Those mourning the loss of the Toyota Land Cruiser in North America, fear not because we’re still getting it. Only this time, it’s wearing a Lexus badge. The Lexus LX is essentially the same vehicle. Save for some design alterations and more leather and sound insulation, it’s mechanically similar to the Land Cruiser. That formula isn’t changing anytime soon even with the arrival of the new Land Cruiser for other global markets. With that said, here’s what we know regarding the 2023 Lexus LX.
2023 Lexus LX exterior
Expect the boxy greenhouse to remain for the 2023 Lexus LX but it could get different bumpers to make it as capable off-road as the new-generation Toyota Land Cruiser. Lexus’ current design language will evolve just like it did in the 2022 NX, meaning softer angles, giving it a less controversial look. However, the spindle grille won’t change much, meaning you’re not going to mistake the LX for anything else but a Lexus. To highlight its more upscale status, the LX should get more chrome accents and tires that are more street-oriented.
2023 Lexus LX interior
In typical Lexus fashion, the 2023 LX’s interior should be covered in a lot of leather and soft, squishy materials. Generous amounts of sound deadening should also be part of the equation since Lexus has a reputation for building incredibly quiet cars. To further distinguish the LX from the Land Cruiser, it’ll likely get higher quality materials like semi-aniline leather, real metal and wood trim, and controls with finer details versus its mainstream sibling.
When it comes to features, the Lexus LX will get creature comforts. Being the flagship SUV, expect it to get things like massaging front seats, multi-way adjustable front seats, and heated second-row seating. The seven-passenger configuration should remain but it’s also likely that Lexus could keep the five-seat layout that it introduced in the current car just a few years ago.
2023 Lexus LX tech features
The next-generation Lexus LX will finally ditch the touchpad-based infotainment system in favor of the newer unit that debuted in the 2022 NX. Dubbed the Lexus Interface, this system features either a 9.8- or 14.0-inch touch screen and retains traditional knobs and buttons. It’ll also get a virtual assistant for people that want to control the user interface strictly by voice. A Mark Levinson surround-sound system should return as the audio upgrade.
Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, the latest version of Lexus’ driver assistance suite should be standard on the LX. That builds on the current system with features like evasive assist, and forward collision prevention technologies that can detect objects, pedestrians, and cyclists at junctions and intersections. It’ll also get an upgraded adaptive cruise control that can slow down for turns on the highway. A new Multi-Terrain View Monitor shows obstacles on the main screen, allowing the driver to get a better view of the type of terrain you’re driving over. The Teammate semi-autonomous driver assistance suite, which allows for some degree of hands-free driving and automatic parking capability could be available as an option.
2023 Lexus LX powertrains and underpinnings
Quite possibly the most important bits of the 2023 Lexus LX are the powertrain and new underpinnings. It’ll be riding on Toyota’s new TNGA-F platform, which was built specifically for body-on-frame applications. This architecture recently debuted on the new global market Land Cruiser and was developed with electrification in mind. That means a hybrid powertrain is in the cards and it’ll slot above the standard 409- hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6. The electrified option could use the base engine as the foundation and be backed by a battery mounted under the second row and an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and the 10-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid powertrain could be the most powerful and efficient version of the LX.
In addition to getting 4WD standard, the Lexus LX will get the new electronically controlled version of Toyota’s Kinematic Dynamic Suspension system. This should give the SUV a supremely comfortable ride while retaining its off-road capabilities. In the new Land Cruiser, the TNGA-F cuts weight by 200 kg or 441 pounds; that should help the LX handle better on pavement and improve its overall efficiency. The Multi-Terrain Select system, which automatically scans the road surface and picks the right drive mode for it, should be standard on the LX too.
The 2023 Lexus LX will be the closest thing to the new Toyota Land Cruiser America will ever get to. That’s not a bad thing because it’ll be a little more luxurious and Lexus doesn’t need to make tweaks to make sure the two SUVs aren’t too similar. This could give the next LX better off-road capability than the current car while still retaining the comfort levels you expect out of a vehicle wearing a Lexus badge. Best of all, the potential addition of an electrified powertrain gives the LX more distinguishing factor beyond its capability when the pavement ends.