Jan
20
2021 Lexus GX 460 Luxury

2021 Lexus GX 460 Luxury in Claret Mica

2021 Lexus GX 460 Luxury

Class: Premium Midsize SUV

Miles driven: 386

Fuel used: 23.9 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 16.1 mpg

Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB+
Power and PerformanceB
Fit and FinishA
Fuel EconomyC-
ValueC+
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 GuyA
Tall GuyA-
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.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs301-hp 4.6L
Engine TypeV8
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Drive Wheels4-wheel drive

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 15/19/16 (mpg city/highway/combined)

Fuel type: Premium gas

Base price: $64,365 (not including $1025 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Mark Levinson 17-speaker surround-sound system with Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL) and single-disc CD/DVD player ($1145), Panoramic View and Multi-Terrain Monitors ($800), Sport Design Package ($2020)

Price as tested: $69,355

 

Quick Hits

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

 

CG Says:

The premium midsize SUV class is almost entirely comprised of crossover SUVs that are focused primarily on on-road driving and performance—and most of them have relatively sleek, swoopy styling to match. The handful of class contenders that offer a more pointed focus on off-road capability are the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover Sport, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and our subject here—the Lexus GX 460.

Compared to its primary rivals (and the rest of the class as a whole), the GX’s platform is elderly—its basic design dates back to 2010, and it hasn’t seen any really major updates since then. Amazon Alexa capability, acoustic glass on the front side windows, and a minor shuffling of trim levels/equipment were the GX’s main changes for 2021. For 2022, a special-appearance Black Line Special Edition model (which comes with blackout trim elements and is available in Lexus’s classy Nori Green Pearl paint color) joins the lineup, but the key upgrade is a 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen (with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa integration). We haven’t had a 2022 GX in for testing just yet, but judging by photos, the new “tablet-style” infotainment screen goes a long way toward updating the look of the GX’s dashboard.

Our 2021-model-year test vehicle was a top-line Luxury model that carried a base price of $64,365. It was further outfitted with a handful of options, the priciest among them being the $2020 Sport Design Package—it adds 19-inch dark gray metallic wheels; second-row tilt/slide captain’s chairs; and a unique lower grille surround, front and rear bumper spoilers, a dark gray exhaust tip chrome-detailed rearview mirrors, and “scarlet” taillights (other GX 460s have taillights with a predominantly clear-lens design). The bottom line checked in at $69,355, but essentially the same vehicle as a 2022 model would cross the $70K mark by couple hundred dollars.

As we mentioned above, the GX 460 offers off-road capabilities well beyond most of the rest of the premium midsize SUV class. A primary reason for that rough-terrain hardiness is GX’s truck-type, body-on-frame design, along with a 4WD system that includes low-range gearing. However, the GX’s rugged architecture also introduces compromises in third-row seat comfort and interior space efficiency. Likewise, the thoroughly old-school 4.6-liter V8/6-speed automatic powertrain supplies smooth, satisfying power, but also delivers middling fuel economy—with a slight majority of city driving, we averaged just 16.1 mpg—on par with the EPA numbers, but not great among similarly powerful class rivals.

Still, the GX’s off-road chops, truly luxurious cabin trimmings, and overall build quality—not to mention Lexus’s reputation for sterling reliability—make its shortcomings worth tolerating for many premium-brand SUV shoppers. You can check out our review of of GX 460 Premium for more details. A redesigned next-generation Lexus GX—almost certainly with a hybridized powertrain—is in the works, but it likely won’t debut in the U.S. for at least another couple model years.

Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast, Episode 109: 2022 Consumer Guide Best Buys

 

2021 Lexus GX 460 Luxury

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