2005 GX 470 New Car Test Drive
The Lexus GX 470 gives its driver impressive off-road capability while providing a smooth ride on the pavement. Based on the newly redesigned Toyota 4Runner, the GX 470 can go just about anywhere. Yet its cabin is comfortable and luxurious.
The Lexus GX 470 gets a boost in performance for 2005 with a more powerful V8 engine. The 4.7-liter V8 offers a substantial increase in horsepower yet offers slightly better fuel economy and cleaner emissions. Now rated at 270 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque, it's teamed with a five-speed automatic and together they deliver smooth, quiet, responsive performance.
The GX 470 is an authentic SUV with serious off-road capability based on traditional truck engineering concepts: body-on-frame construction, a rear-wheel-drive chassis layout, a rugged four-wheel-drive system, and a live rear axle. That doesn't mean outdated technology, however. The GX features a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a locking Torsen torque-sensing differential. Traction is automatically applied to the tires with the best grip. Downhill Assist Control helps the GX 470 get down slippery inclines. Meanwhile, Vehicle Stability Control helps the driver maintain control on slippery turns. As its name suggests, the GX 470 comes with a powerful 4.7-liter V8 engine.
Inside, the GX 470 is roomy and quiet, swathed in leather and bird's-eye maple. The switchgear is a study in ergonomic excellence and all controls are right where you expect them to be.
The 2005 model year brings subtle but important enhancements, including a new airbag system for the front passenger. The available navigation system has been updated with improved graphics and new functions. With the navigation system, you can now talk hands-free on a compatible cell phone and change the cabin temperature with a voice command. A new Sport model comes fitted with a dynamic suspension system and special interior and exterior trim.
The Lexus GX 470 ($45,775) comes loaded with luxury features, including leather trimmed upholstery, power seats, power mirrors, power windows, a wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated seats, rain-sensing wipers, automatic dual climate control, Homelink, a 115V AC power outlet in the cargo area, AM/FM/cassette/6-disc CD changer with 11 speakers, rear seat audio system with remote control and headphones, roof rack, a glass moonroof, and illuminated running boards.
The 4.7-liter V8 and five-speed automatic are standard. Also standard: anti-lock brakes, traction control, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Torsen limited-slip differential, and Adaptive Variable Suspension with adjustable height control. GX 470 rides on 265/65HR17 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels.
Options include a third-row seat with rear air conditioning ($2,030); the navigation system bundled with a Mark Levinson premium audio system ($2,700); a rear-seat entertainment system with two headphones ($1,560); and a tow hitch receiver ($50). Bluetooth is an option on 2005 models, allowing the driver to wirelessly link cellular telephones to the GX for hands-free communication.
The new Sport model is equipped with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which uses electronically controlled hydraulic cylinders to help vary the degree of sway resistance provided by the front and rear stabilizer bars. The Sport model is distinguished by special exterior trim, including wheels and roof rack finished in a dark graphite color, while the interior is highlighted by black bird's-eye maple wood and dark graphite metallic trim.
Standard passive-safety equipment includes dual-stage frontal airbags and side airbags for the front and second-row seats, and side curtain airbags designed to help provide head protection should the vehicle roll. Three-point seatbelts are provided for each seating position, and the front belts are equipped with pretensioners and force limiters to help minimize seatbelt-related injuries. A tire pressure monitoring system is standard.