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2019 Lexus GXOR Concept

2019 Lexus GXOR Concept

The premium badge from the house of Toyota is finally getting its hands dirty

Toyota has produced many vehicles over the year that are synonymous with off-roading. But, that’s not the case with the automaker’s premium brand, Lexus. Despite having butch, muscular SUVs in the stable, owners never used it for off-road adventures, nor did Lexus bother to market them that way. However, the company found out that owners have been customizing their SUVs to make them off-road friendly, and the results are quite impressive. Seeing that Lexus SUVs have the potential to fill that craving, the automaker decided to give the folks what they wanted. The result, you ask? A

Lexus GX460

based off-roader, dubbed as the Lexus GXOR.

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Motor Trend Thrashes the 2016 Lexus LX 570 Off-Road

Motor Trend Thrashes the 2016 Lexus LX 570 Off-Road

Because most owners won’t see more than a gravel parking lot

Lexus’ most expensive vehicle, the LX 670, received a welcome refresh for the 2016 model year. Underneath however, the LX still rides on the same platform it has since 2007. That’s not to say Lexus hasn’t given this dolled-up Land Cruiser some mechanical updates, but it remains one of the aging stalwarts in the Lexus lineup.

Nevertheless, the 2016 model brings a new eight-speed automatic, Lexus’ corporate Spindle Grille, a reworked interior, and a few new off-road tech bits. Well, the guys over at Motor Trend decided to test the LX 570 for all it’s worth on the rocky ledges of the Nevada desert.

Make no mistake, the LX 570 has strong roots. Its frame is shared with the Toyota Tundra and Land Cruiser and it comes with a two-speed transfer case and a locking rear differential. But with its low-hanging face and street-biased tires, there’s only so much the Lexus is up for.

Sitting in front of Caesars Palace is something it’s very much up for. In fact, the Lexus is rather good at snagging attention. It sports Lexus’ fishhook LED daytime running lights, 20-inch wheels, and chrome accents all around. But can it handle what its cousin, the Toyota Land Cruiser, can handle off the paved streets of Las Vegas?

To find out Motor Trend took both SUVs through some terribly challenging terrain. Big rock outcroppings, ledges, crevasses, and sand all made for tough trails. In fact, the Lexus takes more than a few punches to the chin, damaging its faux-chrome grille and lower fascia.

For the official outcome of the test, you’ll have to watch the video. At just under 15 minutes, the cinematic short makes for a great lunch-break reprieve. Sit back and enjoy, folks.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

The 2015 Truck of Texas: Crowing the Winners

Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.

I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”

This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.

So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.

Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo

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Lexus GX460 VS. GMC Yukon Denali

Lexus GX460 VS. GMC Yukon Denali

Traditional body-on-frame SUVs are becoming something of a rare breed these days with unibody crossovers picking up the sales slack. Folks seem to be more worried about fuel economy than towing numbers or off-road abilities. Still, the market for the old-school, ladder-frame SUV exists and models are still moving off dealer lots.

Two of the more luxurious examples are the Lexus GX460 and the GMC Yukon Denali. Both of these beasts come packing some serious hardware, including V-8 engines, standard/available 4WD and trailer hitch, roof racks, tall ground clearance, and enough attitude to make a snotty high school girl seem angelic.

But how do these two compare when pitted against each other? Both go for the luxury segment, both are slathered in chrome, both offer three rows of seating, and both cost over $60,000. That’s what we’ll find out.

To preface this comparison, both the GMC and Lexus have spent a week in my driveway and were driven on the same roads, in the same conditions, and even photographed in the same place – all within a two-month window. So let’s get to it.

Continue reading for the full comparison

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2015 Lexus GX 460 - Driven

2015 Lexus GX 460 - Driven

The Lexus GX 460 feels like a dinosaur on the road. Much of its underpinnings are shared with the 4Runner and have been around for more than a decade. The second-generation SUV debuted in 2009 with a new and more powerful engine as well as some revised suspension and equipment pieces, but it still retained the same body-on-frame chassis that the model debuted with way back in 2002. For 2014, Toyota has taken the second-generation machine and slapped a new coat of paint on it with some small visual tweaks and the new family “spindle” grille. Our 2015 model carries on with no major visual changes, but adds some new interior technology to the mix.

With modern crossovers dominating the market, is there room on the sales floor for an old-school, 5,000-pound SUV with legitimate off-road prowess? America’s love affair with the classic SUV has long since died, but after a week with this gigantic bruiser I couldn’t quite figure out why. With a true four-wheel drive system capable of tackling the tough stuff, a solid three-ton tow rating and seating for seven, the Lexus GX ticks off every box on my list.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2015 Lexus GX 460.

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Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

Crowning the Winner: The 2015 Truck of Texas

I’ve already given the introduction to how much Texans love their trucks and how every year the Texas Auto Writers Association gathers to crown the winner; the coveted “Truck of Texas” award. Now let’s get down to some results.

Besides the main award, there were 17 other categories that each of the 75 vehicles fell into. These consisted of titles like “Midsized Crossover Utility Vehicles” and “Luxury Pickup Trucks.” Awards were also given for best connectivity, best powertrain, and best technology.

Each vehicle was subjected to a battery of tests that measured its ability to perform its intended function, whether that be towing, going off road, surrounding its occupants in luxury, or proving a great all-round family hauler. The vehicles were all competing within their respective category for the win.

So which truck, SUV, or crossover took home the Truck of Texas award? Continue reading to find out.

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The 2015 Truck of Texas Competition Preview

The 2015 Truck of Texas Competition Preview

Not much goes together quite like Texas and trucks. It’s the U.S.’ largest truck market by a long shot and it’s plain to see as you peruse any given parking lot. Texans love their trucks. That’s why the Texas Auto Writers Association crowns a Truck of Texas winner every year after an extensive evaluation process.

As a member of TAWA, I spent the better part of a week in the dusty hills outside San Antonio testing 75 contenders vying for the prized top spot. Eighteen automakers from around the world were in attendance, the majority bringing more than a handful of vehicles.

Ground zero for testing was the famed Knibbe Ranch, with hundreds of acres of sprawling across the Lonestar state. Muddy creek crossings and rocky hill climbs, combined with twisty country roads and newly paved highways provided the test beds. Those trucks, SUVs and crossovers brave enough to tackle the off-road section were subjected to rock-strewn dirt roads that punished suspension parts and underbody skidplates. More road-biased crossovers were thrown around narrow roads and up steep hills. The new pavement along the Texas highway was still covered in loose asphalt with orange caution cones proving a tempting (yet highly illegal) slalom course. Thankfully no one attempted that obstacle.

The 60 journalists judging the event had a huge decision to make. What truck, SUV or crossover would be crowned the Truck of Texas? Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out. We’ll announce the top winner and the winners of sub-categories on Wednesday.

Click past the jump for a full photo gallery

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2014 Lexus GX460 - Driven

2014 Lexus GX460 - Driven

The Lexus GX sport utility has been around since 2003 when Lexus added the midsize SUV to its lineup. Slotted between the smaller crossover RX and the larger LX platforms, the GX offered plenty of room for seven passengers and loads of rugged abilities that the then up-and-coming crossover segment lacked. A heavy refresh came in 2010 and included the 4.6-liter V-8 to replace the older 4.7-liter, a revised interior, and some slight updating to the exterior. Now for 2014, Lexus has reworked the GX460, giving it the corporate-wide Spindle Grille up front with HID and LED lighting, a reshaped rear bumper, and a new range-topping trim level. Lexus has also subtracted some stuff, namely the pricing. In fact, the base GX460 is roughly $4,700 cheaper than 2013 model. That said, the GX460 isn’t a cheap SUV, thanks to a starting price still touching $50,000.

The GX460 does offer a lot for that scratch, however, and it makes a solid case for itself when considering its heritage and capabilities as a true SUV — and one that can still haul seven people. It’s able to tow a 6,500-pound trailer, engage low range and hit the trails, yet still look at home parked at the county club.

I recently spent a week getting to know the 2014 GX460 with all its quirks and strong suits. The week was spent doing mixed driving, split pretty evenly on highways and city streets. Hauling passengers and hill climbing even happened on a few occasions.

Click past the jump for the full report

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2014 Lexus GX 460

2014 Lexus GX 460

The Lexus GX 460 is fresh for 2014 with a far deeper facelift than the LED and spindle grille applied to the Lexus LX 570 last year.

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.

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2013 Lexus LX 570

2013 Lexus LX 570

The Lexus LX 570 is an important model that’s reaching near-icon status by delivering a blend of luxury and off-road ability that sets it apart from other $80,000 full-size SUVs. It helps define the brand and add some much-needed cool points based on its redesigned exterior and massaged features for the 2013 model year.

It is easy to dismiss the LX 570 as a big player on the super-SUV scene that also includes the Audi Q7, Infiniti QX56 and the Land Rover Range Rover. After all, the core Lexus high-dollar models like the LS and LF-A make up an increasingly slim portion of sales for the luxury heavyweight, as prices ratchet ever upwards and the competition grows increasingly fierce.

In fact, the biggest, toughest Lexus has a strong global following in high-dollar markets as diverse as Russia, North Africa and the Middle East region. The reasons are easy to fathom: unstoppable off-road, a seriously opulent interior, and the hard-earned reliability of the LX’s Land Cruiser sibling all bolstering its image.

The LX has been a fixture since launching in the U.S. exclusively in 1996 as the LX 450, a true bruiser only slightly dressed up for the occasion. The most recent iteration has been around since 2008 and is on a bit of a sales up-swing to nearly 28,000 units globally in 2012. The United States only accounted for 18 percent of that number, but remains a trend-setting market among international consumers.

As such, the 2013 model features heavily updated styling to bring the LX into the latest “spindle grille” and “arrowhead LED” styling themes embraced by the rest of Lexus line. Dozens of detail tweaks also help the LX 570 stay current with the leading luxury off-roaders.

Click past the jump for the full review of the legendary Lexus LX, plus a mega photo gallery of the new exterior and interior and a video from INKAS Armored about their bullet-proof LX 570.

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2012 Lexus LX 570 by JT Grey Racing

2012 Lexus LX 570 by JT Grey Racing

The 2011 SEMA Show gave JT Grey Racing the opportunity to take on Lexus’ mighty LX 570. Their package is as rough and tough as any other, ready to take on the sand-filled crusade of the Baja 1000.

The LX570 by JT Grey Racing was hooked up with a HeadFirst Design graphic design, Blue Media/3M vehicle wrap, and 6 KC Hilites- 70w carbon fiber HID off road lighting. Large 17" F-Sport forged Off-Road wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich Baja TA 37"x 12.50 race tires will help it survive in any gnarly desert conditions. The interior of the LX570 was also upgraded with Sparco USA- EVO seats, a Sparco USA steering wheel, Lowrance HD7 / LMF 400 GPS navigation, and Kenwood 110 with PCI radio/intercom.

The Baja Series is no joke, so JT Grey Racing also upped the performance ante with new OE/TRD pads brakes, a King Racing Shocks suspension system, and a Flowmaster/Geiser exhaust system.

The final product looks to kill, but Toyota has already penned the Long Beach Racers Tacoma as their entrant into the Baja Series. As far as we know, the company isn’t looking to change their mind. That being said, JT Grey Racing is planning to enter the LX 570 in next year’s race.

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Review: 2010 Lexus RX450h

Review: 2010 Lexus RX450h

Trying to multitask might seem like a good idea at first, but although you might get things done, you might not get them done well. Watching your favorite football team or Formula One race, while studying for an exam, and typing a paper might work for a while, but you won’t know what happened in the race, you’ll fail the test, and your paper will be poor at best.

The 2010 Lexus RX450h attempts it’s own multi-tasking effort. The hybrid SUV tries to be luxurious, fuel efficient, and practical all at the same time. It manages to accomplish everything it set out to do, albeit with varying degrees of success.

The fifth-generation RX is the newest version of the best selling model in the Lexus line, but only one in five sell with a hybrid motor under the hood. So Lexus is banking on the RX450h being good at everything it attempts to do. So, how does it fair?

Hit the jump to find out.

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TopSpeed's 10 Best Off-Road SUVs

TopSpeed’s 10 Best Off-Road SUVs

During our drive of the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, we overheard many shoppers commenting about a need for four-wheel drive in their vehicles. Now, let’s be honest for a moment. Most of these moms and dads will never use the abilities of a four-wheel drive machine. The parking lot at the local grocery store doesn’t have rocks that you need to scale in order to get into the parking lot or deep lakes in front of the door.

Yet, there are those who do use these machines the way they are supposed to be used. A real four-wheel drive machine can do so much in the rough stuff that it’s hard to be stopped. Crossovers and luxury SUVs – besides the Range Rover – would be left for dead.

When looking at the top ten vehicles that have wonderful off-road abilities we first need to find ten of them. It was actually quite a task to find ten vehicles like this. It seems the days of the big off-road SUV are in the past. When we managed to locate them, we looked at build quality, off-road ability, on-road ability, style, comfort, and power.

Hit the jump to see the list.

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2008 Lexus LX470

2008 Lexus LX470

Lexus is preparing a new installment of its top of the range off-roader. With a new sleek design and upgraded technology, the new LX will be prepared to take on the new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, or on to the “king of the hill”, the British Range Rover. Closely related to the upcoming Toyota Landcruiser, the next generation Lexus LX is expected as a 2008 year model.

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