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Refreshing or Revolting: 2016 Lexus LX

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/4/2015 Megan Stewart
Refreshing or Revolting: 2016 Lexus LX

The Lexus LX flagship SUV may have been given a refresh in 2012, but not much has changed in the way of styling since then. For the 2016 model year, Lexus has given the LX luxury SUV some much-needed updates inside and out, but these changes may not all be good. The revised spindle grille may repel more customers than it attracts, but an improved driving experience may be enough for potential customers to turn a blind eye. Lexus has added an eight-speed automatic transmission, getting rid of the outdated old six-speed; revised the entire exterior and interior to provide a more upscale appearance; and added a host of new features. Are these changes enough to keep the LX relevant, or will the larger spindle grille be the 2016 Lexus LX's detriment?

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The new Lexus LX features a striking front end, with a new, bolder single-piece spindle grille and revised lights. The spindle grille has been a polarizing feature on all Lexus models, but the larger version may be even more so. The new lights feature a similar horizontal shape and but add checkmark-shaped running lights beneath the LED headlights. The headlight housing itself has been elongated and fits more snugly against the grille, instead of sitting just to the side of it. The foglights have been redesigned and are no longer surrounded by a chrome accent bar and lights, but are instead cleaned up and show off a similar design to the illuminated checkmark.

The side profile has been updated with cleaner lines and sharper features. Gone is the lower door guard with the chrome strip, and instead Lexus has added a more defined crease just above the running board. The wheel arches feature the same squared-off design as the previous model, but seem to hug closer to the wheel. Lexus has revised the rear window to taper to a point rather than square off, which keeps with the more angular and sharp accents seen throughout the exterior. At the rear, the rear window looks to have been shortened, as the spoiler protrudes slightly more than the outgoing model. The taillights have also been redesigned, following the example of the headlights with a more refined appearance. The lights have been made more horizontal and stretched out.

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The interior has been given the same attention as the exterior, with a new, three-spoke steering wheel, new infotainment system with a 12.3-inch screen, and a revised center stack. The air vents are no longer situated on the outside of the infotainment screen, but now rest just below, surrounding the analog clock. Controls for the HVAC and infotainment system have been simplified and cleaned up, and are placed in a black housing, as Lexus has foregone the metallic one from the previous model. The hard-to-use mouse-like control for the infotainment system is now positioned right next to the revised shifter. The instrument cluster has also been revised, with a more modern visual display and the layout has been cleaned up and no longer features gauges upon gauges. By simplifying the infotainment and HVAC controls and using a new screen, the dash has become more streamlined and flows much better than the outgoing model that seemed clunky and unrefined.

Lexus went over the LX luxury SUV with a fine-toothed comb, revising nearly every aspect of the exterior and interior to bring to market a more polished version of its flagship SUV. And while many of the changes were needed and necessary, some may have done more harm than good. Do you think the 2016 Lexus LX has been updated for the better? Let us know in the comments below.

2016 Lexus LX 570© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Lexus LX 570

Last week's Refreshing or Revolting featured the 2016 Lexus GS, and many aren't weren't excited about the new design.

"Revolting. The face of that car is so bad I can't get to the rest of it," said giallofly.

"Refreshing in the rear and interior. Revolting front end. Lexus overdid it here, now it looks like a luxurious Scion iA," said Midosan.

"Revolting. Every Lexus model looked better before their supposed refresh. The Infiniti Q70 looks better than the GS in and out," said CarNYC.

"Refreshing, compared to what you find in the segment. Lexus has to integrate the DRLs in the headlight unit, though," said Mojito.

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