Even though many SUV owners don’t take their vehicles off-road, the Lexus GX 460 is highly capable if you ever need to get off the pavement. It would be the ideal vehicle for a family who lives outside the city and lives in the mountains or needs to travel unpaved roads to get home. That’s because the GX shares a similar platform with the capable off-road Toyota 4Runner. The GX is a large luxury SUV that can handle rugged terrain and is a good vehicle for towing a camper or recreation vehicles.
The Lexus GX 460 remains relatively unchanged for the 2015 model year but Siri Eyes Free Mode and Lexus Enform App Suite adds Slacker upgrades to iHeartRadio 4.0. This week we are testing the 2015 Lexus GX 460 Luxury model.
Options and features
This 2015 Lexus GX 460 Luxury ($60,715) came with one option, the Driver Support Package ($4,340) that included the Mark Levinson Audio system that uses 17 speakers, powered by 330 watts. The package includes the Pre-Collision safety system, Intelligent high-beam headlights, Wide-view front and side monitor and Crawl control. The GX 460 Luxury comes with lots of upgrades inside and out and features tri-zone air conditioning, cargo tonneau, power-retracting outside mirrors, heated steering wheel and rear seats, LED foglamps and 18-inch split six-spoke wheels with Liquid Graphite finish.
Interior comfort and configuration
The Lexus GX Luxury is ideal for large families and is big on the inside. This luxury SUV seats up to seven passengers and comes with three rows of seating. The front row is spacious and the front seats are 10-way power adjustable and are heated and cooled for extra comfort in this SUV. It’s easy to find the perfect driving position for any family member with the tilt/telescoping steering wheel.
The second-row is reasonably roomy and versatile and features heated outboard seats that also recline. The seats offer a power feature and will fold down flat for extra carry ability. The third row can be accessed from the passenger side where the second-row seat moves forward to allow walk-in access. The third row also folds flat at the push of a button, converting the GX 460 to a five-passenger SUV with more cargo. The interior is cavernous and we were able to carry a 10-foot piece of wood trim for home remodeling project.
Engine and fuel mileage specs
The Lexus GX 460 comes standard with a 4.6-liter V8 that develops 301 horsepower and comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The big SUV comes standard with full-time All-wheel-drive. It’s EPA-rated at 15/20 mpg city/highway.
The Lexus GX 460 likes to cruise on the level highway and was smooth and unstressed on the commute to work. As we returned home heading up I-70 into the mountains, the 301 hp V8 had to work harder to get us up the hill. GX 460 weighs in at 5340 pounds empty, so if you have a full load, or pulling a trailer, it may struggle to handle the weight. But for those who live on flat ground, the SUV will handle most driving situations with ease.
This SUV comes with body-on-frame construction and low range gearing, and is far more rugged and powerful than the Lexus RX crossover. Unlike the RX, the GX offers excellent off-road capability and comes equipped with features to make off-road driving safe and easy. It’s very comfortable in town and a great setup for getting you into the backcountry.
The GX comes standard with a full-time 4WD system with locking center differential and low-range gearing. The system requires little or no input from the driver, and it’s ideal for safe travel during heavy rains, on snowy and icy roads, or on rough dirt or gravel surfaces. Even with this setup, the GX 460 suspension still eats up the speed bumps and potholes without jarring you or the passengers.
With its truck-like platform, the 2015 Lexus GX 460 Luxury offers excellent control over rugged terrain, and will keep you safe in all weather situations. It’s a traditional SUV, built on the same truck-based architecture as the rugged Toyota 4Runner, with a suspension and drive system designed for the rough stuff. Inside it’s big and luxurious and on the road it’s comfortable and quiet. The 4.6-liter V8 gives good enough power but it could use more low-end torque for pulling up the hills.
Update: One Year Later
Nearly a year after first reviewing the 2012 Lexus GX 460, we got another drive in one. How did it hold up?
“Wow, this vehicle is big . . . ”
That’s what my passengers said this week after first getting into the cabin of the 2015 Lexus GX 460. Big, luxurious, and comfortable describes this SUV from Lexus. It’s a place people will enjoy spending time hauling passengers or cargo around. Families who lead active lifestyles can also use this big SUV for weekend recreation pursuits.
This Lexus is beautiful on the outside and tough underneath.
Options & Features
This 2015 Lexus GX 460 Luxury ($60,715) comes with tri-zone air conditioning, power-retracting outside mirrors, heated steering wheel and rear seats, Adaptive Variable Suspension, LED foglamps, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intuitive Parking Assist, and 18-inch split six-spoke wheels with Liquid Graphite finish.
An optional driver support package was added ($4,340) that included the Mark Levinson audio system, the off-road-oriented Crawl Control feature, automatic high beam control, adaptive cruise control (includes a pre-collision warning system), lane departure warning, and additional front and side parking cameras.
Total MSRP: $65,980
GX 460’s cabin is attractive and nicely put together and what you would expect from Toyota’s luxury division. The leather is soft, the Mahogany wood trim is genuine, and the fit and finish is first class. Front seats are very comfortable, but the hard and flat second row bench is much less so. Our passengers liked the leg, hip, and headroom in the back, but felt the backseat in a luxury SUV should be a bit cushier than it is.
The third row seats are suitable for kids and very short rides for adults.
This Luxury model gets all the goodies like heated/cooled 10-way power front seats, heated second row seats, and windshield deicer. Where the GX 460 shines is in its cargo carrying ability. There’s 64.7 cubic feet of space with the second and third row seats folded flat.
Lexus GX 460 is so big, that it’s difficult to access all that cargo room from outside.
Engine & Fuel Mileage
The 2015 Lexus GX 460 is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine that develops 301 horespower and 329 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is a full-time 4WD system, with a dual-range transfer case.
EPA estimated fuel mileage comes in at 15/20 city/highway mpg and 17 combined mpg.
The Lexus GX 460 gets its underpinnings from the rugged Toyota 4Runner and can take on any trails owners would need to tackle. Most owners will never take their GX 460 off the pavement, but it’s a good choice for active families who do. We didn’t take it off-road this week but gave it a good test on the road instead.
For an SUV built on a body-on-frame chassis, the Lexus GX 460 rides smoother and more comfortable than you would think. Our GX tester came with Adaptive Variable Suspension, where the driver can dial up one of three modes for a softer or firmer ride.
We tried all three and found it to be an effective feature.
In the mountain corners, the GX 460 feels big and bulky and has a fair amount of body lean. On the open road, it gives the driver confidence as it feels substantial and truck-like. In city commuting, the driver has a commanding view of the road and the luxury SUV has good visibility. The V8 has plenty of power for most drivers unless you are loaded with passengers and cargo and headed up the mountain at altitude.
We thought the SUV’s 4.6-liter V8 could use a bit more power and torque, but we were testing the GX 460 at 8,500 feet elevation. Most buyers will find it has adequate performance.
If you want to leave the pavement, this is where the GX 460 outshines the competition. It’s full-time 4WD and available Crawl Control feature will get you far away from civilization and it will deliver you there, bathed in comfort.
For those needing a luxury SUV, with all the comforts, and the ability to cover rugged terrain, the Lexus GX 460 is a good pick. The truck-based architecture will deliver. It’s also luxurious, quiet, and tranquil.
The 4.6-liter V8 delivers good power and the six-speed automatic transmission is smooth.