- Doors and Seats
5 doors, 4 seats
3.5TT, 6 cyl.
- Engine Power
Petrol (95) 12.1L/100KM
10 Spd Auto
5 Yr, Unltd KMs
- Ancap Safety
Sheer opulence on the inside, with limo-like reclining seats, but go-anywhere capability underfoot thanks to the off-road-ready mechanicals of the 2022 Lexus LX600.
- 3.4-litre twin-turbo V6 and 10-speed auto
- Sealed or unsealed roads, doesn’t really matter
- Arguably as comfortable as a Rolls-Royce in the back
- Six-month service intervals are costly and annoying
- 22-inch wheels let down the ride quality
- You’ll need a driver to enjoy the back, and they’re not cheap
If you want to tackle gnarly terrain in ultimate luxury, this is it.
The 2022 Lexus LX600 is essentially a 300 Series Toyota LandCruiser with more of everything. More luxury, more equipment, and even more in the suspension stakes too.
This Lexus has height-adjustable shocks unlike other similar vehicles that share its genes. That’s not all, however, as what makes our particular Lexus LX600 even more special is that it’s in foreign dignitary or VVIP ‘Ultra Luxury’ spec.
That means this 2.6-tonne land barge can only ferry four adults – albeit in sheer opulence and luxury.
Before we explore the 2022 Lexus LX600 in detail, it’s worth looking at the range first. It comes in four trims: LX600, LX600 F Sport, LX600 Sports Luxury, and our four-seat version, the Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury.
All four are powered by Toyota’s new and hearty twin-turbo petrol V6 with 305kW/650Nm. The entry-level 2022 Lexus LX600 starts from $135,812 before on-roads, or around $165,000 drive-away.
Next are the 2022 Lexus LX600 F Sport and Sports Luxury models, each with their own unique flavour. The former starts from $153,500 before on-roads, and the latter from $148,888 before on-roads.
The F-Sport model adds unique sports-themed exterior styling, rear limited-slip differential and performance chassis tune, whereas the Sports Luxury brings fanciness like power-folding and heated second row of seating, cool box, soft-close doors, and dual rear-seat infotainment package.
The fourth and final model in the range is our four-seat special, the 2022 Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury. Massage rear seats, “relaxation mode” with fold-out ottoman and “shower air conditioning” that rains cold air directly over your head and body are just the beginning.
It’s priced from $210,800 before on-roads, or about $225,000 on the road.
Let’s see if it’s worth the coin.
Before you ask, yes, you can option black leather.
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Our test car’s oompa-loompa-themed Sunflare quilted interior is bright and orange and not for everyone. That’s not all that felt alien, as the start button looks clearly inverted and equally as strange to look at and poke.
It’s made that way because it has an in-built fingerprint scanner than cross-references who is holding the key against who owns the key, and then decides whether to start the car. It’s a clever piece of tech that can help deter luxury car thieves.
Once you’ve settled in, the car knows who you are and you’ve donned some sunnies to fight the bright orange interior, you can begin to be overwhelmed by the array of switchgear.
In the classic Lexus way, there are switches and knobs for every function. Littered with acronyms like DAC CRAWL and MTS, there’s no questioning the amount of tough and rugged LandCruiser 300 underpinning the luxury inside.
There’s even a low-range transfer case according to the switchgear. Aside from the subjectivity of the interior colour and design, it’s a well-built and finished cabin.
Alongside acres of leather and heavily grained vinyl – complete with faux-stitching elements – there’s genuine timber trim to soften the mood and uplift perceived quality.
The front seats are epically comfortable, too, with soft and squishy headrests that welcome your mind. The driver’s seat is 14-way adjustable with really good lumbar adjustment, and the passenger’s side 12-way. Both are heated and ventilated too.
More importantly, the driver’s pew raises high enough to give a shorter driver all the vantage points they need to wield the big Lexus around the big smoke. Next to a pair of large cupholders and cleverly integrated wireless charging pad is a chilled armrest – perfect for your kid’s sandwich.
Moving into the second row introduces sheer opulence. If you’re lucky enough to be sitting in the left-rear passenger seat, you’ve hit the jackpot. It’s the only seat where you can tap away on the fixed digital screen to fold the front passenger seat up against the dash and have it reveal an ottoman for your dirty shoes.
Lexus claims “by adjusting the position of the ottoman so that the toes rest on the seatback and the calves rest on the ottoman, the legs are comfortably supported even during off-road driving”. Hilarious considering you also have one whole metre of legroom too. In full relaxation mode, it’s genuinely more comfortable than a 2022 Rolls-Royce Ghost extended wheelbase.
It may not feel as high-end and built from finely turned and milled aluminium like the Rolls, but it does get to the same outcome differently. Both rear seats feature unique foam and special quilted leather to softly cushion your derrière – but both will go as far as to caress it too.
The massaging function has six programs, with three targeting the entire body (full-body refresh, full-body stretch and full-body simple) and four specific elements of your tired frame (upper body, lower body, shoulder or lower back).
It also has five levels of intensity. I found that level five (max) was enough for me to feel violated, whereas our resident massage guru claimed it wasn’t pokey enough for her liking.
Regardless, it’s one of the most comfortable and luxurious second rows of seating you can buy for your money. Directly in front of you are a pair of 11.6-inch displays fed by HDMI inputs, but without full stand-alone functionality.
So unless you want to bring a device along to plug in, they’re pretty much useless. Buried within the centre console in the second row are four USB-C ports, old-school headphone jacks for the infotainment system, another 12-volt power outlet, and a storage box big enough for a blanket.
I managed to squash a child seat in between the large monitors and the seat in the back, but it’s obvious this car was designed for adults. In the boot, luxury comes at a cost. It isn’t as big as you’d think, with half the area cordoned off to allow for the second row of seats to get their 48-degree recline on.
Instead of the massive 1109L of storage you get with a regular five-seat Lexus LX600, you only get 767L with the four-seat Sports Luxury model. It’s still big enough for three to four large suitcases, plenty large enough for your fortnightly grocery shop, and will certainly fit everything your kids throw at it.
However, the second row doesn’t fold, so forget about the idea of throwing your carbon road bike in the back. It’ll have to go on the roof.
|2022 Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury|
Infotainment and Connectivity
Infotainment is handled by a pair of screens: a 12.3-inch main display for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and all that jazz, plus a secondary 7.0-inch display exclusively for climate control and terrain management systems.
Although it looks busy, you soon figure out the lower screen is just a modern take on the usually button-heavy standard climate-control system. The actual infotainment system uses the latest Lexus software and I’m glad to report it doesn’t look out of date already.
The brand has a bad history with high-end infotainment systems – once installing a touchpad and cursor in its cars that it expected people to use while driving – and it also persisted with blocky 2000s-era graphics right until now.
The new software scheme in the 2022 Lexus LX600 is fresh, up-to-date, and dare I say minimalist in its approach. It’s fluid to navigate around, feels smartphone-esque, and easily in line with similar-priced European cars finally.
All vehicles in the range are fitted with the unbelievable 25-speaker Mark Levinson stereo. It’s incredibly colourful, rendering the cymbal-splashing drum solo from Porcupine Tree’s Trains brilliantly across the whole cabin.
Legendary drummer Gavin Richard Harrison pulls off some almighty drum rolls in that track, and his physical journey of bashing a high-set splash cymbal, whacking a floor tom, then finishing low on the double-kick pedal is so faithfully represented inside the cabin. Having 25 speakers really does enable an epic and large sound stage.
The Lexus LX600 has not been subjected to crash testing in Australia.
It still costs $225,000, however, so rest assured it has plenty of advanced driver assist systems (ADAS). The brand’s ‘Safety system+’ is fitted as standard with pre-collision braking featuring pedestrian and daytime cyclist, lane-tracing assist, road sign recognition and adaptive cruise control.
Our specific 2022 Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury features 12 airbags, too, over the 10-airbag system in five- and seven-seat versions.
If you find yourself off-road, Lexus’s downhill descent control with crawling mode, adaptive traction system and low-range transfer case will make light work of most terrains.
As mentioned earlier, a smart new invention by Toyota is to integrate a fingerprint scanner in the start button. If you bother to register your fingerprint in the system, it means only you can start the car.
It means crooks can’t simply take your keys and start your car. You can expect more brands to use this technology in the future given the rise in luxury car theft.
|2022 Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury|
In terms of competitors, the British offer your most likely alternative. The full-size 2023 Land Rover Range Rover D300 SE starts from $220,200 before on-roads, meaning it’s far more expensive by the time you configure it to your tastes. It’s set to arrive in Australian showrooms soon, with order books already open.
Another choice is the 2022 BMW X7 M50i. Priced from $189,900 before on-roads, it’s more comparable to the Lexus, and also comes with a larger 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 if that’s your thing.
Neither will be as capable off-road, however.
|At a glance||2022 Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury|
|Warranty||Five years / unlimited km|
|Service intervals||6 months or 10,000km|
|Servicing costs||$2970 (3 years)|
Maintaining a 2022 Lexus LX600 is a costly affair due to its six-month service intervals.
It means you’re going back to the dealer twice a year or every 10,000km – whichever comes first – and paying $495 a pop. Only the first three years or first six services are capped at this price, meaning three years of ownership totals a whopping $2970. It’s an expensive car to maintain.
Our average fuel consumption came to rest at 12.8L/100km over a week-long loan, which is not far off the official combined claim of 12.1L/100km.
|Fuel Useage||Fuel Stats|
|Fuel cons. (claimed)||12.1L/100km|
|Fuel cons. (on test)||12.8L/100km|
|Fuel type||95-octane premium unleaded|
|Fuel tank size||110L|
Although it seemingly takes Toyota 20 years to create, develop and manufacture an all-new driveline – it bloody gets it right.
Even upon start-up, it’s clear Lexus’s new “dynamic force” 3.4-litre twin-turbo V6 (which Lexus markets as a 3.5-litre despite 3445cc capacity) is smoother than any of the brand’s outgoing V6 engines.
With 305kW and a stout 650Nm offered in full between 2000–3600rpm, it’s a joy to float around town. There’s no shortage of performance to take small gaps, motivate it to reach 110km/h down an on-ramp, or generally be a terror when late for your next meeting.
Effortless is a good way to describe how it manifests its power. The in-house Toyota 10-speed torque converter automatic is an equally good partner, as its smart spread of gear ratios enables the best of both worlds.
A set of lower, more tightly knit gears help it feel gutsy, and ninth and tenth enable low engine speeds at high travelling speeds. If you had to guess how many gears it had after a test drive, you’d have no clue, as the shift between each of the 10 gears is wonderfully imperceptible.
Driving duties included commutes to metro Sydney in peak-hour traffic, a visit to the Southern Highlands of New South Wales some two- hours from Sydney, and a few late-night trips to Woolworths once the kids were in bed.
Considering the mixed use with short trips, it’s a good result. The ride is pretty much as plush as you’re thinking, with layers upon layers of sound-deadening material stripping away exterior interference as a start.
Compared to the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series, the ride is more cushy overall. You do feel those massive 22-inch wheels when you strike those rarer, larger-than-average potholes, but that’s the price you pay for the sheer size, weight and vanity of the things.
Aside from that, it’s brilliantly comfortable, and a real treat to soak up the miles in. Unlike the Toyota LandCruiser, the Lexus LX range uses height-adjustable shock absorbers with a trick hydraulic oil system.
It can lift or drop the car, as well as adjust the spring rate in favour of keeping the car upright. It’s a smart set-up that instills the Lexus with the edge over Toyota’s 300 Series in terms of ride comfort and roadhandling.
Out of the big smoke and on the pretty roads surrounding the historic Berrima region, the 2022 Lexus LX600 remained pleasant. The quicker and tighter sections of road made it feel big and wallowy, even after dialling in some stiffness via Sport mode.
Just take it easy and try not throw it around, as after all it’s a body-on-frame off-road-skewed vehicle. The knobbly sections of road and unsealed terrain are where it really shines, however, as sometimes you’d visually notice an upcoming terrain change, but go on to not feel it physically.
It’s a strange sensation to you to brace for nothing, but the most modern high-end luxury cars have uncanny levels of bump absorption. I also took the time to spend an hour in the back seat, too, tasking my wife with a short stint between servos on the return trip to Sydney.
Although this is a driving section, it’s worth chatting about what the Lexus LX600 is like from the back and on the move.
The short answer is bliss, with your seat folded all the way back, feet up on the ottoman, and massage profile dialled to ‘whole body, level 5’.
|Key details||2022 Lexus LX600 Ultra Luxury|
|Engine||3.4-litre V6 twin-turbo petrol|
|Power||305kW @ 5200rpm|
|Torque||650Nm @ 2000–3600rpm|
|Drive type||Four-wheel drive|
|Transmission||10-speed torque converter automatic|
|Power to weight ratio||115kW/t|
|Tow rating||3500kg braked, 750kg unbraked|
Although we tested the four-seat Ultra Luxury, the Lexus LX600 range is truly quite remarkable.
It’s still the product that goes where most can’t – as in thankfully the LandCruiser has not been distilled out of it – but it does so with far more luxury and panache.
And if the marriage of those two things isn’t significant enough, the introduction of a sweet, relatively efficient twin-turbo V6 should make it so. The powertrain gives the 300 Series LandCruiser chassis a different feel, and I wonder if Toyota will offer something similar in the LandCruiser in due time.
Either way, it’s high-brow stuff, and well worth considering if you’re a well-to-do Pitt Street hobby farmer with a penchant for owning only the finest agricultural equipment and machinery.
2022 Lexus LX LX600 Ultra Luxury Wagon
Interior Comfort & Packaging
Infotainment & Connectivity
After more than a decade working in the product planning and marketing departments of brands like Kia, Subaru and Peugeot, Justin Narayan returned to being a motoring writer – the very first job he held in the industry.