The other day I learned a new word. I’d been hearing it everywhere. It’s a newly common word on TV. Friends randomly say it. I had no idea what it meant, but I like it. The word is bougie. The meaning of which is: aspiring to be a higher class than one is. When I saw this Lexus LX600 F-Sport, I knew exactly what new-to-me word I wanted to use to describe it.
This all-new full-size Lexus LX is built on the J300 Land Cruiser platform. We in the USA won’t be getting a new Land Cruiser, but we will be getting the LX600. Being that these trucks have basically been the same—the Lexus just gets a couple of different panels and more ‘bougie’ options. They’re both approximately the same size, equipped with the same drivetrains, and both get relatively the same electronics.
Or at least they always did. The differences between the two have diverged farther apart each and every generation. This LX600 is light years different than the off-road-oriented Land Cruiser—that we won’t get. And at least in the US, probably due to the dismal sales of the Land Cruiser, the attitude from Toyota is, ‘Go get a 4Runner if you want to go off-road.’ Who? Who exactly, would take this mall-crawling pavement princess onto any surface that could be considered off-road?
I can see plenty of journalists take it off-road, just because. I can also see anyone with too much money and too little sense doing it as well. If you had to… HAD to, you could. But look at that chin spoiler! That is certainly not made to smack rocks—and smack them you will. This one is even worse because it’s the F-Sport which is sportier than the already sports-oriented base model.
Inside the Lexus you’re treated to a solidly Lexus interior. Everything appears quality; quality consistent throughout the brand’s history. You’re treated to the same double ‘beep’ you get from every other Toyota/Lexus product, which is either the laziest effort or something they thought would remind you ‘this is still a Toyota.’ And that’s not a bad thing, you’re likely to lose far less money on a LX600 than a similarly equipped Range Rover. The beep might just be the reminder built-in for you to remember: resale value. Or it’s just another reminder of ‘something aspiring to be a higher class than one is.’
So, what we’ve got is the sports version of the sport version of the off-road version. It’s not cheap at just over one-hundred grand. It isn’t very pretty—that grill is love it or hate it—and you’d have to be a lunatic to take it off-road. Obviously, this does not sound like a good car, that is unless you’re a bit ‘bougie.’ And bougie is what you are, at least when driving the LX600 F-Sport.
It feels upright, tall, it prances, rather than rolls through curves and dips. ‘Confidence inspiring’ is such a bougie word, so I’d prefer to say, ‘If this car were a horse, it would be a Lipizzaner in a field of Painted Ponies.’ I’ve always enjoyed the sturdy ride and hated the marshmallow squish from GM’s full-size SUVs—mostly any older Tahoe. (This is probably due to my childhood of riding in boats that floated on the Interstate oceans.)
But then, it’s a bit cramped. They’ve never made an SUV for any American who enjoys a good cheeseburger. It’s the same in other Toyota/Lexus models; they certainly encourage you to go on a diet. The seats in this car were far too red for my taste, but they were comfortable, not too tight, and excellent. That reminds me: red. I won’t even call them bougie, they’re just gaudy. I have no problem being seen exiting this thing, but it surely wouldn’t be equipped in red if I was bringing it home.
And speaking of bringing it home, you’d get there promptly. Not just because you wouldn’t want to be seen driving this LX600, but because you’ve got an F-Sport tuned suspension, 409-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 and paddle shifters to do it. For a large, upright SUV, this thing is fun to drive. Morning commutes and errands would be far more interesting, even more so if you’re a lunatic and raise the suspension, activate the lockers, and go into the wilderness. With the Mark Levenson stereo, you wouldn’t even be able to hear the nature around you.
You’d be wafting along, in a hundred grand sports off-roader, with no cares—except for that chin spoiler, God I hope this suspension goes high enough! And what else could be higher class than that? A safari where you don’t get your designer boots dirty? This is the best Range Rover from Japan we can get; it just isn’t as good. This thing is bougie. And quite frankly, I’d have it… just not the F-Sport.