While small cars and utility vehicles have hung on to a share of the market, the overall trends have been bigger is again desirable or preferable, which certainly has benefitted sales of vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon, Lincoln Navigator and the Lexus GX 460.
In fact, sales of the GX 460 are up 38%, through the first half of 2021, according to figures from Toyota Motor North America.
With its big 4.8-liter, V-8 engine and plenty of room for passengers and their elbows as well as luggage and sporting gear, the GX 460 is getting attention from buyers. It also comes with some of the latest technology — but there are some glaring omissions.
For example, I wondered why vehicle with a price tag of more than $67,000 and an extensive list of optional equipment was not equipped with a head-up display, which I have come to expect on vehicles in this price range.
The exterior of design of the Lexus GX 460 really does not try to hide what it is. It has brawny haunches over the rear wheels and running boards to help the driver and passengers step into the cabin. The nose of the vehicle also has plenty of room for brand’s signature, hourglass grille and along with a large version of the trademark, amplifying the vehicle’s luxury roots.
The silhouette, however, is basically large and square and the form basically underscores the vehicle’s full-time function, which is to carry people and their stuff in comfort. It a very straightforward and honest design highlighted by the chrome framing the window openings down the side as well as the chrome 19-inch alloy wheels.
As I noted, one of the great strengths of the Lexus GX 460 is its spacious interior. There is not only plenty of headroom and elbow room but there is also some extra room, which gives the vehicle a luxurious feel. That sense is reinforced by the quality of the interior furnishings. Lexus has used plenty of leather, wood and chrome accents, and soft materials to amplify the overall luxury.
The seats are also first rate with plenty of support on a long drive. I also was impressed with how the passenger seat leaned far back — a co-driver could nap comfortably and lessen the fatigue on a cross country trips. The cockpit also laid out in convenient fashion bringing the controls for the entertainment and navigation system are within easy reach.
The cabin also doubles as a concert space thanks to the Mark Levinson sound system, which has 17 speakers and even an old-fashioned CD player. Visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent. There also is a third row of seats for extra passengers that folds flat for carrying passengers. The panoramic sunroof fills the interior with light.
The 2021 Lexus GX 460 is equipped with a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle also is equipped with full-time 4-wheel drive, which is most helpful during certain parts of the year and the vehicle is equipped with controls to configure the 4-wheel-drive system for heavy going in snow or mud, which certainly could be useful.
The combination carries a fuel-economy penalty. I know Lexus managed to piggyback on the reputation for fuel efficiency of it corporate parent, Toyota Motor Corp. But the combined fuel-economy rating from the U.S. Environment Protection Agency is 16 miles per gallon, including 15 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on highway.
Safety and Technology
The Lexus GX 460 is equipped with 10 different air bags to protect occupant and passengers in frontal- side-impact and rollover crashes. It also comes with driver assistance features such as blind-spot monitor and rear-cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, pedestrian detection with high-speed dynamic radar and cruise control.
It also is equipped with Lexus Navigation System, Lexus Enform Destination Assistance and satellite radio link. Other niceties included a heated steering wheel, an interior air filter and smoke detector and parking assistance. The vehicle I drove also was equipped with a panoramic view camera.
Despite the power from the V-8 engine and a suspension reinforced by what Lexus’ describes as a kinetic dynamic suspension system with and adaptive variable suspension an auto-leveling rear suspension, the body-on-frame GX460 seemed to lumber a bit.
For one thing, the horsepower did not come on instantly when the throttle was applied and shift to move the gears along as the vehicle gathered speed. In addition, despite the reinforced suspension, the GX 460 also had some sway as came through a tight circular turn coming off the freeway. However, in regular, everyday driving the ride was quite smooth and comfortable — it is one of the vehicle’s most appealing features.
2021 Lexus GX 460 specifications:
|Dimension||L: 192.1 inches/W: 74.2 inches/H: 74.2 inches/Wheelbase: 109.8 inches|
|Powertrain||4.6-liter V-8 engine; 6-speed automatic transmission|
|Fuel Economy||15 mpg city/19 mpg highway/16 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $53,450; As tested: $64,365 including $1,145 destination and delivery charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The Lexus GX 460 has been in showrooms for a while now, so it is something of transitional vehicle that blends some older features, such as a V-8 engine, with an array of new technology, including driving assistance features and connectivity features. The result is rather unique blend of new world and old school with enough room and range for a long family vacation. It is not a vehicle that slips easily into a crowded city neighborhood. While it is clearly a family-oriented vehicle, it is also priced as a luxury vehicle.
2021 Lexus GX 460 — Frequently Asked Questions
When did the Lexus GX 460 come out?
The 470 was produced from 2003 to ’09 and the GX 460 came after. The most significant changes to the Lexus GX 460 took place in 2014, with a styling update to bring it in line with the rest of the Lexus family.
How many seats does the 2021 Lexus GX 460 have?
The 2021 Hyundai Elantra has one of the lowest starting prices in the compact car class, at $19,650. The sporty Elantra N Line retails for $24,100, and the top-of-the-line Limited trim starts at $25,450.
How much cargo space does the Lexus GX have?
The GX 460 has 11.6 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third-row seats, 46.7 cubic feet behind the second-row seats, and 64.7 cubic feet behind the first row.