2023 Lexus LX 600 F Sport Handling
Class: Premium Large SUV
Color: Manganese Luster
Miles driven: 80
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B|
|Power and Performance||A-|
|Fit and Finish||A-|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||409-horsepower 3.4-liter|
|Engine Type||Turbocharged V6|
Observed fuel economy: 15.1 mpg
Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 17/22/19 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Premium gas
Snow Performance: N/A
Base price: $106,370 (not including $1345 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Special paint ($595), Mark Levinson premium audio ($2660), dash cam ($375), floor mats ($140)
Price as tested: $110,140
The great: Mechanical refinement, top-notch materials and build quality
The good: Quiet cabin, plenty of passenger space, decent fuel economy for the class
The not so good: No longer a category bargain
Maybe youve seen Jeep driversespecially Jeep Wrangler driverssignaling to each other as they pass on the road. Most often they will flash their high beams in greetings, though waving isnt rare. Its a Jeep thing, as they say, and the casual kinship of the exchanges seem to suit the Wrangler community well.
Saab owners at one time would engage in similar mutual acknowledgement, though the exchanges were usually more furtive, on the order of a hand raised gently off the steering wheel, but almost never a full wave.
While Jeeps Wranglers are everywhere, Saabs were always more precious, and less common in traffic. And if Wrangler ownership is more akin to being part of a big party, Saab ownership was a little more cultish, more of a secret society.
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And, while I dont know that one doesnt exist, I would suggest that Lexus LX 600 ownership merits a certain sub-rosa fellowship. This because the big Lexus is almost secretly very good, and, likely to the delight of LX owners, somewhat rare.
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Indeed, the biggest Lexus is something of a large-SUV outsider. It is smaller than similar-segment vehicles from Cadillac or Lincoln. And, if you ignore the grillehard to do, we realizerather staidly styled, and, unlike the aforementioned Cadillacs and Lincolns, is available only in a single body length.
The LX was completely redesigned for the 2022 model year, at which time the big Lexus companion model, the Land Cruiser, was dropped from the Toyota brands North American lineup. Also at this time the LX was moved upscale, with a commensurate increase in price. More on that in a moment.
Consumer Guide recently spent a week with the Lexus LX 600, in athletic F Sport Handling trim. If youve only been exposed to a previous generation of the LX, or perhaps youve never spent time with one at all, youll want to take careful note of the five things we believe are secrets known only to members of the Mason-like LX 600 secret society. Read on:
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The LX 600 is Pretty Fast
The previous-generation LX, the LX 570, was no slouch when it came to acceleration. Powered by a 383-horsepower 5.7-liter V8, the 570 boasted more than sufficient muscle to pass and merge. But, as potent as the LX 570 was, its bested handily by the LX 600.
Powered by a 409-horsepower twin-turbo 3.4-liter V8 mated to a slick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission, the LX 600 accelerates to 60 mph from a stop in around 6.0 seconds, and feels good doing it. Oh, and the 600 is easier on the gas, too
The LX 600 is Reasonably Efficient
In Consumer Guide testing, LX 570 models weve evaluated returned between 13.3 and 13.8 mpg. Our test LX 600 returned 15.1 mpg in cold weather which included some idle warm-up time. A 2022 LX 600 tested by Consumer Guide did even better, traveling 16.7 miles on a gallon of gasoline.
We didnt have an opportunity to take the 600 on an extended highway trip, but suspect that the 10-speed automatic would contribute to relatively efficient long-trip operation.
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The LX 600 is Kinda Sporty (in F Sport trim)
The LX 570 had its charms, but handling wasnt one of them. Frankly, the old LX was reduced to something of a sloppy mess when pushed hard, a condition exacerbated by copious nosedive during aggressive braking.
Were happy to report that the LX 600 is a much more athletic vehicle than the LX 570. The LXs Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is tuned for improved handling on F Sport Handling models, and the payoff is real. Like so many Lexus models in F Sport trim, the LX 600 falls short of true sportiness, but instead exudes a reassuring confidence in routine driving, and responds well to being hustled through traffic and on on-ramps and off-ramps. And, the F Sport Handling-specific trim elementsincluding the unique grillego some distance towards making the SUV look just a little menacingin a good way.
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The LX 600 is Now More Luxurious
Somehow, the old LX, despite its size, was actually a little cramped in the front row, at least for larger folks such as this author. The all-new 600, despite being no larger outside, makes much better use of cabin space. Indeed, four passengers will enjoy a road trip in the LX 600 in great comfort. Note that we said four. While the base 2023 LX offers space for five passengers, the Premium, F Sport Handling, and Luxury models accommodate up to seven passengers, in a 2-3-2 configuration. That said, the LX isnt quite wide enough to offer comfortable three-abreast 2nd-row seating, and the 3rd-row bench seat is best left to young children and the truly tiny.
In addition to space, the LX 600 serves up a commendable level of refinement, including sophisticated ride comfort, cabin quietness, and high-end cabin trim. And, though a $2660 option, the Mark Levinson-branded audio systemas found in the LXranks among the better premium-vehicle stereo upgrades.
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The LX is Expensive
The LX 570, though never a bargain, was always something of value play when compared to the Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator. That is not the case with the LX 600. Consumer Guide evaluated a 2022 Premium Luxury that came to $128,030. Our test F Sport Handling seen here, clocks in at $110,140. Those figures come in right about where the Escalade is priced, despite the LX being smaller, slightly less powerful, and wanting for 3rd-row passenger space. These prices also represent a significant jump from the 2021 LX 570, which started under $90,000.
And while were balking at the price, well vent about a niggling issue. The LX 600s Head-Up Display system works as advertised, but if youre approaching 6-foot tall, youll find the displaywhich is projected onto the windshield in front of the driveris cut off from view. While squatting down a little affords drivers full view of the projection, doing so sort of defeats the purpose of the system.
Does the Lexus 600 play as the discreet option in the large luxury SUV segment? Cadillac moved around 40,000 Escalades last year, and indeed you see them everywhere. 0nly 4000 LX 600s hit the road during the same period, so give the Lexus points for exclusivity. Yes, the Lexus is smaller than the competition–but just as pricey, but it is extremely refined, easier to park, and, for the class, easy on the gas as well. If this big Lexus is in your price range, and if youre willing to join the club and learn the secret handshakeand maybe engage in subtle, guarded waving–the LX 600 will likely serve you well.
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2023 Lexus LX 600 F Sport Gallery
Click below for enlarged images
That’s a good looking SUV!