2020 Lexus GX 460 Premium
Class: Premium Midsize SUV
Miles driven: 333
Fuel used: 19.6 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 17.0 mpg
Driving mix: 50% city, 50% highway
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||B|
|Fit and Finish||B+|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||301-hp 4.6L|
|Drive Wheels||4-wheel drive|
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 15/19/16 (city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Premium gas
Base price: $53,000 (not including $1025 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Headlamp washers ($100), Premium Package w/ captain’s chairs ($3115; includes 18-inch dark metallic alloy wheels, LED foglamps, rain-sensing wipers, windshield de-icer, Intuitive Parking Assist, Navigation Package, Gray Sapele wood trim, heated/ventilated front seats, heated second-row tilt/slide captain’s chairs, 3-zone automatic climate control), wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel ($300), carpet cargo mat ($105), door edge guards ($140), cargo net ($75)
Price as tested: $57,860
The great: Classy cabin trimmings; excellent assembly quality
The good: Strong, responsive powertrain; high seating position and tall windows provide good visibility
The not so good: Fuel economy; high load floor; ponderous handling in some driving situations; not as space-efficient as the typical crossover-type SUV
More GX price and availability information
It is said that good things come to those who wait. If that’s so, there must be something good about the Lexus GX 460 premium-midsize sport-utility vehicle.
The 3-row body-on-frame corporate cousin to the Toyota 4Runner has been on its current platform (though with freshenings and added features) since 2010. Even if its handling and on-road driving behavior aren’t a match for newer crossover SUVs, Consumer Guide still finds the GX 460 worthwhile for its build quality, capability for off-road and towing use, cushy ride, and plush cabin.
True to form, the GX doesn’t break a whole lot of new ground for 2020. The big news—if it can be called that—is the standardization of the Lexus Safety System+ with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights. A step down in significance are a revised take on the brand’s signature spindle grille and the installation of LED headlights.
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The last few GX 460s to come our way were top-of-the-line Luxury models. However, the 2020 tester was a Premium, which sits at the center of this 3-tiered vehicle line. The Premium lacks things like the leather upholstery and wood trim of the Luxury model, but cedes nothing in room or power for its starting price of $54,025 with delivery.
The powertrain remains a responsive and smooth 4.6-liter 301-horsepower V8, a 6-speed automatic transmission, and full-time 4-wheel drive with Torsen limited-slip center differential with electronic differential lock. EPA fuel-economy projections are 15 mpg in city driving, 19 mpg on the highway, and 16 mpg combined, and our time at the wheel showed those figures to be more or less consistent with our experience.
Test Drive: 2019 Lexus GX 460 Luxury
As a result of its truck-like construction, the GX 460 feels a little tippy going around corners or when making sharp changes in its path. The Premium lacks the adaptive variable suspension and auto-leveling rear air suspension that the Luxury has, and on-pavement ride can be a little rough and noisy.
Passengers in the front two rows have good leg- and headroom, but adults in the third row will find a little less: legroom that is marginally livable (but improves if middle-row seats are tracked forward), knees-up seating on low cushions, and scarce headroom. Seats are comfortable and supportive, save for the third row, where padding is thin. Standard passenger capacity is seven, but optional middle-row captain’s chairs (they were on the test truck) cut seating to six persons. Step-in from the outside is high, so the standard illuminated running boards are helpful. Glass area is plentiful enough to provide fairly unobstructed vision, event to the rear corners.
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Personal-item storage is served by a good-sized glove box and a deep console box (with a padded cover that doubles as an adjustable armrest), pouches on the backs of the front seats, and storage pockets with bottle holders in all doors. A power port and USB input are located in a covered console bin. Cup holders are found in the console and in fixtures that fold out of the inboard sides of the captain’s chairs. Cargo space is limited behind the 50/50-split third-row seats. They fold flush with the load floor, but the folded seat backs of the captain’s chairs rest a little higher than this plane. One curiosity is a tailgate hinged at the right side, not at the top like most SUV hatches.
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Other standard equipment for the GX 460 Premium includes 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, power moonroof, “NuLuxe” leatherette upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 9-speaker audio system with satellite radio, Lexus Enform Remote telematics with smartwatch and Amazon Alexa connectivity, and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitors. Some of those features were upgraded via the $3115 Premium Package that was on the test vehicle. The infotainment system in the GX lacks the Remote Touch central controller for audio, navigation, and apps, leaving these to be handled more easily on the 8-inch touchscreen or through voice commands.
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The 2021 GX 460 won’t be much different from the ’20 model. The Premium will jump in price—at $56,915 to start—but will add a lot of features (many from the Premium Package option) to the standard-equipment list. That’s good for those who can wait.
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