Do you live in an area that is so snowy or is your house so remote that your entrance resembles the Rubicon Trail? Maybe you have an ambitious plan to cross the biggest desert on every continent. And when you do it, say you also want to drive a luxury vehicle in this situation that has space for your family too. Well, only a few options are available for this special list of requirements, and one of them is the 2018 Lexus GX 460.
The 2018 Lexus GX 460 SUV offers you three-row seats, solid body-on-frame construction, standard V8 engine and competent four-wheel drive system. If you drive it, chances are you will be able to overcome whatever terrain you encounter easily. It’s also quite luxurious with standard equipment such as adaptive suspension, heated and ventilated front seats, leather seats, and a navigation system. Unfortunately, the GX 460 comes with some significant drawback. Its fuel economy is poor, not quite fast and falls in terms of the latest advanced driver safety aids.
As a special vehicle, the Lexus GX 460 certainly has appeal. But a better choice might be the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, which is also capable off-road, more capable engine options and equipped with a nicer interior. In the end, we think most buyers will be more interested in luxury crossover SUVs that offer fuel economy, greater cargo capacity, practicality and comfort. Top choices include the BMW X5, Acura MDX or Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class.
There are only a few minor changes in the 2018 Lexus GX 460.
Trim levels and features
The 2018 Lexus GX 460 is a seven-passenger luxury SUV that offered in two trim levels: Base or Luxury. The optional second-row captain’s chairs reduce capacity to six.
Standard equipment for the base GX 460 includes keyless ignition and entry, 18-inch wheels, a full-size spare tire, Lexus Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, LED headlights, roof rails, running boards, a sunroof, a flip-up rear window within the swing-out tailgate, and a rearview camera.
Inside, you’ll get dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable steering column, driver-seat memory settings, power-adjustable front seats, simulated leather upholstery, a 40/20/40-split second-row seat (sliding, reclining, folding) and a 50/50-split folding third-row seat. Tech features include an 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Lexus Enform emergency and remote vehicle services, and a nine-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD and satellite radio.
Stand-alone options include LED foglights, a windshield de-icer, automatic wipers, a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, a navigation system, heated and ventilated front seats. The Premium package bundles most of those stand-alone options except for the blind-spot monitoring, but also adds parking sensors, three-zone climate control, leather upholstery and heated second-row seats. You can also add second-row captain’s chairs.
The 2018 Lexus GX 460 Luxury include all of the above equipment plus an adaptive and auto-leveling suspension, headlight washers, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, a rear cargo cover, a heated wood-trimmed steering wheel, upgraded leather upholstery and second-row captain’s chairs.
The Luxury model can be added with a two-screen rear seat entertainment system and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. The Driver Support package adds crawl control (an off-road, low-speed cruise control system), adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, forward collision warning and automatic braking, lane departure warning, front- and side-view cameras, a driver inattention monitoring system, and the Mark Levinson sound system.
The Sport Design package adds special styling elements for both models.
Under the hood, the 2018 Lexus GX 460 is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine that generates 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard and sent that power to all four wheels through a full-time four-wheel-drive system with a dual-range transfer case. A tow prep package with a trailer wiring harness is standard, and allow the GX 460 to tow up to 6,500 pounds. This is more than the typical luxury crossover SUV can pull.
In performance testing, the 2018 Lexus GX 460 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, a below-average time for a luxury SUV. EPA fuel economy rating is poor, at just 16 mpg combined (15 city/18 highway).
Although categorized as a luxury vehicle, the 2018 Lexus GX 460 interior is less impressive than some of its competitors. There is a traditional and somewhat outdated vibe when you see the array of large, square buttons that flank the center screen. But, this old-school feeling does not reduce the overall comfort and luxury of the GX 460 cabin. On the top level trim, many interior surfaces are covered with soft leather and genuine wood trim, which is made for the upscale ambiance. On the lower trim, items such as imitation-leather upholstery reduce a bit of experience, especially for vehicles in this price range. The front seats are comfortable, but the flat and hard second row seats feel less. Choosing the second-row captain chairs will help a little. The third-row seats are more suitable for small children.
Folding the second and third-row seats produced 64.7 cubic feet of cargo space, which was a little disappointing considering the GX 460 bulk dimensions. And accessing the rear cargo space is complicated by the fact that the tailgate is hinged on the passenger side, so you open it sideways instead of up and down, which makes it difficult to load the GX 460 from the sidewalk. However, the tailgate does have a comfortable lift-lift window glass, which makes it easier to carry long items such as surfboards or wood.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Lexus GX 460 is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide. Direct competition includes the BMW X5, Acura MDX or Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. The 2018 Lexus GX 460 has a base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $52,700, fully loaded easily tops $70,000.