2023 Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury - yes it's big, but darn I liked it.


What can I say about the LX 600? It is big - 200" long. It is heavy - almost 3 tons. It isn't very frugal by today's standards - 22-mpg highway, and 17-mpg city. The test version had seating for only four (other versions seat up to seven). And finally it belies its truck roots.

And yet I liked it. 

I am not a fan of the nose of most Lexus vehicles. I prefer understatement and that front-end is anything but understated. I found the running boards too narrow. And no matter how luxurious the interior is it couldn't mask the shudder that shook the LX 600 when I drove over level crossings.

And yet I liked it.

As befits a luxury vehicle the Nori Green Pearl paint was flawless, show car quality. But the real magic is inside. My first clue that the LX 600 Ultra Luxury was not intended for someone in my income range (beside the price) was the seating for only four. This is not your family car; it is an executive vehicle. 

The seats, ah the seats. Soft, comfortable semi-aniline leather (Semi-aniline leather does not show the natural markings as clearly, and the leather is slightly stiffer and cooler to the touch). Look at those seats! Those are private club seats. If they weren't in a motor vehicle I'd imagine some distinguished gentlemen sipping a glass of great single-malt scotch.

The controls for the front seats are what you find on most power adjusted front seats - easy peasy. But the rears, well I was flummoxed at first. I didn't see any adjustment switches. So I got out the owner's manual and flipped through the many pages on how to adjust the different types of rear, or middle, seats. There it was, turn on the center computer screen and find the seat controls! 

Each rear seat has its own screen on the back of the front seat. At first these screens confused me; normally they are to keep the kiddies amused but this is executive transportation. Are the execs reviewing reports digitally?

The instrument cluster and center screen were fairly straight forward. Yes there were touch controls but I had no problem with them.

For such a heavy vehicle the LX 600 did not feel like some lumbering beast. While I would not call it agile it felt responsive. The 409 hp, 3.5-liter, turbocharged engine can get the LX 600 from 0-60 mph in just over six seconds. The brakes (13.9" rotors front, 13.2" rear) are up to the task to slow the LX 600. 

Power goes out to all four corners (when selected) through a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The LX 600 is a body-on-frame design. Maybe this is one reason for the shudder felt over certain road conditions. That shudder was the only disappointment I had in the ride of the LX 600. It would be okay in a more plebian SUV but in an executive transportation vehicle I thought it was out of place. 

I don't know how many execs tow things, I've never seen a horse trailer following one of those big, black SUVs important people ride around in, but if you are so inclined you can tow up to 8,000 lbs. 

Now let's get to the part that excludes many of us - price. The 2023 LX 600 Ultra Luxury costs $132,250. You can get a LX 600 for under $100,00, but just barely. 

I can't afford one, I couldn't afford to operate one, yet I still liked it. Go figure. There must be a smidgen of elitism in me. 


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