Lexus LX 3rd Generation 2008-2021 (J200) Review

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Lexus LX 3rd Gen

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3rd Generation Lexus LX 570: What Owners Say

  • The Lexus LX J200 is essentially a Toyota Land Cruiser in a fancier suit. That means it's both supremely comfortable and reliable.
  • It comes with a lot of features as standard.
  • The Lexus LX 3rd Gen depreciated rapidly, making it a good used buy.
  • It's an extremely competent off-roader.
  • The Lexus LX 3rd Generation is known for using lots of fuel.
  • The third row and trunk are not as spacious.
  • It feels heavy and handles ponderously.

Lexus LX 3rd-Generation Facelift

The Lexus LX third generation was on sale long enough to receive two big Lexus design DNA changes. The first was in 2013, the second in 2016. With each facelift, Lexus made some minor tweaks to help the LX look as fresh as the rest of the range.

2013-2015 LX 3rd Gen Facelift Front Changes

You'll find that 2013 to 2015 models wear the first iteration of the Luxus spindle grille, with the lower grille now incorporated into the upper grille in the now-familiar hourglass shape, although with a horizontal body-color bumper bar still bisecting it 1. The lower air dam is more pronounced 2 and the more aggressive fog-light slots are more recessed 3. The headlights retain their outline, but the lenses are redesigned and they gain a strip of LED daytime running lights in the bottom edge 4. One can see the turn signal repeater lights in the new side mirrors 5.

2016-2021 LX 3rd Gen Facelift Front Changes

The 2016 facelift is a lot more far-reaching and the LX finally adopted the proper spindle grille reaching from the hood right down to the lower bumper, with seven prominent grille slats, the one underlining the Lexus logo being thicker 1. The entire front bumper is brand new 2, with boomerang-shaped fog-light slots 3 and new headlights with L-shaped daytime running lights and LED lenses 4.

2013-2015 LX 3rd Gen Facelift Rear Changes

The 2013 car loses its all-red LED rear light clusters with the small amber turn signals in the lower outer edges in favor of new units with restyled LED strips in them and the entire lower part containing the backup lights and turn signals being clear 1. These also have thicker chrome finisher strips below them 2. The bumper is restyled 3 and the rear fog lights set into it are now horizontally arranged and longer vertically 4.

2016-2021 LX 3rd Gen Facelift Rear Changes

The 2016 facelift brings with it an entirely different rear end with thinner L-shaped taillights mounted higher 1, a pronounced crease in the sheet metal above the number plate to break up the flat expanse of the old car 2, and a thicker chrome brow sitting above the number-plate holder 3. The rear fog lights are reshaped and mounted lower 4 in the new rear bumper 5.

2013-2015 LX 3rd Gen Facelift Side Changes

The 2013 facelift's side profile shows off new wheels 1, side mirrors containing turn signals 2, and contrasting strips in the protective door moldings 3. The more pointy front bumper can be spotted 4, as well as the redesigned taillights 5 and rear bumper 6.

2016-2021 LX 3rd Gen Facelift Side Changes

The 2016 facelift again comes with new wheels 1 and the rest of the side profile is substantially altered as well. The protruding spindle grille can clearly be seen 2, as well as the thinner headlights 3 and narrow side-marker strip light 4. The changes to the taillights are also immediately obvious 5. Most noticeable, however, is the D-pillar treatment, with the glasshouse now terminating in a new pointed chrome arrow that bears more than a passing resemblance to BMW's 'Hoffmeister Kink', thinning out the previously heavy-handed styling of the D-pillar substantially and adding a dash of flair 6. The protective door moldings disappear entirely from the 2016 facelift's doors 7. The thinner chrome door handles round off the side changes 8. The body is 2.4 inches longer, but it's hardly noticeable.

2013-2015 LX 3rd Gen Facelift Interior Changes

Models from 2008 to 2015 have the same interior layout, with Lexus adding new features as they became available. The 2013 facelift is only subtly changed, retaining the contrasting gray center stack with the color-matched center vents jutting out from the top of it like wings. However, the passenger's vent is now also framed in gray plastic and linked to the center stack with a thin gray strip running between the dash top and the wood veneer underneath it 1. Minor changes are made to the updated audio system with a new bank of gray buttons between the two main knobs controlling it 2. In terms of the gauge cluster, the two main dials lose their blue rings and the gray center section containing white auxiliary gauges and the driver-information display is redesigned, moving the fuel and temperature gauges further apart to allow for a bigger display and with two gray vertical bars on either side of the display 3.

2013-2015 LX 3rd Gen Facelift Interior Changes

For the 2016 facelift, Lexus introduced an all-new interior layout with a large infotainment screen 1 now atop the new dash 2 and above the restyled vents 3, a larger digital display in the instrument cluster with the auxiliary gauges on either side and no longer haphazardly strewn about the space between the dials, making space for a far larger info display between the main gauges 4. There is also a beautiful new analog clock between the center vents 5. The woodgrain panel now runs the width of the dash between the vents and the dash-top infotainment screen and it's now underlined with a satin-silver trim strip 6. The center stack is restyled and its layout revised and the center console is substantially changed too, with the gear shifter taking up far less space and moving right over to the driver's side of the console, making space for the infotainment controller next to it 7.

The 2016 LX 570's interior also has a more modern three-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters replacing the staid old four-spoke item and more striking interior color options 8. The door panels are all-new with the door pulls swooping up and over the release handles and a far larger section of wood applique that runs almost the entire length of the top of the door. There is more legroom for third-row passengers.

Engine, Transmission, and Drivetrain

As the name suggests, there is only one powertrain option. The LX 570 is equipped with the same 3UR-FE 5.7-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine as the Land Cruiser 200. It's basically a truck engine, which is both good and bad. The good bit is that it's super reliable. It also produces 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to get this hulk of an SUV to 60 mph in roughly 7.5 seconds with the six-speed transmission (7.3 seconds with the eight-speeder). When off-roading in low range, the LX can conquer most obstacles at idle. In the dunes, the relatively high-revving V8 is unstoppable. Thanks to the big engine, it can tow up to 8,500 lbs. On the downside, the engine is on the older side and not as refined as the best in class. Luckily, the cabin is well insulated so you never really notice. You do notice at the pumps, however. It can also develop a few issues, notably oil leaks, excessive oil consumption due to a stuck PCV valve, and somewhat premature water-pump failure

As standard, the LX 570 has permanent 4WD with low range and various electronic off-road features that help with the off-roading process. An adaptive air suspension is standard, offering loads of ground clearance. 2008 to 2015 models are equipped with a six-speed automatic gearbox, while post-facelift models get an eight-speed automatic transmission. The eight-speed improved the fuel consumption, but not by much. Thanks to the wider spread of ratios, the LX 570 with the eight-speed 'box feels more spirited in the city and on the freeway. The standard LX 570 tire size is 20 inches, which offers the best blend between comfort and style.

5.7-liter V8
383 hp | 403 lb-ft
Horsepower
383 hp
Torque
403 lb-ft
Transmission
Six-/eight-speed automatic

The 5.7-liter V8 is an old-school muscle-car engine. Lexus only started phasing it out at the tail end of 2021, replacing it with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6. It may be a truck engine, but it's extremely well-suited to large luxury motoring. The peak torque is delivered at 3,600 rpm, which means it never feels strained or unresponsive. Peak power is delivered at 5,600 rpm but you can take it to 6,000 rpm easily. You'll also appreciate the low-down torque when off-roading, as the throttle requires the slightest of touches to keep the car going forward. Features like crawl control make it even easier. 2008-2015 models are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, while 2016 models get two extra ratios to work with. Do you notice the difference? Not really. The eight-speed models accelerate a bit harder, but since the LX is essentially a sensory deprivation tank on wheels, the gearbox fades into the background and does its thing quietly and effortlessly. For what this car will be used for, either gearbox is perfectly fine.

3rd Gen Lexus LX 570 Real MPG

The LX 570 is a 6,600-lbs SUV powered by a naturally aspirated 5.7-liter V8 engine. You buy this SUV knowing full well that it's going to deplete the 25-gallon fuel tank capacity within 370 miles. As an expensive, high-end SUV, the LX sold in relatively low numbers and the EPA has not received a sufficient number of owner-reported MPG figures to publish real-world figures for this vehicle.

EPA MPGReal-World MPG *
5.7 V8 4WD Six-Speed12/17/14N/A
5.7 V8 4WD Eight-Speed12/16/14N/A

* Real-world mpg and MPGe figures are provided by the EPA. Once a car has been on sale for a significant period of time, the EPA gets real-world figures directly from the customer base. These figures are then provided on the EPA website. Real-world figures are not available for certain models due to a lack of sales, or not enough people partaking in this after-sales survey.

Safety

The standard safety systems depend on the model year. Original 2008 models are equipped with the basic active and passive safety systems - traction and stability control, ABS brakes, active front headrests, a backup camera, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and a full suite of ten airbags, including front knee airbags and rear side airbags. A basic pre-collision warning system was optional on all models until the 2016 facelift. 2010 models have the Lexus Safety Connect telematics features that come with the Lexus Enform system, including an emergency assist button, automatic collision notification, and a stolen-vehicle locator. In the aftermath of Toyota's unintended acceleration scandal, the 2011 LX gains Smart Stop Technology (SST) that overrides the accelerator if the brake is pressed at the same time.

From 2016 onwards, all LX models come with a pre-collision safety system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, trailer-sway control, intelligent headlights with automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a surround-view parking-camera system, and lane-departure warning. Owners also praise the powerful brakes for a car this size. You wouldn't want to do a bunch of emergency braking maneuvers back-to-back, but that's rarely the case anyway. It's nice to know this big block of metal can slow down as rapidly as it accelerates.

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

The LX 570 is one of those cars that's too expensive to crash, so it has never been rated by the NHTSA. For what it's worth, the brakes and the safety systems do a good job and the LX never feels unsafe. In fact, it feels like it would crash right through whatever gets in the way. If the NHTSA were to test one of these things, it would likely crash right through the concrete block, and through the testing center wall. It'll probably keep on going until it hits the ocean.

2008-2021 Lexus Trims

There is only one trim level, but more recent model years come in two-row and three-row configurations. The rest of the package is exactly the same.

LX 570
2008-2021
Engine
5.7-liter V8
Transmission
Six-/eight-speed automatic
Drivetrain
Permanent 4WD

Lexus is known for including a lot of luxury as standard, and the LX 570 is a perfect example of the Japanese brand's all-included ethos. 2008 models come as standard with 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive automatic xenon headlights, a powered glass sunroof, roof rails, heated and power-folding side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, front fog lights, adaptive suspension with variable ride height, leather upholstery, real wood trim, four-zone automatic climate control, heated and electrically adjustable front seats (10-way for the driver, with a memory function, and 8-way for the passenger), a power-sliding 60/40-split second row, a power-folding 50/50-split third row, an electrically tilting/telescoping steering column, a nine-speaker audio system with a six-disc CD changer, an onboard 30-GB hard drive with voice-activated navigation with real-time traffic, and a seven-inch color display. The magnificent 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system was an optional extra from the start, and it's well worth looking for a model that has it. A rear-seat entertainment system with a nine-inch screen, ventilated seats, and front- and side-view parking cameras were also on the options list and a used car might be so equipped. Other niceties include a sunroof, keyless entry with a push-button start, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, a backup camera, and a power liftgate.

2010 models come with the Lexus Enform telematics system with Lexus Safety Connect features, updated navigation with better voice control, Bluetooth audio streaming, and a USB/iPod interface. Post-2013 models have turn signals in the side mirrors, a touchscreen interface, a digital gauge cluster, a household-style 120-volt power outlet, an easy-entry system that moves the steering wheel out of the way and slides the driver's seat back when the vehicle is turned off, and HD radio. The rear-seat entertainment option gets two separate screens. The 2015 LX's infotainment system gains Siri Eyes Free (for iPhone 4S and up) and an updated Lexus Enform app suite, while power front-seat adjustment is expanded to 14-way for the driver and 12-way for the passenger seat.

Facelifted 2016 models have all of the advanced safety features contained in the Lexus Safety System+ suite mentioned earlier, plus a new interior with a larger 12.3-inch infotainment screen and an eight-speed automatic transmission replacing the old six-speeder. This screen can display a 360-degree camera system, basic smartphone integration, and HD radio. Thanks to a 2.4-inch longer and 0.4-inch wider body, there is slightly more interior space, most notably for the rear-seat passengers, who gain 1.6 inches of legroom. The 2016 facelift also means LED headlights and a SmartAccess slim card key.

The 2018 LX is also offered in a two-row version and whereas Enform Safety Connect previously came with a one-year trial, a standard ten-year subscription is included in 2018 models. The 2019 LX's mirror-mounted puddle lights project the Lexus logo onto the ground. An optional Sport package can be added to the 2020 LX (three-row model only), adding 21-inch wheels and a sporty interior and exterior appearance package. The 500-unit limited-edition 2021 LX Inspiration Series (three-row model only) is a swansong to the stalwart luxury off-roader and adds to the outside blacked-out trim and 21-inch alloys, smoked head- and taillights, a choice of white or black paint. Inside, it has black leather with red accents and a black headliner.

First Generation Lexus LX 570 SUV Features (2021)

LX 570
Back-Up CameraS
Bluetooth ConnectionS
Leather SeatsS
Keyless EntryS
Keyless StartS
HD RadioS
Alloy WheelsS
SunroofS

Interior, Trim, And Practicality

Lexus

The LX 570 is a hulk of a car and 2016+ models are slightly bigger, available in two and three-row configurations. Even with the additional space, the third row feels cramped. It's easy to access, thanks to power-folding seats. We wouldn't bother with the third row unless you know you'll need it more often than not. With all three rows in place, the Lexus offers roughly 16 cubic feet of cargo capacity. That's not bad, but you'll still have to live with the moaning and groaning coming from the third row. With the second row folded flat, the cargo capacity increases to roughly 45 cubes, which is more than enough for a family of five. On those odd occasions when you need to transport something big, you can fold the second and third row down to create 83 cubes of cargo capacity. All models have leather upholstery and wood trim on the seats and the dashboard. 2016 to 2021 models have the nicest interiors. As part of the facelift, Lexus included wilder leather color options and a beautiful analog clock. In short, you'll be getting a quality interior no matter what model you go for. While the interior might feel dated, you can't fault the quality.

TrimLX 570
Premium LeatherS

3rd Generation Lexus LX Maintenance and Cost

Lexus doesn't have the same footprint as Toyota, but you won't struggle to find someone to look after the LX. It's also surprisingly affordable to maintain, considering it's an expensive luxury SUV. One more upside to having a truck engine. A basic oil change will cost roughly $150, while an annual service will cost between $380 to $650 depending on what needs to be done. At 120,000 miles the LX requires a full service to replace the coolant, spark plugs, serpentine belts, and brake fluid. For this service, you need to budget around $1,600. Keep in mind that a replacement battery is very expensive at an MSRP of over $1,700, although you might find a discounted one for less than $1,300.

2008-2021 Lexus LX 570 Basic Service

Engine Oil Change Including Filter

2008-2010 and engines with blue dipstick: 7L (7.4 quarts)

2011-2020 and engines with green dipstick: 7.5L (7.9 quarts)

2021: 8.5L (9 quarts)

Recommended oil viscosity: 0W-20 synthetic

How often to change: 7,500 miles

Average Price: $92-$102

Sparkplugs

5.7 V8

Part code: 9091901191

Average Price: $92 for eight

Air filter:

All models

Part number: 1780138030

Average Price: $30

Battery:

All models

Part number: 2880066021

Replacement: Every 3 to 5 years

Average Price: $1,700

Lexus LX 570 3rd Gen Tires

The standard LX 570 wheel was a 20-incher, but 21-inch alloys were optionally available on the normal LX 570 and standard with the Sport package and on the limited-edition Inspiration Series.

LX 570
Tire Size:
285/50R20
All-terrain or mud & snow:
$1,052-$1,108 per set
LX 570 Sport and Inspiration Series
Tire Size:
275/50R21
All-season:
$1,264-$1,634 per set

Check Before You Buy

Technical Service Bulletins according to the NHTSA. Check service book for the following:

The 2008-2021 Lexus LX 570 recalls list is quite short. The most notable Lexus LX 570 recall you need to be aware of is the airbag recall. Lexus also recalled the LX for ill-fitting carpets, which would trap the throttle, leading to unwanted acceleration. 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019 models were recalled for a faulty fuel pump. This recall affected almost every Toyota and Lexus model, or roughly 1.8 million cars. It's worth noting that the 2020 and 2021 models were never recalled.

2008-2021 Lexus LX Common Problems

Thanks to the old-school naturally aspirated engine, conventional torque-converter automatic transmission, proven technology, and excellent build quality, there are very few LX570 complaints; compared to many rivals, it is a paragon of reliability and durability. Even the issues listed below are not serious and plague many other brands.

Engine Problems

The Toyota-sourced 3UR-FE 5.7-liter naturally aspirated V8 is widely regarded as one of the most robust and reliable engines made. There are a few common flaws that do pop up from time to time, though less so in a car like the LX570. Toyota continued to update the engine since it was first introduced in 2007, so Toyota all but eradicated these few problems in later models. The first common flaw with this engine is cam tower oil leaks. Instead of a gasket, Toyota used an RTV-type sealant between the cylinder heads and the valve covers. The sealant eventually wears down. They can last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles before the oil starts to leak through the broken seal, dropping down on the exhaust manifold. The 3UR-FE is not known to consume oil, so if there is an oil consumption problem, it is usually due to a stuck positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve, which can be replaced quite cheaply.

Mileage: Between 50,000 to 100,000 miles

Cost: Around $1,500 repair cam-tower oil leaks. A PCV valve costs around $10 and the labor adds about $100.

How to spot: Leaking cam towers will result in an engine wet with oil below them and you might notice a burnt-oil smell and puffs of smoke coming from underneath the hood where oil drips on hot engine parts. A stuck PCV valve will cause excessive crankcase pressure that may cause an audible hiss when the oil cap is removed, or may even push out the dipstick. The resultant excessive oil consumption will often show in a low oil level, fouled spark plugs causing misfiring and rough running, and sometimes visible exhaust smoke.

Water Pump Failure

Like any other engine, the water pump is a wear and tear item. The water pump in the Lexus has a weeping hole to let coolant out once the pump starts to fail, so you'll usually spot the leak first. Sometimes, water pumps last 150,000 miles, but they can start to play up as soon as 60,000 miles. Thankfully, they rarely fail catastrophically, so if you keep an eye out for leaks, you can catch the problem early. On a used example, check for leaks, low coolant levels, and overheating.

Mileage: Between 60,000 to 150,000 miles

Cost: The water pump costs between $70 and $150 but budget for $250 to more than $500 for labor at a shop.

How to spot: If the water pump is on the way out, the engine coolant level will be low. You'll likely spot a coolant leak under the hood, or under the car. The car will be prone to overheating, though a warning light should illuminate to alert you of the low coolant level.

Less Common Problems

We usually list all of the 2008-2021 Lexus LX 570 problems before we get to this section, but the LX 570 doesn't appear to have any. The 2017 model appears to be the most problematic model year, receiving a total of three serious complaints. There are no known common problems. There were reported transmission, air suspension, steering, electrical, and liftgate problems, but no more than once per year. And the complaints weren't about parts failing, but rather subjective grievances about the lazy steering and unresponsive suspension. A few owners complained about the complicated infotainment system and the lack of third-row space, as well as the limited cargo capacity with all three rows in use.

Which One To Avoid

There is only one trim available, and no notable flaws with the car. We'd avoid the three-row model unless you really do need the extra seats for small kids. There are no particularly troublesome years to look out for and the LX570 remained resolutely reliable for all of its 14 model years.

Which One To Buy

The right Lexus LX to buy depends entirely on your budget, but whatever model year you go for, you'll be getting a decent SUV. The third-generation Lexus LX is equipped with all the luxury goodies as standard, and the build quality is sublime. The engine is robust, albeit on the thirsty side. The best way to buy one is according to budget. Buy the latest possible model within your budget. The LX 570 may be missing a few modern amenities, but the comfortable and effortless driving experience more than makes up for it. If you're not planning on taking it off-road and you want something interesting in unique, look for one with the Sport package or see if you can find one of the 500 Inspiration Edition cars.

3rd Gen Lexus LX 570 Verdict

The 2008-2021 Lexus LX 570 is easy to recommend, even though the interior and engine may be a generation behind. It offers a trouble-free motoring experience, which is perhaps the ultimate luxury. It's a refined vehicle that has a lot going for it. Thanks to depreciation, you can get a lot of LX 570 for $40,000. Because it's essentially a fancy Land Cruiser, don't be afraid of high-mileage examples. These things were built to last.

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