2020 Lexus GX 460: A Big Bundle of Safety & Off-Road Tech

  • The 2020 Lexus GX 460 receives a number of updates for the new model year.
  • Four-Wheel Active Traction and Crawl Control are useful for rougher terrain. 
  • The technology features are numerous and focus mainly on convenience.

Lexus just put out the deets on its new GX 460 SUV and this thing is crawling with features of all varieties. Tech, safety, comfort and convenience, the lot. They even upped the beast’s off-road capabilities (not that you’re seriously going to do King of The Hammers in this thing). But for what it is, it’s hard to argue with the 2020 Lexus GX 460.

Of course, there is one way you can argue with it.

Case & Point

Lexus touts the “restyling” of the GX 460, and that’s one of the biggest arguments against it. “The 2020 GX wears an updated signature spindle grille that gives it distinctive, standout style which better aligns with the entire Lexus portfolio.” Just make sure your face is better aligned with the toilet bowl, because I swear to Buddha that Stevie Wonder could see how ugly it is. Someone please, please grab the head of Lexus’ styling department by the collar and make them stop with this grille “design.”

I’ve seen more pleasing designs in Soviet apartment blocks.

However, if you can get beyond the face, what makes the 2020 Lexus GX 460 worth it? Well, for starters, the drivetrain and how it puts the power down is worth considering.

2020 Lexus GX 460 Powertrain: A Control Freak

The 4.6-liter V8 in the GX 460 cranks out 301 horsepower, 329 lb-ft. of torque and, when properly equipped, handles 6,500 lbs. worth of towing duty. If you’ve got stuff to tow, the Trailer Sway and Vehicle Stability Control systems will help you keep things under, er, control.

Control is a big deal for the GX 460. Lexus references that word all over the place in their press materials. The Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, for example, is there to “enhance handling and ride comfort,” while keeping the vehicle level both on and off-road. In other words, the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System helps you maintain control of the GX 460. The Adaptive Variable Suspension features “electronically-controlled dampers” with driver selectable modes: Normal, Sport, or Comfort.

The Lexus GX 460 also has Four-Wheel Active Traction; meaning the TORSEN torque-sensing, limited-slip differential splits power 40:60 (front to rear) under most driving conditions, changing the ratio as needed based on wheel slip. The drive system has a low range for slow speed, off-pavement situations; and the center differential can be electronically-locked, further enhancing the GX’s off-road capabilities. Added to all the drivetrain goodies is a wide array of chassis control technology: Downhill Assist and Hill-Start Assist Control; Active Traction and Vehicle Stability Control; and finally, Crawl Control.

Like I said, control is a big deal for the 2020 Lexus GX 460. Although I seriously doubt you will be blasting through Moab with the thing.

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The Crawl Control system automatically maintains a steady pace over rougher terrain. The 2020 Lexus GX 460 modulates the throttle and brakes on its own, while the driver operates the steering wheel. Photo: Lexus.

Related: Lots of space for the family: on the road with the 2018 Lexus GX 460.

Colorful Array & Ample Services

And all of this capability and control comes in seven exterior colors: Starfire Pearl, Atomic Silver, Nebula Gray Pearl, Nightfall Mica, Fire Agate Pearl, Black Onyx, and Claret Mica. The GX’s interior is available in four colors: Black, Sepia, Ecru, and a new Rioja Red with black headliner.

Speaking of the interior, it is, as you would expect, all about the multimedia and connectivity functions. It all starts with the touchscreen system with a customizable home screen that can display three sections simultaneously. The navigation system has a three-dimensional map view and there are four USB ports. Lexus Enform Safety Connect allows access to Lexus response centers 24/7/365, while Lexus Enform Service Connect sends maintenance alerts to you and your dealer.

Lexus Enform Remote lets you lock and unlock the doors; start the engine and climate controls; and check the fuel level (and more) through your smartphone, smartwatch or other devices using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

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2020 Lexus GX 460 interior layout. Photo: Lexus.

Safety & Security

The new GX 460 is also as safe as they can make it with the Lexus Safety System+ suite of technologies now standard. This includes the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Intelligent High Beams, and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. The intuitive high beams offer more intelligent illumination, for lack of a better word. When the road is clear, the system defaults to the high-beams, temporarily switching to low beams when it detects another vehicle.

Pricing & Availability

As of this writing we don’t know either, but the current GX 460 starts at $52,502. There is a lot to like about the 2020 Lexus GX 460; it’s capacious, comfortable, loaded with features to make your journey go easier, and has a slew of off-roading goodies that are great, even if 99 percent of the owners will never use them. Just don’t pay too much attention to the way it looks.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle formatFollow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

Photos & Source: Lexus.