The GX 460 takes traditional Lexus refinement and technology as far off-road as possible. The tasteful luxury and faultless assembly expected of the upscale brand rides on a platform capable of serious cross-terrain duty.
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2016 Lexus GX 460 Overview
What's New for 2016
The GX 460 receives the new Lexus Enform system, a vehicle diagnostic and remote-management app that monitors maintenance and includes stop/start and climate-control adjustment functions. Otherwise the GX 460 makes its heavy-duty way into 2016 essentially unchanged.
Choosing Your Lexus GX 460
Underneath its flawless paint and luxurious interior the GX 460 is an old-school SUV: body-on-frame construction, V8 power, and four-wheel drive with a low-range transfer gear to provide rock-crawling capabilities well beyond what one would expect of something wearing a Lexus badge.
All GX 460s are powered by a 4.6-liter V8 that sends 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque to the wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission and a computer-managed four-wheel drive system featuring a Torsen center differential. Vehicle control is enhanced by Crawl Control, which modulates throttle and brakes over steep terrain, and a trick Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) that allows for both excellent on-road stability and maximum off-road wheel travel.
While the suspension is capably managing everything underneath it and the driveline is moving the whole works onward, the GX 460's occupants are treated to a standard Lexus interior: high-quality materials, exceptional fit and finish, carefully considered design, and seamless comfort.
The GX 460 is available in three trim levels:
Unless you require all available electronic systems or your hunting dogs insist on the maximum ride comfort of the Luxury's air suspension, the Premium brings the upscale dress and features at an agreeable price.
2016 Lexus GX 460 Review
The Lexus GX 460 is a seven-passenger SUV that combines the luxurious interior refinement of a Lexus, with the rugged, full-fledged four-wheel ability of an off-roader. Though it seems like an odd combination, the GX 460 fully commits to both identities resulting in an interesting blend of these two seemingly disparate worlds.
Pricing and Equipment
The GX 460 we received was a Premium trim level that came in Nebula Grey Pearl, a step up from the base model which starts at $50,140 (plus a $940 delivery fee). Standard equipment includes:
- Eighteen-inch split-spoke alloy wheels
- Tilt-and-slide moonroof
- Leather interior
- Heated power front seats
- Intuitive park assist
Our car also came equipped with the optional Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert package ($800).
While driving the GX 460 on paved roads, we found the ride was smoother than we expected for an SUV with traditional body-on-frame underpinnings. However, the real fun was had once we took it off-road. With the four-wheel drive and crawl control engaged we were able to focus entirely on where we were going while the GX 460 took care of the rest. It left us more than tempted to test the SUV's limits and hit some really challenging terrain.
- During the small amount of off-roading we were able to do, we became big fans of the Kinetic Driving Suspension System (KDSS). It kept the GX’s tires on the ground and us moving forward during situations where other SUVs could have become easily trapped.
- If towing capacity is important to you, the GX 460 has the ability to handle an impressive 6,500-pound load.
- Gas mileage, gas mileage, gas mileage. The GX 460 is a gas-guzzler in the classic sense. It requires premium fuel, and only gets 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway. Honestly, it felt a bit like a stick-up every time the ‘needs fuel’ light came on.
- During normal highway driving the GX 460 feels more truck-like than other crossovers, as its steering and braking is numb and slow to respond. Passing other vehicles on the expressway leaves the GX 460 feeling a bit strained.
Though a bit boxy on the outside, the GX 460 has the luxurious interior that we’ve come to expect in a Lexus. Every aspect of design has been carefully considered, and the fit and finish are clearly of high quality. A few features worth highlighting:
- The front view from the front seats is excellent.
- The overall space for the first two rows is quite roomy, with well-padded, supportive front seats that make it comfortable.
- As comfortable and well thought-out as the front seats are, the third-row seating is small and difficult to get to. It's really best left for kids, or folded down to create more cargo space.
- Surveying the cargo space of the GX 460 left us underwhelmed. It seems small for an SUV this size, even with the third row folded down.
- The swing-out rear door is hinged on the passenger side making curbside loading more difficult than it has to be.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The GX 460 really can handle its business off-road. Initially, we were a bit nervous taking what is clearly a luxury vehicle onto some really rocky terrain. However, once we experienced the KDSS system and the crawl control we became true believers in its off-road credentials.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The 4.6-liter V8 engine commits the dual sin of guzzling gas while feeling slow to respond. Though it’s actual zero to sixty has been measured at 7.2 seconds (which is pretty average for a large, luxury SUV) it sure felt a lot slower.
The Bottom Line
If you aren’t planning on using the GX 460 for serious off-roading, then you would probably be better suited looking for a crossover SUV with more refined on-road manners. For those that can afford it, we recommend stepping up to the Premium trim (an extra $4,710) as it packs quite a few really great features for the cost.