The 2023 Lexus LX Is A Luxurious Vault

The 2023 Lexus LX Is A Luxurious Vault

The LX has been the pinnacle of luxury and capability in the Lexus lineup for nearly 30 years. It attracts a specific type of buyer that usually keeps these things forever. A recent update in 2021 brought the LX into the 21st century with a new engine and two new trims. But does an Lexus LX with a super plush backseat really make sense?

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Disclaimer: Lexus offered the LX to me for a week. I found out it was the absolutely perfect vehicle to use to go to the mountains.

What Is It?

2023 Lexus LX Ultra LuxuryImage: Lexus

The current LX made its debut for the 2021 model year. It’s based on the J300 Series Toyota Land Cruiser. Before the recent announcement of the all-new 2024 Land Cruiser, the LX was the only way to get a Land Cruiser in the U.S. since Toyota ditched the nameplate in 2021. The redesign also brought a change to the LX that may have ruffled a few feathers.

2023 Lexus LX engine

Photo: Lawrence Hodge/Jalopnik

For the first time in a while, the LX has no V8 engine. The gas guzzling 5.7-liter V8 has been replaced by a V6, the same one found in the Toyota Tundra/Sequoia. You won’t find a hybrid setup here though. At 3.4-liters and equipped with twin-turbos, it puts out a very healthy 409 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. That gets paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and a full time four wheel drive system.

None of this is cheap of course. It’s an LX after all. The example I have here is the most expensive Lexus you can buy. While the LX lineup starts at $92,165, this is the LX Ultra Luxury. It’s $132,630 worth of luxurious features like reclining rear captains chairs with a full entertainment system and a cooler in the front center armrest.

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How It Drives

Despite having over 400 hp, this isn’t a performance vehicle and shouldnt be driven like one. It’s a luxo-barge with off-road chops. When you’re not traversing a trail, you’re riding around in a leather and tech laden vault. With the satisfying sounding “clunk” of the doors when you close them, you’re sealed in from outside noise. Everything it does is smooth and effortless. An adaptive variable suspension setup solidifies a smooth, sleep inducing ride. The suspension works to reduce vehicle rocking, even when off roading.

The LX’s electrically assisted power steering does a good job of reminding you it’s helping you to pilot nearly three tons of luxury SUV. When it comes time to hustle, the LX has no problem getting up to speed. Lexus says the LX can hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, so passing shouldn’t be a problem at all. Gas mileage, while not great, is way better than the old V8. You can expect to get 17 city/22 highway/19 combined with the V6.

The LX’s off road goodies are impressive and way more than any one owner would ever need: A full time four-wheel-drive system with a limited slip differential, a multi-terrain select system that can even automatically select the best mode based on terrain and driver input. There’s even crawl control with turn assist, which not only helps with maintaining a steady pace over rough terrain, it even helps tighten the LX’s turning circle.

Abundant Luxury

Interior of the 2023 Lexus LX Ultra Luxury

Image: Leuxs

When I first learned that Lexus would offer a four seat option on the LX, I asked myself who in their right mind would want something like that in a vehicle like the LX. Then I lived with it for a week and became snooty and then I understood. This is a vehicle to be driven in. There’s the usual luxury and tech up front like heated and cooled leather seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a slick chilled center arm rest that gets so cold and is so deep, you can put a bottle of wine in it— ask me how I know. Aside from all of that, the backseat is where you really want to be.

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Backseat of the 2023 Lexus LX Ultra Luxury

Photo: Lawrence Hodge/Jalopnik

The Ultra Luxury Package turns the backseat of the LX into a sanctuary of chill. There’s two rear captains chairs that not only massage, heat and cool but they also have reclining adjustments; the right side fully reclines and even has an ottoman that deploys from the back of the front seat when no one is sitting there. There’s also a full center console with an LCD screen for various controls, rear sunshades, a personal table, power closing doors and a wireless phone charger. You really won’t want to get out once you climb back there.

What’s Not So Great

Yes the screens and surfaces annoyingly attract dust and fingerprints

Yes the screens and surfaces annoyingly attract dust and fingerprintsPhoto: Lawrence Hodge/Jalopnik

There are almost too many controls and notifications, especially for the off road stuff. While an enthusiast might appreciate having all the controls and screens at their fingertips, to most back seat passengers, they’re just pointless buttons and readouts that’ll never get used. Between the notifications on the driver’s LCD screen, the dedicated off-road menu with an accelerometer, buttons on the center stack for drive modes and a mountain mode, a knob for L4-H4, and more buttons next to the gear selector for locking the diff, traction control and adjusting the suspension, it’s too much.

Cargo area of the 2023 Lexus LX Ultra Luxury

Image: Lexus

The Ultra Luxury Package, while cool, turns the LX into a luxury shuttle that kills most of its stuff carrying ability. In a regular LX, you not only have three rows of seating that fold, you also have up to 71 cubic feet of cargo capacity with both rows folded. With the fancy reclining seats and center console of the Ultra Luxury Package, you lose 30 cubic feet of cargo space as the seats don’t fold.

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And prepare to have Armor All wipes handy, there’s extensive use of piano black trim throughout the interior and it attracts fingerprints and smudges.

Verdict

If you decide to pull the trigger on an LX, you can’t go wrong. You’ll have a super luxurious, capable, and damn near bulletproof ride that’ll last for years. Plus since Lexus has been selling less than 10,000 LXs a year for over 20 years now, there’s an exclusivity with it as you won’t see them all the time. My advice would be to skip the Ultra Luxury Package; the LS can do the luxury limo thing better. But you can’t pick a better way to travel the boulevard or the off road trail than a Lexus LX.

2023 Lexus LX LX 600 Ultra Luxury 4WD Specs

Price starting at

$120,432

Engine type

Twin Turbo Premium Unleaded V-6

Transmission/Drive

Automatic w/OD