2004 LX 470 New Car Test Drive
The Lexus LX 470 combines outstanding off-road capability with first-class accommodations and a smooth ride. LX 470 is powered by a smooth and powerful 4.7-liter V8 and is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds. The interior is elegant and well equipped. It can seat up to eight passengers. Another LX 470 feature is that it comes from Lexus, which offers the best quality, durability and reliability in the business, with retailers dedicated to customer satisfaction.
The LX 470 benefits from significant revisions made last year (2003) along with state-of-the-art technological interior advancements added this year. Model year 2004 adds a rear back-up camera and updates the navigation system. The video camera displays what's behind the vehicle and can help you avoid backing over objects, such as a child on a tricycle. Bluetooth has been added to the system as well, allowing hands-free operation of your cell phone without having to pull it out of your jacket pocket or purse. All of this comes standard.
The front styling was revised for 2003, giving the LX 470 a much-needed freshening. More important were the addition of curtain airbags designed to protect passengers in the event of a side impact or rollover, and new seat-mounted side-impact airbags for the front seats. A new five-speed automatic transmission brings more responsive performance, while a new steering system improves maneuverability and steering feel.
These changes improve what remains a superbly engineered product. It has now been five years since the current-generation LX 470 was introduced, however, so this big Lexus SUV faces competition from the more-expensive BMW-engineered Range Rover and the less expensive but powerful Cadillac Escalade.
The Lexus LX 470 ($64,175) is available as one fully loaded model. It's equipped with the 4.7-liter V8, a new 5-speed automatic, and the latest in off-road and accident-avoidance technology. That technology includes a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a locking center differential and four-wheel traction control. It also includes an adaptive suspension with variable-rate damping and adjustable height control and big P275/70HR18 mud-and-snow tires on 18-inch alloy wheels. It also includes four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and vehicle skid control.
LX 470 comes standard with a sumptuous leather interior and a boggling list of luxury and convenience features. Just a few of the many standard features: leather upholstery, automatic climate control front and rear, power moonroof, and power seats, doors, locks and windows. Also standard is a DVD-based navigation system and a premium AM/FM/cassette stereo system with a six-disc DVD/CD auto changer, seven speakers, automatic sound leveling and a separate rear-seat audio system. Put it in Park and watch a movie on the navigation screen. Put it in Drive and the navigation system will respond to voice commands.
Standard safety equipment is impressive: frontal, side-impact and curtain airbags, seat belts with pretensioners and force limiters, and a first aid kit. The curtain airbags are designed to provide head protection for the four outboard passengers in the front and second-row seats in a side impact or rollover. Windshield wipers adjust for rain automatically and the windshield is coated with water repellant. Optional Lexus Link ($1,215) sends the rescue squad if you press an emergency button or if one of the airbags goes off and you don't respond.
Options include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system that plays movies on a 6.5-inch overhead screen and a brilliant Mark Levinson audio system ($1,280). Night View ($2,200) is available, which uses near-infrared technology to illuminate people, deer and other objects at night up to 500 feet away and display them on a section of the windshield in front of the driver. There's also a roof rack with cross bars ($220) and a rear spoiler ($280).