2007 GX 470 New Car Test Drive
The Lexus GX 470 is designed for active families with young children, balancing comfort and features with real off-road potential. Underneath, the GX 470 has body-on-frame construction like commercial or military trucks, with a solid rear axle and serious four-wheel drive features such as a locking center differential and dual-speed transfer case. Inside, the GX 470 is roomy, quiet and luxurious, with an optional third-row seat that expands capacity to eight. Its cabin is swathed in leather and bird's-eye maple. An overhead-cam V8 and smooth five-speed automatic transmission provide sufficient power for towing, trail-bashing, or carving corners on a coastal highway.
For 2007, Lexus has focused on the GX 470's information and entertainment options. Its state-of-the-art rear-seat DVD system is enhanced with a 9-inch, wide-format screen. Nearly all the infotainment hardware and software has been improved, for the edification of young and old. The optional navigation system adds voice activation and enhanced display features. An input jack for iPods and other audio devices is now standard, and the optional Mark Levinson Premium Audio now plays DVDs as well as conventional and MP3/WMA-formatted CDs. Everyone, rear-seat passengers and the driver, can watch a flick on one of the screens, including the nav screen, while the GX 470 is parked.
In the GX 470, rugged clearly does not mean outdated, and that goes beyond the entertainment choices. Its full-time four-wheel drive features electronic traction control (A-TRAC) and automatically dispatches torque to the tires with the best grip. An electronic system called Downhill Assist Control (DAC) helps the GX 470 safely negotiate slippery inclines, while Vehicle Stability Control helps steady the GX 470 in slippery turns. Based on the Toyota 4Runner, a Lexus GX 470 is highly capable off road and can go practically anywhere its driver is willing to point it.
The 2007 Lexus GX 470 is offered in a single, well-equipped trim level ($46,635). Standard features include leather upholstery, power heated seats, a wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, rain-sensing wipers, automatic dual climate control, HomeLink universal transmitter, an 11-speaker stereo with six-CD changer, rear-seat audio with remote control and headphones, a glass sunroof, illuminated running boards and a 115V AC power outlet in the cargo area.
Power is provided by a 4.7-liter V8, with 263 horsepower and a substantial 323 pound-feet of torque, with a five-speed automatic transmission. The GX 470 has the latest electronic control systems, including four-wheel traction control, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), a Torsen limited-slip center differential and Adaptive Variable Suspension with adjustable height control. The standard wheels are 17-inch alloys with 265/65SR17 tires.
The optional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System ($1,750) enhances on-road handling without compromising off-road capability. A Sport Package ($1,800) combines KDSS with smoked front and rear light bezels, a chromed exhaust tip and a dark graphite finish on the 17-inch alloy wheels and roof rack. Inside, dark graphite trim is added to the center console and instrument-panel, and the standard gold-toned wood trim is replaced with black.
The optional navigation system ($3,250) includes a Mark Levinson audio upgrade, Bluetooth wireless technology that links compatible cellular telephones to the GX for hands-free communication, and a reverse-camera system to help spot objects (and children) behind the vehicle.
Other options include a third-row seat with rear air conditioning ($2,030); a rear-seat entertainment system with two headphone sets ($1,650); tow-hitch receiver ($50); tow-hitch receiver with ball mount ($433); and a rear spoiler ($551).
Lexus Link ($900), which comes with a one-year subscription, combines GPS satellite and cellular phone technology to connect the driver to a concierge desk 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Roadside assistance, stolen vehicle tracking and remote door unlocking are among the services provided. The system automatically dispatches emergency services if you press a panic button or if the airbags are deployed and you fail to respond to the operator's call.
Safety features that come standard include advanced front airbags, side-impact airbags for the front seats (for torso protection in a side impact), and side-curtain airbags (for head protection in a side impact or rollover). 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 also comes standard.