As crossovers continue to dominate the sport/utility market, vehicles that stick with the traditional body-on-frame design are becoming rarer every year. That's why it was so unexpected when Lexus didn't make the second-generation GX a crossover. The move turned out to be a pleasant surprise for anyone who goes off-road, even if it's only once in a while.
The 2010 GX saw a significant redesign, with the main addition being a 301 horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 and six-speed transmission. The GX is more efficient, more powerful, and has reduced emissions compared to prior models. It also can tow 6500 pounds, and features an assortment of off- and on-road technology like four-wheel drive, hill descent, and various forms of electronic traction, stability, and brake force control.
Inside, the GX features three-row seating with a power-folding third row, lots of sound-deadening material for a quiet cabin, nine-speaker audio with satellite radio, and a second row that can slide forward to accommodate greater cargo storage.
Body style: SUV
Engine: 4.6-liter V-8
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: GX 460, GX 460 Premium
The GX 460 is a carryover model for 2012, but receives a color-keyed body-side molding with a chrome accent, while the Premium model now features a high-gloss wheel finish. In addition, the Fire Agate Pearl exterior replaces Peridot Mica.
The GX might soon be the last of its breed, as most automakers have shunned large, heavy, gas-guzzling SUVs in favor of smaller, car-based crossovers.
Driver and front passenger get 10-way power heated and cooled front seats. Three rows are standard, and the cabin comes with leather seats, plus nine-speaker audio. The GX Premium model adds rear air-conditioning and heated seats in the second row.
Performance & Handling
The GX 460 is rugged enough for off-roading (and it excels there), but most drivers will rarely leave the pavement. Braking is strong, and the 4.6-liter V-8 is powerful enough to tow 6500 pounds. The GX isn't much fun on mountain roads, unless they're the kind strewn with dirt, logs and boulders. Around town, its suspension and four-wheel drive make it more than adequate for practical duties.
Dual front airbags are standard on the GX 460, as are front- and second-row seat-mounted side airbags, dual front knee airbags, and two-row side-curtain airbags. Traction control, stability control, and ABS with electronic brake force distribution are also standard.
EPA Fuel Economy
15 mpg city/20 mpg highway
- Fantastic off-road capability
You Won't Like
- Tight third row
Smallish cargo area
If You Like This Vehicle
- Land Rover LR4