2020 Lexus GX 460 review: What’s old is cool again

Big grille aside, you have to admit the GX 460 appears fairly butch. Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Big grille aside, you have to admit the GX 460 appears fairly butch.


Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The GX 460 is the oldest product in Lexus’ lineup, but it found its way back again into the spotlight. With overlanding gaining recognition in current many years, the GX is having fun with newfound stardom thanks to its uncomplicated-to-modify architecture, legit 4-wheel-drive chops and significant-high quality interior. There are lifted illustrations all around Car or truck Twitter. Lexus’ historic SUV is after again awesome.

Like

  • Excellent off-street overall performance
  • Plush, peaceful, significant-high quality cabin
  • A good deal of space for passengers and cargo
  • Plenty of conventional basic safety tech

Never Like

  • Genuinely previous multimedia interface
  • V8 is underpowered
  • Fuel overall economy isn’t excellent

It looks like Lexus is eventually leaning into the GX’s previous-school nature, way too. Past 12 months, the business made the GXOR Idea as a nod to house owners who, according to Lexus, “learned and embraced the SUV’s great mix of top luxury and unmatched off-street capability.” And for 2020, there is a new Off-Road Package which adds specific drive modes for various kinds of terrain, panoramic-look at and below-the-auto cameras, a transmission cooler, gas tank protector and Crawl Handle, which is like cruise handle for super-slow off-street things. It truly is a $one,570 option that’s only available on the top rated-tier Luxury trim, but if you are preparing to undertaking off the crushed route in your GX — and you actually, actually need to — it is really a ought to-have.

Aside from that, the most obvious update for 2020 is, uh, that experience. Lexus’ oversized spindle grille is practically blown out of proportion on the GX. It truly is fairly undesirable, you guys. Fortunately, the rest of the SUV is fairly handsome, with its upright design and significant-mounted taillights. My tester wears the $2,020 Sport Structure Package, which adds darkish-end 19-inch wheels and some other grey entire body perform, as perfectly as second-row captain’s chairs, which you should not just convey “sporty,” but no matter what, they’re nice.

Gettin’ dirty.


Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Actually, the complete dang interior is nice, with tender leather surfaces and outstanding in good shape and end — the variety of things you count on in a Lexus. The pink-and-black shade scheme is a little bit considerably for my tastes, and it won’t just scream “remember to throw all of your muddy tenting equipment in below,” but it adds some visual aptitude to the if not simple cabin design. It provides the GX’s cabin nearer to modern-day times, way too, in particular with a redesigned 3-spoke steering wheel, aluminum trim and a new backlit gauge cluster.

Headroom is enough for front and rear passengers alike, and there is even a 3rd row of seats, while they’re most effective left unused. The GX provides a maximum of sixty four.seven cubic toes of room, while it is really worthy of noting you accessibility the way-back again via a facet-hinged tailgate, so get exclusive be aware just before backing into a garage or squeezing into a limited parallel parking room. Aged SUVs, am I ideal?

Speaking of previous, get a load of the GX’s multimedia tech. This outdated touchscreen infotainment method makes use of low-res graphics, it is really fairly slow to react to inputs, variety of baffling to navigate and Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are nowhere to be found (Amazon Alexa integration, on the other hand, is conventional). But it is really not all terrible. In reality, the just-touch-what-you-want interface is significantly less complicated to use than any of Lexus’ extra current setups — you know, the silly mouse-like joystick or, even worse, the Distant Contact trackpad.

You will find at minimum an remarkable roster of driver-support tech, with Lexus’ Safety System In addition suite equipped to just about every GX. This incorporates pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, automated significant-beams and adaptive cruise handle, while the latter method won’t go over a whole array of velocity, so you should not rely on it for stop-and-go cases.

Perhaps the most crucial driver-support technologies are the kinds that help the GX off-street, because this is in which this SUV can actually strut its things. The Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) retains the GX degree and steady both of those on- and off-street, stiffening or calming the front and rear stabilizer bars as desired. Stiffer is superior for controlled entire body motions on easy pavement, although softer options give the wheels a increased array of motion on tough terrain.

The significant-high quality leather is as excellent below as it is in any other Lexus. The infotainment, however…


Lexus

Apparently, the bulk of the GX’s off-street functions you should not perform unless you choose the 4-wheel-drive system’s low-array, at which stage you can also lock the centre differential. The GX 460 has respectable off-street geometry, with technique, breakover and departure angles of 21, 21 and 23 levels, respectively, as perfectly as eight.one inches of floor clearance. The GX has air suspension tech, way too, but only for the rear wheels.

The moral of the tale is, the GX is significantly extra able than you could possibly believe. Participating in around at California’s Hungry Valley off-street park, the Lexus fortunately bounds together dusty trails and scales steep grades with assured electrical power. I wouldn’t press it into provider as a rock crawler — that’s what a Jeep Wrangler is for, or even a Toyota 4Runner — but for the form of get-off-the-map overlanding that’s prompted this complete resurgence in GX recognition, it is really obtained just about every tool for the occupation.

The GX is lots nice for commuting via civilization, way too. Regular, Sport and Consolation drive modes alter the adaptive dampers, while to be trustworthy I can hardly explain to a change. Depart it in Consolation. Go plush or go household. Aside from, the relatively light steering and considerably sluggish transmission establish the GX won’t actually want to be hustled. As an alternative, it is really easy, just powerful plenty of and the interior is nicely insulated to retain the outdoors world in which it belongs.

Motive pressure will come from a 4.six-liter the natural way aspirated V8, pushing out 301 horsepower and 329 pound-toes of torque, sent to all 4 wheels via a six-velocity automated transmission. The GX isn’t just speedy, but a maker-estimated -to-60-mph time of seven.eight seconds isn’t pokey, both. Regrettably, this previous powerplant is fairly thirsty, with the EPA estimating you’ll see 15 miles for each gallon in the city, twenty mpg highway and 17 mpg combined.

This is hoping GX purchasers truly get their SUVs off street.


Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The 2020 GX 460 starts off at $54,025 together with $one,025 for destination, which positions it perfectly under its main significant-ish luxury off-street competitor, the Land Rover Selection Rover Sport ($69,945). Higher-crust variations of the Jeep Grand Cherokee pose a little bit of a risk, way too, with the array-topping Summit coming in at $fifty three,990. Entirely loaded, the GX 460 Luxury pictured below expenses $73,090.

If you you should not strategy to get your luxury SUV off street, the Lexus GX in all probability isn’t for you. Car or truck-based mostly crossovers like the Audi Q7, BMW X5 or Mercedes-Benz GLE-Course present extra electrical power, superior gas overall economy, fresher design and style and significantly superior tech, with extra relaxed on-street manners.

But there is anything oddly compelling about the archaic GX. These who take pleasure in its rugged attraction will find a large amount to like. And hey, if one particular won’t make perception ideal now, Lexus’ demonstrated trustworthiness will make this GX a sweet secondhand get when it is really time to build an overlanding rig of your have.