For the latest model year, the GX receives an optional sport appearance package.
With their superior fuel efficiency and refined on-road dynamics, car-based crossovers are the ride of choice for most luxury buyers seeking big cargo space and an elevated seating position. Though their numbers have rapidly diminished due to the popularity of the crossover, there still exist a few traditional, truck-like SUV models that can claw their way through treacherous trails and over steep hills – if that’s the capability that you need, or would just feel safer knowing that you have, then you should give the GX 460 a close look.
This SUV packs the right gear for heading off the beaten path, including a two-speed transfer case for its four-wheel-drive system and a crawl control system that lets the driver set a speed from 1 to 3.7 mph that the vehicle will automatically maintain – even when traveling through ruts, clambering over rocks or traversing sandy inclines.
That isn’t to say that the GX 460 is uncouth when it comes time to return to the pavement. It can’t match the handling sophistication of crossovers, but it’s more wieldy than its off-roading prowess would suggest due to an available adaptive suspension that with computer-controlled dampers that automatically adjust to road conditions for improved responsiveness and ride comfort. Also included are adaptive stabilizer bars that firm up to reduce body roll during daily driving and can disconnect for better wheel articulation in the rough stuff.
Inside, the GX 460 delivers what one would expect of a Lexus – fine leather upholstery, wood trim and elegant lines, albeit integrated into a more upright, truck-like design than most of the luxury brand’s other models. New for the latest model year is upsized eight-inch touchscreen that controls Bluetooth connectivity functions as well as entertainment and navigation systems through Lexus’ Enform infotainment system. Enform also includes an App Suite that lets users search the internet with Bing, make resturaunt reservations with OpenTable, get movie tickets via MovieTickets.com, look up reviews on Yelp, check in on Facebook places, and listen to Pandora and iHeartRadio internet radio.
Buyers can order Apple’s Siri Eyes Free system, which uses the GX’s steering wheel-mounted controls to access the Siri function of any iPhone equipped with iOS 6. Once linked, drivers can use voice commands to perform actions like make phone calls, play songs from iTunes, listen to and compose text messages and add appointments to their calendars.
The GX 460 provides seating for seven passengers across three rows of seats, although the rearmost row is most suitable children. When it comes time to carry cargo, folding down the 2nd and 3rd row seats results in a sizable 92 cubic inches of stowage space.
Exterior styling was revised for the latest model year, with Lexus’ corporate “spindle” grille, new LED headlights and running lights as well as optional LED foglights being the major changes up front, At the rear, revisions include clear tail lamps and a revised bumper, while new wheels finish the look outside.
As its name implies, the GX 460 uses a 4.6-liter V8 that puts out 301 horsepower (up from 263) and 329 lb-ft. of torque (up from 323 lb-ft.). The motor is mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission and an off road-oriented two-speed four-wheel-drive system. Towing capacity maxes out a 6,500 lbs.
As a technology and luxury packed SUV, the GX 460 is no lightweight. Its mass and thirsty V8 mean that fuel economy isn’t pretty – officially, the EPA rates the SUV at just 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.