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2017 Lexus GX 460 Overview
GX stands for “Grand Crossover,” which serves as a fairly apt description for the midsize luxury SUV Lexus introduced for 2003. It’s also somewhat misleading, however, as this is a much more capable and luxurious vehicle than the typical crossover currently buzzing around suburbs all over the United States. The 2017 GX 460 starts at over $50,000, is available with most convenience features you can imagine, and actually has off-road chops despite its fancy interior and exterior.
Lexus doesn’t sell many GXs relative to its smaller SUVs and cars, and the basic design hasn’t changed much since the second generation came out for 2010. Likewise, nothing major changes for 2017.
Built on the same platform as the foreign-market Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, the GX 460 is 192 inches long, 74 inches wide, and 5,130 pounds. Under the hood is the same 4.6-liter V8 found in other large Toyotas like the Tundra pickup. In the GX 460, it makes 301 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque. That’s more than enough to move the hefty GX around, and it will in fact let the GX 460 tow an impressive 6,500 pounds. Fuel economy isn’t great, with a rating of 15 mpg city, 20 highway, 17 combined, and the GX takes premium fuel to fill its 23-gallon tank.
You wouldn’t take a luxury vehicle like the GX 460 on a safari or up a mountain, but it’s capable enough off-road for most applications and has a lot more rugged powertrain equipment than the typical crossover. That includes low-range gearing, a Torsen locking center differential, and full-time 4-wheel drive (4WD). The GX also features body-on-frame construction as well as a standard Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which links the fore and aft stabilizer bars hydraulically to minimize body roll on the road and maintain wheel contact with the ground off-road. Crawl control, which aids in navigating difficult terrain at very low speeds, is an optional extra, while an adaptive suspension comes standard with the Luxury trim. The feel of the rack-and-pinion steering in the GX is reportedly vague and slow to respond, and some critics have noted a spongy brake pedal, but a big, truck-like luxury vehicle like this will never be nimble.
Like just about any Lexus, the GX 460 is refined and premium-feeling on the inside, with a level of fit and finish to match its rivals. Outward visibility is reportedly good, and the seats are roomy and supportive—with the exception of the third-row seating, which is tight and unfortunately can’t be removed. Even a base GX 460 is well equipped with standard sunroof, roof rails, leatherette upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable seats with memory settings for the driver, a 120-volt outlet in the rear cargo area, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, USB ports, HD Radio, a universal garage-door opener, and a power tilt/telescopic steering column. It also comes with 64.7 cubic feet of cargo space accessed via a side-opening hatch.
Stepping up to the Premium trim adds heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, parking assistance, a 3-zone automatic climate-control system, and navigation. The range-topping Luxury trim, which starts at just under $63,000, further adds the adaptive suspension with auto-leveling, a blind-spot monitor, a heated steering wheel, a rear tonneau cover, and power-folding third-row seating. Additional convenience options include a rear-seat entertainment system, automatic high beams, a 330-watt audio system, and a number of safety features.
With its older body-on-frame design, the GX 460 won’t be as crash-worthy as more cutting-edge vehicles, but it is a massive automobile available with a slew of modern safety features to keep you from having a crash in the first place. Safety Connect, a navigation-based roadside-assistance system, is standard, as are active front headrests, hill-start assist, a rear-view camera with dynamic gridlines, and 10 airbags. The GX is also available with forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, a surround-view camera, trailer sway control for towing, and a Driver Support package that includes high-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane-departure alert, and crawl control.
American buyers have seemed content with smaller, more fuel-efficient crossovers, and despite currently low gas prices, bigger and more capable SUVs like the GX 460 haven’t exactly been flying off dealership lots. These are expensive automobiles even at the base level, but with the comfort and convenience features of a proper luxury car, solid towing capacity, and the ability to tackle some off-road terrain, the GX is a good all-rounder.
Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a 1969 Lynx Formula Vee. After receiving two degrees in history, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.
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