When the market is moving in the direction of smaller car-like crossovers, the Lexus GX 460 still offers a midsize SUV with rugged off-road capabilities. If you live in the high country, or need a truck-based SUV for getting you through the tough stuff in luxury, the GX 460 fits the bill. It’s also a vehicle for families who need three rows and room to haul lots of cargo.
With it being a Lexus, you can expect luxury and refinement you wouldn’t normally find in typical truck-based SUVs.
What’s New For 2016?
The Lexus GX 460 is essentially unchanged for 2016.
Features & Options
The Lexus GX 460 Luxury ($61,515) comes with semi-aniline leather upholstery, nine-speaker audio, HD radio with real-time weather and traffic, 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone/music, 18-inch alloy wheels, rearview camera, LED headlights, and a sunroof.
Other premium features include three-zone automatic climate control, navigation, heated rear seats, heated and ventilated front seats, LED foglamps, Intuitive Park Assist, and mahogany wood trim. It also comes with adaptive variable suspension, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, rear air suspension with auto leveling, heated steering wheel, and power folding third-row seats.
This Luxury tester came with the optional dual screen rear-seat entertainment system ($1,970), plus a driver support package ($4,340) that included Marl Gevinson premium audio, a suite of safety features, and Crawl Control for additional off-road assistance.
Total MSRP including destination: $68,765.
The Lexus GX 460 Luxury is ideal for growing families because it’s roomy on the inside. Materials and trim are all high quality too. This luxury SUV seats up to seven passengers and comes with three rows to do it. The front row is spacious and the front seats offer 10-way power adjustability, while a tilt/telescoping steering wheel enables any family member to find the perfect seating position.
Front seats are heated and cooled for year-round comfort. We cranked up the heated seats and steering wheel and kept toasty warm in the spring blizzard in Denver this week. Those were nice features to have as winter hangs on late this year.
The second-row is quite roomy and versatile and features heated outboard seats that also recline. The seats offer a power feature and will fold down flat for extra cargo-carrying 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 room for more cargo.
The third row is only comfortable for kids as adults will be cramped.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
This luxury SUV is powered by a 4.6-liter V-8 producing 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that powers all four wheels. The upside to the big V-8 is that it has plenty of power but the downside is fuel mileage.
The 2016 Lexus GX 460 is EPA-rated at 15/20 city/highway and 17 combined mpg.
Where the Lexus GX 460 shines is on the open highway where the SUV is smooth and comfortable for any commute. It kept us coddled in comfort for the entire week. Heading up I-70 at altitude, the GX 460’s V-8 is more than capable to haul a full load of passengers and cargo with ease. This week during our spring blizzard, it showed us just what a capable AWD vehicle it really is.
This SUV comes with body-on-frame construction and low range gearing, and is far more rugged and powerful than any crossover on the market. We plowed through 18-inches of wet, heavy snow getting home and the luxury SUV left us feeling completely confident in its abilities. It 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 home in blizzard.
The GX 460 comes standard with a full-time 4WD system and locking center differential, along with the low-range gearing. The system requires little or no input from the driver, and it’s ideal for safe travel 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.
The only complaint we have with the luxury SUV is the thick rear pillars make blind spots substantial. Fortunately, a rearview camera is standard, and the optional Wide-View Side and Front Monitor helped us this week to see.
Families who need to handle rough terrain or want the extra confidence the truck-based AWD system offers, will want to look at the 2016 Lexus GX 460. It comes loaded with luxury amenities and will coddle you in comfort. It will haul people and cargo with its three rows and flexible seating arrangements quite easily.
*Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy