Toyota decided to pull the plug on the Land Cruiser in the U.S. to the dismay of a lot of people. However, it looks like the auto group had bigger plans for the SUV. The SUV has a loyal fan following, but it was a little rough for the asking price. So, while the Land Cruiser has retired, it will be sold Stateside in the form of the Lexus LX 600 – an SUV with better creature comforts, but with the DNA of the rugged Land Cruiser. The LX 600 is, in its essence, a suited-up Land Cruiser 300 It comes with a whole lot of tech features on the inside, and even sporty and luxurious trims to cater to all types of customers in the segment.
What’s Special On The Outside?
The LX 600 doesn’t share design cues with the Land Cruiser 300, but the silhouette is pretty much the same irrespective of which angle you view it from. The LX 600 comes with the signature Lexus spindle grille on the face along with LED headlights and the boomerang LED daytime running lights.
Lexus will offer the SUV with 18-, 20-, and 22-inch tires. This is the first time any Lexus model is being offered with 22-inch wheels. It features a 112-inch wheelbase, but is said to come with an impressive approach, breakover, and departure angles. We’re yet to get the numbers, though. The rear is quite boxy and again looks similar to the LC300. There are large taillights are connected by an LED strip. At the bottom, there is a faux skid plate with black bumper cladding.
Two New Trims On Offer
LX 600 Off-Road
This is a Japan-exclusive trim and is introduced to change the image of Lexus being only a luxurious brand. It comes with stuff like:
- 18-inch matte-grey painted wheels
- Black painted wheel arch moldings
- Dark gray metallic painted front grille
- Three locking differentials – front, center, and rear
LX 600 Executive Grade
This is the exact opposite of the off-road trim. It focuses on offering a luxurious interior and caters to folks who would prefer being chauffeured around or want to travel in luxury. Some of the highlights of this trim include:
- Four-seat configuration
- Seat can be reclined up to 48 degrees
- Rear legroom of up to 39.4 inches
- Concave headrests, reading lights, audio system, and seat display, and roof-mounted air vents for the rear seats
- Also features a rear control panel, wireless charger, cup holders, DC power supply, USB ports, headphone jacks, etc.
How Is The 2022 LX 600 On The Inside?
The cabin, as expected, feels rich and plush. It will be offered in a five- and seven-seat configuration. The cockpit follows a ‘Tazuna Concept’ design philosophy. There are two touchscreens on the center console; a là Land Rover Range Rover Sport. The top screen measures 12.3 inches and does everything that a touchscreen system on any other car or SUV would, plus it will show the off-road details of the Multi-Terrain Monitor System. The system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also comes with voice recognition that can be activated by saying, “Hey Lexus”.
The lower screen is for the HVAC settings and shows the off-road data when you’re using the camera feed on the larger screen while off-roading. A rear-seat entertainment system is also offered. On the Executive trim, you will even be able to tilt the screen horizontally.
The SUV is also offered with the Lexus Premium Sound System, which is a 10-speaker setup. If this setup isn’t good enough for you, you can opt for the Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound System that includes 25 speakers! This is the most ever offered on a Lexus.
Fingerprint-Authenticated Push-Start Switch
One interesting feature on the LX 600 is the fingerprint-authentication push start switch. This is standard on all models. In case you’re wondering if this allows you to start the SUV if you don’t have the smart key on you but have your fingerprint registered in the system, then the answer is no. More than convenience, this is just a two-step verification process. The engine won’t start if the fingerprint doesn’t match. I’m sure this can be turned off or has a drive mode wherein this can be deactivated. How will it work if you give your SUV to the valet? I don’t see a lot of use for it other than it being a gimmick of sorts, or if you’re being kidnapped in your SUV at gunpoint and the kidnapper has no idea why the SUV isn’t starting.
What’s Under The Skin And The Hood?
The Lexus LX 600 is underpinned on the same GA-F platform that also underpins the Land Cruiser 300. The architecture is based on the TNGA platform that does duties on products like the Toyota Tundra. This new body of frame structure makes use of lightweight aluminum that sees approximately 440 pounds being shaved off when compared to the model it replaces.
The 5.7-liter gas-guzzling V-8 goes out and the new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 comes in. It’s the same mill that can be seen in the Land Cruiser 300 as well. On the LC300, it is offered with gasoline and diesel flavors. Here you get only the gasoline option.
This is an increase of 26 ponies and 76 pound-feet of twist when compared to its predecessor. The diesel option on the Land Cruiser 300, by the way, makes 304 ponies and 516 pound-feet of oomph.
Power is routed to all the wheels via a 10-speed automatic gearbox – also seen on the LC 300 – that replaces the eight-speed automatic transmission from the previous model. It also comes with Multi-Terrain Select drive modes, which comprises – Auto, Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow, and Rock. A Crawl Control mode is also available for off-road driving. Lexus has also included a Multi-Terrain Monitor here that makes use of four cameras around the SUV and shows the feed on the touchscreen inside the cabin. It will be quite helpful when you go off-roading.
The LX 600 Comes With Lexus Safety System+ Kit
A new addition to the LX, the Lexus Safety System + includes stuff like:
- Pre-Collision System
- Emergency Steering Assist
- Lane Tracing Assist
- Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Road Sign Assist
- BladeScan (Adaptive High Beam)
Lexus hasn’t announced the pricing yet, but we speculate the higher trims to breach the six-digit figure. The 2022 LX 600 will arrive at the dealerships in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2022.