Would you go off-roading in your favorite designer duds?
At a party that Lexus recently staged to reveal the updated and redesigned LX 570 and GS 200t, the discussion focused on whether or not customers would take the LX 570 8-passenger SUV off road. Some—mostly the men— said yes; others—mostly the women— said no.
But it could. Built for traversing rocks, hills, sand and water, the LX 570 raises the heart rate of people who are thrilled with the idea of being challenged by terrain, weather and adventure.
But filled with pampering luxuries like a dual screen entertainment system that features 11-inch screens embedded in the back of the front seat head rests, heated and cooled seats in the front and center rows and a ‘climate concierge’ that strives to keep everyone comfortable, would you ever think of risking such a nice car by taking it on an adventure course or through the wilds of unmapped turf?
While most owners don’t take their SUVs off road, drivers appreciate the abilities that an off-road capable SUV offers: confidence in snow, ice, minor floods and rutted roads or paths that can be impassable in a two wheel drive sedan. The LX also boasts a heavy-duty V8 engine that allows towing of up to 6,000 pounds and an adaptive ‘self-leveling’ suspension system that adjusts based on the terrain, passenger and cargo load.
Still a workhorse, despite all the pampering
In planning the upgrades to the LX570, Lexus looked at what families and drivers like most in their luxury workhorses: continued capability on the road and even more comforts and amenities such as:
- a wireless Qi phone charging pad
- an improved ‘remote touch’ mouse-type controller that operates the infotainment and other systems
- a SmartAccess card key so slim it can fit in your wallet
- Siri eyes free iPhone function
- adaptive high bevy headlights
- adaptive cruise control
- heads up display
- intuitive park assist that can help you to find a space and park the LX570—a truly helpful feature in such a large car
Sticking to the clamshell hatch and keeping customers happy
Also, for the 2016 model year redesign, Lexus stuck to its fold down third row seating configuration—two seats fold down from the sides of the cargo area— and the clamshell lift gate. This is a particular favorite feature of many customers; the clamshell function divides the lift gate into two components; the bottom portion drops down when opened and the top part lifts up. This is particularly great for tailgating, changing diapers, dressing toddlers and digging through cargo for a particular item; the fold-down part of the gate becomes a shelf you can sit on, stack stuff on or change a diaper without having to unload the cargo area.
Lexus shaved about $500 off the price of the current 2015 model, which is priced fully loaded at about $86,000.
Disclosure: Lexus provided my transportation and accommodations at the LX and GS reveal event; all opinions expressed here are my own.