The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the brand’s most iconic off-roaders, but sadly Toyota decided to not bring the latest Land Cruiser to the U.S. But fortunately there is another option for Land Cruiser fans, the 2022 Lexus LX 600. Just like before the Lexus LX is a more luxurious version of the Land Cruiser.
The 2022 Lexus LX 600 is an all-new version of the luxurious off-roader, since it’s based on a new platform, is powered by a new engine and sports a significantly upgraded interior. The 2022 LX 600 is based on the new Global Architecture F platform, which is 20 percent stiffer than before. The LX retains its body-on-frame construction, which on paper means that it’s more of an old school SUV than the plethora of SUVs and crossovers that are based on more modern unibody platforms. At the front there’s a double-wishbone suspension, but at the rear there’s a live axle, which means it doesn’t get an independent rear suspension like some of its competitors.
Compared to the last generation, the 2022 LX 600 is slightly bigger than before, since it’s 0.8-inch longer and and 0.4-inch wider. Although its footprint is about the same as before, the new LX is 441 pounds lighter thanks to the doors, hood, fenders and roof are made out of aluminum.
The LX is designed for off-road capability with its 27.4-degree approach angle and a 26.3-degree departure angle. It can also plow through up to 28 inches of water. To make it even more capable, there’s the optional Active Height Control system that features actuators on each shock absorber that use hydraulic pressure to provide four ride heights. There’s the Low height that makes it easier to get in and out, Normal, and High 1 and High 2 when you want to hit the trails.
There are other off-road goodies, like crawl control, six driver-selectable terrain modes and low-range gearing. Lastly a batch of cameras help you see around the LX when crawling over rocks.
Under the hood the old 5.7-liter V8 has been replaced by a twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V6 with 409 horsepower and a nice 479 pound-feet of torque. That’s an 26 additional hp and 76 extra lb.-ft. The new engine may be a lot smaller than its predecessor, but thanks to those turbochargers, it packs a nice punch. There’s lots of low end power and even in the higher revs, the engine feels more refined. Lexus says that the LX 600 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds and it has a top speed of 130 mph.
The new engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that replaces the old eight-speed transmission. The new transmission shifts smoothly and there are paddle shifters if you want to have more control over which gear you’re in. All that power is sent to all four wheels via a full time four-wheel drive system. The LX 600 also has a healthy tow rating at up to 8,000 pounds.
Fuel economy is probably not something that most LX buyers prioritize, but the good news is that thanks to the lighter weight and improved powertrain, it’s more fuel efficient than before. The LX 600 is rated 19 mpg combined, 17 city, and 22 highway, which is an improvement over the last one with its 14 mpg combined rating, 12 city and 16 highway.
The new powertrain makes the LX 600 feel more modern, but that body-on-frame platform doesn’t make it very enjoyable to drive on the pavement. The F Sport model has a slightly sportier suspension with unique adaptive dampers, but the ride is very choppy. The LX does feel more nimble to drive than before, but the ride can be a bit too all over the place to be comfortable. But then again, the poor ride quality is just a small price to pay for the extra off-road capability that you get with the LX over some of its less rugged rivals.
The electrically assisted steering is a major improvement with its better feedback and quick responses.
The cabin is a major upgrade. The LX 600 is available in four-, five- and seven-passenger versions. The dashboard looks more modern with its 8-inch digital gauge cluster, the 12.3-inch touchscreen and an additional 7-inch display. The style and upgraded materials make the LX feel more luxurious than before.
There’s ample room for passengers in the first and second rows, while the third row will be a tight fit for most. Behind the third row there’s only 11 cubic feet of cargo space, which is just enough for a few grocery bags. With the third row folded, the cargo space expands to 44 cubic feet and with the second row down there’s 64 cubic feet of space.
On the safety front, the 2022 LX 600 comes standard with the Lexus Safety System Plus 2.5 suite. This includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and automatic high beams.
The pricing for the 2022 Lexus LX 600 starts at $88,245 including the $1,345 in destination fee, while the F Sport model starts at $105,005.
At the end of the day, the 2022 Lexus LX 600 has mostly improved over its predecessor with its more refined powertrain and improved off-road capability. The big compromise is its less refined ride that makes it feel less comfortable and cushy than the Mercedes-Benz G-Class or Range Rover.