I was quite excited to get behind the wheel of this 2016 Lexus GX 460, as this would be the first time I’ve had one as a review vehicle for a full week. I’ve driven Lexus’ larger LX and enjoyed it; both these SUVs are built on the same Land Cruiser platform.
The GX has been in Lexus’ lineup since 2002 and, as mentioned before, is built on the same platform as the Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s currently only in its second generation, although the GX has gone through some design changes recently. It definitely has a big, bold presence with the large, spindle grille up front and aggressively flared wheel arches along the side. You also get luxury touches like LED daytime running lights and full LED headlamps.
The rear of the vehicle is big, and the tailgate – instead of lifting up – swings outward on a side hinge. I’m not sure how much of an advantage this is, but it’s definitely different; keep it in mind if you’re backing into a parking spot or have something close to the rear of your vehicle. The back glass also pops up, making getting into the rear much easier without the need of fully opening the rear door.
Inside the GX just screams Lexus. From the plush leather, almost bronze accents, and dark wood trim this SUV is all about luxury. While not being quite as advanced as some recently updated Lexus models you still get a killer Mark Levinson sound system, Lexus Enform, voice commands, Bluetooth connectivity, heated and cooled seats, and so much more. All-in-all, it’s a comfortable vehicle and a really nice place to be, whether stuck in traffic or blazing the trails.
That brings us to the real party piece of the GX – its capabilities off-road. Standard on all GX 460 models is Lexus’ Kinetic Dynamic Suspension system, designed to change with the terrain by automatically fixing the front and rear stabilizer bars in place while on-road. This minimizes body lean and helps while navigating tight corners. When off-road, each wheel is able to move independently so the big SUV can react while traveling uneven ground. You also get controls where at a press of a button you’re able to engage Crawl Control, helping you ease up and down steep hills without the need of touching the throttle or brake pedals. You can also manage the ride height and stiffness of suspension with toggles in the center console.
Under the hood is a 301-horsepower 4.6-liter V8. This setup also provides 329 lb-ft of torque, allowing you to tow up to 6,500-pounds. While I wasn’t able to hook up a trailer behind our test GX, I can testify to the power and smoothness of the drivetrain. You’re never in a situation where you’re wanting for more power, and if feeling that way you may have bought the wrong SUV.
Of course, all that power and size comes with some downfalls in overall economy. The GX is rated at 15-mpg city and 20-mpg highway with a combined rating of 17-mpg. That’s not too bad when comparing it to other large, V8-powered SUVs, but if you’re looking for better fuel economy you might want to look at something else.
Overall, I enjoyed driving the Lexus GX 460. It drives more like a truck or 4Runner than a more car/crossover, which I really enjoy. If you have the car packed full of people there’s still plenty of room in the rear, with the 3-rd row folded down, for all kinds of gear. The base price for a GX 460 is $51,280 and that can easily be blown up to over $70k when optioning out a Luxury trimmed model. Yes, that’s a ton of money but the GX is really a go-anywhere-in-comfort vehicle. If you have Lexus money, this is a great option.
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