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Toyota Land Cruiser vs Lexus LX570 – Same DNA different appeal

For the last 60 years, the Toyota Land Cruiser has remained one of the few vehicles with uncompromised dependability and all-conquering all-terrain prowess. The Land Cruiser’s legendary go-anywhere ability has earned the enviable title of king of the African terrain. The Lexus LX 570 is based on the Land Cruiser’s mechanical architecture. One might quickly conclude that both models are similar in every detail apart from design.

In actual sense, both of these mighty executive SUVs are quite different. There is no doubt that Land Cruiser owners tend to use their 4WDs the way they were intended, as compared to the LX570 owners. Which is the one to go between the LX 570 and Land Cruiser? Read on to find out.

Styling

The Land Cruiser features a prominent front look. The grille comprises two parts, an upper half, and lower half. The ‘lower frame’ features an inverted L-shape, which extends into the headlight. The front grille and headlights form an integrated design, which symbolically links it to previous reincarnations of Land Cruiser models. The headlights feature Bi-LED technology, which provides superior illumination and visibility as well as low energy consumption.

In addition, an Auto High Beam feature is also incorporated which autonomously switches between low and high beam. The sharpened side profile creates a more solid appearance whilst the raised lines for the rear bumper sight lines form a flowing design. VX models adopt 18-inch alloy wheels as standard. Moving to the rear, one quickly notices the enlarged and extended lights. A full-length chrome garnish flows out from the clear lens elements and bridges the two sides of the vehicle, to form a unified design.

The LX 570 distinctly bold front design. A large trapezoidal front grille forms the main focal point, featuring solid horizontal bars and a prominent Lexus insignia in the centre. The sculpted headlamps utilise triple LED ‘cylinders’ which provide superb illumination and low energy consumption. Characteristic L-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRL) enhance on-road visibility whilst the Auto High Beam function assists the driver when driving at night. LED technology is also adopted for the turn, fog and cornering lamps, which give the LX 570 a high-tech feel. Bi-tone 20-inch alloy wheels compliment the stance of the LX 570. The rear design has also received a nip-and-tuck, with the rear tail lamps using a wider design and L-motif to project a powerful stance and create a multi-dimensional appearance.

If you do not like the current styling of the Lexus product portfolio, you probably will not like the super-sized, and somewhat confronting visage of the LX 570. In fact, the front end looks like it might eat your face if you piss it off. Handle the LX 570 gently, then. The Land Cruiser, on the other hand, is much more conservative and arguably, now at its most attractive stylistically, since the current generation model was first launched nearly a decade ago. The front end sculpting especially seems to find favour with everyone compared to the styling of the LX 570.

Under the bonnet

You might be wondering whether anyone really needs a 5.7-litre petrol-guzzling V8 4WD and the answer is, no, they don’t. However, this does not stop people buying them, though. The aforementioned V8 churns out 270 kW (362 hp) and 530Nm and sounds sinister as it bellows all the way up to redline. Lexus reckons the LX 570 can get 14.4L/100km on the combined cycle.

Get too enthusiastic with your right foot too often though and that figure will skyrocket. You will easily see numbers into the 20s if you get too enthusiastic with the right pedal. The turbo-diesel V8 underneath the Land Cruiser ’s bulging bonnet on the other hand offers up kW 200 kW (268 hp) and 650 Nm. It does not sound as pure as the naturally aspirated petrol V8, obviously, but there is a pleasing roar as the revs pile on. Toyota claims a fuel consumption rating of 9.5L/100km on the combined cycle.

On the road

The Land Cruiser flies under the radar in a way the LX 570 can never hope to emulate. Everywhere you go in the LX 570, other road users will be looking at it. They are either wondering whether they are about to be stampeded by an enormous black monster, or weighing up how ugly they think it is. The Land Cruiser just rolls round town like any other Toyotas. Do not buy an LX 570 if you hate attention.

The problem with the LX 570 is that the monstrous grunt generated by the V8 engine encourages you to blast around town in a manner that the suspension system, not to mention the body’s bulk, was never designed to harness. The LX 570 handles like a poorly loaded cargo ship at the limit, lurching and rolling between corners, shifting body weight with expansive flourishes and doing nothing that can be referred to as ‘handling’. The whole sideshow gets its own soundtrack too, wailing tyres.

The general ride compliance is beautiful, though, and despite the large wheel and tyre package, the LX 570 is rarely fussed by any road surface or imperfection, no matter how nasty. Messing around with the suspension settings does not really change matters either.

There is nothing dynamic about the LX 570. You will be laughing when you push the LX570 into some corners. Maybe because of the sheer terror, or mainly because the power level is so ridiculous in a 4WD that has absolutely no need for it.

The Land Cruiser, on the other hand, offers up the lazy and seemingly effortless torque we so love from diesel engines, and therefore encourages you to drive in a much more sedate manner. You are never pushed into a metaphorical corner that sees you punching out of it like a race car driver like you are with the LX 570.

As such, the relaxed gait means less body roll and less wallow, offset by the same ingrained ride comfort. The Land Cruiser is utterly unfazed, even on rough surfaces. It glides over any imperfection, and passengers in all three rows reported complete comfort at all times. The family 4WD buyer will appreciate the way the Land Cruiser just gets on with the task at hand, without ever displaying a ruffled feather.

Inside experience

It is here where the two vehicles diverge most from their shared platform. Where the Land Cruiser is utilitarian, the LX 570 has every luxury feature you can think of, and probably a few that you haven’t. Run through some of the LX 570’s standard feature highlights and you will need to take a deep breath: heated front seats, driver’s side memory function, electric steering column adjustment, front-mounted cool box, electric sliding second row seats, electric folding third row seats, power tailgate, Mark Levinson sound system and a 12.0-inch media screen.

Standard safety kit is also extensive with the LX, as you would expect. It has surround view cameras, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, forward collision warning, auto braking, rear cross traffic alert, radar cruise control, ten airbags, and lap sash seat belts across all eight seating positions. Where the LX 570 has a feeling of overt luxury, the Land Cruiser is a more work-friendly environment. It is still comfortable and well appointed, but it cannot match the Lexus’ feel for refinement, overall finish and luxury.

Verdict

What both these 4WDs do exceedingly well is offer up a comfortable, cocooned and quiet environment inside which you can tackle the daily commute. Both can be used to carry around five or more adults across long distances without ever making anyone in the cabin feel tired. If you plan to head off-road, you are obviously going to opt for the Land Cruiser, but around town, the LX 570 definitely comes into its own.

So, would the Land Cruiser buyer see benefit in considering an LX 570? Probably not, but the suggestion is not quite as mad as it seems. Buyers at this end of the spectrum have no issues spending large amounts of cash anyway. The LX 570 has so much standard equipment over the Land Cruiser, you can almost justify the luxury SUV’s towering price. Almost. Regardless, both of these 4WDs pack Toyota reliability, an extensive service network and the knowledge that they will keep plugging away for years to come.

Toyota Land Cruiser

Ratings

Value: 4

Presence: 2

Interior: 3

Styling: 3

Equipment: 2

Overall: 3

Lexus LX 570

Ratings

Value: 3

Presence: 3

Interior: 5

Styling: 3

Equipment: 4

Overall: 4

Quote: The Land Cruiser flies under the radar in a way the LX 570 can never hope to emulate. Everywhere you go in the LX 570, other road users will be looking at it.

Toyota Land Cruiser

What we like    

  • Proven reliability
  • Off-road capabilities
  • Spacious and luxurious interior

What we dislike

  • Thirsty engine
  • Expensive parts
  • Rivals are better equipped

 

Lexus LX 570

What we like    

  • Generous list of standard equipment
  • Upmarket interior
  • Comfortable ride

What we dislike

  • Design is too vulgar
  • Nor so good off-road
  • Thirsty engines