Let me start out by saying that I am a sucker for big, body-on-frame SUVs. I am going to chalk it up to being toted around in Suburbans, Land Cruisers, and Explorers during my impressionable youth. However, the LX seems to be right out of the heyday of those trucks. It is, in fact, a truck, no matter how much leather, wood, and chrome Lexus adds.
The interior is indeed quite an opulent place to be. The center stack's design borders on deco with sweeping vents and infotainment screen surround. The stack then pours vertically down to the console, adorned with buttons for the navigation system, audio system, and climate control. The console's controls are all chunky and rugged, and they deal with all things related to chassis control. It's generally all fairly straightforward, with the most frequently used items gaining high marks for ergonomics. However, interacting with the touch screen will have you diving into submenus and taking too many steps for a short goal -- a common Lexus foible. Counterintuitive electronics aside, every surface you touch is wrapped in either supple leather; polished wood; or the highest-quality plastic.
This truck really is out of another era. While it may wallow down the highway, it is surprisingly nimble at low speeds thanks to the off-road heritage that Phil mentioned. Its 5.7-liter V-8 may be out of a time when gas was half the price as it is now, but the engine packs plenty of punch and has a delightfully throaty V-8 sound when pushed above 3000 rpm. It is a purpose-built vehicle and is quite the luxurious place in which to spend time. Is it as well-rounded as its competition? Probably not. Would I turn one down? Never. But maybe that's just my childhood coming back to me.
Donny Nordlicht, Associate Web Editor