Big pickup trucks and SUVs have been long associated with Detroit’s three automakers. But that has not stopped Asian rivals from trying to get in on a piece of the big profits produced by the sales of these vehicles.
One of the more successful companies at grabbing a piece of the action is Toyota and its luxury brand, Lexus, which have gained a foothold in the segment with their full-sized sport utility vehicles such as the Lexus GX 460. The Lexus SUV has the capability and features to make it a competitor for vehicles such as the GMC Yukon Denali, Lincoln Navigator or even the Jeep Wagoneer.
The Lexus GX 460 is big, five-door vehicle with a V-8 engine, the three rows of seats — ready when needed — and more than enough room for luggage and other cargo that comes with so many people. It is also equipped with an array of safety and connectivity features expected in an expensive luxury vehicle nowadays, making it ideal for vacation road trips or weekend travel.
However, even the Black Line edition, which I drove, is not as plush as Lexus’ other big SUV, the top-of-the-line LX 600. However, the wheelbase of the GX 460, is only about 2 inches shorter than the wheelbase of the LX 600.
Back when sedans were a bigger and more important slice of the U.S. market, Detroit’s automakers were often accused of cribbing designs from their Japanese rivals. However, in the case of full-sized SUVs, the shoe is on the other foot.
Lexus could be accused of borrowing heavily from the design of vehicles such as the Chevrolet Tahoe. The GX 460 does have its own distinctive version of the hourglass grille used by Lexus. But the bulk of the vehicle is big, squared off and brawny like full-sized SUVs designed in the Motor City.
The GX 460 I drove also featured the special Black Line trim package, which includes 18-inch, split-six wheels with gloss black finish, LED headlamps, illuminated running boards, moon roof, roof rails and folding outside, mirrors all helping dress up the exterior’s appearance.
The cabin of the GX 460 offers plenty of space. No matter how congested traffic might be outside the vehicle, you never feel hemmed in or cramped inside the GX. The interior also is furnished with a mix of materials, which look expensive without being ostentatious, and technology, which is well integrated to give the driver more control.
Driver assistance features convey their messages cleanly and effectively. There also were controls built into the steering wheel, but all of the essential controls, for features such as the HVAC system, were within easy reach. The 10-way power seat was very comfortable and helped relieve the stress on a longer drive. Visibility from the driver’s seat also was excellent.
The GX 460 comes equipped with a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle also is equipped with full-time four-wheel drive, which is most helpful part of the year and the vehicle is equipped with controls to configure the four-wheel-drive system for snow or mud.
Lexus’s corporate parent, Toyota, likes to talk about the fuel efficiency of its vehicles. But the fuel economy of the GX 460 is typical of a full-sized SUV, lagging well behind the rest of the company’s fleet. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gives the GX 460 a combined rating 16 mpg, including 15 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on highway.
Safety and Technology
The Lexus GX460 is equipped with 10 different airbags to protect driver and passengers in frontal- and side-impact crashes as well as rollovers. 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 offered with Lexus Navigation System, Lexus Enform Destination Assistance and satellite radio link. It also has heated steering wheel, and interior air filter and smoke detector and parking assistance. The vehicle I drove also was equipped with a panoramic view camera.
Driving a full-size sport-utility vehicle can be a chore. But the driving dynamics of the GX 460 benefit from the power of its V-8 engine and muscle of its reinforced suspension designed to ensure a smoother ride.
The suspension that been reinforced by what Lexus’ describes as a kinetic dynamic system with and adaptive variable suspension with auto-leveling, which helps keep the vehicle under control in turns or on the freeway. In everyday driving the ride was smooth and comfortable and it is one of the vehicle’s most appealing features.
2023 Lexus GX 460 Black Line Specifications
|Dimension||L: 192.1 inches/W: 74.2 inches/H: 74.2 inches/Wheelbase: 110 inches|
|Powertrain||4.6-liter V-8; 6-speed transmission and four-wheel drive|
|Fuel Economy||15 mpg city/19 mpg highway/16 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $54,425; As tested: $64,550 including $1,150 destination charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The Lexus GX 460 has been out in showrooms for a while and blends some older features, such as the aforementioned V-8 engine, with an array of driving assistance and connectivity options, which have been upgraded for 2023.
The result is a blend of new technology and old-school features with more than enough room and range for a long family vacation. It is not a vehicle that slips easily into a crowded city neighborhood. But it is clearly a family-oriented vehicle, which is priced as a luxury vehicle.
2023 Lexus GX 460 Black Line — Frequently Asked Questions
Which 2023 Lexus GX gets the best mileage?
Every GX uses a 301-horsepower 4.6-liter V-8 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive, with low-range gearing for serious off-roading, is standard. Appropriately equipped, the 2023 Lexus GX 460 can tow up to 6,500 pounds. That’s about 500 pounds more than the Mercedes-Benz GLE, but not as much as some other truck-based competitors like the Infiniti QX80 and GMC Yukon.
What is the best trim level for the 2023 Lexus GX?
Despite the relatively minor $1,335 boost in price, the Premium adds several features, including the base GX’s optional heated-and-ventilated front seats. Other upgrades include tri-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, a windshield-wiper de-icer and LED fog lights. The last three features are part of a $1,335 Premium Option Package that every 2023 GX 460 Premium buyer must take.
Which 2023 Lexus GX 460 is the safest?
No third party has crash-tested the GX 460, but every GX 460 comes with a forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Also, standard are blind-spot monitoring, front-rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and high-beam assist. The limited-edition GX 460 Black Line Special Edition gains a standard surround-view monitor, which is an option on the top-end GX 460 Luxury.