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2012 Lexus LX Review

Review Last Updated: 4/25/13

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

The 2012 Lexus LX is an opulent, off-road-capable luxury large SUV, but test drivers say it’s not the best value on the market.

Make no mistake about it: The Lexus LX 570 is good at what it is designed to do. The LX is based on the Toyota Land Cruiser, an off-road monster with legendary abilities, and test drivers say it’s a confidence-inspiring companion when you leave unpaved roads. It’s a Lexus, which means that its interior is luxurious and well-built, and it comes with plenty of standard features. Even after accepting the contradictory nature of the concept of a luxury off-roader, though, reviewers still say there are better choices. Around town, its ride is fairly good for a luxury SUV, but that comes with a significant penalty in fuel economy.

Toyota’s own Land Cruiser is nearly as luxurious inside as the LX 570, and it costs far less, so auto journalists think that it’s a much better value, and it doesn’t require you to sacrifice too much luxury cache. They say that Lexus didn’t do enough to differentiate the LX from its Toyota sibling, so it doesn’t have quite the brand cachet that other off-roaders from German and British vehicle brands do.

Test drivers say that overall, shoppers who’ve decided on a luxury-branded off-road SUV and have the budget for the 2012 Lexus LX will be happy with their purchase. But anyone looking to get more for their money will find a better value elsewhere, even when shopping other luxury large SUVs.

Other SUVs to Consider

One of the Lexus LX’s main competitors is the Land Rover Range Rover. Not only is the Range Rover just as capable on the trail, but it has better on-road manners than the LX 570. It offers many more powertrain and interior options as well, so buyers who want to customize their ride have a lot more choices with the Range Rover. Plus, the Range Rover starts at about the same price as the Lexus, though it has two fewer seats.

If you can sacrifice some off-road performance in favor of a more spacious and luxurious cabin than the LX offers, consider the Infiniti QX56. It has one of the largest third rows in its class, and reviewers say its cabin is even more upscale than established luxury brands like Cadillac. Though the QX56’s looks are polarizing, some critics like that the Infiniti doesn’t mimic the traditional boxy SUV look. And buyers who are undecided about the QX’s styling may want to take into account the fact that it is more than $20,000 cheaper than the LX.

Details: Lexus LX

The 2012 Lexus LX comes in only one trim level, the LX 570, though buyers can opt for a luxury package and various stand-alone accessories. For 2012, the LX doesn’t see any significant changes or updates. See the full list of 2012 Lexus LX specs.

  • "Those worried about their comfort now and Armageddon later may want to look to the LX570. This V-8-powered elephant stuffs an interior befitting the LS sedan into the already luxurious confines of a Toyota Land Cruiser and manages to meld the two concepts quite convincingly." -- Car and Driver
  • "With an excellent interior and an impeccable reputation for quality and reliability, it can be argued that the LX 570 stands at the front of the pack. That's not to mention the strong 5.7-liter V8 or the six-speed transmission, either.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "All things being equal, we'd pick one of the (Land) Rovers over the … Lexus LX 570. But things aren't equal, as Land Rover is one of the least reliable brands while Lexus is consistently one of the best. Even if an $80,000 off-roading luxury SUV isn't the most sensible vehicle around, the last thing you want is a breakdown on the way to Neiman Marcus.” -- Edmunds

Next Steps: Lexus LX

  • Search used Lexus LX for sale (528 listings)
  • See Luxury Large SUVs rankings