By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – The Lexus GX 460’s toughest competition may come from its siblings; there are five crossovers and sport utilities that wear the Lexus badge.
The GX 460 lay toward the top of the model lineup. It is nearly impossible to not identify because of its huge Spindle Grille. This is a tree-row sport utility.
It was powered by a 4.6-liter V8 that made 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque. It was mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The GX 460 was not a gas sipper. It got 15 mpg in the city, 20 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg combined.
Still, the vehicle was appreciated. It had a towing capacity of 6,500 lbs., great for boat hauling. Lexus said towing was aided by trailer sway control and vehicle stability control for straight-line tracking.
Although geared for ruggedness, all GX 460s come with creature comforts. It had an enhanced center console, updated 10.3-inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa integration. The GX offers a highly connected and intuitive in-cabin experience. That’s Lexus-speak.
The premium suite of connected technology offers multiple ways to stay connected, including the 3-year Lexus Enform Remote to remotely start the engine using select smart devices. And, with six USB ports throughout the GX, both the driver and passengers can keep their smart devices charged and ready.
Utilizing the technology of the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, the GX enhances handling and ride comfort by helping to keep the vehicle level in both on and off-road conditions. When the GX encounters an uneven surface, one compressed cylinder causes fluid to flow to the other cylinder, helping the vehicle to keep all four wheels on the ground. The system works without any action needed by the driver.
We had the adaptive variable suspension. It used electronically controlled dampers that adjusted to road surface conditions. The driver can tailor the ride by selecting from normal, sport or comfort modes.
There was a full-time automatic four-wheel drive system. The GX 460 could handle trails, not there were any around here.
The system had a 40:60 front to rear torque bias under most driving conditions and changes the ratio as needed based on wheel slip. The four-wheel drive system also offered a low range for slow speed off-road driving, and the center differential can be electronically locked. We did not need that either.
The two-speed transfer case with low range was also supported by a wide array of chassis control technology: downhill assist control, hill-start assist control, active traction control, vehicle stability control and available crawl control.
When the pavement ends, there was an off-road package that’s available on luxury grade. The package offers proven off-road technologies such as Lexus’ multi-terrain monitor and panoramic view monitors with driver and passenger cameras, transmission cooler, fuel tank protector, crawl control and multi-terrain select.
The Lexus GX 460 was a vehicle for all seasons. It could accommodate lots of riders and handle on road or off read terrain. Prices range from $55K to $64k, depending on equipment.