There’s a certain amount of cachet that comes with being chauffeured around, not in an extravagant stretch limousine but in a subtler – yet still spacious – four-seat auto. Such transport used to be the exclusive purview of sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Rolls-Royce Phantom. But like every other segment, SUVs have encroached on executive four-seat transport with gusto.
The 2022 Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury is but one example of a full-size SUV that’s built more for potentates than procreators. A new trim for this year, the Ultra Luxury boasts more comfort (and fewer seats) than any Lexus sport-ute before it, and an as-tested price of $127,940 makes it a relative bargain among vehicles with similar seating configurations. Of course, there are many excellent options in this class that cost less, including the stellar Cadillac Escalade and midcentury-fab Lincoln Navigator. But neither offers the panache of four seats and a full-length console, nor do they have the baked-in off-road talent of Lexus’ latest SUV.
Still, the LX Ultra Luxury has plenty of flaws. A smooth ride comes at the expense of handling talent, and while rear passengers are treated to massaging chairs, the front row makes do without. At that price, both the Escalade and the Navigator treat front-seaters better. But if you don’t care about your chauffeur, the LX 600 Ultra Luxury is a great way to be driven around.
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|2022 Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury
|Twin-Turbocharged 3.5-Liter V6
|409 Horsepower / 479 Pound-Feet
|17 City / 22 Highway / 19 Combined
Gallery: 2022 Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury: Review
Wearing one of the largest Lexus spindle grilles yet, the 2022 LX 600 makes a bold first impression. Sharp head- and taillights provide some familiarity with the likes of the Lexus NX and RX crossovers, although the upright roofline and kinky greenhouse are all LX. The flagship SUV maintains its tall, narrow stance, which imparts a rugged, trail-ready persona that some will love (myself included). But overall, the LX looks a bit disjointed and brash, especially compared to the subtly styled Mercedes-Benz GLS and the classy Lincoln Navigator.
Inside, the LX has a monolithic center stack featuring two individual touchscreen displays. The upright windshield and shallow dashboard further the off-road vibes, providing excellent visibility over the flat hood. The front and rear seats feature attractive quilting on the bolsters, with matching accents on the armrests. Material quality is generally good in most places you touch, although it’s not difficult to find hard plastics below knee level – a disappointment given how peerlessly constructed the LS sedan and LC coupe are. Overall, the LX feels nice enough, but it lacks the specialness of those other flagship model lines.
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Lexus LX
Thanks to four-corner air suspension with adaptive dampers, the Lexus LX maintains its predecessors’ reputation for excellent on-road comfort and a smooth ride. The narrow bodywork engenders some intimacy between right and left passengers, but all four seats get more than enough space thanks to an upright, tall stance. Front passengers are treated to comfortable, supportive chairs, but as I mentioned before, there isn’t a multicontour or massage functionality, a sad omission in a car as expensive as this. At least they adjust well enough to give driver and front passenger a comfortable seating position.
One note, official rear legroom measures just 33.8 inches, but I suspect that’s an artifact of a measurement standard that takes the LX’s reclining rear seats and deployable right-side footrest into account. I’ve reached out to Lexus for clarification, because the LX feels far more commodious, with stretch-out space that compensates for a lack of toe room under the front seats. The second row of the LX Ultra Luxury is the place to be, especially if no one’s riding up front and you can fold the passenger seat forward to make space for the power-operated ottoman in front of the right rear bucket.
|Cargo Behind 2nd Row
|Lexus LX 600
|37.8 / 38.7 Inches
|41.1 / 33.8 Inches
|41.0 Cubic Feet
|42.3 / 38.9 Inches
|44.5 / 41.7 Inches
|72.9 Cubic Feet
|39.9 / 40.0 Inches
|39.6 / 41.0 Inches
|49.6 Cubic Feet
|Land Rover Range Rover
|39.3 / 39.2 Inches
|39.9 / 40.4 Inches
|40.7 Cubic Feet
|41.8 / 40.0 Inches
|43.9 / 41.1 Inches
|57.5 Cubic Feet
Set up for maximum recline, that seat is incredibly comfortable, with a nice seating position and good support for even a long journey. But the left side is no slouch either. Although it doesn’t get the same footrest, it still reclines and slides back for more room, offering nearly as much comfort as its sybaritic counterpart on the right. There’s also a pair of 11.4-inch entertainment screens in front of each back seat passenger, and a touchscreen mounted in the center console controls the individual seat adjustments, climate preferences, and entertainment settings.
- Center Display: 12.3-Inch Touchscreen + 7.0-inch Secondary Display
- Instrument Cluster Display: 8.0 Inches
- Wireless Apple CarPlay / Android Auto: Yes / Yes
My colleagues and I have already spilled plenty of virtual ink on the merits of the new
Toyota/Lexus infotainment system, but it really is that good. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a nice addition, but the infotainment’s software is good enough that you can ignore the smartphone mirroring if you want. In addition to the wide, bright 12.3-inch primary display, there’s also a 7.0-inch screen lower on the center stack that displays off-road functions, drive modes, and climate information.
The head-up display is simple but effective. There isn’t augmented reality, but keeping an eye on speed and active safety is easier. And there’s a neat surround-view camera that even shows what’s directly under the car, stitching camera images together as the LX moves around. I have only two complaints. First, it’s frustrating that the connected features (navigation, internet radio, et al) are part of a subscription plan – I am so tired of paying $20 a month for 8 million different services. Secondly, there really needs to be a home button, which would make it easier to swap between smartphone mirroring and embedded infotainment functions.
- Engine: Twin-Turbocharged 3.5-Liter V6
- Output: 409 Horsepower / 479 Pound-Feet
- Transmission: 10-Speed Automatic
Lexus’ famously smooth V8 engines are an endangered species, but their replacement is a twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 409 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers are higher than the base Range Rover’s 3.0-liter inline-six, but they do lag behind the Cadillac Escalade’s 6.2-liter V8 and the Lincoln Navigator’s twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6. Still, the Lexus LX 600 has no trouble getting up and moving, accompanied by a lusty, surprisingly exotic song from the engine. And the 10-speed automatic transmission shuffles gears imperceptibly, sending power to all four wheels via a Torsen locking center differential.
That diff plays nicely with the LX’s standard full-time four-wheel drive with a selectable low range. Although I didn’t feel keen to risk desert pinstripes on a $130,000 car, my colleague Brandon Turkus came away impressed with the LX’s dirt-road talent on his first drive of the vehicle, even if those trails weren’t terribly rugged. The aforementioned air suspension can lift the LX up several inches from its standard 8.3-inch ride height – Lexus doesn’t specify how much, but it looks damn tall.
Also on hand is a bevy of off-road technology, including digital tilt gauges, wheelspin monitors, low-speed Crawl Control, Trail Turn Assist that brakes the inside rear wheel in tight corners, and Multi-Terrain Select with modes for loose rock, snow, and mud and sand. The system adjusts spring softness, throttle response, and stability control intervention as needed, allowing drivers to ease over big obstacles or keep the wheels thrashing through the loose stuff as appropriate. Of its primary competitors, only the Range Rover packs as much off-road tech.
Alas, the big Lex does demand some sacrifices for both its impressive comfort and legendary off-road status. In Comfort mode, the softly sprung suspension pogos over expansion joints like a much less modern SUV. Those motions get squelched in Sport and Sport Plus modes, but then the ride becomes firmer at the expense of occupant comfort. No amount of button-toggling can resolve the spongy, vague brake pedal – there’s enough stopping power for this 5,945-pound SUV, but the input doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Every single driver-assistance and safety feature in Lexus’ arsenal is standard on every LX 600. That means adaptive cruise control, lane departure prevention with active centering, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and active parking assistance. Even the panoramic camera system is standard. It all works very well in traffic, making the LX a wonderful road trip companion – just set it all up and enjoy the ride.
Make sure to keep your hands on the wheel, though. The 2022 Lexus LX 600 doesn’t offer the company’s Teammate hands-free driver assistance, at least not yet. Lexus has said that Teammate will come to more models in the future, though it wouldn't confirm if the LX was on that list. I'd be surprised, though, if the flagship SUV doesn't get a rival to Cadillac's Super Cruise and Lincoln's ActiveGlide before too long.
Although the base, five-seat Lexus LX 600 starts at a class-competitive $88,245 including destination, my loaded Ultra Luxury tester costs $127,940, with its only extra being a $595 coat of paint. In this vein, the LX presents a very unfortunate quandary. Its on-road composure and interior quality are inferior to that of the Cadillac Escalade Platinum, which costs $114,565 when equipped with four-wheel drive and hands-free Super Cruise. The new Range Rover can likewise be had for similar money with a long list of comfort and convenience features. Even hard loaded, a Lincoln Navigator Black Label is $111,630.
But none of those vehicles offers the cosseting, reclining rear-seat comfort as the LX 600 Ultra Luxury, and only the Range Rover can match the Lexus’ off-road reputation or technology. That makes the LX 600 a vehicle with very specific appeal – if you simply must have Learjet-level comfort for two rear passengers, damn everything else, the Ultra Luxury is the only option for less than 130 large. For everyone else shopping at this rarefied price point, there are probably better options.
Model Competitor Reviews:
2022 Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury