Besides the tall seating position, other interior high points include the nicely appointed leather seating surfaces and various leather trimmings with contrast stitching that fit together impeccably. We especially like the 20-inch wheels with their five split spokes and Liquid Graphite finish; they look far richer than the rather unimaginative 10-spoke pattern used previously. Emergency communication system available comes with a one-year trial subscription and pre-collision system with adaptive cruise control optional. A Luxury Package also adds on semi-aniline leather upholstery; a heated steering wheel; heated and ventilated front seats; heated second-row seats; and Smart Access keyless entry with pushbutton start. Crawl Control also helps in low-speed maneuvers over boulder-strewn paths or scree-strewn hillsides. The instrument panel is upright yet finely detailed, softly contoured, and accented with matte-metallics, and the lavish cabin is trimmed with high-end perforated leather and impressive veneers.
Adaptive front lighting illuminates corners as it turns with the steering angle, and rain-sensing wipers are also standard, along with Entune's Safety Connect with automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle locator and an emergency assist button. That is why our Lexus Service Center in Edmonton, Alberta offers a wide selection of luxury car services. We towed a 7,000-pound trailer and found the engine and transmission had no trouble hauling the load up hills. The net effect is more power at low speeds. Out back is a clamshell-style hatch with a bottom section that folds down like a pickup truck's tailgate and a top half that opens like a regular liftgate. The Bad The navigation system is starting to show its age; setting a destination by voice requires too many prompts and pauses.
African bubinga wood trim, heated and ventilated seats, and custom wheels are also available. We switched to Sport when facing a mountain road with a lot of side-to-side transitions. At 2000 rpm, our test unit indicated a speed of 72 mph. It's yet one more of the jarring incongruities of a vehicle that feels out of touch in the Lexus brand. The split rear tailgate features a power upper door, while the bottom section raises and lowers with minimal effort.
The front camera comes in handy for seeing around corners when nosing out of a blind alley or driveway into traffic, and the side camera has a neat trick. Voice command is rudimentary and prompt-heavy, requiring pauses for street name, street number, city, and so on. This style has been exiting the mainstream for a while, and I'm not convinced it should be around any longer considering the extra reach it takes to place items in the cargo area. Broad mirrors, pronounced wheel arches and a wide stance combine to suggest a muscular character. A horizontal bumper bar is present, but recesses slightly into the spindle-shaped opening, so the grille and not the bumper is by far the front end's dominant visual device. Two-dimensional maps in North and Heading orientations are the only choices.
It was the first Lexus to offer a wide-view front and side monitor system for hard-to-see areas. A center differential distributes torque on demand between the front and rear wheels and is lockable for challenging weather or off-road conditions. Large mirrors, front and rear obstacle sensors, and those front and rearview cameras help offset the loss. Stitching on the seats is conspicuously uniform and stands up to focused inspection. For some customers, that type of comfort— and the assurance that includes being bordered by everything mass— just may excuse the inadequacies. The grille unifies the look of all Lexus models, as the others have adopted it. The optional Luxury Package brings a 19-speaker Mark Levinsom premium stereo, a cooled down beverage box, semi-aniline leather-trimmed upholstery with brand-new contrast stitching, a heated steering wheel, mahogany wood-trimmed door switch plates, a rear-center armrest cover, heated and aerated front seats, heated second-row seats outboard position only , a distance key and a dual-screen rear-seat enjoyment device.
But for those occasions when bulky cargo is the order of the day, the rear seats fold out of the way to create 83. This is what I'd consider an audiophile-level car audio system with 19 speakers and excellent power and clarity. There's nowhere to put anything on the center console: no place for a cell phone, keys, sunglasses case, or wallet. This is a system that gets the job done and probably won't be too disappointing for the buyer, but is definitely lagging behind the tech in Lexus' competitors. Cubby storage for the driver comes up short, a disappointing shortcoming for a large vehicle. It's possible to lock the center differential in high or low range, or leave it open in either range.
When the going gets really bad, locking the center differential and using low range would supply maximum balance. Ride quality is top-notch considering the traditional body-on-frame chassis. A center differential distributes torque on demand between the front and rear wheels and is lockable for challenging weather or off-road conditions. Multi-terrain Select allows drivers to choose from five types of terrain settings. The optional Mark Levinson Reference series audio system sounds fantastic. During turns, it overlays trajectory lines similar to those that you'll see on a rear camera that illustrate the path of the inside rear wheel.
Getting that power to the ground is a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a 40:60 torque split between the front and rear wheels; the rear bias helps agility during normal driving. While the touch display is immediately more intuitive, it's also apparent that the Enform system wasn't really designed with this control scheme in mind. Last redesigned for the 2008 model year, it's getting long in the tooth and has been bypassed by some newer designs. A switch on the dash selects Sport, Normal, or Comfort suspension damping. It attempts to keep the items in the box cool with air from the air conditioning system, and it didn't work very well on my five-hour road trip.
If that happens, the system tightens up the seatbelts, increases brake sensitivity and applies maximum braking force. While the second rows fold and flip fully forward to expand cargo space, the third-row seats flip up and rotate to the side—allowing, more easily, a flat, continuous load floor for longer cargo items. Even with the moonroof, headroom exceeds 38 inches for the first two rows. Besides the tall seating position, other interior high points include the nicely appointed leather seating surfaces and various leather trimmings with contrast stitching that fit together impeccably. It's an engine that's also found in the Land Cruiser and in the Toyota Tundra, and in this 6,000-pound vehicle, it's a decent performer, though never far removed from its heft. A pre-collision stopping system is offered as a choice. The standard navigation system features attractive maps, but basic functionality.
Last year, it earned the brand's new corporate 'spindle' grille, giving it a little more consistency with the rest of the lineup. It's otherwise a great road-tripper, though, with a comfortable ride, a great seating position and sofa-like front seats. The power-folding third-row seat is hard to get to, and it's quite cramped. Furthermore, while cargo area is decent — it gauges 41 cubic feet behind the second row seats and 83 cubes with the 2nd and third rows folded — some smaller sized versions could match or better it. From the driver's seat, we found the hood to be tall visually, making it hard to keep track of the right front corner. Auto screen automatically reverts to a default display after sitting idle, rather than staying on the radio or media display. It holds back the vehicle, making sure the speed is appropriate to the steepness of the terrain.