The fantastically luxurious four-seat layout is a joy for second-row passengers, but there are problems at the front and back.
Feb 22, 2023 at 12:00pm ET
The past few years have seen an explosion of ultra-premium trims for luxury SUVs. Land Rover kicked off the trend with four-seat Range Rover trims, and Mercedes-Benz soon followed with the Maybach-badged GLS. Now, the redesigned Lexus LX joins the party.
Following the example of the Range Rover SVAutobiography and Mercedes-Maybach GLS, the Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury subs out the center bench for a two-seat layout with a fixed center console and a borderline obnoxious amount of equipment. The rear seats are heated, ventilated, and equipped with massagers, while the passenger-side chair can extend out into a lounger, complete with an ottoman that pops out from the front passenger’s backrest. The LX 600’s top trim deserves the Ultra Luxury designation Lexus attached, but it’s not perfect, as our editors found out after a week of testing.
Gallery: 2022 Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury: Review
Brandon Turkus, Managing Editor
- Favorite Thing: Outrageous Second Row Luxury
- Least Favorite Thing: Four-Seat Layout Kills Cargo Space
I originally recruited the Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury for the holiday weekend in Arizona, where my wife and I would visit my parents and I’d terrorize them all on their first off-road expedition. Sadly (or gladly, if you were them), Christmas festivities got in the way and I was limited to on-road adventures only. Still, the LX 600’s outrageous luxury enamored my wife, parents, and their neighbors, many of whom came over to explore the big, six-figure off-roader and relax in the plush second-row captain’s seats.
The second-row seats, complete with a center touchscreen in the fixed console, were a highlight, but I was just as happy from the driver’s seat. The ride quality is excellent and the overall experience is whisper quiet. The 10-speed automatic and twin-turbocharged V6 are stars as well, to the point that I was questioning Lexus’ promised 6.9-second sprint to 60. The LX feels a good bit quicker than that number. So while the back is the place to be, life is still pretty good behind the wheel.
The downside is that the four-seat LX is the least versatile of the bunch. The second-row chairs don’t fold down, and there’s a modest 41 cubic feet of cargo space as a result. Between my carry-on bag, my wife’s checked bag, and the hard case for my golf clubs, there was no way to safely store everything back there. The golf bag had to go in at an angle, while my wife’s checked bag sat awkwardly atop it. My carry-on spent the 45-minute journey from Phoenix Sky Harbor to my parents’ house wedged behind my wife’s seat and the second-row captain’s chair.
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Lexus LX
Brett T. Evans, Senior Editor
- Favorite Thing: Comfort-At-All-Costs Ride Quality
- Least Favorite Thing: Limited First-Row Luxury
Something I’ve always loved about the Lexus LX (and its Toyota Land Cruiser kin) is its incredible ride comfort over a variety of terrain. On the freeway, the LX 600 smothers bumps as though its dampers are filled with Vaseline, and on rough pavement or off-road trails, the soft suspension allows for plenty of wheel travel that keeps the body reasonably unperturbed. It almost feels like an old American luxury car from the 1970s – including the dogged resistance to handle corners with anything resembling velocity. But that’s part of the charm of the LX 600, to just relax the pace a bit and enjoy the ride.
Unfortunately for the driver and co-pilot, they won’t be treated to quite the same level of enjoyment as those in the back. Not even the Ultra Luxury trim has massaging seats up front, despite the rear captain’s chairs offering magic-fingers functionality, telling the chauffeur loud and clear that he is less important than the big boss riding in back. Such omissions might lead the proletariat to revolt if Lexus isn’t careful.
The front half of the cabin also feels borderline claustrophobic, thanks to the short dashboard and relatively upright windshield. However, that complaint comes with a tinge of nostalgia, as it reminds me of my 26-year-old LX 450 – as with the posh ride comfort, all that’s old is new again for the folks at Lexus. Good for them.
|2022 Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury|
|Engine||Twin-Turbocharged 3.5-liter V6|
|Output||409 Horsepower / 479 Pound-Feet|
|Drive Type||Four-Wheel Drive|
|Speed 0-60 MPH||6.9 Seconds|
|Maximum speed||130 MPH|
|Efficiency||17 City / 22 Highway / 19 Combined|
|Cargo Volume||41.0 Cubic Feet|
|Base Price||$86,900 + $1,345 Destination|
|Trim Base Price||$127,345|