2006 Lexus LX 470

Written by tonks on November 5, 2006

2006 Lexus LX 470The Lexus LX 470 is far from being Lexus’ best-selling model only a total of 3,673 were sold through June. But like parent company Toyota Motor’s Land Cruiser on which it’s based, this full-size SUV never was intended to be a mass-market vehicle for the public.

This vehicle is aimed at buyers looking for something more rugged than the typical, upscale SUV and who would prefer something more exclusive. The LX 470 can handle terrain far more treacherous than most buyers will ever think of tackling and consumes fuel at a rate of 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA.

With the cost of gasoline rising, sales of large trucks like the LX 470 are slipping, especially as more fuel-efficient alternatives, such as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX 400h hybrid, come to market. LX 470 sales are down 14.7% in the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year, according to CNW Market Research.

Lexus bumped up the LX 470′s base price by $300. Other changes for 2006 are minor, including three new exterior colors, restyled LED taillights and new 18-inch wheels. The previously optional Mark Levinson 240-watt stereo with 11-speakers is now standard. Digital Lexus Link, which is like GM’s OnStar emergency communication system, will be available this fall likely as an option, a spokesman said. A tire pressure monitor system is another new option.

Joining the swelling ranks of truck-based luxury SUVs in 1996, Lexus’ full-size model, then called the LX 450, remains a more-opulently equipped version of the Land Cruiser. The vehicle gained a new power train in 1998, along with a new name the LX 470, which reflected its larger 4.7-liter V8 engine.

Styling differences between the Toyota and Lexus versions are slight. The front grille and headlamps are different, and the LX 470 has illuminated running boards. Dimensionally, both trucks are virtually identical, with the Lexus a half-inch shorter than the Toyota.

A five-speed automatic is the only available transmission. Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes and Vehicle Skid Control are included and help in emergency maneuvers. A rugged, full-time four-wheel-drive system features a locking center differential and four-wheel traction control.

An adjustable-height adaptive suspension provides a relatively compliant ride, though potholed roads remind you that this is a truck at heart, better suited to rock crawling than highway cruising. Front-side and side-curtain airbags are standard.

The LX 470 can seat up to eight passengers. Neither the second nor third rows fold flat, but the middle seat can fold and tumble forward. The rear seatbacks can fold down in a 50/50 split, or the entire third row of seats can be folded up and secured to the side of the vehicle for a maximum of 90.4 feet of cargo space. The vehicle’s interior is well designed and comfortable, though the third-row seats can make for a tight fit for adults.

Standard features abound, including automatic front and rear air conditioning, a CD changer, heated automatic-dimming side mirrors, heated leather seats and rain-sensing windshield wipers. An optional Night View system helps drivers see beyond the range of the car’s low-beam headlamps, while an available backseat DVD entertainment system ($2,469) includes two wireless headphones and a remote control.

Posted Under: Cool Cars,Lexus

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