Love them or hate them, road trips are part of American life and lore.
But few vehicles are as good at long, cross-country drives as a full-size sport utility vehicle offering ample power and comfort at chewing up those miles. This capability is just one of the factors, ensuring their continuing popularity — even when fuel prices are unpredictable.
One of those leading the way is the Lexus LX 600, which competes with the likes of the Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon. It matches — or surpasses — the amenities found in other big SUVs. It has a spacious, comfortable interior, plenty of power and a wide range of advanced hardware to assist the driver and passengers to remain safe and connected to the outside world.
While not as luxurious as some of its competitors, it also has plenty of room for passengers and any luggage, packages and other stuff, which invariably are carried on long or even short trips around America. It also has the power to haul extra items, such as small boat or a trailer, up to 8,000 pounds. Additionally, its six-figure price tag clearly marks it as a luxury vehicle with the kind of prestige smaller utility vehicles find hard to match.
The Lexus LX 600 is wide and tall, occupying a substantial amount of space out in traffic or slow-rolling through a parking lot. Lexus stylists dressed up the exterior with running boards, roof rails and a bold version of the Lexus’ hourglass grille upfront.
The corners carry the light fixtures and are tailored to fit the large body, while the 22-inch wheels and large wheel openings indicate that despite this being a pricey luxury ute, the LX 600 is prepared for going off the pavement. The hood features character lines to break up the metal surfaces, but there really is no way to minimize the sheet metal along the side and at the rear of the vehicle, which are part of any large SUVs appearance.
The spacious interior of the Lexus LX 600 is defined by the generous head and shoulder room for the driver and passengers. But the interior is dominated by three distinct screens, including one behind the steering wheel for instrumentation, a second for entertainment and navigation with access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a third below the entertainment screen, which conveys information about the vehicle such as the HVAC system. Designers are always trying to related information to drivers efficiently but in this case, the third screen is a distraction rather than a help.
The materials used to furnish the cabin of LX 600 are first rate, and the metal foot rest and pedals from the F Sport package are a nice touch. The LX 600 can seat seven, but the third-row seating is a bit cramped. Visibility from the driver’s seat, though, is exceptionally good. There is a moonroof and the third-row seats folds flat to create more cargo space.
The powertrain on the LX 600 includes a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with twin-turbochargers and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The combination produces 409 horsepower. The vehicle is equipped with full-time, four-wheel drive and a limited slip differential.
No one ever buys a full-size SUV for its fuel economy, but it is of interest for anyone planning a trip in one. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the 2022 Lexus LX 600 F Sport a combined fuel economy rating of 19 mpg, including 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
Safety and Technology
The LX 600 features the Lexus Safety System 2.5, which includes pre-collision alert, pedestrian detection, radar-based cruise control, lane tracing assist for curves, lane-departure alert and steering as well as intelligent high-beam assistance and road sign detection. It also has a blind-spot monitor and backup and surround view cameras as well as a head-up display.
The vehicle also came equipped with Bluetooth, XM Satellite Radio connection. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wireless charging pad and USB ports and a 12.3-inch touchscreen display for entertainment and navigation. It also has a wi-fi and remote service connection.
I was impressed with LX 600’s overall handling and maneuverability. The steering was precise and when I passed my destination on one trip and had to make a U-turn, it was surprisingly easy given the small radius available for the turn.
The ride and handling clearly benefitted from F Sport Adaptive Suspension, which came with the package I drove. It gave the vehicle a nice solid feel. But it also had plenty of power during a drip down I-75 and the 10-speed transmission moved easily through the needed shifts. Big SUVs can be tiresome to command but this one was not as it steered easily on different road surfaces, and, with a little care was easy to park.
2022 Lexus LX 600 F Sport Specifications
|Dimension||L: 200.5 inches/W: 78.4 inches/H: 74.1 inches/Wheelbase: 112.2 inches|
|Powertrain||3.5-liter twin turbocharged V-6 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission and 4WD|
|Fuel Economy||17 mpg city/22 mpg highway/19 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||409 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $88,245; As tested: $107,585, including $1,345 destination charge.|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
Domestic manufacturers, particularly General Motors with the Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe, have dominated the large end of the SUV market. But the LX 600 is a credible challenge to the full-size SUVs from Ford and GM. However, the interior is not as refined as I expected, which is the key reason for not saying it is better than rival vehicles. The LX 600 is about a foot shorter than a Lincoln Navigator so Lexus has given up a bit of cargo space and comfort for third-row passengers, which could be important on a road trip of any length.
2022 Lexus LX 600 F Sport — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Lexus LX getting a redo?
The Lexus LX is the Japanese luxury brands biggest and most luxurious SUV, and for 2022, it recevied a full makeover. The model also gets a name change from the previous year’s LX 570 to this year’s LX 600.
What are the top features of the Lexus LX 600?
Every version of the LX 600 is equipped with a turbocharged V-6, a 10-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
Is there a waiting list for the LX 600?
The LX is built in Japan and based on the also-new Toyota Land Cruiser, which as of January had a similarly long waiting list due in part to the parts supply shortage affecting the automotive industry. The Land Cruiser was discontinued in the U.S. starting with the 2022 model year.