Toyota is both the parent of Lexus, purveyor of ultrarefined sedans and crossovers, and the longtime creator of rugged off-road vehicles which are popular in remote corners of the world. Combine the two identity strands and the result is the Lexus GX 460, which applies an upscale interior and high-quality finish to a genuine truck base to produce one of the more capable luxury vehicles on the market.

Pricing and Equipment

The Lexus GX 460 is a traditional body-on-frame sport utility vehicle based on a version of the Toyota Land Cruiser not sold in North America. A 4.6-liter V8 puts a maximum of 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission to a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a locking center differential.

The GX 460 is available in three trim levels. A standard GX starts at $52,275 (all prices listed here include a $995 destination charge) and includes SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple's Siri Eyes Free functionality, and preparation for trailer towing. Available options include:

  • navigation
  • heated and cooled front seats
  • blind spot monitors and rear cross-traffic sensors
  • Intuitive Parking Assist

The Premium level adds leather upholstery and mahogany wood accents, including wood trim on the steering wheel and shift knob, and climate controls for the second row seats; sticker price on a Premium is $58,590. The Luxury level installs an air suspension system and switches the second row bench seat for captain's chairs, adds blind spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts as standard, and fits a power mechanism to fold the third row for an asking price of $63,975.

Options available across the line include Lexus's app-based Enform Remote controls, which allows a smartphone to function as a remote starter. A slightly pointless Sport Design appearance package is available on the Premium and Luxury for those who want their SUV to wear front and rear spoilers and some extra chrome accents.

Performance Pros

Lexus GX 460
  • Underneath the standard Lexus finish the GX 460 is a legitimately capable truck. The locking central differential improves traction on rough or muddy trails, cargo capacity is a claimed 64.7 cubic feet, and towing capacity is 6,500 lbs.
  • The Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System pulls off the impressive task of checking body roll on-road while allowing a good amount of surface-gripping wheel articulation off-road.
  • Computerized systems take the drama out of slow-speed crawling or steep hill climbs and – especially – descents.

Performance Cons

  • The GX 460 is tall and heavy (74.2 inches and 5130 pounds, respectively) and often feels it. Drivers who assume that it will handle like a common domesticated crossover will need to recalibrate their expectations.
  • Also, and in keeping with its rough-road intentions, brake and throttle responses are soft and steering is slow.
  • The front-end styling cuts into the approach angle and the side sills and running boards hang a bit lower than is ideal, limiting the otherwise impressive off-road behavior.

Interior Pros

  • The front seats are very comfortable, with well-padded thigh support, and are situated to provide excellent visibility.
  • Second-row passengers are treated to plenty of room and nice seats as well.
  • The materials and finish are up to usual top-shelf Lexus standards.

Interior Cons

Lexus GX 460
  • The interior styling is the biggest sign that the GX 460 is more dressed-up Toyota truck than pure Lexus. The console looks dated compared to other Lexus models, and the infotainment system works through a touchscreen instead of an ergonomically idealized controller.
  • The third row of seats is best reserved for young children or emergencies and is not removable, which prevents the GX from having a flat cargo floor.
  • The rear gate is hinged on the right side and proves to be an annoyingly effective barrier when loading from curbside.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The GX 460 pulls off the refined-on-top/rough-and-ready-underneath trick with more conviction and completeness than anything this side of a Range Rover – and with typical Toyota reliability to boot. It's the opposite of the now-standard crossover formula, and is all the more respectable and likable for it.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Even Lexus's grasp of vehicle technology and tuning can't totally defy physics or overcome the downsides that come with the GX 460's rough-road capabilities. Committing to a GX is committing to a vehicle that will require some consideration on the part of the driver for its bulky feel and slow control responses.

The Bottom Line

If you loved your beat-up FJ40 or 4Runner in college but are now taking clients and partners out for weekends of fly fishing or pheasant hunting, the GX 460 may be just what you want in a luxury vehicle. Be advised that buyers who prioritize daily-driver comfort and on-road response will be better served elsewhere.