more subdued, the tall and boxy silhouette ensures it stands out on the road with connected LED tail-lamps.

Interior, Features & Space

Stepping into the LX is a manual affair, no fancy electric steps here. With one foot on the fixed side step and a grab on the A-pillar handle, you haul yourself in. Once seated, the interior may leave you questioning its value. Yet, it’s a significant upgrade from its predecessor, boasting impeccable quality and a premium feel. 

The blend of aluminum, polished wood, and leather, accented by piano black trim, elevates the ambience. The 12.3-inch touchscreen offers seamless operation with wireless Apple CarPlay and essential navigation features. Below, another screen displays climate control settings and off-road data.

Fortunately, the LX comes with physical switches for climate control, Lower down on the centre console, you’ll find an array of plastic buttons for functions like the diff lock, traction control, and ride height adjustment, no knurled finish or metal effect here. 

A sizable cooler box adds practicality, easily accommodating two one-liter bottles. Despite its premium price, the absence of a panoramic sunroof is notable. The digital instrument cluster feels somewhat dated especially when toggling. 

The front seats are a highlight. Spacious, well-cushioned, and equipped with electric adjustment, they offer excellent support for long journeys. Features like memory, heating, and ventilation enhance comfort, though massage functionality is absent. Additionally, the driver’s seat boasts under-thigh adjustment, ideal for long drives.

Rear seat space falls short of expectations. While the seat cushioning is adequate and the backrest can be reclined, knee room and under-thigh support is decent. But, no massage function is there. Rear passengers benefit from dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated seats, and 11.6-inch touchscreens for entertainment. 

Overseas, the petrol variant offers an ‘Ultra Luxury’ pack with plush powered captain’s chairs for the middle row, a feature absent in the Indian version. The India-spec LX does not include a third row, opting instead for a spacious boot.

Powertrian & Driving Impressions

This massive SUV has a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel engine, churning out 308hp and 700Nm of torque. Whether navigating city streets or cruising on the highway, the engine delivers ample power. Overtaking is fairly easy and acceleration is smooth, albeit with consideration for its size. However, the diesel rumble may take some getting used to, you can hear the engine inside the well-insulated cabin even at partial throttle.

Switching to Sport S or Sport S+ mode amplifies the performance, with sharper engine response, firmer suspension, and quicker gear shifts. Yet, along with the increased performance comes a louder engine note, prompting a return to Comfort mode for a quieter ride. 

10-speed automatic torque converter gearbox with close ratios, ensuring swift response from a standstill and smooth operation at higher gears. The transmission effectively keeps you within the engine’s broad powerband, ensuring a consistent supply of torque in various driving scenarios. While manual mode and paddle shifters are available, the LX isn’t designed for spirited driving on twisty roads.

The steering of the LX feels weighty, making maneuvers like three-point turns and parking require significant effort. While switching to Sport+ mode improves handling somewhat, it still falls short compared to its competitors in terms of dynamics. However, the LX excels in ride quality, thanks to its adaptive air suspension. 

Despite the large 22-inch wheels, it offers excellent ride comfort, especially on rough roads. The 265/50 tires effectively cushion most bumps. You will feel minimal disturbance in the cabin, even over larger obstacles. Even in sportier modes, the focus is on reducing body lean while maintaining consistent bump absorption.

The suspension can be elevated during off-road excursions, and with features like MTS (Multi Terrain Select) and low-range gearbox, the LX is capable of tackling challenging terrain with ease. However, considering its premium price tag, not many may want to subject its striking front end to the rigors of off-road adventures.

Price & Verdict

While the Lexus LX lacks some of the luxuries found in its competitors and may not offer the same level of rear-seat comfort, it excels in reliability, surpassing its Western counterparts. Priced at Rs 2.8 crore (ex-showroom), it may seem steep, but its enduring value and longevity make it a worthy investment. If you’re seeking an SUV for a lifetime, lasting for generations, the LX is a worthwhile choice.

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