New Model News

2021 Lexus LX 570 gets fresh Sport Package, new color options, Amazon Alexa compatibility

The LX 570 will be a part of the Lexus lineup for at least one more year and it's getting some improvements.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The 2021 Lexus LX 570 will continue on as a beefy flagship for one more iteration at least, but with some changes for the new model year. Lexus has updated the available Sport Package, given the SUV a new paint job option, and added connectivity, and upgraded LX Inspiration Series offerings.

Lexus will continue to have the LX be powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine that produces 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, full-time four-wheel drive, and a Torsen limited-slip differential. It continues to be rated to tow up to 7,000 pounds.

2021 Lexus LX 570 The model is still powered by a 5.7-liter V8 engine.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The model rides on standard 20-inch split 10-spoke wheels, with 21-inch 10-spoke wheels offered as an option.

The LX will be offered with new color choices - a Nori Green Pearl paint job and Glazed Caramel interior. Available wood trim selections include Open-Pore Walnut, Linear Dark Mocha Wood, Linear Espresso Wood, and Dark Brown Walnut - none of which are new for 2021.

The 2021 LX gets Amazon Alexa compatibility, something that is making its way to most all Toyota and Lexus models. A rear-seat entertainment system featuring dual 11.6-inch screens is available, as is a 19-speaker, 450-watt Mark Levinson Reference Surround Sound audio system.

2021 Lexus LX 570 The SUV is a touch old school, but it has most of the modern infotainment amenities buyers want.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

All LX 570s come equipped with Lexus Safety System + as well as blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, panoramic view monitor, multi-terrain monitor, and Intuitive Parking Assist.

The popular Sport Package, available only on the three-row version of the SUV, has been updated for 2021 to include 21-inch forged alloy wheels, an updated sport grille and front fascia, sport lower rear valence, and body color/chrome accent side mirrors. The interior of the models includes a black headliner and semi-aniline leather trimmed upholstery in Black, Cabernet, or Glazed Caramel.

2021 Lexus LX 570 The interior of the LX has gotten more premium as its current generation has gone on.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The LX Inspiration Series is adding a level of sophistication to the model. It is available in a Black Onyx or Eminent White Pearl paint scheme. The exterior of the models features 21-inch black alloy wheels and center caps, a black grille with black chrome surround, black headlamps with smoked lenses, black fog lamps, black window accents, black roof rails, black taillamps with smoked lenses, black chrome garnish, black rear license plate garnish, black frame back door garnish, and black rear badges.

The interior of these models gets black semi-aniline leather trim with Rioja red accents, a black headliner, unique carpet floor and cargo mats, and unique key gloves.

2021 Lexus LX 570 The Lexus Inspiration Series delivers black accents.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Only 500 Inspiration Series models will be produced - all of the three-row variety.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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Updated premium crossover

2022 Infiniti QX50 picks up new standard features

The new QX50 gets more tech and safety features.

Infiniti

Infiniti is one of a handful of automakers that have continued developing and building cars instead of focusing only on higher-profit and much more popular SUVs and trucks. That said, Infiniti's catalog is crossover- and SUV-heavy. Its smallest and least expensive crossover, the QX50 gets a handful of new features for 2022, and today Infiniti announced pricing.

Infiniti offers the 2022 QX50 in five trims: $40,025 Pure, $43,375 Luxe, $47,825 Essential, $52,525 Sensory, and $57,975 Autograph. All trims get Infiniti's variable compression (VC-Turbo) engine that makes 268 horsepower and returns up to 26 mpg combined. The advanced engine shifts its compression ratio to match the driver's behavior. When more power is needed, the compression changes, and when efficiency is the priority, it changes again. It's a marvel of engineering, but it's not as fuel-efficient as a hybrid. Power reaches the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission.

2022 Infiniti QX50 Pricing starts at around $40,000.Infiniti

Beyond the new standard features for 2022, buyers of the new QX50 will have to step up to the Luxe trim to get the most desirable features such as auto-folding exterior side mirrors, power lumbar support, and perforated leather upholstery. Standard comfort gear includes eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Infiniti stuck with its dual-screen infotainment configuration with the 2022 QX50. The top eight-inch screen handles wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto duties, as well as navigation. The bottom seven-inch screen handles vehicle controls, radio stations, and other settings. Though the system looks great and adds a high-tech feel to the cabin, two screens can be distracting and confusing while driving. The good news is that the QX50 gets an excellent 16-speaker Bose stereo starting with the Luxe trim.

2022 Infiniti QX50 ProPilot Assist and Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are now standardInfiniti

The 2022 QX50 hasn't been crash tested by either major ratings organization yet, but the 2021 model performed well. It earned Good ratings in crash testes and a Superior score for its standard crash prevention systems. The 2022 QX50 comes standard with Infiniti's ProPilot Assist system, which brings advanced adaptive cruise control functions that can center the car in its lane, brake, and accelerate. Other standard tech includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, predictive forward collision warnings, and forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.


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