With so many things going on in the Lexus lineup these days, from sporty speed to luxury performance, I need to shine a light on Lexus’ off-road warrior (wrapped in leather, of course): the GX 460.
The GX 460 is a mid-size body-on-frame SUV. The vast majority of SUVs offer unibody frames, and with that construction, they become far less effective off-road, with their bread and butter being made delivering comfort on the pavement. The GX 460 shares its underpinnings with capable off-road star Toyota 4Runner — and that should be enough to tell you how good this SUV can be when leaving the street for the sand, dirt or brush.
On the outside, the GX 460 is a gorgeous SUV that provides immediate impact with its signature Lexus grille and wide air intake. The headlights pinch in and wrap around the wheel well and up toward the belt line to deliver an extraordinarily chiseled facade. The profile is less spectacular, denoted only by its big glass windows, sharp running board and large 18-inch wheels.
The interior of the GX 460 Luxury offers premium materials such as mahogany wood on the dash, steering wheel and doors; semi-aniline leather; and heated/ventilated front seats. Heated seats are standard for the second row.
The GX 460 offers a roomy cabin that balances comfort with space. I love the extra comfort from the middle captain’s chairs. Row three power folds into the floor. With the third row folded down, cargo space is plentiful, and while the second row doesn’t fold completely flat, you’ve still got about 64.7 cubic feet of space.
From a driver’s perspective, the GX 460 is easy to operate with instrumentation visible across the dash and down the center stack. I found everything intuitive to locate and operate. The technology suite is impressive with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system at the epicenter. The split-front storage armrest is unique — and convenient.
Look for navigation and SiriusXM support, as well as Lexus Enform, which includes Safety Connect service for roadside assistance and emergency vehicle location, among other features. A back-up camera, blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert are standard.
Despite its more than 5,000 pounds of curb weight, power is immediate, attributable to a 301-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 with 329 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is usually not a concern for big SUV buyers, and the GX 460 is borderline with its 15 city/18 highway mpg. The GX will tow up to 6,500 pounds.
The rear suspension system provides a supremely soft and cozy ride, with an increased chassis height function to deal with off-road obstacles. Since the GX is a true 4WD SUV, it offers the ability to choose between 4LO and 4HI modes as well as a locking rear differential. The GX also offers crawl control, making it easy to handle rugged off-road terrain.
The Lexus GX 460 provides the versatility for any road condition while providing the refinement and comfort of a true luxury SUV. The capable V-8 engine, higher towing capacity and air suspension capabilities make the ride extraordinary. At $62,980 base, it’s what you’d expect from Lexus.