Flagship SUV of the premium Lexus brand, the LX 450d is based on the Toyota Land Cruiser LC200. Plusher and luxurious than the LC200, the LX 450d is priced at a good Rs 2.32 crore, ex-showroom Delhi. The third Lexus product offering in India after the ES 300H sedan and the RX 450h SUV, the LX 450d is powered by a V8 diesel engine. The 4.5-litre V8 twin-turbo diesel engine produces 265PS and 650Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. If one would compare the LX 450d with the Range Rover, the V8 engine of the Range Rover does 340hp and 740Nm of torque.
Measuring over five metre in length and two meter in width, the LX 450h looks intimidating. The high bonnet, large wheels and the unique spindle grille add to its looks. Adding character to the design are the LED head lamps with daytime running lamps, and integrated LED fog and cornering lamps.
Compared to the Toyota LC200, the interior of the SUV looks premium. There’s high-quality leather with wood trim inserts. Flaunting a crisp look is the instrument panel. The analogue clock at the centre of the dashboard looks classy. The quality of parts is impressive. Close inspection however reveals that some parts could look more premium.
There is a plethora of switches and knobs that surround the gear console. The knobs are for off-road controls and takes some time to get acquainted with them. Certain switches like that of the park assist are placed behind the steering, and are out of sight. Equipped with a manual sunshade for the sunroof, the seats in the front are wide, comfy and ventilated.
Rear seat lacks comfort
The high seating position provides a good view and the large rear view mirrors help to park. There is a four-camera system that offers a 360-degree view. However, the absence of a touchscreen infotainment system is unusual. Instead there’s a joy pad and some switches that help to toggle through the options.
The sound quality of the 19-speaker Mark Levinson system is good. The wide rear seat accommodates three people. It however seems to lack in comfort. Positioned low, rear seat passengers tend to sit with their knees up. Under-thigh support feels limited and the leg room is not the most generous. If the armrest feels like it is placed low for comfort, two 11.6-inch screens area made available for rear seat occupants. There’s also the four-zone climate control and ventilated seats. Ample glass area makes it airy at the rear. The split boot makes it practical to access a cavernous storage bay. The full-size spare wheel is located underneath the rear flooring, and is an alloy.
The engine gets vocal
The 3-tonne weight of the SUV has an effect on the performance. There’s a momentary lag as the accelerator is pressed. If this seems to provide an impression that part throttle inputs get the transmission to occasionally take longer than expected to think of which cog to engage, the LX 450h builds speed predictably and fairly linearly. Good insulation results in a cabin that does not let much engine noise or considerable diesel rumble to filter in. An amount of noise finds its way however as the engine rpm rises.
Riding over uneven surfaces, an amount of roughness is felt. However, what helps is the adaptive variable suspension mechanism with five drive modes — Normal, Eco, Comfort, Sport S and Sport S+. Throttle response also changes.
If the large dimensions and an old school body bolted to the chassis feel does not provide the liberty to term the SUV to be sporty, body roll is evident when negotiating corners at good speeds. Push the vehicle, and it may feel top heavy too. Brake to shed speed in a hurry, and nose dive is evident. The weight of the SUV is not to be missed, especially when travelling over winding roads. On a straight stretch, the LX 450d feels rock steady.
A cruiser in the real sense as it munches miles, the LX 450d also possesses the ability to go off the road. If the vehicle feels like a tank, it costs a good Rs 99 lakh more than the Toyota LC200. What the Lexus LX 450d assures most is peace of mind in a luxury package.
Pros: Stylish, luxurious, tough built