Review: 2023 Lexus LX 600

Words: Calvin Chan

Photography: Calvin Chan

Published: June 30, 2023


The more we drive the Lexus LX 600, the more we believe it to be a Japanese Mercedes G-Wagon, from its boxy stance and narrow cabin, to the stadium rear seats that are situated higher than the fronts. Not to mention, it carries the same kind of off-road capability, and both have insane wait lists as well. While the Toyota Land Cruiser (forbidden fruit here in Canada, for now we believe) may be a more equivalent comparison, we think the LX suits the AMG better with its luxury mojo.



Unchanged for 2023, the Lexus LX 600 sits on the same platform as the Toyota Tundra and it retains its conventional ladder frame for proper durability and off-roading chops. Unlike its competitors though, the LX’s dimensions haven’t changed or swollen at all, keeping the same wheelbase but crucially, it has shed weight with better distribution of it across the platform, which has also allowed for improved interior packaging.

We prefer this seven-slat front grill over the darker and bolder F Sport grill that we tested last year, as it creates more frontal road presence. The taillights and the full-width light bar are sourced from the redesigned NX SUV but it does little to mask its old bones. Overall, the LX 600 is still a chunky SUV with bulbous shoulders and a substantial rear end, and it lacks the sophisticated lines and smooth contours offered by the new Range Rover or Cadillac Escalade.


The powertrain has also been upgraded in the name of efficiency. The 5.7-litre V8 is replaced by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 producing 409 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. It’s the same one powering the Toyota Tundra and Lexus LS 500. That’s 26 hp and 76 lb-ft more than the V8, and it runs that output through a 10-speed automatic transmission via a four-wheel-drive system with adjustable low and high ranges.

There were a few instances on the highway where we had to hammer down the gas pedal for some overtaking maneuvers, and the V6 just seemed to feel a tad lethargic. It lacks the overall bandwidth of the V8 but once woken up, the rush of torque was more than enough to get this land yacht moving. It just never felt, shall we say, energetic. At low speeds it’s fine. The 10-speed works well in tandem with the V6 to keep itself in the meaty area of the powerband, while also reaching for top gear when it senses efficiency is the best route.


And it’s an incredibly quiet and refined engine at that, barely making any noise as it transitions between gears and chugs along behind the scenes unnoticed - exactly what you want. Furthermore, the cabin insulation is very effective, shutting out most of the discernible tire and wind noise. Lexus even made an effort to make all the cabin touchpoints as silent as possible - windows roll down in a soft gentle manner, and even the signal stalks emit a calming ASMR-like click.

The LX begins to feel more truck-like the moment you turn the wheel. There is a new electric power steering system that replaces the outgoing hydraulic setup, so it’s much lighter to rotate, takes less effort, and is more user-friendly for those who don’t have forearms the size of Hercules. But the LX is just not as well-heeled and versed in negotiating pockmarked roads as the nimbler X7 or GLS. It heaves and pitches with gusto when braking or accelerating hard, but the F Sport model we tested corners quite well and allows you to put the power down early thanks to the limited-slip differential. Be that as it may, the LX 600 persistently shudders over smooth tarmac - the cons of the body on frame structure, but that shouldn’t be an excuse when the Escalade and Navigator seem to quell those undulations much more effectively.

We simply expected a softer, cushier, and more absorbent ride. Instead, the LX rides busy, even with its adaptive suspension, translating all those nooks and crannies on the road into vertical oscillations that you can feel through your seat. It’s not taxing per se, but it is not even as well-sorted as some pick-up trucks like the RAM 1500 that utilize an air suspension. That might have been acceptable in the humbler Land Cruiser, but not so much in a six-figure Lexus.


The LX cabin has been thoroughly revamped, falling in line with the design cues brought forth by the NX SUV. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make use of the same kind of exquisite details we know that Lexus is capable of, shown in the LS and LC, at least in the F Sport model we are driving. A missed opportunity if you ask us, to add in those details as standard fare, better leather detailing and stitching, and just an overall sense of pizzazz to wow customers away from other brands. That’s what the extra $44,250 will be for with the VIP package, but part of us thinks it should have been standard all along to give the Lexus a blip on the radar for those seriously considering the more expensive German and British SUVs instead.


The LX is not nearly as spacious as its exterior dimensions may suggest. The cabin is narrow and not as generous as some unibody SUVs that have better interior packaging. The LX cabin wraps around you, from the high center console to the slanted and angled door panels. It’s cozier than it is cramped and it makes you feel like you’re in a Japanese ryokan with supple leather on most surfaces and bare wood on others.



The third row of seats is manageable for six-foot adults but still admittedly cramped for lengthier journies. The third row can fold flat for a decent amount of cargo space, but there is oddly only one sunroof for the front cabin and none for the rear, which unfortunately contributes to the somewhat cramped atmosphere.



The dual touchscreens are an interesting addition, and we enjoy Lexus’ under-reliance on digital real estate. There’s a real button for nearly every high-function feature, and a multitude of shortcuts on the steering wheel as well. The screen is a bit far away from the seats, meaning you have to get off your seat to reach it. We would have much preferred just one single large screen like in the NX. Luckily, all the dials work well here, feel upscale and expensive, and are well-matched to the premium-quality surfaces textured in leather and high-gloss plastics. Lexus has even kept a few analog auxiliary gauges in the instrument cluster, all of which flank the center digital screen.


The center console is an excellent and ergonomically sound design, with a dedicated wireless charging pad centred in the middle, an incredibly convenient location where we always throw our phones when hopping inside. The LX offers excellent outward visibility too with an upright seating position, a deeply scooped front hood and low cowl, and 360-degree camera views all around.


The Lexus LX 600 continues its journey in the luxury three-row SUV segment as an attractive but not class-leading example. There are standout features like its quiet V6 powertrain, generous amenities, and wonderful cabin ergonomics, but it’s ultimately overshadowed by its flinty ride, narrow cabin, and lack of flagship SUV pizzazz. The LX 600 retains its age-old charm and off-roading credentials but we just wished Lexus didn’t rest on its laurels and instead, took a bigger gamble with the LX to truly elevate it to flagship SUV status.


Photo Gallery:







Model: 2023 Lexus LX 600

Paint Type: Nori Green Pearl
Base Price: $108,900

Price as Tested: $129,500
Wheelbase(mm): 2,865
Length/Width/Height (mm): 5,085 / 1,990 / 1,885

Curb weight (kg): 2,660
Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6
Horsepower: 409 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Torque: 479 lb-ft @ 2,2000 rpm
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, 4WD
Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 15.5

Tires: Dunlop Grandtrek; 22-inch





search for cars:






    BMW iX


    Toyota Sequoia


    Range Rover