One with the machine. The new BMW M4 Coupé.

The strength of the BMW M4 Coupé is evident in every detail.

Lexus LX 570 is a really big toy

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Luxed up: The Lexus LX570 has been dressed up to look the upmarket part.

One day when I’m big, have a real job and earn real money, I’d like to browse car sites and shops and decide, without balking at the price, what I’d like to drive.

I may not buy it, I just want to know I can.

Such a car is the Lexus LX570. It’s a beast with every conceivable luxury and a piece of rubber on every corner.

It has been given a bit of a spit and polish, with the most notable change being the spindle grill, which you can’t really miss considering its size. It also has a new bumper design.

It’s still not pretty, although big 4x4s rarely are.

On the road, it’s imposing and it’s not the first time I’ve wondered why people in little runabouts see fit to squeeze in ahead of beasts such as the LX570 in rush-hour traffic.

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It is still not pretty though.

But hey, if you’re happy with almost 2.5 tons crashing into the back of a car which is probably less than the combined weight of the Lexus’s four 20-inch tyres, be my guest.

It probably won’t happen though, because every electronic aid has been built into the LX 570 to prevent that kind of scenario.

Offroad it’s no slouch either, even though at more than R1.1 million, not many owners are going to be taking it on regular trails.

SHY FOR NOTHING

With available active traction control, hill start assist and crawl control with turn assist coupled to electro-hydraulic air suspension and active height control, there’s not much that will scare the LX570, except maybe scratching the paintwork when the twisty bits become a bit tight.

There are five modes to choose from when you venture offroad. Rock, rock and dirt, mogul (a bump or mound of hard snow on a ski slope), loose rock and mud and sand, which will cover every conceivable obstacle.

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The plush interior features lacquered wood trim and soft leather.

Be prepared to replace the running boards, though, because they’re great to get granny to the heated and cooled seats but a nuisance once it gets a bit rough.

Even with standard road tyres, relying solely on the rock setting and its 270kW 5.7-litre V8 engine, the only thing that prevented me from challenging more radical obstacles was the fear of having to give Lexus a call to explain underbody scratches and missing running boards.

The four cameras, including one in the rear, give you an interesting view as you climb over obstacles.

Driving a big V8 isn’t going to make you popular with the tree and bunny huggers, and at 15 litres and more per 100km, not with your bank manager either. But then I suppose in this league, you probably are the bank manager.

It’s a delight to drive. Sitting on your leather throne surrounded by a wide windscreen, leather, highly varnished wood and an effortless six-speed gearbox, you can understand why they’re so popular with the wealthy in the Middle East.

Push the centre console button to sport and it stiffens the suspension, giving you a better ride in the twisties, improved substantially by the 19-speaker Mark Levinson sound system belting out some classics. For long road trips, the rear entertainment system features a DVD player, dual seven-inch screens mounted in the headrests and a remote.

To prevent any age-group squabbles, one child can watch a DVD while the other plays a video game.

So if, unlike me, you can, and feel like walking around a well-stocked showroom, have fun while the salesperson explains why the LX 570 isn’t just another big SUV. -Saturday Star


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