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Lexus has finally entered India and at the top of its three-vehicle lineup sits the LX 450d. The LX 450d is a big brute of an old-school SUV that doesn't give a damn about what Greenpeace thinks.
Introduced in 1996, the LX at first was just a tarted up Toyota Land Cruiser. Over the years, the luxury levels have gone through the roof. Yet, underneath the fancy suit, the LX retains the off-road capabilities of Toyota's most capable rock crawler.
The fancy bodywork outside may deter buyers from taking it off-road. But, most owners will use the LX to make powerplays on the road. So is the LX 450d the ultimate luxury SUV for those who make the rules here in India?
The Lexus LX 450d draws attention wherever it goes thanks to its massive road presence. At over 5 metres long and almost 2-metres wide, the Lexus dwarfs almost every personal transport vehicle on Indian roads today. It's no wonder that traffic moves out of its way.
Dominating the front end of the LX is the Lexus corporate spindle grille. Flanking the massive chrome lined grille are sharp LED headlights with L-shaped DRLs. Below the lights, on either side of the huge front bumper are the angular fog lamps which add to the aggressive nature of the LX's front end.
At the sides, the flared out wheel arches play host to chunky 5-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels. The wheels are shod with Yokohama 285/60 R18 tyres and hide the 457mm(front) and 432mm (rear) disc brakes.
At the rear, the LX 450d sports L-shaped chrome lined LED tail lamps. A chrome strip runs above the rear registration plate illuminated by the lights flanking it on either side. The rear tailgate splits into two allowing for easier access to the 700-litre boot.
The interior of the Lexus LX is mix of leather, alternating layers of dark and light wood veneer, and tech. The front seats offer the driver and front passenger a commanding view of the road ahead and are very comfortable.
The rear seats don't offer much leg room especially for a vehicle this size. However, the recline function and the 11.6-inch displays ensurepassengers forget about that in a hurry.
The large infotainment display uses a joystick-like controller. The infotainment system comes paired to a 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system that will blow the socks off any music aficionado.
The dashboard and the steering wheel look busy. Awash with buttons, they look out of place in a world of touchscreens and voice controls.
The LX450d sports a sunroof, an analogue clock nestled in the centre console and a heads up display.
The LX 450d comes packed with a host of safety features including 10 airbags, traction control, stability control, ABS, and brake assist. Also present are is a 4-Camera 360-degree Multi-Terrain Monitor and parking assist.
Powering the largest Lexus in India is a 4.5-litre turbocharged V8 diesel engine that produces 261bhp and 650Nm of torque. Power goes to all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel-drive.
There are four driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport S and Sport S+. Each mode makes a noticeable difference to the steering, throttle and suspension response compared to the previous one.
Prod on the throttle and the engine takes a few moments to wake up before it starts rushing through the rev band. The LX450d despite its near 2.9-tonne kerbweight sprints to 100km/h from standstill in 8.6 seconds and continuous onward till it tops out at 210km/h.
Get the LX 450d onto the highway, and the big SUV eats up the miles with consummate ease.The body-on-frame chassis of the LX 450d along with the adaptive variable suspension ensures that the massive SUV irons out rough roads with ease. However, pull the LX into a turn, and the body roll is there to be felt, Sport mode, however, does quite well to minimise the effects.
Built like a tank, packed with tech and capable of traversing great distances while keeping those inside in the lap of luxury, the LX 450d is a luxury SUV you just cannot ignore.
But, its Rs 2.32 crore price tag may prove to be an issue, considering the Land Cruiser it is based on costs almost a crore less. However, if you're looking for an SUV that imposes its will on the road while keeping those inside safe and at peace, the Lexus LX 450d could just be the perfect SUV for you.