Believe it or not, Lexus makes a great off-roader

Holy smokes. I drove a vehicle a few weeks ago that proved that a luxury vehicle can still tear it up off-road.

If I had to describe the off-road capability of most luxury vehicles, that word would be “pathetic.” Most of the time, when a car company turns a good off-roader into a fancy ride, they strip out all the good stuff and replace it with fluff.

But the one word I’d use to describe the off-road capability of the Lexus LX 570 is, “WOW.” That’s “wow” with all capital letters.

It’s not really fair, though. Lexus has a ringer in the competition. Lexus is owned by Toyota, the company that produces the Land Cruiser. And when it comes to off-road capable SUVs, there’s nothing that can top a Land Cruiser.

Lexus isn’t stupid. They knew they had a good thing in the Land Cruiser, and they just made it fancier when they built the LX. They kept all the good stuff, like the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which automatically relaxes the sway bars when it senses that it’s off-road. That gives the independent front and four-link rear suspension more vertical travel, which in turn helps you get over obstacles without losing grip on the ground.

It also has Crawl Control, which keeps the LX at a constant speed when you’re navigating rough terrain. Add Active Height Control and Multi-Terrain Select, 383 horses and 403 pound-feet of torque, and you’ve got a vehicle that takes the guesswork out of getting over, through, or around the worst a mountain road can throw at you.

It might be a little fancy for the backwoods, though. All that real wood and natural leather will certainly get dirty if you use your vehicle like I do, and your better half might get cranky if you scratch up the rig you paid $90,000 for.

Yep, $90,000. That’s a heck of a lot of money. It’s more than I’ll probably ever pay for a vehicle, but if I could, I would. It’s that impressive.

I just wish they’d offer it in camo.