Big, tough and more than luxurious
By Cam Benty
If you like your four-wheeling with a touch of class, check out the Lexus GX 460. A step up from its cousin, the Toyota 4-Runner, the GX feels big both inside and out. That’s because it really is big with a curb weight of 5240 lbs. Powered by a 4.6-liter V8, cranking out 301 horsepower. You won’t set any speed records but the torque (329 lb. ft. @ 3500rpm) output around town more than makes up for the girth.
A four-wheel drive SUV that first arrived on the scene in 2010, the GX 460 seems more at home on the highway than in the dirt, which we believe is where most of its buyers will be spotted. In the world of cool to drive, luxury SUV’s, the GX 460 fits right in. With a wheelbase of 109.8-inches, the Lexus floats along with ease handling grooved highways and truck worn concrete block freeways with impressive smoothness. The six-speed transmission is typical Toyota quality with firm shifts and firm gear selection reliability.
For those folks who do take to the off-road, the GX will be more than happy in the hands of a skilled driver who understands how to read the road for its various imperfections. The size and height of the body deliver significant body lean when the trail is less than flat and for the novice off-roader, this could feel somewhat daunting. The body itself sits high enough to avoid most road-borne obstacles, another solid check in the good column for this great looking machine. We felt during testing that the GX460 is best suited for inclement weather driving operation – rain and snow and that it does with great style.
Luxury on the Road
As is the case with most Lexus vehicles, the interior features not only luxury textures and colors but also a fair amount of technology, something mandated by today’s drivers. The seating is soft and comfortable with heated and cooled seats and fully adjustable front passenger positioning.
The second and power activated third-row seating are both harder on the backside but that third row is not suited for full-size adults. We preferred to have the third-row seats fully stowed to allow for more storage in the back – with the third-row seats occupied, there is very little storage. The rear tailgate features both swing away and fold-up access and the rear window can be opened independently of the tailgate for those who wish to drop things in the back without opening the tailgate. This feature allows you to pack the back right up to the tailgate – dropping stuff in through the window.
The interior sports all of the luxury appointments you’d expect including an 8-inch touchscreen center-mounted display that includes navigation, Siri Eyes free mode and full power, Mark Levinson surround-sound entertainment system. Our car came with the power moonroof and three-zone climate control (worked very well!). Regardless of whether its packed to the gills or just cruising with one person, the road leveling rear air springs and adaptive damping do a great job keeping the hefty GX460’s attitude in check. Technologically savvy features such as adaptive cruise control with stop, rear cross traffic, and blind spot alerts are present and work as designed.
At a price of just over $65,000 as equipped (base price is $52K), the GX 460 is less expensive than many of the competitive luxury SUV’s on the market. While the styling was pleasant, (the last big design change was 2015) it has been a decent seller. With 0 to 60 mph times of 7.1, it is quick enough to avoid negative comments – and that’s a win in the social media world. We enjoyed our time in the GX460 and got exactly what we wanted – solid road manners, decent power, the techy stuff we required and gobs of classic luxury that made us feel special.