The Lexus GX 460 is a midsize luxury SUV that is based heavily on the smaller of Toyota's two world market Land Cruisers. The GX 460 is Lexus' answer to those seeking a luxury SUV that can still perform off-road when necessary.
Significantly upgraded from its predecessor, including a lower displacement but more powerful V8, the GX 460 slots in above the RX 350 but below the hulking LX 570.
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.
Fuel economy is up to 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway compared to the outgoing model's rather dismal 14/18 mpg.
Although the GX 460 is based on one of the most rugged body-on-frame SUV platforms produced today, its positioning as a Lexus means it a decidedly luxury-oriented SUV. Standard 18-inch wheels add to its on-road presence, as do standard illuminated running boards and a Lexus family waterfall-like horizontal grille.
The GX 460 model makes the outgoing GX 470's optional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension a standard feature. Designed to make the GX more stable and agile, the system offers a trio of suspension modes as well as height adjustability.
Maintaining the old model's rather surprising off-road ability, the GX 460 features an adjustable transfer case that is activated by flipping a switch (unlike the more traditional mechanical transfer case lever on the outgoing model). Optional crawl control allows drivers to manually select a speed from 1 to 3.7 mph that the vehicle will maintain by automatically applying the brakes.
Optional front and wide-view side cameras are designed to help drivers park the GX in tight spaces but have some use off road, as well, for those few drivers who choose to leave the pavement.
Inside, the GX 460 ups the previous model's luxury content with a nine-speaker, 6-CD audio system with Bluetooth and iPod integration, available heated and cooled seats, power-folding third row seats and an optional rear seat entertainment system with dual monitors. A 17-speaker premium system is on the options list.
The GX adds more rear passenger space for the new model, but the cargo bay shrinks by 13 cubic feet.
The GX 460 is available in two trim levels -- base and Luxury.
The GX 460 comes standard with dual front and knee airbags, front and second row side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and traction and stability control systems.
The Lexus GS 460 competes with the similarly-sized Mercedes-Benz M-Class and BMW X5, and to a much lesser extent, the Infiniti FX35. While those car-based crossovers offer similar amounts of luxury to the GS 460, the only 'ute that can best the big Lexus off-road is the Land Rover LR4.