Friday, 19 August 2022

2020 Lexus GX460 is part luxury, part tank Featured

Posted On Thursday, 03 September 2020 22:58 Written by
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The 2020 Lexus GX460 can seat either 6 or 7 people depending on configuration The 2020 Lexus GX460 can seat either 6 or 7 people depending on configuration Photo courtesy of Lexus

 

There’s a false conception held by many automotive shoppers that you have to either choose a family-friendly luxury SUV, or choose something more adventurous.

While the options are rare, there are some vehicles that still bridge this gap, and one of those is the 2020 Lexus GX460, a large SUV that’s a cross between a stylish and luxurious family ride and an off-road-ready adventure machine. 

There are many luxury SUVs to compete with the Lexus GX, but this vehicle essentially stands alone in the class as an old-school body-on-frame SUV that is truly off-road capable. I recently spent some time in a 2020 GX460, and I’m back with a full report.

LOOKS

Considering what the GX460 is capable of, you wouldn't expect it to have the luxurious look and feel that it does inside and out.

Lexus always delivers on their interiors, and the plush seating in the GX will be comfortable even on very long rides. It's extremely roomy inside the GX, except the third row which is a bit tight and meant for smaller children.

Seating for six was available in my test vehicle, but other versions of the GX seat up to 7 people.

The exterior of the GX tells the story well with a rugged look and high ground clearance of 8.1 inches to boost off-road capability, along with downhill assist control and hill assist control. The front spindle grille and headlamp design gets a reboot and looks very sharp.

Sitting up high in the GX, you’ll get an excellent view of the road. Inside the vehicle, you will find leather, power, heated and ventilated adjustable front seats and wood interior trim.

Also offered are heated outboard second-row seats, and fold-flat third-row seats for easy reconfiguration. There’s also a heated steering wheel.

The power-folding, auto-dimming heated outside mirrors are a nice touch, and for comfort you get 3-zone automatic climate control with an interior air filter. To round things out, you get rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power moonroof, illuminated running boards and front scuff plates.

To spice things up, you can add the Sport Design Package, which features 19-inch alloy wheels; second-row Captain's Chairs; chrome detail side mirrors, and more.

HOW’S THE RIDE?

For such a heavy ride, you need a powerful motor. And Lexus delivers with a 4.8-liter, V8 engine offering 301 horsepower and 329 lb.-ft. of torque. This is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and the vehicle features all-wheel drive.

The GX tows up to 6,500 pounds, and its ace in the hole is its ability to offer strong capabilities in off-road driving scenarios that pretty much no other luxury vehicle can offer.

The GX is a heavy vehicle, weighing over 5,000 pounds. This is important to note because it does affect the ability of the GX to accelerate. What that means is that your 0-to-60 time will suffer compared to other SUVs, making things like highway merging a bit more of a chore. Once you're up to speed, it's smooth as silk and drives great on the freeway as well as the regular roads, absorbing all the bumps without any concern. It's just not going to be a rocket from a standstill.

You can also adjust the height of the vehicle, choose between Sport and comfort mode, and adjust the crawl ability for mountainous roads. Helping the overall quality of the ride are features like a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, and Auto-leveling Rear Air Suspension. Trailer Sway Control is also featured.

The off-road package will get you: Multi-Terrain and Panoramic View Monitors, Transmission Cooler, Fuel Tank Protector, Crawl Control & Multi-Terrain Select.

TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY
In terms of safety features, Lexus as usual has the full gamut covered. The standard Lexus safety system includes tremendous features that will prove very reliable and be greatly appreciated by GX drivers. 

Lighting is high quality as well, and the sound system is excellent overall. But there are some other issues with the infotainment system.

For example, in my experience the voice commands are not always recognized well. For navigation, I often had to repeat multiple times what address I wanted to go to before it accurately translated my voice command. This was a bit frustrating compared to other vehicles in this class, which tend to get it right more quickly.

Changing radio stations and making phone calls by voice works well, but navigation was a challenge. Also, the infotainment system itself looks a bit dated and is less user-friendly than many competing systems. Eventually, you will get the hang of the system in the GX and learn to use it more smoothly. But the first few weeks in the car will probably be a bit of a learning curve.

The standard Lexus safety features include: Pre-Collision System with pedestrian detection, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert & Intelligent High Beam Headlamps. A Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert is also featured.

The GX features a total of 10 airbags, so everyone in the vehicle is covered in a worst-case scenario. It also offers brake assist with smart stop technology.

The infotainment system is centered around an 8-inch touchscreen. You get a 1-year trial of Lexus Enform Remote, with Smart Watch and Alexa Skill integration. You also get 3 free months for satellite radio (which I highly recommend keeping long-term).

A Lexus 9-speaker Premium Sound System and 4 USB ports are included standard, and there is an optional upgrade to Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio. The upgraded system features 17 speakers, 330 Watts, 7.1-Channel Architecture, Automatic Sound Levelizer and a single-disc DVD/CD Player.

For those who need to entertain the kids (or adults) in the back seat on car rides, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system is offered.


MPG
The official fuel mileage on the 2020 Lexus GX460 is 15 city/19 highway/16 combined. These numbers checked out, as I averaged 16 mpg while driving the GX.

While there are few, if any, vehicles that I would consider true competitors to the GX460, comparing fuel mileage to similar-sized SUVs shows the numbers are decent, but not spectacular.

PRICE, BOTTOM LINE
My test vehicle was just over $72,000; Base price for the Luxury trim level starts about $64K, while the base model of the GX goes for $53K.

While there are areas of the 2020 Lexus GX460 that are lacking, such as the slow acceleration and the frustrating voice commands and outdated navigation system, the rest of what it offers is pretty brilliant. 

Its design is brilliant inside and out, it offers the ability to go on all roads smooth or rough, and the whole family can travel in comfort with a versatile design and storage options. Other SUVs may be faster, but few are as versatile in terms of abilities as the GX. You just have to get used to driving a more tank-like vehicle.

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.



Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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