Thursday, October 29, 2020
First Reviews 2020 Lexus GX 460 First Drive Review: Elegantly Rustic

2020 Lexus GX 460 First Drive Review: Elegantly Rustic

We had the chance to test the all-new 2020 Lexus GX both on and off the road.

Upscale and in the upper part of the price spectrum, the 2020 Lexus GX sits above the RX and below the gigantic flagship LX. However, it includes all kinds of technologies that could make it a flagship. For 2020, Lexus gave it a revised styling package and a few interior tweaks.

Mechanically–speaking, the GX received a few off-Road features including Multi-Terrain Select function for more push in the trails – along with a 4×4 crawl function for more brakes downhill.

Like all Lexus vehicles, the GX gets Lexus Safety System, which includes the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert and Automatic High Beams and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

If you don’t like Lexus’s “predator-like” grille that spreads throughout the lineup of trucks and most of the cars, this feature gets even bigger on the GX. But unlike its smaller siblings, there is a very square and high-standing truck behind this grille. The pairing is quite handsome and stylishly appropriate.

Inside the 2020 Lexus GX 460

2020 Lexus GX 460 | Photo: Louis-Philippe Dube

Stepping inside the LX feels like a blast from the past. Although the manufacturer claims that certain trims have been upgraded, and these materials, shapes and commands, are all very well assembled together, the whole package seems a bit too rustic and outdated. Don’t get me wrong; unpleasant is not the word. It is perhaps in need of a deeper upgrade.

On the technology side, the infotainment system could use an upgrade as well, as it is very complicated and comprised of many menus, making simple operations a bit complex. Seating is comfortable, although I would’ve enjoyed more bolstering and lateral support.

Stepping to the first row of rear seats, the GX provides more than ample space for passengers. The rear infotainment that equipped our tester also seemed right out of the 2000s, with a large remote control in the seatback pocket made to fast forward and rewind your favourite childhood movies. As for the third row, you need to be able to tuck the knees quite a bit.

The 2020 GX 460 packs sufficient power for its size

2020 Lexus GX 460 | Photo: Louis-Philippe Dube

Under the hood of the GX lies Toyota’s trusty 4.6-litre V8 engine that is trusty and reliable, but also a very fitting engine for the application. Thrusting 301 horsepower along with 329 lb-ft of torque, this engine gives plenty of push to take the GX on and off-road in a spirited manner. Plunge the accelerator and the GX takes off like a bat out of hell – for its size, of course. The tow rating is set at 6500 pounds, which is plenty for hauling toys.

Otherwise, life on the road with the GX is easier than it seems. Relatively high, the ride is pretty smooth and direct; Lexus gave the works to the ride comfort, given the clientele of the application.

If you’re the kind of Lexus owner that likes to venture off the beaten path, Lexus has it all in the GX. The 4X4 system features a “crawl” mode that will get you down from the mountain when she comes, slowly and precisely braking and working the ABS and traction control system to he wheels that need it. All you have to do is grab hold of the wheel and not let go.

Is the Lexus GX a useful, fun toy to have? Yes, it is. Is it a bit outdated on the powertrain and cabin styling departments? It is as well. There are many more advanced (mechanically and stylishly) SUVs out there that offer a better value package than the GX. However, its uniqueness – and its kickass 4×4 system, are what makes this one stand out, and if standing out is what you’re looking for in a world filled with upscale German SUVs, the GX should be on your shopping list.

2020 Lexus GX 460 | Photo: Louis-Philippe Dube

2020 Lexus GX 460 | Photo: Louis-Philippe Dube

2020 Lexus GX 460 | Photo: Louis-Philippe Dube

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Louis-Philippe Dubé
Louis-Philippe Dubé
Louis-Philippe Dubé has been contributing at MotorIllustrated.com for over a year, and for the NetMedia360 network for nearly three years now. His passion for everything automotive comes from a career as a mechanic, but also from the family vehicle collection that includes a 996 Porsche Turbo and a 2004 Ford GT. We've been bugging him to drive the GT, but he hasn't responded. Send L-P an email

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