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Business

May 4, 2014

Lexus LX 570 puts luxury to work

The Lexus LX 570 is a big, brash hauler that wears its identity plainly, but also with aplomb.

The LX is a traditionally constructed sports-utility vehicle, capable of strenuous work because it is made like a pickup truck, with a stout lower frame that can take stresses and strains when big loads are placed inside the body bolted above that frame. Most other SUVs today, often called crossovers, are constructed like cars. They ride on lighter-weight frames that are built into the body.

You recognize the differences immediately. You see that the LX can handle rugged terrain from its elevation over the pavement and from its large wheels that move with clearance enough to take big steps. From its upright attitude, its tall sides and its box-cornered back, you see that the Lexus LX has a wide-open cabin. Flexible seating equips it to fit eight passengers, and back seats stow to make room for large cargo. You sense the high-capacity trailer rating of the Lexus just from the towing setup at its rear bumper. The SUV comes pre-configured to pull up to 7,000 pounds. When you drive the LX 570, you feel the road command that its big, 383-horsepower V8 engine puts beneath me.

But at a list price of $83,540, the LX is a luxury vehicle too. So while it packs a full brood or treads on rough ground or pulls a heavy load, the sport-utility pampers you too.

Lexus takes pains to produce the smooth and silky ride that the luxury brand considers its hallmark. It equips the LX with its Adaptive Variable Suspension, which continuously adjusts shock absorber settings for an optimal ride as surface conditions change. Automatic leveling through a system called Active Height Control adjusts the SUV’s stance for off-road travel. It also lowers the LX for easy entry or exit, and raises it to travel height during driving.

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