2017 Lexus GX 460 Review
Pros & Cons
- Capable off-road performance requires little effort from the driver
- Plenty of luxury features and cabin amenities
- Poor acceleration and fuel economy from the V8 engine
- Uncomfortable standard second-row bench seats
- Inconvenient side-swinging rear cargo door
- Relatively ponderous handling around turns
Edmunds' Expert Review
Whether you enjoy driving the 2017 Lexus GX 460 depends entirely on what you're expecting from it. The GX is built on a trucklike body-on-frame architecture to allow for better off-road performance. But, as with trucks, this negatively affects handling and ride quality. Overall, the GX's handling is secure, and the optional adaptive suspension helps smooth out the ride, but crossover-based SUVs such as the Acura MDX will feel much better on the road. In particular, its steering and brakes on the GX are a bit slow to respond, likely a result of Lexus' attempt to tune them for both on- and off-road use.
Don't expect much in the way of straight-line speed. The GX 460's 301 hp is respectable, but in a vehicle that weighs nearly 5,200 pounds, it's outmatched when hitting a freeway on-ramp or going to pass on the highway (especially while towing). The six-speed automatic transmission is smooth, though occasionally it can be hesitant to downshift.
All seems right with the world when you leave the pavement behind, though. The Lexus GX 460's four-wheel drive and available Crawl Control feature could very well make you feel invincible. Select one of Crawl Control's three speed presets, and the computer takes over both the accelerator and brake pedal, leaving you to concentrate on steering with a minimum of fuss.
Although it isn't a bad place to be, the interior of a 2017 Lexus GX 460 is certainly less impressive than some of its competitors. There's a traditional and somewhat dated vibe that comes through when you spot the array of large, square buttons that flank the center screen. This old-school feeling doesn't detract entirely from the GX's comfortable and luxurious cabin, though. On the upper trim levels, many interior surfaces are covered in authentic wood trim or soft leather, making for an upscale environment. On the base trim, items such as imitation-leather upholstery (a nice way of saying vinyl) detract a bit from the experience, especially for a vehicle in this price range. Front seats are plenty comfortable, but the hard and flat second-row bench is noticeably less so. Opting for this year's available second-row captain's chairs should help a little. The dinky third-row seats are suitable for small children only.
Folding the second- and third-row seats down creates a cargo hold with 64.7 cubic feet of space, which is a bit underwhelming given the GX's bulk. For comparison, the Land Rover LR4 has 90 cubic feet of space with the seats folded. And in the GX, 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 from the curb. However, the tailgate does have a convenient lift-up rear glass window that makes it easier to carry long items such as surfboards or lumber.