OD SUV Slugfest: Lexus LX
The most expensive SUV in this contest. Its fame and allure is just starting to spread in India.
Styling and street presence
Lexus's dramatic front grille flowing into the sculpted bonnet and large headlights, give it epic street presence. The boomerang shaped fog-lights also incorporate cornering lights and are aesthetically appealing, but the overall design generates polarising views.
Seating and visibility
Interior is palatial and inviting and has 10 A/C vents (four each front and rear, plus two for the third row), maximum amongst SUVs featured here. Seats are ventilated and cooled too. Despite the chunky A-pillars, visibility is excellent and you can see the full expanse of the bonnet. Wipers have good coverage but washers are the old-fashioned jet spray type. Despite having to climb in, getting in and out is easy as the Lexus lowers itself and slightly tilts to the side you are entering from.
Is simply colossal. The ground clearance is a phenomenal 225 mm and the active height control raises the ride height in response to the terrain and automatically adjusts the ground clearance at each wheel! The Lexus LX has 4WD with low ratio gears in the transfer case and comes with driving modes like - Mud & Sand; Loose Rock; Mogul (for very bumpy mogul-like road); Rock & Dirt or Rock. There is a 5-speed crawl control for inching forward on treacherous and tough terrain and VFC or variable fluid control that controls the flow of steering fluid as per speed, engine rpm and steering angle. It reduces steering effort while also enhancing steering precision and feel.
A most unique feature is Turn Assist that helps in making tighter turns when there is limited space to maneuver. Then there is the multi-terrain monitor with four cameras providing a 360 degree view, including under the vehicle to enable the driver to spot obstacles that would otherwise be obscured from view!
Very user-friendly off-road aid controls on the console, consisting of two toggle switches and 2 rotary dials, show the designers were serious about the off-road capability. Massive boot space of 1,330 litres and split electric tailgate for easy access.
Touring ability and performance
Only diesel V8 in the contest and range of roughly 600km. Super comfortable long distance machine.
The slowest one here, mainly due to its size and almost 3 tonnes weight! Very comfortable and assured off-road, but certainly not meant for setting fast stage times.
Price: Rs 2.65 crore lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
Engine type: 4.5D/262PS/650Nm
Fuel Economy: 9.6kmpl
Fuel capacity and Range: 93l/900km
4WD lock: Yes
Diff Lock: Yes
Ground Clearance: 225mm
Dimensions (LWH) mm: 5,080 x 1,980 x 1,865
Weight: 2,840kg (kerb)
Off-Road Driving Modes: Yes
Headlight Washers: Yes
Boot Capacity: 1,330l