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2023 Lexus LX 500d Review: Grandeur Rewritten

Japanese Luxury carmaker Lexus has launched the new generation of its flagship SUV, the LX in the Indian market. The car has arrived with a new design, many more features and just a Diesel engine option. But is it worth Rs. 3 crore? We take it out for a drive
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By Shams Raza Naqvi

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9 mins read

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Published on December 5, 2023

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Highlights

  • The new LX gets many upgrades when compared to previous generation
  • The SUV comes with just a 5-seater option in Indian market
  • Prices for the LX begin at Rs. 2.82 crore, ex-showroom

When it comes to craftsmanship, opulence and finesse brand Lexus is right up there. But what happens when with all these attributes you also get ruggedness, sportiness as well as off-road mannerisms? A vehicle like the LX is born. A new generation of this flagship Lexus SUV has come after a long time, a decade, and a half to be precise and promises an experience which is quite different from earlier.

This was the car with which the Japanese luxury carmaker began its India journey a decade ago and now with a new architecture, reduced weight, a new steering wheel and adaptive variable suspension, it promises a lot more than earlier. We spent some time with the SUV.

 

Design

The spindle grille is one of the highlights on the exterior of the car.

 

Cars from the brand Lexus are always known for their massive grilles, but when the vehicle is as big as the LX, the grille becomes even more prominent. The spindle grille is indeed one of the highlights on the exterior of the car, giving it a sporty yet premium look. The slim headlamps compliment the big grille quite nicely. Towards the profile, the first thing you notice are the big square wheel arches which don’t get black cladding, but body colour, which adds to the premiumness. Big 22-inch alloy wheels fit in them aptly. The LX comes with a wheelbase of 2,850 mm while it is 5,100 mm long, 1,990 mm wide and 1,895 mm tall.

 

Also Read: Lexus LC500h Limited Edition Launched In India; Prices Start At Rs 2.50 Crore

The SUV gets big overhangs, specially on the rear. 

 

A lot of SUV attributes are visible on the profile; this includes a sidestep, chrome lines on windows, roof rails and yes big overhangs, especially on the rear. You can clearly see that a Land Cruiser is hiding somewhere in there, though you have to admit that Lexus has done enough and more to give the LX a distinct look. The rear too is quite attractive with the LED tail lamps connected by a light bar. The boxy and upright proportions are quite evident all around the car, so the design legacy very much continues. In all, you can choose from 5 distinct colours on the SUV. 

 

Tech & Interior

You can choose from many interior upholstery and theme options.

 

The cabin of the new LX is quite different when compared to the previous generation, however, the design reminds you of the family of cars from Toyota and Lexus. High-quality leather is used here which adds to the premium quotient, and you can choose between many interior upholstery and theme options to give your car a different, distinct look. A highlight is the twin screens - a big 12.3-inch touchscreen, gets you many features including wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto and works with a well-performing 25-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. The 7-inch touchscreen right below takes care of climate controls and drive modes, and then there are many physical buttons under it as well as on the steering wheel which remains old school. 

 

Also Read: Lexus LM Luxury MPV Receives Over 100 Bookings In India

New LX also gets a heated steering wheel.

 

The Tazuna design philosophy Lexus has adopted for the new LX has certainly ensured a more ergonomic cabin specially for the driver. Accessibility is quite nice, all the buttons are within the driver’s reach, so you need to activate the 4x4 system or get to the heated and ventilated seat buttons, or the heated steering button they’re all well within your reach. The instrument cluster is a mix of digital and analogue and provides a lot of relevant information. 

You do get a sunroof but it is not panoramic.

 

More features include a wireless charger, an electronic parking brake, a big, cooled box between the front seats and a sunroof which to the disappointment of many is not panoramic. The driver’s seat can be adjusted electrically in 10 different ways while the front passenger seat has 8 electric adjustments. The climate concierge feature takes care of not just cabin climate but also seat heating and ventilation if needed, which is a nice touch. You get 4-zone climate control on the SUV, while the rear seats also come with heating and ventilation and can fold down at the press button. 

 

Also Read: Lexus Introduces Limited-Edition ES Crafted Collection Ahead Of Festive Season; Priced at Rs 64.64 Lakh

There are individual screens for both the rear passengers. 

 

Looking at the mammoth size of this SUV from the outside you might think you have 3 rows of seats here but that’s not the case, the version that’s come to India only has 5 seats, however, the seats are quite big and looking at the overall size of the cabin you get a good amount of knee room, leg room, shoulder room and even the under-thigh support is quite impressive. However, you cannot slide the seats forward or back, though you can recline them but only manually, that’s the case with the sunshades as well which is a bit of a letdown. And finally, there are individual screens for both the rear passengers to enjoy personal entertainment. Then you get a cargo space of 1,960 litres which is massive.

 

Dynamics

Driver gets a clear view owing to the big windshield & narrow A-pillars.

 

On the driver’s seat, you really must get used to the huge size of this SUV. It's more than 5 meters long, and wide as well so you must be mindful of the traffic around you or how wide the road is, and how you’re turning the car through lanes or at signals. When you’re making your maneuvers you have to be slightly more careful specially in the beginning and then of course with time you’ll get used to it. The good thing is that the view is clear that you get as a driver, the windshield is big, and the pillars are not very wide, so they don’t really block your view. Overall, this humungous size does make you feel superior on the road. 

 

Also Read: Toyota Unveils 'Vellfire Spacious Lounge' Concept

Lexus has decided to continue with a Diesel engine on the new LX.

 

The LX is one of the few cars in this ultra-premium segment that comes with only a Diesel engine option. With changing times companies are moving towards only Petrol, hybrids, or electrics but at least in India Lexus has decided to continue with the Diesel engine option. The 3,346 cc V6 engine makes up to 304 bhp @ 4,000 rpm while ensuring a peak torque of 700 Nm which is available from 1,600 - 2,600 rpm. It's mated to a 10-speed Auto transmission, which helps in better gear ratios. You also have paddle shifts if you want to take greater control of the car. 

Downsizing of the engine hasn’t really affected the performance of this beast. 

 

The car races to a top speed of 210 kmph and it takes 8 seconds to reach 100 kmph. That for a vehicle that weighs almost 3,300 kgs is quite impressive. The downsizing of the engine hasn’t really affected the performance of this beast. You really feel the real grunt of the mill when you press the throttle specially out on the open roads. It does add to the excitement specially with the multiple driving modes. There are six in all including Normal, Eco, Sport & Sport+. There’s a Custom mode as well that lets you choose the settings of things like the steering or the engine according to your needs depending on the kind of drive you’re looking at. 

There are six drive modes in the LX 500d.

 

One thing you cannot escape from in the LX looking at its massive size is some bit of body roll, and if you’re sitting in the second row it’s even more evident so that is something you must be mindful of as taking corners at high speeds may put you at slight unease here. But one thing that works like magic is adaptive air suspension that comes as standard, and it doesn’t matter what kind of roads you’re driving on this car can just eat all the bumps and potholes up and you will not feel that in the cabin either as a driver or as a passenger. Add to that the active height control, again a useful attribute specially when you’re going out off-roading you can increase the height of the vehicle to get more clearance.

There are six multi terrain modes you can choose from in the SUV. 

 

The new electric power steering has made the LX a much easier car to drive. It is more precise and responsive and feedback is good as well, specially at high speeds. It can also be adjusted electrically in many ways, adding to the premium feel. There are as many as six multi-terrain modes you can choose from. These include Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow and Rock apart from Auto which is a Lexus first where the mode is selected automatically according to the terrain. Of course, you also have a 4-wheel drive system with 4x4 Low as well as a locking differential. The SUV comes with a ground clearance of 210 mm. 

 

Safety

The new LX gets as many as 10 airbags. 

 

All features that come with off-roading requirements like hill start assist and hill descent control are there, as are traction control, TPMS and as many as 10 airbags. You also get a rear cross-traffic alert, that’s a good addition to the car specially when you’re using it in the urban environment SUVs are massive in size, but Lexus should think about giving more ADAS features on the vehicle specially looking at the price of the LX. There’s also a unique fingerprint authentication system that limits who can use the start/stop button on the SUV.

 

Price & Verdict

The Lexus LX is your ticket to exclusivity in an already niche segment. 

 

At Rs 2.82 crore, ex-showroom, with what it offers does the price tag of the Lexus LX seem justified? Well, maybe not but for years India and Indians have adored and appreciated this family of cars be it the Toyota Land Cruiser or the Lexus LX. It is indeed your ticket to exclusivity in an already niche segment. However, we do hope looking at the competition in future iterations cars from this family get even more tech and features. 

 

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