The Toyota Land Cruiser is said to be the world standard for what an all-terrain vehicle should be. It is one of the most durable and reliable trucks in the world and will handle just about any terrain you throw it at. It is so good that people who have these cars, all generations of them, hardly ever sell them. You don’t have to take my word for it. Look around in the used market, these cars hold their value.
The current generation of the Land Cruiser is the LC200. Lexus has its own version of the Land Cruiser, the LX570. They look very similar and are, in fact, based on the same architecture, chassis, and underpinnings. Some say that many of the parts are interchangeable.
But is this Lexus merely a rebadged Land Cruiser? Is it any better? For sure, it costs more. The LC200 is priced at P4,840,000, while the LX570 is at P8,548,000. Let me take you on a tour of these two vehicles and let’s find out.
On the outside, from the front to the rear, just about all the body panels on these two trucks are similar with only slight differences. The only things that are the same are the doors and the bottom portion of the tailgates.
Up front, the grille design is very different. While the Land Cruiser presents an imposing figure with its very masculine grille, the Lexus is more refined, sharper, and lets you know what it is with the signature Lexus spindle grille.
For headlights: the LC200 has four projector headlights with two on each side, in a traditional round design; while the Lexus has six LED headlights, three on each side with a very modern trapezoidal design. In fact, the Lexus has LED lights all around, including its turn signals. The Land Cruiser has incandescent bulbs for its turn signals.
For their engine and transmissions: The LC has a 4.5-liter twin-turbo, common rail, diesel engine with 229hp at 3,200rpm and 615Nm at 200rpm turning a six-speed automatic. While, the LX has a 5.7-liter gasoline engine, producing 362hp at 5,600rpm and 530Nm at 3,200rpm, driving an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The Land Cruiser is a very capable off-roader. It can take you through all kinds of muddy, hilly, slippery wet terrain and back comfortably. The Lexus can do all that, plus it has height adjustability that raises the truck three inches from its normal height when the need arises for better ground clearance. And for easier ingress and egress, the truck can also be lowered two inches from its normal height.
Going into the interior of both trucks, the LC has leather seats and some wood trim on the dash. But generally, the dash is made of textured hard plastic. The steering wheel has manual adjusters for tilt and telescope functions. Its front seats have power adjustments for height, backrest angle, and lumbar support, with three memory settings.
In the LX570, there are also leather seats, but there is far more soft-touch leather in this interior and much more wood trim. Just about everything you can touch in this interior is either soft-touch leather or wood. The front seats are adjustable for height, backrest angle, and lumbar support and additionally, for the driver’s seat it has adjustable thigh support. The steering wheel has power adjustments for tilt and telescope. For ease of entry and egress of the driver, the steering wheel moves out of the way and the seat moves back automatically when you unlatch the seatbelt and goes back into the last setting when you latch the seatbelt. The three memory settings for the driver’s seat includes the settings for the steering wheel position.
As for entertainment and navigation, while the infotainment system supplied by Toyota Philippines in the LC200 is very modern, it leaves a lot to be desired. The LX570 however, has a full-blown 19 speaker Mark Levinson sound system with rear-seat video screens.
To keep its occupants comfortable, the LC200 has dual-zone air-conditioning which is outstanding. Even on the hottest of days, it cools down the interior immediately, but the adjustability is only for the driver and front-seat passenger.
On the LX570 there is a four-zone climate control system which means even the second-row rear-seat passengers can individually adjust their own air-conditioning. Not only that, the front seats and rear seats are ventilated. That means that there’s cool air-conditioned air cooling your backside as you sit in the leather seats. The LC Premium version also has ventilated seats but only for the front passengers.
Insofar as the room in the back-seat and the third-row seats are concerned, they are virtually the same in the two trucks. The only difference being that the facility to tuck away the third-row seats is power-operated on the LX, while in the LC, they’re stowed away manually. The tailgates of the two trucks are also nearly identical in the way they open. The tailgates have a top portion and a lower portion that can be used as a bench to sit on. The difference, however, is that the top portion on the LC200 opens with the aid of hydraulic struts and closes manually, while that on the LX570 is power operated.
On the road, both these trucks are large vehicles, but they’re very manageable because of the engine power and the power steering systems. They’re both quiet as they go down the road. But the LX570 is far more quiet. It’s not just quiet in the Lexus’ interior, it is downright serene. The engine on the LX is electric motor smooth and quiet. That’s not to say that the Land Cruiser’s engine is noisy. After all, it is a diesel engine, and you can still hear the diesel clatter. But insofar as luxury all-terrain vehicles with diesel engines go, this is pretty quiet. The suspension of the LX is also smoother and dampens road ripples more smoothly than does the LC.
The LC is not a basic all-terrain vehicle. It is one of the most capable terrain vehicles in the world, it is the standard by which other all-terrain vehicles are judged. It is the most reliable and durable off-road vehicle in the market. And over the years, it has grown more and more luxurious. However, it’s still a far cry from the refinement and luxury that premium brands have to offer—this is where the Lexus brand comes in. It offers the same capability, durability, and reliability that the Land Cruiser is known for and adds refinement, smoothness, and luxury at the same level as the finest brands in the world.
Again, the LC200 is priced at P4,840,000 and the LX570 at P8,548,000—the difference in price is rather significant, and some may be unwilling to accept this. However, not all these differences can be quantified in money. There are many people who, after attaining a certain level of success in their lives, desire more refinement in the things that they buy. Performance and durability are not enough as a standard. In that market, they’re also looking for the prestige of the brand name. For these kinds of buyers, Lexus has put its mark on and outfitted one of the world’s best all-terrain vehicles.