Lexus LX450d a blend of opulent luxury, excellent quality, all road ability and formidable presence
What is it?
The first ever diesel Lexus sold in Australia, the full-sized diesel V8 powered Lexus LX450d.
What’s it cost?
The Lexus LX450d is offered in only one trim level that is priced from $134,500 plus on road costs. Standard equipment includes air suspension, a low range gearbox, a six-speed automatic, adaptive cruise, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert heads up display, LED headlights and sumptuous leather seating, with seat heaters for the front two seats.
Interestingly, though, the LX450d only has five seats, as opposed to the eight in its petrol powered LX570 brother. The LX450d only has one fuel tank too, where the LX570 has two. Still, given that the diesel is more efficient than the petrol V8, the range should be about the same.
What’s it go like?
Surprisingly well. That 4.7 litre twin turbo diesel V8 produces a very healthy 200kW @ 3600rpm and 650Nm @ 1600-2800rpm. In Comfort Mode the engine moves the LX450d along with unruffled ease, whilst delivering impressive refinement and an aurally satisfying V8 burble. The six-speed automatic is generally smooth and fuss free under normal driving situations.
Flick the control into Sport or Sport+ mode (yes, it has a Sport+ mode) and boot the throttle and the LX450d responds with the energetic enthusiasm. That burble turns to an angry snarl, the gear ratios are held for longer and the LX450d feels properly brisk. Lexus says it’ll do the 0-100km/h in 8.6 seconds, not bad for a full-sized SUV that weighs 2740kg.
Official average fuel is quoted as 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres. But we averaged around 14.5 litres, although we did record as low as 12 litres during long freeway stints.
But, of course, this is not a performance SUV. The ride is plush and that air suspension works to iron out any imperfections on the road but there’s noticeable body roll when cornering. Steering feel is also wooly, but that’s necessary to some extent to help tackle obstacles off road.
Similarly, the adjustable air suspension, low range gearbox and limited slip diff along with that powerful engine and camera system help the LX450d deal with just about any terrain.
What’s it like inside?
Classy, luxurious, well-made and spacious. It’s evident that Lexus has gone to great lengths to make the LX interior feel special. And, in our opinion at least, they, succeeded. The seats are large, soft and supportive, and perfect for those long trips, perhaps with a caravan in tow. There’s almost infinite electric adjustment, and the front seats are heated.
As you’d expect for a car of this size, front head, leg and shoulder room are more than ample.
The centre stack has rows of clearly backlit buttons and the infotainment screen is largely and easily legible on the move. Unfortunately, like most Lexus models, there isn’t touchscreen compatibility, and occupants have to rely on shortcut and mouse-style buttons along with voice control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren’t available, even as an option.
The nine speaker stereo is excellent, delivering sensational power, quality and a full surround sound experience. The sound system isn’t a Mark Levinson arrangement, though, and Mr Levinson’s handy work cannot be ordered as an option.
As you’d expect from Lexus, all materials are of the highest quality. Everything is lovely to the sight and touch and everything is ever so premium and everything exudes luxury.
The second row of seats are just as comfortable as the front, and three adult passengers will fit across easily.
If you need to get something into the rear cargo area, the top portion of the tailgate opens electrically but the second half must be opened manually though. The cargo area is not as commodious as you might think, however, the absence of seats hanging on the sides as per the LX570, makes for more storage.
Oddly, though, there are still roof mounted vents which would’ve been intended for third row passengers. Perhaps they can be used the keep the dog more comfortable in the LX450d.
In sum, the LX450d interior is high quality, welcoming and spacious. But above all, it feels rich and special.
What we like:
- Diesel V8 performance
- Go anywhere ability
- Lovely interior
- Excellent comfort
What we don’t:
- The LX450d isn’t a cheap car, and its value is questionable. There isn’t a sunroof, cooled seats or premium stereo all of which are fitted on cheaper yet similar rivals.
- Lack of third row seating detracts from the LX450d’s practicality, and may deter customers that want diesel performance and efficiency but also want to ferry around friends and/or extended relatives
- Can still be thirsty
- You need to unlock all doors before you’re able to remotely open the tailgate.
The Lexus LX450d is powerful, capable and it feels special. The lack of third row seats and slightly odd equipment levels detract, but a great car overall.