Tak­ing Stock

4 x 4 Australia - - Driven -

THESE three lux­ury 4x4s present two ob­vi­ous ques­tions. Firstly, which of the three pro­vides the big­gest bang for your buck? Or, in this case, a truck load of your bucks. And se­condly, are their pres­tige badges and ex­ten­sive equip­ment lists worth the ex­tra money over their donor ve­hi­cles – the LC200 in the case of the two Lexus mod­els and the Pa­trol Y62 in the case of the QX80? If you have the money to af­ford any of these three you may not be con­cerned about fuel costs, but, ei­ther way, the LX450D com­fort­ably pro­vides the best trade-off be­tween per­for­mance and econ­omy. It uses two-thirds of the fuel of ei­ther petrol V8 yet pro­vides plenty of real-world per­for­mance de­spite lack­ing the pedal-to-the-metal thrust of the two petrol V8s fea­tured here. How­ever, no third-row seat­ing could be a deal breaker and, while the re­duced fuel ca­pac­ity over the LC200 Sa­hara diesel is dis­ap­point­ing, it’s some­thing that can be ad­dressed. If you’re a keen driver and you’re not con­cerned about fuel use, then the QX80 is clearly the pick here. It goes the hard­est and han­dles the best. In this com­pany, it’s a driver’s de­light. It’s also the least ex­pen­sive by $24K com­pared to the LX450D and a whop­ping $33K com­pared to the LX570. But it’s also the least use­ful off-road, so that could be a deal breaker. It also loses out to its donor car, the Pa­trol Y62, off-road and in fuel ca­pac­ity, so if you’re not too fussed about the badge and the ex­tra safety and con­ve­nience kit a TI-L Y62 looks very at­trac­tive in com­par­i­son. If you value re­fine­ment above all, then the LX570 is the pick. It’s cer­tainly the qui­etest and most serene driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence here. It’s also the most re­moved from its donor ve­hi­cle given its 5.7-litre V8/eight-speed au­to­matic isn’t avail­able in the LC200, which is the best jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for its large price tag. If you want a be­spoke lux­ury 4x4, this is the clos­est you’ll come in this com­pany.

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