QOTD: Worst Upscale SUV Design of the 2010s?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd worst upscale suv design of the 2010s

We continue our conversation on automotive design from the recently ended 2010s this week. Prior installments in this series have covered the best and worst affordable SUVs and CUVs, and last week, the best of the not so affordable.

In today’s entry, we’ll discuss the worst upscale 2010s designs to ever grace the driveways of North America.

Our guidelines are much the same as last week’s entry. Consideration may only be given to production vehicles, so concepts and one-off West Coast Customs designs are off-limits. We’re only considering model years 2010 to 2019. And no bargain basement stuff: When new, your selections must have cost more than $48,000.

It took me all of 1.5 minutes to pick a big, expensive, hideous design for today:

Look at that big-time flex. Is that like a four-door Wrangler with a vaping bro inside? No, it’s a Lexus LX 570. The largest and most expensive SUV Lexus has ever offered is also the ugliest. You’ll notice I’m using present tense while speaking about a vehicle from the prior decade. And that’s because this design is (unfortunately) still with us today. More on that in a moment.

Lexus began offering a slightly more leathered version of the J80 series Land Cruiser back in 1996 as the LX 450. They did the same again in 1998, when the model received the V8 it needed and was renamed LX 470. The second generation lived a full 10 years before it was replaced by the third generation. In 2008 gen three received more V8, and was christened LX 570.

The first version of the third generation was just fine, albeit not as stately as the second generation model. Its first visual rework occurred for 2013, and things started to go downhill. The idea of a spindle grille was introduced, but not executed fully… yet.

While marginal, the refreshed LX was much more acceptable than what arrived in 2016. For its ninth birthday, the LX was reworked into the monstrosity seen above. A full-height spindle grille ruined the visage. The rear was also redone, with decreased visibility via a smaller and sharper window design at the D-pillar. Rear lamps also grew more aggressive lenses, and were shorter but spread over more of the tailgate.

All in all, a terrible adaptation of a design scheme which was meant for much smaller vehicles. Though the spindle grille ruins most things it touches, the LX is especially egregious. Easily one of the worst upscale ($91,000) designs of the 2010s.

What’s your selection?

[Images: Jaguar-Land Rover, Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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2 of 52 comments
  • Burgersandbeer Burgersandbeer on Apr 29, 2020

    These picks are hard to top. While not nearly as blatantly hideous as the lx570, I think the latest Range Rover Sport deserves a mention. A large greenhouse with good visibility is the only redeeming feature of the segment, yet JLR squashed the roof.

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Apr 30, 2020

    I don't know anything about this segment, so when I saw the title, I thought Escalade. Then I saw the LX 570 pic and figured that had to be the worst. Until I looked up the Cullinan, and the Bentayga, and the QX56/80. I'll just call it a four-way tie so they can each have a trophy.

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