2005 Lexus LX 470 Reviews and Ratings

Utility 4D 4WD

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2005 Lexus LX 470
Mitch McCullough

The Lexus LX 470 combines outstanding off-road capability with first-class accommodations and a smooth ride. Its 4.7-liter V8 is smooth and powerful, and comes mated to a five-speed automatic for responsive performance. The LX 470 is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds.

The interior is elegant and well equipped and can seat up to eight passengers. Lexus offers the best quality, durability and reliability in the business, with retailers dedicated to customer satisfaction.

It comes standard with high-tech features, including a video display that can help the driver spot objects behind the vehicle when backing up, such as a tricycle. Bluetooth╞ allows hands-free operation of your cell phone without having to pull it out of your jacket pocket or purse. Model Lineup
The Lexus LX 470 ($64,775) is available as one fully loaded model. It's equipped with the 4.7-liter V8, five-speed automatic, a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a locking center differential and four-wheel traction control. It also comes with an adaptive suspension with variable-rate damping and adjustable height control and big P275/60HR18 mud-and-snow tires on 18-inch alloy wheels. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and vehicle stability control help drivers maintain control.

LX 470 comes standard with a sumptuous leather interior and a boggling list of luxury and convenience features. Just a few of the many standard features: automatic climate control front and rear and power seats, windows, door locks, windows and moonroof. Also standard is a DVD-based navigation system and a premium AM/FM/cassette stereo system with a six-disc DVD/CD auto changer, seven speakers, automatic sound leveling and a separate rear-seat audio system.

Standard safety equipment is impressive: frontal, seat mounted side and side curtain airbags, front seat belts with pretensioners and force limiters, and a first aid kit. The side curtain airbags are designed to help provide protection for the

four outboard passengers in the front and second-row seats in certain types

of severe side impacts or in case of a severe tilt degree. Windshield wipers adjust for rain automatically and the windshield is coated with water repellant.

Options include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system that plays movies on a 6.5-inch overhead screen; put it in Park and watch a movie on the navigation screen. A Mark Levinson audio system ($1,280) is optional, and XM Satellite Radio is available as a dealer-installed option on 2005 models. Night View ($2,200) is available, which uses near-infrared technology to help illuminate people, deer and other objects at night up to 500 feet away and display them on a section of the windshield in front of the driver. There's also a roof rack with cross bars ($220) and a rear spoiler ($280). Walkaround
The LX 470 looks big, but it's actually shorter than the Lexus LS 430 sedan and is also designed fit into a typical two-car garage.

The LX 470 presents a more upscale appearance than the Toyota Land Cruiser, its distant cousin. Body cladding, integrated running boards, a chrome Lexus grille, and elegant use of paint contribute to this impression. It still looks good, though some of the newest luxury SUVs look more contemporary. Interior
Lexus makes beautiful interiors and the LX 470 lives up to that reputation. Three rows of seating are provided here. The LX 470 has capacity for eight people and seats six luxuriously. Large door openings make getting in and out easy.

The front seats are supremely comfortable. There's a good view of the road ahead while large outside mirrors provide good rearward visibility. Attractive bird's-eye maple trim adds an upscale look to the rich leather-trim upholstery. The steering wheel and shift knob are handsomely finished in a combination of wood and leather-trim.

Every imaginable luxury feature is provided. Big rear quarter windows swing out at the touch of a pair of dash-mounted buttons. Side mirrors retract electrically for parking in tight quarters. Auxiliary power outlets are provided in the dash, center console and rear cargo area. A trip computer, digital clock, and compass are provided. A hydrocarbon sensor automatically switches the air to the Recirculate mode when high levels of air pollution are detected, while an activated charcoal micron filter removes dust, pollen, and odors from the interior air stream, a benefit for hay fever sufferers. Automatic climate controls are integrated into the navigation system. Steering wheel audio controls make it easy to adjust volume and change pre-set radio stations.

The rearmost jump seats are among the best designs we've seen of their type. They are comfortable and relatively easy to access. They can be folded aside when not in use, but they are big and take up cargo space. Removing them provides an additional 15 cubic feet of cargo capacity for a maximum of 90.4 cubic feet, less than the Cadillac Escalade (104) but significantly more than the Range Rover (62). With the rear jump folded to the sides and the second-row seats set up to carry passengers, the LX 470 offers 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space, much better than the Range Rover (19).

Other interior features include a sophisticated security feature for the remote keyless entry system, child safety seat anchors for the second row seat, a digital compass integrated into the auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear cupholders and cargo net hooks.

The optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system plays movies over a 6.5-inch wide-format overhead screen that deploys from the headliner ahead of the second row. The DVD player is mounted in the cargo area (in the right rear quarter panel) and the system includes two sets of wireless headphones and a remote control.

The navigation system screen can be used to watch DVD movies, but only when the transmission is in Park to eliminate any temptation to watch and drive at the same time. The audio portion of the movie can be played over the system while moving, though. The navigation system can be operated with voice commands. Driving Impressions
Out on the open highway, the Lexus LX 470 is smooth and quiet. At high speeds, there is some wind noise coming from the vicinity of the large mirrors, but with a vehicle this immense, these mirrors are something we would not want to do without.

The Lexus 32-valve 4.7-liter V8 is smooth, quiet, and powerful. It produces strong low-rpm torque, giving it responsive low-speed performance and plenty of power for towing up to 5,000 lbs or scaling steep terrain. The engine features double overhead cams (four camshafts) and four valves per cylinder (32v). While it produces only 235 horsepower, it generates a solid 320 pound-feet of torque at 3400 rpm. Torque, that force that propels you up steep hills and launches you away from intersections, is more important for heavy vehicles than horsepower. Lexus says the LX 470 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds and can cover the standing quarter-mile in 17.5 seconds. That's not quick by anyone's standards, but it's enough for safe highway merging if you put down the throttle. The LX 470 meets California's Low Emissions Vehicle standard but gets just a 13/17 mpg City/Highway rating by the EPA. It runs fine on Regular 87 octane gas, but Lexus recommends 91 octane.

The five-speed automatic transmission makes good use of the engine's torque.

The suspension provides a comfortable ride on winding back roads and bumpy highways, yet is capable of climbing any mountain, fording any stream. The rack-and-pinion steering provides sharp response. The steering system was upgraded for 2003 for improved maneuverability at low speeds and better steering feel at high speeds. It's easy to turn the steering wheel in crowded parking lots, but it doesn't isolate the driver at speed on the open road.

The LX 470 comes with an Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which allows the driver to adjust the damping between soft or firm settings. It's controlled electronically using feedback from various road sensors; the system constantly adjusts the semi-active shocks among 16 settings according to conditions. It's a sophisticated system and it works extremely well. The LX 470 rides smoothly over unpaved roads, but inspires driver confidence with taut response on winding country roads.

Like the Range Rover, the LX 470 features adjustable ride height. Press a button and the hydropneumatic system raises and lowers the vehicle nearly four inches. This allows the driver to increase ground clearance for climbing over obstacles or lower the ride height for highway cruising. It also makes climbing in and out of the vehicle easier when all dressed up for a night on the town.

The LX 470 uses a true full-time four-wheel-drive system with a center differential that splits the power 50/50 front/rear. The system is always engaged and requires no intervention by the driver. Throw in a locking center differential, a rear limited-slip differential and lots of suspension articulation and only the driver, or worn out tires, can be blamed for sticking one of these in the mud. The system is adept at handling the rigors of slippery winter weather or deep mud or snow. The driver can shift into low range for driving on steep off-road inclines. Big 18x8-inch wheels come standard and are fitted with 275/60R18 mud-and-snow tires.

The anti-lock brake system operates even in low range and is designed to offer better performance off road than traditional ABS by avoiding early activation on slippery slopes. ABS intervention decreases as road surface roughness increases or the grade steepens. It's an important feature because traditional ABS can lengthen braking distances considerably on unpaved roads. Big disc brakes offer good response and seem to stop this 5,400-pound vehicle in a surprisingly short distance. Electronic Brake Distribution helps distribute brake forces between the front and rear wheels under hard braking; EBD helps improves control under hard braking and can help reduce braking distances.

Three active safety technologies are tied in with the ABS to enhance driver control: Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) helps maintain traction under demanding conditions by detecting and correcting wheel slip. When it detects a loss of traction, the system applies the brakes to individual wheels to help the driver maintain control. The system also integrates a Brake Assist function that interprets a quick, hard push of the brake pedal as emergency braking and supplements the applied braking pressure to ensure maximum braking.

The traction control system (TRAC) further helps to reduce the chance of losing grip by using brake and throttle intervention to control wheelspin. The TRAC system provides some of the traction benefits of locked center and rear differentials while maintaining the easy steering response associated with open differentials. Summary
The Lexus LX 470 features a beautiful interior and superior off-road capability. It provides a quiet interior with a smooth ride and good handling. Quality, durability and reliability are ensured because it is a Lexus.

Model as tested
Lexus LX 470 ($64,775)
Basic Warranty
4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in
Honsha, Japan
Destination charge
Gas guzzler tax
Base Price
Price as tested
Options as tested
Mark Levinson audio system ($1,280); roof rack ($220)

Model Line Overview
Model lineup
Lexus LX 470 ($64,775)
Safety equipment (standard)
ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Vehicle Skid Control, traction control, first aid kit, dual frontal airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags, curtain airbags for front and second-row, three-point seat belts in outboard seating positions and center second-row seating position, pretensioners and force limiters in driver''''s and front passenger''''s seat belts
Safety equipment (optional)
4.7-liter dohc 32v V8
5-speed automatic

Specifications as Tested
automatic air conditioning with smog-sensing auto-recirculation and filtration, leather upholstery, DVD-based navigation system with voice commands, AM/FM stereo with six-CD changer, power windows, power mirrors, power locks, cruise control, tilt steering, trip computer, compass, digital clock, aluminum alloy wheels, power moonroof, locking rear differential, automatic on/off headlights, memory system for two drivers, color-keyed running boards, power tilt/telescoping steering column, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, three auxiliary power outlets, rear wiper and defroster

Engine & Transmission
4.7-liter dohc 32v V8
Drivetrain type
four-wheel drive
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
235 @ 4800
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)

Brakes, front/rear
disc/disc with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist
Suspension, front
275/60HR18 Dunlop mud and snow
Suspension, rear
live axle

Seating capacity
Head/hip/leg room, middle
Head/hip/leg room, front
Head/hip/leg room, rear

Fuel capacity
Trunk volume
Turning circle
Towing capacity
Track, front/rear
Ground clearance
Curb weight

J.D. Power Rating
Overall Quality Not Available
Overall Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Overall Quality - Design
Not Available
Powertrain Quality - Design
Not Available
Body & Interior Quality - Design
Not Available
Features & Accessories Quality - Design
Not Available

Overall Dependability Not Available
Powertrain Dependability
Not Available
Body & Interior Dependability
Not Available
Feature & Accessory Dependability
Not Available

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J.D. Power Rating Legend
Among the Best
5 / 5
Better than Most
4 / 5
About Average
3 / 5
The Rest
2 / 5

* The J.D. Power Ratings are calculated based on the range between the car manufacturer or car model with the highest score and the car manufacturer or car model with the lowest score. J.D. Power generates a rating of a five, four, three, or two. If there is insufficient data to calculate a rating, “Not Available” is used in its place.

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