2012 GX 460 New Car Test Drive
The Lexus GX 460 is an all-purpose luxury SUV ready for the most rugged of weekend adventures. The GX 460 is designed to hold up to regular use over rugged terrain. The Lexus GX shares the its basic platform with the Toyota 4Runner, renowned for its off-road capability.
The Lexus GX 460 was all-new for 2010, and it enters 2011 essentially unchanged. Compared to the previous-generation GX 470, the current GX 460 is more powerful, gets better mileage, and has upgraded safety and packaging features.
The Lexus GX comes standard with a 4.6-liter V8, hence the GX 460 designation, and a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The GX seats seven. Inside is a luxurious cabin trimmed with wood and leather and equipped with heated and ventilated seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power moonroof, multimedia entertainment and other amenities. Like other luxury SUVs, there is a carefully crafted interior lighting scheme, programmable preferences for a variety of features, and the use of powered equipment that goes well beyond windows, seats and mirrors.
With body-on-frame construction and low range gearing, the GX 460 is far more rugged and powerful than the Lexus RX crossover. Unlike the RX, the GX offers excellent off-road capability. Recreational capabilities are quite good. The GX can tow up to 6500 pounds with optional hitch, and it is equipped with specialized enhancements to make off-road driving safe and easy. It's very comfortable in town and a great setup in the backcountry.
The GX comes standard with a full-time four-wheel-drive system with locking center differential and low-range gearing. It's a system that requires little or no input from the driver, and it's ideal for secure travel during heavy rains and on icy roads, or on dirt/gravel surfaces.
For 2011, all Lexus vehicles are equipped with new Smart Stop Technology, which automatically reduces engine power when the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are applied simultaneously under certain driving conditions.
The GX 460 competes with the Land Rover LR4, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GL 450, and Audi Q7. Like the European offerings, the GX requires 91-octane Premium unleaded fuel.
The 2011 Lexus GX 460 ($52,345) comes with leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, wood and leather trim, 10-way power heated front seats with memory, split 40/20/40 reclining second-row seats, split 50/50 folding third-row bench seat, AM/FM/6CD audio with nine speakers and USB/iPod connectivity, XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, rearview camera, power moonroof, power windows, power locks, cruise control, 12-volt power outlet, remote keyless entry, anti-theft alarm, intermittent rear wiper, 18-inch aluminum wheels.
The GX 460 Premium ($57,140) upgrades with tri-zone air conditioning, automatic HID projector-beam headlights; cargo tonneau; Adaptive Front Lighting System; electrochromic, power-retracting outside mirrors; heated steering wheel; heated second-row seats; and the Adaptive Variable Suspension.
Options include the Navigation System ($1,990) or the Mark Levinson Navigation audio package ($3,930). On the Premium model, the Wide View Monitor system ($3,170) includes the pre-collision system, Driver Attention Monitor, Lane Departure Alert, Intelligent High-Beam Headlamps, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and crawl control; parts of the package can be purchased separately. A less comprehensive Wide View Monitor package ($2,220) is offered on both models.
Safety features that come standard on all models include advanced frontal airbags, side curtain airbags, three-point seatbelts in all positions, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Control, tire pressure monitor system.