The 2022 Lexus LX 600 looks like a big bruiser, but clever use of aluminum and other weight-saving measures made the new SUV over 440 pounds lighter than the outgoing LX 570 it replaces.
That lighter curb weight — figure around 5,500 pounds — should work well with the new 409-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6, which is teamed up with a 10-speed automatic transmission and a 2-speed transfer case with permanent 4-wheel drive.
Lexus promises on-road prowess thanks to a new version of its height-adjustable hydraulically controlled suspension, plus the SUV now uses electric power steering.
The LX 600 will be off-road capable, as it boasts a version of the Multi-Terrain Select system used in the Toyota 4Runner and other vehicles in the Toyota/Lexus /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM -2.65% universe. Lexus actually dialed back the base wheel diameter to 18 inches (down from 20 inches), providing more rubber sidewall to absorb rock impacts off-road. City slickers needn’t worry, however, as 22-inch wheels are on the options list.
Inside, the new LX touts 12.3-inch and 7.0-inch displays. The larger unit handles the infotainment functions. It thankfully discards the cumbersome control knob of its predecessor in favor of an all-touchscreen interface. The smaller display handles climate control and off-road functions. Land Rover uses a similar dual-screen concept on many of its vehicles.
The LX 600 goes on sale early next year in Standard, Premium, Luxury, F Sport, and Ultra Luxury trim levels. Pricing has not been announced, but it’s hard to imagine many arriving on dealer lots for much below $100,000.
A new range-topping Ultra Luxury version includes individual second-row seats separated by a wide center console with a redundant display for climate functions plus dual rear-seat entertainment monitors. The new F Sport version rides on those aforementioned 22-inch wheels, plus it has tweaked suspension bits, a limited-slip rear differential, and an uprated stabilizer bar to improve on-road handling.
While the Toyota Land Cruiser had its passport rejected, the new LX 600 received the stamp of approval for the North American market. That may come as something of a surprise given the Land Cruiser’s heritage in the U.S. dates back to the late 1950s, while the LX has only been on sale here since 1996. However, the LX has long outsold the Land Cruiser in the U.S. Its higher price point allows for a larger profit margin for the automaker.
This story originally ran on Autotrader.com.