NEW FOR 2009:

– New base model
– New Premium and Ultra Premium Packages added

Completely redesigned for 2008, the Lexus LX 570 is mechanically unchanged for 2009 but undergoes adjustments to its list of standard and optional features. Whereas the model was sold in a single trim line with an available Ultra Premium Package for 2008, the 2009 base model is decontented, and now has two available packages, Premium and Ultra Premium. The starting MSRP drops by $4,800 over the 2008 base model.

Based on the Toyota Land Cruiser, a model not sold in Canada, the LX 570 uses a 5.7-litre V8 engine, mated to a heavy-duty six-speed transmission with manual shift mode. It uses a full-time four-wheel drive system with electro-hydraulic suspension, Active Height Control and Variable Suspension. It lowers the chassis by an average of 5 cm for easy entry and exit, and resumes its normal height when the vehicle accelerates; it also lowers it at highway speeds for extra stability.

Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, four-zone independent automatic climate control, six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input and wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth connectivity, ten-way driver and eight-way passenger power heated perforated leather seats with three driver memory settings, 60/40 split fold-and-tumble middle-row seats with power fore and aft, power-folding 50/50 split third-row bench seat, hard-drive-based navigation system with backup camera, electroluminescent gauges, auto-dimming rearview mirror, auto up/down on all windows, cargo mat, power tilt and telescopic wheel, footwell lamps, pushbutton start, cruise control, Smart Key system, garage door opener, LED map lights, dual-stage driver and passenger knee airbags, rear seat side airbags, first-aid kit, auto-dimming tilt-in-reverse power-folding heated mirrors with puddle lamps, privacy glass, roof rack, power sunroof, towing hitch, illuminated running boards, rain-sensing wipers, rear washer/wiper, windshield de-icer, adaptive front lighting, headlamp washers, fog lamps and LED taillights.

The optional Premium Package adds 20-inch alloy wheels, heated and air conditioned front seats, heated second-row outboard seats, wallet-size Smart Key card, power liftgate, intuitive parking assist, wide-view front and side monitor system, and wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel, while the Ultra Premium Package builds on that with premium leather seating surfaces, pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control, Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system, front console cool box, bubinga wood trim, illuminated scuff plates, and rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

The LX 570 is almost ridiculously comfortable, with beautifully-finished interior, creamy ride and nimble handling, but thanks to its Land Cruiser roots, its four-wheel drive system can get it through just about anything. The decontented model drops the price significantly, although it’s possible to outfit it just as it was for 2008. The Premium Package’s front and side monitor displays an image of the ground in front and on the passenger side of the vehicle at speeds under 12 km/h on the in-dash navigation screen for easier parking.

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