To listen to some folks in the mainstream media, the sport-utility vehicle is dead and gone. Don’t try to tell that to American motorists. Sure, sales are down, and many buyers are switching from conventional SUVs to lighter, more nimble and efficient crossover vehicles, but to misappropriate Mark Twain, reports of the sport ute’s demise are greatly exaggerated.
Just ask Toyota, which has blanketed the market with an array of conventional sport-utility vehicles and crossover-utes though both its mass brand, as well as up-market Lexus. The latter marque’s RX line dominates the mid-luxury crossover segment, the big RX570 targets buyers looking for the ultimate combination of off-roadability and create comforts.
Smack in the middle is the GX, a three-row, body-on-frame ute which is making its second-generation debut. At first glance, it might be a bit confusing, the new 2010 Lexus GX460 replacing the older GX470. In fact, while the displacement is down, Lexus has found a way to squeeze out more power, torque – and fuel economy.