Finally, they did the sensible thing.
We have said before of Lexus’ enormous flagship SUV, the LX, that it’d be very difficult for us to recommend it unless you were a Russian oligarch or closely related to one. With only a 5.7-litre naturally-aspirated V8 petrol mill, fuel consumption was appalling, power was merely adequate (for such a large motor), and its only redeeming qualities were its immense refinement and very linear power delivery, the latter particularly good for off-roading (we can hear you laughing).
Now though, for those who want a Lexus the size of a city flat but don’t want to bleed money for fuel, there’s an alternative: Today, the LX range gains a 4.5-litre twin-turbo diesel V8, in the form of the LX450d. And it does 9.5-litres/100km.
“We have had consistent demand for the LX with a turbodiesel, and Lexus has responded by developing an extremely well-specified vehicle that we are able to offer at a remarkable price. The turbo-diesel engine is smooth, quiet, and powerful, and will suit a wide variety of applications.” — Scott Thompson, CEO, Lexus Australia
*We were one of those people demanding a turbodiesel.
As we said earlier, the big news here is under the bonnet, where you’ll find a 4.5-litre V8 diesel, charged by two turbos, capable of producing a rather impressive 200kW and 650Nm, with the latter available from as little as 1600rpm and the former achieved at 3600rpm. Thanks to its impressive 9.5L/100km official fuel consumption figure, you can expect to go nearly 1000km between fill-ups, aided further by the enormous diesel fuel tank that hides where the third-row of seats used to be.
What Lexus giveth, they can taketh away… But then again, how often does anyone ever use the third-row, anyway? Instead though, there’s 400L of space back there (loaded up to the top of the rear seats), with the second-row able to be folded down for further space if needed.
Inside the LX you’ll find all the usual creature comforts you’d expect in a big SUV like this, like a 12.3-inch high-definition infotainment touchscreen with satellite navigation, quad-zone climate control, a premium audio system (with DAB digital radio and bluetooth), a leather steering wheel with “shimamoku-woodgrain trim” and paddle shifters.
You’ll also find heated front seats, and a wireless phone charger.
Exterior standard features include LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and ‘progressive’ turn signals on all four corners, and 20-inch alloy wheels. Drivers will appreciate the tyre-pressure monitoring system, as well as ‘Lexys Safety System +’ which adds a variety of advanced driver assistance systems like active cruise control, lane departure warning, adaptive high-beam, and rear cross-traffic alert, among others. There’s also a five-mode drive system, adaptive air suspension, and even crawl-control and 360º cameras for off-road use (stop laughing).
The new Lexus LX450d is available in showrooms today, with prices starting at $134,500 before on-road costs. Finally, we can genuinely recommend one of these over a Toyota Land Cruiser.