Since last year's contest, a lot has changed with regard to the SUV market. Most manufacturers are going for the smaller, more fuel-efficient, and in some cases car based vehicles, the 2009 Lexus LX 570 is none of those, and it's damn proud of it.
This Lexus is an amazing luxury/utility vehicle, capable of a dash to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, while the quarter mile disappears in under 15 seconds at over 90 mph, and all this by a behemoth that weighs over 6000 pounds. Oh, did we mention the Lexus can also off-road with the best of them? Hill climbs, rock crawling, sand washes-nothing slows this machine down. Such off-road ability is due to features like Crawl Control, a three-speed downhill assist that also works going uphill, and Active Height Control, which adjusts the vehicle to three inches above or just over two inches below its normal ride height.
Since this is still a Lexus, the interior lives up to what the rest of the vehicle delivers. Senior editor Ron Kiino says, "The Lexus LX 570 has an ultra-luxurious interior: The wood, leather, and plastics are all elegant and first rate; the fit and finish is impeccable." One issue many judges have had is with the third-row seats, which are too tight, definitely a penalty box for the three folks stuck back there. Also, the seats don't fold flat; they fold up and hang in the air. Our tester developed a nasty rattle with the third row up, and this storage style compromises cargo room as well.
Do you think the 2009 Lexus LX 570 has what it takes to take home the title of 2009 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year? Find out who the winner is at midnight eastern time on Oct. 16.