No Compromising | 2016 Lexus GX 460

July 2016 View more


The 2016 Lexus GX 460 might just be the Rolex Submariner of the automotive world. Both are a mix of contradictions, and neither requires any compromises. The iconic Rolex diver’s watch—with a logo that tells the world you have arrived, a body constructed of the finest materials, and a design that has been around for many years—is built for high performance in punishing environments, but will rarely go anywhere more rugged than the country club.

Similarly, the GX 460’s prominent nose—redesigned with an hourglass grille that matches the rest of the Lexus lineup—prominently features the swoopy Lexus logo, which immediately sets this SUV apart from the more standard fare in the parking lot.

The GX 460 wears high-gloss paint—the Starfire Pearl white is particularly eye-catching—and chrome, and inside it is leather-wrapped and clubby. The leather-and-wood steering wheel is luxury incarnate.

Like the Rolex, too, the GX 460’s design is immediately recognizable because it has been around, with minor modifications, for many years. The grille is new, and the taillights have new covers, but the basic form soldiers on.


Luxurious Body Design

The GX 460’s recognizable body shape is also a giveaway that this luxurious SUV, like the Rolex, is built for punishing environments: Underneath that Lexus exterior beats the heart of a Toyota 4Runner, a rugged full-time four-wheel-drive truck with body-on-frame construction, a locking transfer case, downhill assist control like you would find on a Range Rover, and even a “crawl” control feature that lets the SUV inch its way through the muck and mess that’s standing between you and your destination.

Will most GX 460 owners take their shiny SUVs off-road or into other situations that might compromise their insurability? That is highly unlikely. But isn’t it nice to know that you could?


Added Luxury

Here’s what else you could do in a GX 460, in no particular order: Tow up to 6,500 pounds. Seat seven. Take a long road trip in surprisingly quiet comfort. Buy movie tickets or make a restaurant reservation from an app in the center console’s touchscreen display. Indeed, Lexus turned a go-anywhere Toyota truck into the type of vehicle that really is not out of place on a long drive or a trip to the country club.

Minor Sacrifices

For all its room and comfort, the GX 460’s age becomes apparent in a few ways that might be off-putting. The fuel economy, for example, is of a piece with the large, 4.6-liter V8 engine under the high hood: An EPA-estimated 17 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. The rear cargo door swings out, not up, on a hydraulic piston, exposing a high load floor. And some of the dashboard controls will, for better or worse, be familiar to anyone who drove a Lexus during the last presidential election campaign.

Those are quibbles, really; the GX 460 is what it is—a luxurious, highly capable, and well-established truck. It is big and heavy, and its handling reflects that reality. Lexus knows that buyers who want otherwise will likely find their way to the sharply redesigned RX crossover, parked just across the showroom floor.

The 2016 Lexus GX 460 starts at $50,780 and steps up to $62,155 for a Luxury edition. Roughly splitting the difference is the $55,225 Premium model. While the basic model comes nicely equipped, upgrading to one of the more expensive trim levels adds a lot of the safety and convenience features that luxury buyers tend to expect at this price level.

Photo courtesy of ©Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.