2014 Lexus GX 460
The smaller GX 460 SUV is just as tough and trail ready as its big brother, and now has a striking front grille design and huge rear fender flares like a baja race truck.
Clear LED taillights bring up the rear of the GX, which looks much more familiar in profile than it does from up front with this extreme L-finesse grille treatment. The GX is still not the sleekest SUV out there, and prides itself on its global heritage as the hugely popular Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.
As one of the few remaining off-roaders with real survival skills in harsh and barren climates, the body-on-frame GX V-8 has never been quite as popular among U.S. crossover shoppers as the firms lighter-duty haulers, like the RX. A truck-like demeanor is still evident the moment the GX starts to move, despite layers of Lexus leather and sound-proofing to make this SUV as quiet inside as an ISO tank.
A final treat on this revamped seven-passenger SUV? A price cut of about $5,000 for 2014, despite additional technology and safety equipment included as standard.
Versus the new seven-seat Range Rover Sport and Mercedes-Benz GL, the Lexus certainly still has dozens of advantages when the going gets life-threatening. But in a dwindling market for real off-roaders with $3,000 metallic paint jobs: is all the GX 460’s unstoppable off-road equipment still enough of a selling point?
Click past the just for the full review of the 2014 Lexus GX 460, with high-res images of the new exterior styling and interior features.
2014 Lexus GX 460
Horsepower @ RPM:301 @ 5500
Torque @ RPM:329 @ 3500
0-60 time:7.8 sec.
Quarter Mile time:16.6 sec.
Top Speed:110 mph
Something strange happens in the Lexus and Toyota design studios when there is a big critical success like the 2012 Lexus LF-LC coupe concept that donated its nose to the IS sedan and RC coupe (the new IS coupe’s name). The design is instantly mimicked across the CAD-CAM studio, but often the end result is like a bad game of telephone. Someone describing the new Lexus spindle grille over Skype, perhaps?
Regardless, much of the grace from the original concept is long gone on the new GX’s nose. A tall and bluff face is always hard to style, but the look of those drooping lower bumper vents is quite unsettling.
The LED daytime running lights in the headlamp edges are far more successful. Lexus’s white LEDs are every bit as bright and helpful on the road for drivers as the Audi and BMW solution.
In addition to looking cool and using very little energy, LED lights are excellent for low visibility conditions like two-lane country roads. They provide an un-missable light graphic for road safety, without the loathed high beam DRL setup from the past GX. The light also illuminates reflective road signs to as clear as day.
Paired with the GX’s adaptive xenon projectors, the GX is all set for lighting the dusty trail in the Mojave or doing curbside pick-up outside LAX.
The clear taillights are really strange. While still popular in Japan, clear taillights are about as desirable as a totaled Mitsubishi Eclipse everywhere else. The internal LED element does help with visibility and safety, but the clear reflectors will be unloved by Lexus’s fashion-aware buyers.
2014 Lexus GX 460 - Exterior Dimensions:
|Curb Weight (Pounds)||5,128|
|Tow Capacity (Pounds)||6,500|
The biggest news for the chunky and tough interior of the Lexus GX is the long-overdue arrival of an 8-inch touchscreen unit to control infotainment, navigation and backup camera duties.
The seating position for drivers is much more like the Toyota 4Runner with a high floor but great visibility and nicely vertical steering wheel. The wheel looks great, similar to the four-spoke unit on the Ford F-150 with styled creased and an industrial feel. Even the low dash of the GX is swathed in the full stitched leather treatment, with a few new wood and color choices on the menu for 2014.
Seating for seven gets quite tight in the back, as the dimensions below show. Access is also more difficult than for most minivans (or crossovers) thanks to a high ride height and tall seats.
2014 Lexus GX 460 - Interior Dimensions:
|Headroom (In.) - Front/Middle/Back||38 / 40.4 / 35.2|
|Legroom (In.) - Front/Middle/Back||41.7 / 34.1 / 29.3|
|Shoulder room (In.) - Front/Middle/Back||55.4 / 57.3 / 54.5|
|Hip room (In.) - Front/Middle/Back||56.5 / 55.2 / 43.1|
|Trunk capacity (cubic-feet)||64.7|
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
No news for the buttery-smooth and potent Lexus V-8. This engine is still a dream and its programming is focused on delivering torque low in the rev range. The quad cams are something from a Ferrari catalog, while the engine’s 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque make the big GX pretty brisk when driving hard.
The engine is a pure luxury car gem, which makes this American-spec GX a very desirable option versus the jumbo 3.0-liter four-cylinder diesel that serves on most other parts of the globe (in the Land Cruiser Prado).
A responsive six-speed auto is still one of Lexus’s best at reading your mood and responding appropriately, with either slushy and relaxed upshifts to make city driving comfy or hard kick downs for passing needs.
Sprint times stay at 7.8 seconds for the big Lexus, which tops out at an electronically limited 110 mph.
2014 Lexus GX 460 - Performance Details:
|Engine||4.6-liter 32-valve V-8 With Quad Camshafts and dual VVT-i|
|Power||301 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm|
|Torque||329 pound-feet @ 3,500 rpm|
|0-60 mph||7.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||110 mph, limited|
|EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)||15/20/17|
2014 Lexus GX 460 - Off-road Mechanical Features:
- Full-time four-wheel drive with TORSEN limited-slip center differential with electronic differential lock
- Suspension (front): Independent, double-wishbone with coil springs, gas-pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
- Suspension (rear): Four-link with coil springs, gas-pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
- 18 x 7.5-in six-spoke alloy wheels with high-gloss finish and 265/60R18 mud- and snow-rated tires and Full-size spare tire
- Adjustable Suspension: Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) with automatic, electronically adjustable front and rear stabilizer bars
- Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS): Electronically Modulated Rear Air Suspension with air springs, automatic load-leveling and three-position manual height control (GX 460 Luxury Only)
- Suspension (rear): Four-link with air springs, gas-pressurized shock absorbers and stabilizer bar (GX 460 Luxury Only)
The GX 460’s price is down nearly $5,000 versus last year, despite the new styling and extra equipment. The Premium trim carries over as the mid-spec option. A new Luxury specification is the only GX to have an adjustable-height air suspension in the rear and a few extra active safety features as well.
|2014 Lexus GX 460||MSRP|
|GX 460 Premium||$53,495, est|
|GX 460 Luxury||$60,715|
The GL is a bit longer but lower and wider than the GX, while it also offers a variety of diesel and gasoline powertrains among which to choose. Pricing is steep, and running costs will be steep too.
Among buyers who love that gritty feel of a real 4WD truck underneath their seat, the GX is still massively enticing. By adding so much luxury and style to the equation, it makes driving a purpose-built off road machine even cooler.
On the plus side, a giant price cut is always good news for shoppers and the LED lights look sharp, as does the huge new rear fender bulge.
Among serious SUV fanatics, nothing but an unstoppable Lexus truck will fit the bill for a trip to the new Barney’s location - even if it is in Bangladesh.