Lexus has launched their flagship SUV, the LX 450d for a price tag of a whopping Rs 2.32 crore, ex-showroom Delhi. It does come as a surprise especially when the Toyota Land Cruiser, on which the Lexus is based on, is priced at Rs 1.40 crore ex-Delhi. The almost Rs 1 crore premium over the Land cruiser might be justified only if you were looking for exclusivity as your sole criteria because in any other case, you can buy the daddy Range Rover, the long-wheel base Autobiography at that, with either the 4.4-litre turbocharged diesel V8 or the 5.0-litre supercharged petrol V8 engine. For fair comparison, we take the diesel V8 Rangie to take on the Lexus LX 450d to find out if the Lexus can give us a fight it needs to.
The Range Rover wins the size battle by a margin. It is longer than the Lexus by 119mm and wider by 240mm. While the length does matter for leg space, it is the shoulder space that matters equally when it comes to super luxury matters and the added width of the Rangie tips the scale in its favour. It wheelbase of 3120mm is 270mm longer than the Jap which should give it a rather comfortable ride.
In terms of technology as well the current Range Rover has been built on a new aluminium-infused platform that made the car almost half a tonne lighter than its predecessor while the Lexus is still being built on the decade old Land Cruiser platform. Looks are subjective but one thing can be certainly said that the Rangie looks stately and sleek as compared to the funky/edgy design of the Lexus LX.
Features and equipment
The Lexus as well as the Range Rover are premium luxury SUVs and hence make sure you are wrapped in luxury once you step inside the car. The interiors are upholstered in pure leather with real wood applied aesthetically into the trims and lining for the rich aristocratic feel. The front seats are power adjustable in both the SUVs along with the adjustable lumbar supports. Auto-dimming rear-view mirrors, four-zone climate control, cruise control, electrically adjustable steering with audio controls etc are standard on the equipment list along with large display screens for the infotainment systems.
The Rangie seats only four with even the rear seats being adjustable and the rear armrest housing a little refrigerator along with the host of control functions. The Lexus on the other hand is a seven-seater with manually reclining seats in the second as well as the third row of seats. The Rangie gets a panoramic sunroof and a moon-roof both of which are electrically operated while the Lexus gets a standard electric sunroof and moon-roof setup. The rear hatch on both the SUVs is split and electrically operated but the one on the Range Rover easily doubles up as a seating bench.
Engines and Gearbox
It is not only about bells and whistles in luxury SUVs but also about brute power combined with sophistication. The Lexus LX 450d as well as the Range Rover SDV8 LWB come with large diesel V8 engines. The Lexus develops 261bhp of power at 3400rpm and 650Nm of torque from 1600rpm from a 4461cc turbocharged engine while the Range Rover develops 335bhp of power at 3500rpm and 740Nm of torque from 1750rpm from its 4367cc turbodiesel. The Lexus gets an intelligent six-speed gearbox while the Rangie gets an eight-speed box. Both the SUVs get all-wheel drive with intelligent driving as well as off-road modes that offer excellent grip and traction over any surface be it sand, snow or mud or even bad roads for that matter.
You can also switch between comfort and sport modes for better performance on-road where the suspension and engine setups vary to provide the best of all worlds. The Lexus as well as the Rangie come with a host of driving aids like hill-assist, ESP, crawl function etc along with lane departure warning systems to ensure safety.
At Rs 2.32 crore, the Lexus LX 450d seems asking a bit too much of premium over its non-fancy sibling – the Toyota Land Cruiser which seems like a great VFM package when compared to the LX. When pitched against the almost top-spec Range Rover, the chinks in the Lexus’ armour start popping out. But as we said before, the Lexus, with its pricing, will ensure exclusivity for its buyers, something that does make it to the list of priorities of big-ticket buyers.