By David Colman
Hypes: Land Cruiser Bone Structure, Off Road Diaper Kit
Gripes: Could Use More Ponies, Front Seat Backs Too Flat
If you use your X-Ray eyes to see through the voluptuous body cladding and semi-aniline leather of this Lexus LX570, you will recognize the eternally fine bone structure of Toyota’s iconic Land Cruiser. Nothing brought this point home to me more clearly than when I parked the Lexus next to a nicely restored mid-70s Land Cruiser for an eyeball comparison. I figured there would be substantial size differences between the 2013 Lexus and its 40 year old ancestor. Wrong. In every dimension, from height to width to length, the brand new Lexus is almost identically proportioned to the 70’s Land Cruiser. Even the ride height looks the same, despite the fact that the vintage Toyota rides on 15 inch rims versus the new 20 inch wheels of the LX570.
But one look inside the old Land Cruiser forever disabused me of the notion that the Toyota is too intimately related to the Lexus. In the 70s, off-roaders like the Land Cruiser were designed to be working vehicles, equipped with shiny vinyl bench seats that look like they came from the garden department at Thrifty. That kind of bare bones trim would be unthinkable in the $88,670 Lexus. Inside, you enjoy eye-popping opulence that starts with a swath of leather and real wood covering nearly every visible surface on all 8 passenger seats.