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Lexus LX 450d SUV driven in India
No doubt, the Lexus LX 450d is the largest and most intimidating car in the Lexus line-up. It’s also the most expensive, considering its tag of a whopping Rs 2.32 crore. That’s considerably more expensive than full-fledged luxury SUVs such as the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS. But Lexus have a plan and we try to unravel it.

The LX looks like an SUV on steroids. Its length of 5,080 millimetres and overall size make other cars on the road appear microscopic. The family Lexus design continues to dominate, with the largest spindle grille one can image. Narrow LED headlamps attempt to make the design appear sleeker, and seek help from the boomerang-shaped fog-lamp console.

Lexus LX 450d SUV driven in India

The side profile gives away its Toyota Land Cruiser genes. With not too many radical lines, the LX appears at its sober best from the side; although the wheel-arches deserve 20-inch wheels instead of the standard 18-inch ones it gets.

The design gets more interesting at the rear, with L-shaped LED tail-lights that come with a chrome garnish. The split tailgate has an electrically operated upper half, while the lower bit opens manually. Like the rest of the Lexus brought to India, the fit-and-finish on the LX is top-notch with almost perfect panel gaps.

Lexus LX 450d first drive in India - M9

The SUV is 1,865 mm tall and that makes getting in and out of it quite a task — even with the help of the side-board. It’s something that most SUV-crazed Indian will get turned on by. You sit tall on the driver’s seat and literally look down upon other cars on the road. The visibility is great and you get an imposing driving position.

The two words that best describe it are: Plus Size. Right from the door-handles to the outer rear-view mirrors and the steering wheel to the humongous bonnet. There is nothing discreet about this Lexus. There is good use of leather, wood and brushed metal which give the cabin the right touch of premium feel.

Lexus LX 450d SUV driven in India

Similar to the Lexus RX, the LX gets a large 12.3-inch infotainment display with the same user interface and joystick controller. This unconventional setup takes a little time to get used to, but is fairly simple and intuitive. The icing on the cake is the stunning Mark Levinson music system which, in the LX, comes with 19 speakers. With the cabin insulation also working as a noise cancelling system, it delivers one of the best sounds that one can expect in a car. Why go to a party when you can drive around in one?

Compared to the other Lexus cars we drove recently, I found the LX’s controls most confusing. Toggling through the driving modes can be tricky because the 4×4 knob is identical and sits right next to the driving mode knob. Practically every change in setting requires a stopover, because you don’t want to get the wrong button or dial. And there are just too many of them.

Also abundant are the features which include tyre pressure monitoring system, parking sensors with a 360-degree camera to view the surroundings and avoid obstacles, vehicle stability control, hill-start assist, ABS, and 10 airbags.

Lexus LX 450d SUV driven in India

This is the only Lexus in India than can comfortably accommodate five adults. The seats are really comfortable. I especially liked the front two, since they can be electrically adjusted and come with adjustable lumbar support. The second-row seats could do with more under-thigh support since knees are higher than usual because of the raised floor. But these, like the front seats, are ventilated and the base can be adjusted electrically.

There’s not one but two a-c vents at the back and rear-seat passengers can also control the temperature using the controls on the armrest. They also get a pair of infotainment screens that can be operated using a remote. The sunroof comes as standard and ensures there’s always enough light coming into the cabin. Unfortunately, in India the LX is offered as a five-seater while the Land Cruiser comes with a seven-seat option.


About the author: Sarmad Kadiri



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