Close this search box.

Luxury Express – 2022 Lexus LX500d Limited Review

Over the years, Lexus have been, little by little, moving the LX away from being less of a rebadged Toyota Land Cruiser, to a more bespoke luxury SUV. Fast forward to now, and the fourth generation LX is with us. While it is a bit of a dark horse in the family, the new LX500d is unlike any other LX before it. There are now only two spec levels available, the F-Sport and the Limited, and there is no longer a hefty V8 option.

Having been quite impressed after spending a week with the LX500d F-Sport a month ago, I was looking forward to seeing how the Limited variant compares. What better way than with a run to the west coast of the South Island for an impromptu overnight stay.

Like the F-Sport, the Limited grade LX500d will cost you $175,900 plus ORC. Despite being the same price, the Limited has one advantage over the F-Sport, and that it being a full seven-seater. However, it does not get the performance dampers and limited slip diff unique to the F-Sport. What the Limited does get is quite probably the largest looking front grill around.

The Limited’s lines are much more restrained than that of the F-Sport and in my view, suit the car a lot better. Its 22-inch alloys look good, as does the new LED head and taillights. You also have the new Lexus lettering logo as per what you find on the new NX. Overall, it is a more mature looking package.

It is also 10mm wider, 20mm longer and 30mm than the previous generation, though the wheelbase of 2850mm which has remained unchanged since the first generation in 1995. Its ladder chassis is also 20 per cent more rigid. Lexus claim the only bits the LX500d shares with the new Toyota Land Cruiser 300 are the bonnet and roof, though one cannot help but make certain similarities.

As we have established, the old V8 is gone. Instead, you have a 3.3L V6 twin-turbo diesel V6 coupled to a new 10-speed automatic transmission. Those still after a petrol LX will be disappointed however, as its diesel now or nothing. Power is up though by 14 per cent to 227kW and torque is now at 700Nm. Throw this in with that four-wheel-drive system and you can haul 3.5 tonnes.

Talking of four-wheel-drive, you now have adaptive variable suspension and four active ride height settings, Lo, Normal, Hi1 and Hi2. The driver can freely change between these while on the move. A new multi terrain monitor system gives the driver four cameras showing the underfloor, front, rear and sides giving you a panoramic view of rough terrain.  

You also get electric power steering and a multi terrain monitor system with four cameras showing front, sides and rear along with underfloor for dealing with the rough stuff. Crawl Control can also be turned on to give the driver more control when heading down steep hills at speeds below speeds below 10km/h. Electronically controlled brakes also judge how much brake pressure you are applying to give you optimum stopping power when you need it.

After hoisting yourself up into a sea of leather and wood-esque trim, one sees the Limited is more understated when compared to the F-Sport in terms of interior accoutrements. However, it still follows the same ‘Tazuna’ Lexus interior design philosophy as the F-Sport. It’s a mix of durability and refinement, with chunky and solid switchgear and high-quality materials.

Dominating the dash is the new 12.3-inch Electro Multi Vision Touchscreen display. It is a very good system to use and much sharper than any Lexus system before it, especially as that old touchpad mouse is a thing of the past.

Through this you can operate the sat nav, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and other on-board gadgetry. However, it is a bit of stretch to reach. Below it is a new 8-inch colour multi-information instrument screen which can display all air con and driving information. It also shows the level of ride height implemented by the active height control.

The leather seats are heated and ventilated front and rear. There are also six USB ports, four-zone air con and a 25-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. Rear passengers not only have oodles of legroom, but dual rear entertainment screens which allow those in the back to plug in their own tech. One could be watching Netflix, the other Disney Plus, with head phones on naturally.

The LX500d is also stocked with other features you would expect in a car in this price bracket, but what is unique is the new fingerprint authentication system for the push button start. A fingerprint scanner behind the starter button will recognize the driver’s fingerprint to start the car. Though be sure to reset your finger authentication before you lend your LX to anyone else.

An upgraded Pre-Collision System which now detects cyclists and pedestrians in low light and the Radar Cruise Control now includes curve speed reduction are part of new additions to the Lexus Safety Suite+. Lane Tracing assist also comes with a new forward-facing camera to aid in more responsive reactions while in the corners and Intersection Turn Assist and Emergency Turning Assist are also a feature.

The third-row seating can be raised and lowered by the touch of button when you access the hefty 982L boot via the power tailgate. My only criticism was the alarm declaring the boot was closing or opening was very loud.

Whereas I spent most of my time around Christchurch with the LX500d F-Sport, the chance to take the Limited to Greymouth for a night was too good to resist. So, here we go. “Sea to Shining Sea” on board flight LX500d.

Leaving Christchurch and heading west toward the Canterbury communities of Darfield and Springfield, the hefty LX500d very quickly got into its stride. The 3.3L twin-turbo V6, while sounding at tad agricultural when you hoof it along, quietens down and starts to feel really refined. At around 1100rpm, there is next to no engine note at all. While it is certainly not electric quiet, it is quite happy to chug faintly away in the background.

After filling its 80L tank in Christchurch, it showed range of 553km to empty. Naturally I was keen to see just how well this big fella stacks up as a long-distance mile muncher. On the flat while passing through those aforementioned townships, the fuel averages started to get smaller.

Throughout the drive, I changed between Eco and Normal mode and was able to see averages as low as 9.7L/100km. When you consider Lexus claim a combined fuel consumption rating of 10.2/100km WLTP for the new LX, that is pretty good for a luxo bruiser like this.

Climbing through the likes of Castle Hill and Arthurs Pass impeded this economy of course, but that delivery of torque low down was also mighty impressive. As I found in the F-Sport, I don’t really miss the V8. You don’t get that bellow for certain, but overall, this powertrain and new 10-speed auto box is a real delight. Sport mode and Sport Plus is more than ideal for a brisk overtake, but I seldom felt it necessary to use it for this kind of driving.

In tight hilltop roads, it is best to leave it in at least Normal mode or Eco if you intend on less wallowing progress. Leaving the LX500d in Comfort settings results in things getting a bit bouncy in the corners. Its not bad by any stretch, but it is noticeable.

In those tight spaces you also become rather aware of how big this car is. Sure, it shrinks around you when you are moving at speed, but it makes you even more aware of oncoming sheep trucks on those narrow twisty alpine roads venturing at times dangerously close to the centre line. Thanks to quick electric power steering, you can keep that square-jawed front out of trouble easily.

Roughing it feels more appropriate in the Limited as opposed to the F-Sport. With the active ride height setting the LX at an appropriate height, the riverbeds and gravel roads are eaten up well. The screen on the centre console is always telling you how much throttle and brakes you are applying and your pitch and lean at any given time.

Sadly, the opportunity did not present itself to get seriously rugged, especially as I intended to make it to Greymouth before late afternoon, but having driven the F-Sport off road more thoroughly, the Limited would be more than able to reflect that. When I did find myself on a rough surface, those heated and ventilated leather seats are sumptuous, supportive and just so darn comfortable.  

After arriving in Greymouth and venturing up the coast to Punakaiki and back, we used just under a third of tank. After the compulsory visit to Shantytown the next day, the LX500d got my wife and I back to Christchurch with ease. Her comments “Its such a nice car to travel in” certainly ring true.

Given the choice between the F-Sport and the Limited, I would pick the Limited every time. This trim level just suits it well. As for the LX500d itself, it is not the most dynamic SUV out there, nor is it the most engaging, but for a luxurious way to enjoy a relaxed long-haul journey, it will likely fit the bill for many who intend to do a whole lot of just that.

RATING: 7.5/10

Share your love


Support our advertisers

Paying bills

Ads from the Googles

Support our advertisers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *