• Ultra Luxury name is accurate
    • Buttery smooth petrol engine
    • Huge suite of off-road tools
    • Very thirsty, even on the highway
    • Limited rear seat, boot space
    • Off-road ability impacts on-road performance

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    What sits above the “king off the road” in the Toyota royal family? That’d be the Lexus LX.

    The latest Lexus LX rides on the same TNGA-F chassis as the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series, but it’s more different than ever from its stronger selling, less luxurious sibling.

    For one, buyers can choose between petrol and diesel power in the Lexus. There are more screens inside, along with more leather than even the LandCruiser Sahara ZX – and there’s no getting around the fact there’s more grille, more chrome, and more presence about it from the outside.

    Sitting atop the range is the Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury. Gone is the rear bench, replaced with a pair of airline-style recliners, and our tester was finished in a stunning shade of green paint combined with pumpkin spice-coloured leather.

    This is an off-roader that’s every bit at home on the mean streets of Brighton as it is tackling the Birdsville track, then.

    It’s not necessarily where your money should go in the Lexus LX range, though.

    How does the Lexus LX compare?
    View a detailed breakdown of the Lexus LX against similarly sized vehicles.

    How much does the Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury cost?

    The Lexus LX range kicks off at $148,800 before on-road costs, making it around $10,000 more expensive than the range-topping Toyota LandCruiser Sahara ZX.

    The LX600 Ultra Luxury is a slightly different proposition though, with a starting price of $210,800 before on-roads. It’s a whopping $35,500 more expensive than the LX600 F Sport sitting below it in the range, although it’s not exactly fighting in a segment chock with rivals.

    You’ll pay $197,700 before on-roads for a new BMW X7 M60i, which packs twin-turbo V8 petrol power and seven seats, but lacks the Lexus’ focus on off-roading, while the Ultra Luxury sits between the range-topping 450 and AMG 63 variants of the Mercedes-Benz GLS.

    The Range Rover line-up kicks off just north of $220,000 before on-roads, and the least expensive Autobiography variant is nudging $300,000 before on-roads and options.

    What is the Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury like on the inside?

    Here’s hoping you like pumpkin. The “Sunflare” finish available on the Ultra Luxury is distinctive, but it’s not going to be for everyone.

    Colour aside, the front of the LX600 is seriously plush. The driving position is commanding, sitting you comfortably above people in dual-cab utes and family crossovers, and the seats themselves offer a perfect blend of pillowy softness and support for long journeys.

    Lexus does lovely leather across its range, but the trim in the LX600 Ultra Luxury is extra supple and waxy. The steering wheel is lovely, and essentially everything you touch – no matter how low down or hidden – feels expensive.

    There are some quirks, though. The fact there’s no wireless phone charger is disappointing, and the secondary screen on the dashboard (for climate and off-road modes) feels like it’s there just because, rather than actually improving the user experience.

    Sitting atop the dashboard is a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which represents a huge step forward from the touchpad-based setup in the last LX. It’s also much nicer than the blocky, basic system in the related LC300.

    With crisp graphics and a logical menu structure, it drags Lexus closer to the Germans than ever before.

    We also know the over-the-air updates work; when we collected the car Apple CarPlay was wired, and when we returned it an update had added wireless capability.

    The driver is faced with a digital instrument pod mimicking the dials from the LFA, albeit without the cool mechanical sliding ring that previously featured.

    It doesn’t move the game forward, given the lack of mapping or much in the way of personalisation, but it’ll instantly make previous owners feel right at home.

    Storage space is a mixed bag. There’s no perfectly happy slot for an oversized phone, but the cupholders are the right size, and the cool box beneath the central armrest is a LandCruiser and LX staple.

    The door pockets are massive, and the glovebox is big enough to hold a Nullabor’s worth of snacks.

    Rear seat comfort is the entire focus of the LX600 Ultra Luxury, but the second row isn’t the 100 per cent home run you might expect.

    There’s no shortage of buttons to press or functions to adjust, and for kids or short adults they’re excellent.

    The centre rear seat is gone, replaced by a console housing a touchscreen control unit, USB-C chargers, a wireless phone charger, and extra storage, and the headrests are home to 11.6-inch screens.

    You’ll need to BYO device and plug in using HDMI to actually make proper use of those rear screens, so make sure the kids pack their PS5. The days of the in-car DVD player are well and truly behind us.

    Honours for the best seat in the house go to the left-rear seat.

    Prod the touchscreen between the rear seats and the passenger seat folds, revealing an ottoman and enough legroom for even the average NBA player to get comfortable.

    The LX600 is at its best with one passenger sat in the left-rear seat. Legs stretched, massagers working your aching muscles, and seat heaters helping lull you to sleep, it’s a lovely place to spend time.

    Four-up, though, it’s not quite as impressive. We fit two shorter adults behind average-sized front occupants fine, but if your driver is tall there’s not exactly surplus legroom back there – and legroom is a key part of the appeal in cars for chauffeurs.

    It’s also worth noting the reclining Ultra Luxury seats eat into boot space.

    Rather than the 1109 litres in the regular LX, the four-seater will take 767L. The second row doesn’t fold, either, so loading long items will be a challenge.

    There’s still more than enough space for a few big travel bags or the weekly shop, but this isn’t as versatile as the wider range.

    If you’re a chauffeur, it’ll probably be more than fine. If you’re keen to load in kids and bikes, you’d be better served looking elsewhere.

    What’s under the bonnet?

    Unlike the diesel-only Toyota LandCruiser, the Lexus LX is offered with petrol power.

    Our LX600 tester featured a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6, making 305kW of power and 650Nm of torque. It’s mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and a full-time four-wheel drive system with a low-range transfer case.

    Off-road features include a Multi-Terrain Select system with drivetrain modes (including Auto, Dirt, Sand, Mud, Deep Snow and Rock), and active height control suspension with Normal, High 1 and High 2 settings.

    A Multi-Terrain Monitor uses four cameras to help you position the car if you’re off the beaten path. There’s also an automated Crawl Control feature for help during treacherous moments.

    Claimed fuel economy is 12.1 litres per 100km on the combined cycle. The LX600 has a 110L fuel tank, and drinks 95 RON premium unleaded.

    How does the Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury drive?

    Australians tend to prefer diesel power in their big off-roaders, but the petrol in the LX600 makes a strong case for itself – smooth, quiet, and impressively punchy, it feels like the perfect fit for the Ultra Luxury.

    Some small-displacement turbocharged engines have a moment of lag, before surging forward when the revs hit a certain mark and the boost kicks in. Peak torque comes on tap at just 2000rpm, but the way the boost builds and the throttle calibration mean it never feels disjointed or heavily turbocharged.

    The engine feels linear on constant throttle inputs, giving you back exactly what you ask for rather than lurching forward as the turbochargers kick in. That means it’s easier to manage in traffic, and a better companion when you need to precisely dole out the engine’s torque on tight off-road trails.

    The same is true of the new twin-turbo diesel V6 in the related Toyota LandCruiser 300 (and LX500d); clearly someone at Toyota head office knows what they’re doing.

    In normal driving you’ll barely notice the 10-speed automatic, which shuffles unobtrusively through the ratios on light throttle inputs.

    It can take a second to kick down one, two, three gears when you need a shot of performance at short notice, but there’s enough torque on tap that gently leaning on the throttle and letting the car stay in-gear is generally enough to get the big Lexus going.

    Despite its kerb weight of 2660kg, the 100km/h sprint takes just 7.0 seconds. Put your foot down hard and that feels entirely believable; the LX squats and hauls in the horizon much faster than really should be possible.

    It’s not a sports car though, Lexus has prioritised ride comfort above all else here. With the height-adjustable hydraulic suspension set to its default mode, the car just wafts over broken roads like they aren’t even there.

    Potholes, speed bumps, driveways… they just disappear beneath the Ultra Luxury’s massive wheels. It feels a bit too detached and floaty in Comfort mode, Sport firms things up slightly.

    At no point does the LX feel like anything other than a massive, heavy four-wheel drive, but the trade-off is a level of overall comfort that’s tough to match.

    The suspension is capable of raising two steps higher than the standard setting, or one lower for easier loading and access. It features auto-levelling, so putting a load in the rear won’t see you driving along with the nose pointing at the sky.

    Unlike the LandCruiser, the LX features a rack-assisted electric power steering system that allows for a proper lane-centring function on the highway. Rather than braking when you drift towards the white lines, it’s able to actively keep you between them by applying steering at highway speeds.

    Combined with the smooth radar cruise control, it makes the LX600 capable of taking an extra load off the driver on long highway hauls.

    Refinement is deeply impressive at 110km/h. Barely any outside noise sneaks into the cabin, the engine hums away barely above idle, and the ride is magic carpet smooth.

    Off-road, the LX600 will go places few luxury four-wheel drives short of a Range Rover or G-Wagen could dream of. With a proper low-range transfer case, height-adjustable suspension, and a range of electronic aids to keep the car moving in the right direction, it has all the tools.

    Like the LandCruiser, it waltzed through our tests – check out the video above to see it in action. Whether the average owner will take their $210,000 four-wheel drive into the wilderness is another question.

    What do you get?

    LX500d and LX600 highlights:

    • 20-inch alloy wheels
    • Tri-beam LED headlights
    • Adaptive high-beam
    • 7 seats
    • 12.3-inch central touchscreen
    • Satellite navigation
    • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
    • DAB+ radio
    • Wireless phone charging
    • 7.0-inch lower screen
    • 8.0-inch digital driver display
    • Head-up display
    • “Hey Lexus” natural speech recognition
    • 25-speaker Mark Levinson sound system
    • 4-zone climate control
    • Leather upholstery
    • 10-way power driver’s seat
    • 8-way power front passenger seat
    • Heated front seats
    • ‘Shimamoku’ wood trim
    • Surround-view cameras
    • Multi-terrain monitor
    • Lexus Connected Services
      • Stolen vehicle tracking
      • Automatic collision notification
      • SOS call functionality

    The Enhancement Pack ($5500) adds 22-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, and a hands-free tailgate with kick sensor.

    LX500d and LX600 Sports Luxury add:

    (Over base model with Enhancement Pack)

    • 22-inch forged alloy wheels
    • 5 seats
    • Ventilated front seats
    • Heated, ventilated second-row seats
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Centre console cooler box
    • Digital rear-view mirror
    • Soft-close doors
    • Fingerprint identification push-button start
    • Premium leather-accented seats
    • ‘Takanoha’ ornamentation – wood veneer
    • Dual 11.6-inch rear-seat entertainment system

    LX500d and LX600 F Sport gain:

    (Over base model with Enhancement Pack)

    • 22-inch forged alloy wheels
    • Darkened alloy wheels
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Ventilated front seats
    • Heated, ventilated second-row seats
    • Centre console cooler box
    • Digital rear-view mirror
    • Soft-close doors
    • Fingerprint ID push-button start
    • Blacked-out mesh grille
    • Hadori aluminium ornamentation
    • Aluminium pedals and scuff plates
    • Perforated F Sport seats with added bolstering
    • Exclusive Flare Red interior trim option
    • Torsen limited-slip differential rear
    • Adaptive Variable Suspension
    • Performance dampers

    LX600 Ultra Luxury adds:

    • Rear captain’s chairs
      • 48-degree reclining
      • Massage function
      • ‘Deluxe’ headrests
      • Passenger-side ottoman
      • Quilted upholstery in Black or Sunflare
    • Unique rear centre console
      • Touchscreen display for seat and air-conditioning controls
      • Wireless smartphone charger
      • Two USB-C ports
      • Additional storage space “for a luxurious chauffeur-driven experience”

    Is the Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury safe?

    The Lexus LX hasn’t yet been crash tested by ANCAP or Euro NCAP. The related LandCruiser earned a five-star rating earlier in 2021.

    Standard safety equipment includes:

    • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
      • Pedestrian detection (day/night)
      • Cyclist detection (day)
      • Intersection turn assist
    • Parking Support Brake incl. obstacle, vehicle detection
    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Lane Tracing Assist
    • Traffic sign recognition
    • Emergency steering assist

    How much does the Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury cost to run?

    The Lexus LX is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

    Owners also get access to the Lexus Encore Platinum ownership program.

    The LX600 comes with three years of capped-price servicing. Maintenance is required every six months or 10,000 kilometres, and each of the first six services cost $595.

    CarExpert’s Take on the Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury

    It’s easy to see the appeal of the Lexus LX in general, but the Ultra Luxury feels aimed at a very specific crowd.

    The rear seats are impressive but don’t have the same amount of legroom you get in a luxury people mover or limousine, and the fact it’s built on a ladder frame with a full gamut of off-road kit means it will always be inherently compromised on-road.

    If you want the biggest, best family truck Toyota and Lexus have to offer, the LX600 Ultra Luxury is the four-wheel drive for you. Likewise if you’re a chauffeur taking on a particularly rugged school run, there’s very little on earth that’ll do what the LX will.

    But if you want to best Lexus LX for hauling a family and their kit around, the LX600 F Sport is a better bet.

    Click the images for the full gallery

    MORE: Everything Lexus LX

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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    Overall Rating
    Cost of Ownership7.5
    Ride Comfort9
    Fit for Purpose8.5
    Handling Dynamics7
    Interior Practicality and Space7.5
    Fuel Efficiency7.5
    Value for Money7.5
    Technology Infotainment8.5

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