When the Land Cruiser 300 was no longer produced for the US market there was a collective sigh of sadness to see such an icon no longer be available. Of course, since then Lexus has launched the GX550 which is effectively a replacement if a little smaller and cheaper.

You can still get a Land Cruiser 300 in the US but only in the form of the Lexus LX 600, a luxury vehicle that no one really needs but it’s really easy to want one. I have the Ultra Luxury version today which boasts more comfort and fewer seats than any Lexus SUV ever has.  

There are five models to choose from, a base model, a volume-selling Premium grade, a first-ever LX F Sport trim, a luxury grade, and this range-topping Ultra Luxury trim that will surely attract well-heeled buyers who prefer to sit in the right-rear seat. Oh, you’ll need a chauffeur for that.

My tester was the 2023 LX 600 Ultra Luxury in Atomic Silver and Sunflare semi-aniline leather and Takanoha Wood trim, and no options checked because this trim has all that you will ever need.

Old-fashioned good looks

You certainly can’t miss the LX 600 from your rear-view mirror, the spindle grille is massive, in fact, it’s the closest shave ever.   The LX has a body-on-frame construction, using the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) and the wheelbase is the same as before at 112.2 inches, but the front and rear tracks are an inch wider. You get control arms up front and a live axle in the back. Only the F Sport has a rear anti-roll bar. It does get four-corner air suspension with adaptive dampers,

The LX 600 has a tall narrow stance, giving it a rugged, ready-for-a-trail attitude and the overall design is much more cohesive than its predecessor.

Under the hood

Under the hood is a 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6, making 409 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Lexus pairs that engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission and full-time all-wheel drive, with a Torsen limited-slip center differential which you can lock. 0-60 takes 6.1 seconds and 22 mpg on the highway.

Off Road Stuff 

The LX 600 has a full-time 4-wheel drive system so you can drive it all the time in 4 WD.  The Lexus also has MTS or Multi-Terrain Select with different options depending on whether you are in 4 LO or 4 HI. In 4 HI you get Dirt, Sand, Mud, and Deep Snow. In 4LO you have Dirt, Sand, Mud, and Rock.

If you want to use the DAC Crawl control feature, you need to be in 4LO and Drive. Once Crawl-Control is on you can adjust the speed using the MTS dial and you get access to Turn Control which brakes the rear inside tire to give you a tighter turn.

You also have the option to lock the center diff and turn off traction if needed. Another button in the center console allows you to raise and lower the suspension.  The LX 600 has a 27.4° approach angle, a  28° break-over angle, and a 26.3° departure angle.


There’s a coolness and a smoothness about how the LX 600 goes along the road, it’s beautifully serene. I spent most of my time toggling between Normal, for around town and Sport S. I found Sport S+ to be simply too aggressive for a car like this.

Push on too quickly into a turn and steering effort builds up and the body will roll but it communicates what it’s doing so much better than its vague handling predecessor. Of course, enter a turn too fast and it will understeer and you’ll need to back off to guide it around.

The LX 600 has multiple drive modes, Eco, Normal, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ which are selectable from a dial on the center console. Choosing either of the Sport modes provides noticeable changes to the steering effort, the profile of the adaptive dampers, and the shifting of the 10-speed transmission.

It Shines Off-Road

Depending on which trim level suspension setting you choose, the chassis provides up to a 27.4-degree approach angle and a 26.3-degree departure angle. It can also climb hills at up to 45 degrees, tackle 44-degree inclines, and drive through 28 inches of water.

We headed out to Marron Valley to test it and soon realized we needed a steeper hill to climb. We quickly found one and using 4 LO the big Lexus was able to easily get to the top despite us going slowly to really test the 4WD system and we didn’t even need to lock the diff.

Heading back down we used the DAC/Crawl feature which carefully guided us over rocky and then sandy terrain. One last thing was to check axle articulation so we found a small incline with some fairly deep ruts. With the suspension in the highest setting, we made our way up with sone wheelspin which stopped us so we locked the center diff, gave it some gas, and romped to the top, all on 22-inch rims and street tires!


Inside the LX 600, particularly in the right rear seat, luxury abounds. There isn’t a spot of hard scratchy plastic anywhere, Lexus knows how to do interiors. 

The center console houses Toyota’s in-house infotainment system which sits atop a second screen for climate, ambient lighting, and off-road controls. The 12.3-inch screen controls audio, navigation, and (wireless) smartphone mirroring functions.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard but there isn’t a wireless phone charger in the front which is annoying because there is one for the rear seat passengers.

Seats are covered in a diamond-stitch-pattern semi-aniline leather interior, with wood, chrome accents, and, a microsuede headliner. To top it off it also has the superb Mark Levinson audio system with 23 speakers.

The shifter is a real one and not a stubby switch which is becoming the fashionable thing to do these days and there are 2 cupholders and a cooled cargo bin to keep your Chardonnay.

Behind the wheel, the driving position is perfect thanks to the multi-way powered seats with tons of padding and excellent thigh and body bolstering.

The Start button is oddly placed, it sits high up on the main infotainment bezel, where it’s easy to mistake for the smaller, higher, and slightly out-of-reach volume knob.

Cargo Space

Space behind the second row is 41 cubic feet, five cubes less than the standard car thanks to those business class rear seats. Fold down the second row and you get 71 cubic feet.

Rear Seating

Second-row passengers will be extremely content, especially in the right rear seat which will recline 48 degrees with a button on the screen in the center console. Another button glides the front passenger seat forward to provide a footrest for your tired legs. Once comfortable you can choose between seven massage settings and five intensity levels. It’s a little over the top but still fun.

The HVAC system has regular vents as well as an “air showerhead” above your head which releases a soothing airflow from above and sunshades to keep the riff-raff from peering in.

Lexus has fixed the lack of wireless headphones issue, now you get two and you don’t have to worry about getting your cables tangled.


There’s only one thing you need to know, it’s magnificently expensive at $129,250 including destination.



This is a great car, a little quirky, a little old-fashioned, and a little pricey especially in the Ultra Luxury trim. I wouldn’t expect anyone who buys this car to actually go off road but it’s nice to know that you can and unlike the Range Rover it won’t leave you stranded on the side of the road.

2023 Lexus LX 600 Ultra Luxury Numbers

BASE PRICE:  $127,905
PRICE AS TESTED:  $129,250
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 4-door SUV
ENGINE: 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged DOHC 24-valve V-6
POWER: 409 hp @ 5,200 rpm
TORQUE: 479 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION:  10-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
0-60 MPH:  6.1 seconds
CURB WEIGHT: 5,600 lb
GROUND CLEARANCE: 8.3 inches (Up to 11.9 inches)

CARGO VOLUME: 41ft to 71 ft³ with seat area (except Ultra Luxury)
FUEL ECONOMY Combined/city/highway: 19/17/22 mpg
OUR OBSERVED: 14.8 mpg
PROS: Silky smooth twin-turbo,  rules the off-road world, nicely upgraded interior
CONS: Expensive in Ultra Luxury trim , no wireless charger in the front