2017 Lexus GX460
What we like: Commanding road presence, comfortable interior, great visibility, smooth drive-train. Best part….no annoying Lexus touchpad! Yay!
What we don’t like: Passing power (or lack thereof), disconnected feeling drive-train, rear ‘barn-door’ take up too much space while opening
So when I last drove the GX460, I took up to the North Georgia Mountains subjected it’s leather covered hiney to some off road abuse. I came away utterly impressed. It’s a mountain goat. Unfazed by terrain, mud, rock and snow. Just kept soldering on with a purpose and grace that left everyone astounded.
Fast forward to this time around I subjected this 2017 Lexus GX460 to something far worse than off-roading. Atlanta Traffic. How did it cope? Well it was a mixed bag.
Around town it was great. Quiet, supremely comfortable, actually fuel efficient (18.6 avg) and offered some real imposing road presence. It fits 5 people comfortably and the cabin fit and finish are first rate. Which I found odd because other reviews of the GX460 state the quite the contrary but not really sure what they are on about. The infotainment system is also supposedly ‘old’ but I much prefer it over the current Lexus system with the every annoying touchpad interface. This one is a responsive, easy to use, touchscreen.
Now on to the not so good parts. It has to do with the drive-train. The GX460 comes with a 4.6 liter V8 making 301 horsepower and 329 ft/lbs of torque. Which are pretty decent numbers and actually does pretty well around town. The problem is on the highway, the passing power is just not there and there is never an immediacy to the drive-train. Another 30 horsepower and/or the obligatory Lexus 8 speed should be able to fix the issue. Oh and there is a 3rd row but it is laughably small and when it is up…there is barely any usable cargo space to hold an iPad.
So how do I sum this up? Well it’s a rugged, dependable old school throwback to what a SUV is meant to be. Bolt on the 8 speed transmission and add a few more horses, get rid of the barn door rear hatch and you got yourself a winner.