2014 Lexus GX 460 Luxury Review
Luxurious yes, but still a truck at heart.No Comments
The GX460 is a well-outfitted off-roader, but despite its pretentions of fanciness, it's still can't help feeling like a truck. Which is okay, since as a truck it's pretty damn good.
It's not easy doing luxury in an off-road vehicle. This fact is evidenced by every luxury SUV that is not a Range Rover. The problem is that off-road capable cars are supposed to look big and tough, and big and tough and fancy are not so easy to combine. Lexus does what it can with the GX460, and it's a well-outfitted off-roader, but despite its pretentions of fanciness, it's still can't help feeling like a truck. Which is okay, since as a truck it's pretty damn good.
With a 4.6-liter V8 under its massive hood, the GX460 is not lacking in the balls-out department. Of course, it takes a lot of those 310 horsepower just to get a car this size moving, but having 329 lb.-ft of torque at the ready means you can get this car going very quickly with very little effort.
When it comes to handling, well that's where the QX460 starts to lose its luxuriousness. This is a true 4X4, and it rides like one. If you don't like feeling every bump and dip in the road, this might not be the car for you.
Off-road, however, is another story. This can's off-roadness isn't just for show. It's got full-time four-wheel-drive with an electronic locking limited slip differential, all of which are fancy ways of saying that this baby does very nicely on various non-paved surfaces. It's just the paved ones that can be troublesome, especially when they're peppered with potholes.
It's becoming increasingly difficult to find anything meaningful to say about the exterior designs of any crossovers. They are the new minivans in just about every way, including the incredibly generic silhouette. What sets Lexus apart, of course, is its massive, gaping maw of a grille, which ordinarily looks kind of foolish, but is kind of appropriate on this massive whale of a car.
The GX460 was given a facelift this year to bring it in line with the rest of the line, which is good news if you like lots of harsh lines and bulging musculature, but less good if you like thing that are attractive. We kid of course -- beauty being in the eye of the beholder and whatnot -- but overall the new looks are an improvement over the somewhat drab design they replace.
The whole luxurious/macho balance really comes into play in the interior. It's an epic battle between oversized protuberances shaped like tools (both literal and figurative) and luxury features like highly polished wood and stitched leather. Lexus manages to find an acceptable compromise, albeit one that definitely tilts toward toughness.
If you're a fan of Lexus' mouse-like remote touch interface, you'll be sad to see it missing on the GX, but the touch-screen interface that replaces it is good enough, and Lexus continues to have the easiest-to-use and the most bug-free infotainment systems.
The heated-and-cooled 10-way power seats, as well as the heated leather-wrapped mahogany steering wheel are there to remind you that you are in a luxury car, and as with all Lexuses, the soundproofing in the cabin is remarkable. Add in the wonderful sounding Mark Levinson sound system, and there is comfort aplenty.
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, full-time 4WD.
Power Output: 301 horsepower / 329 lb.-ft. torque
Fuel Economy: 15 mpg (city) / 20 mpg (hwy)
Price: $60,715 (base) $62,770 (as tested)
Features: 18-inch alloy wheels, heated mahogany steering wheel, navigation with 8-inch touch screen, blind-spot monitor, Mark Levinson premium audio package.