2020 Lexus GX 460 Luxury new car reviews

For north of $71,000, Lexus will sell you what is, essentially, an ultra-luxurious Toyota Land Cruiser. Under those rakish lines (and all that leather) is a four-wheel-drive truck that has over 8 inches of ground clearance and can tow up to 6500 pounds.

The GX is powered by a 301-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 that, according to Lexus, can get the two-and-a-half-ton SUV to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds—and can keep accelerating to an electronically limited 110 mph.

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J.G. Pasterjak JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

The Lexus GX series is a truck (and, yes, while it is technically an SUV I’m probably going to call it a truck a lot because it’s so truck-like) that Toyota only brings to the US under its Lexus badge. In the rest of the world, the J150 platform—as it’s known by Toyota—is sold as the Land Cruiser Prado, sharing the Land Cruiser lineup with the full-sized J200 chassis Land Cruiser.

And the thing is, I think the rest of the world got the better end of the stick here. The GX is an inherently great vehicle, but it just doesn’t lend itself well to the Lexus treatment. Our $71,000+ loaded test model was built on the same capable chassis that is available for as little as half that cost elsewhere in the world. Admittedly with a Mark Levinson sound system, air-conditioned seats and loads of other technology and features that the Lexus version is loaded down with, but ultimately those do little to add to the overall package.

The J150 platform is old-school. It’s been around for more than a decade, mostly because it’s good and it works, and most of the vehicles built on it are utilitarian workhorses designed to reliably transport people and cargo over inhospitable terrain and rugged environments for years and miles on end. It is a hammer, and lining the handle with jewels and plating the head with platinum does little to change its function, other than make you not want to use it for its intended purpose.

But Lexusifying the platform creates some glaring shortcomings of trying to jazz up an otherwise utilitarian base. In a $70,000 SUV, you come to expect stuff like a one-touch keyless entry on every door, not just the driver’s door. Or a power rear hatch (or swinging gate, in the case of the GX), but those features are notably missing in the old-school chassis that the GX is built from.

As a utility vehicle, it’s great. Toyota’s updated computer-controlled AWD system and the torquey 301hp V8 mean that few areas are inaccessible. But the added level of luxury means that few people will ever take advantage of that utility, and the ultimate level of luxury is compromised by the utilitarian nature of the chassis. It tows 6500lbs, which means that most powersports gear and even light race cars are definitely on the table, but who would ever want to pile tires on that deep plush carpet?

So the GX is a bit conflicted with itself. It’s at the party, clearly uncomfortable in the fancy clothes it’s been forced to wear, and not quite pulling it off, when it could really be an absolute hero in cargo shorts and a dirty pair of Doc Martens.

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