Friday, January 21, 2022
News 2020 Lexus GX 460 Review: Antiquated But Loved

2020 Lexus GX 460 Review: Antiquated But Loved

The 2020 Lexus GX makes up for its lack of modern tech by its impressive off-road capabilities

  • Base price is $75,590 in Canada, $53,000 in the US.

  • This 2nd generation Lexus GX dates back to 2010.

  • Its roots are steeped in Land Cruiser lore.

I suspect Toyota and Lexus are secretly working on its body-on-frame trucks and before long, will unleash them all on a stunned market. The average age between Toyota’s trucks (Tacoma, Tundra, 4Runner, and Sequoia) and the Lexus GX and LX is roughly a decade. How else can Toyota continue to unabashedly sell such a collection of “old” trucks continue to be sold?

However unacceptable, all of these trucks ooze character and personality to a point where all is almost forgiven. At the very least, this is the case for Toyota. For the Lexus LX and GX, I find myself having a hard time overlooking the value proposition, or what buyers get in exchange for their money. And I hate myself for being hard on the GX…

How much?

2020 Lexus GX 460 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

This is why, at $75,590, the 2020 Lexus GX is grossly overpriced. This sum is $10,000 more than what Land Rover wants for their all-new and modern Defender 110. Granted, the likelihood is that the Lexus will bury its owner while the Rover will probably put the Defender’s and the dealership’s owners on a first-name basis, the fact that the majority of these trucks are leased puts this argument to bed.

The admission price does entitle the buyer to heated/cooled front seats, rear heated seats, all of them covered in semi-aniline leather, a heated steering wheel, navigation, satellite radio which will play on a 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system, power-reclining and folding third-row seats, and more. But what you won’t get is Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and other modern apps, a display with updated graphics, and wireless phone charging, to name a few elements.

Even if the base price was $10,000 lower, without these features, it would still be way overpriced. Unfortunately, my tester also included the $6,000 Executive package that adds Crawl Control + Multi-Terrain Select, a front console Cool Box, a rear entertainment system (with tiny screens), and 19-inch wheels. Yes, the grand total is of $81,950, or the Defender 110 HSE’s price…

The old ways

2020 Lexus GX 460 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Moving along, the standard 4.6-litre V8 puts out 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft. of torque. While power delivery is superbly smooth, it and the 6-speed automatic transmission are severely down on power and efficiency compared to the Land Rover Defender’s boosted 3.0-litre V6 which generates 395 horsepower and 406 lb.-ft. of torque. The 5,200lb GX gets up to speed but the cost is an easy average of 15L/100km compared to the Land Rover’s 12.3L/100km.

On the road, the 2020 Lexus GX 460 is appreciably comfortable and docile. The fully-independent suspension which includes a rear air setup that offers active height control is mostly at home when cruising conservatively. The chassis’ ability to curb body roll and keep the tires nice and flat with the surface is quickly reached, even at mild speeds. Steering, which is hydraulic, is weighty and overall fine. Not so fine is the brake pedal that suffers from too much travel and spongy response. The latter is an old Toyota issue which has since been worked out.

Now, should Armageddon come, 2020 isn’t over, as the operator of a Lexus GX 460, you’ll have nothing to worry. This is, after all, a dressed-up Land Cruiser Prado which means that it is a hard-core out-of-the-box off-roader. It is built on a ladder-frame with a full-time 4WD system which includes a TORSEN limited-slip center differential, a two-speed transfer case, Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), and, with the Executive package, Crawl Control with Multi-Terrain Select. Like the LX 570, the GX is, in no uncertain terms, the equipped to go far and deep off the beaten path.

It’s a useful truck

2020 Lexus GX 460 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

There’s no need to elaborate on the truck’s styling – one either likes or hates the oversized front spindle grille flanked by triple LED headlights. Otherwise, it’s handsome and I will award points to the barndoor rear door despite it being a known bad idea.

The cabin is replete with superb materials, top-drawer fit, and finish. The dashboard’s layout, switchgear, and displays are from another era (going back a decade) however all of it is functional. Another saving grace here is that the GX is not plagued by the dreadful Remote Touch Interface.

The seats are comfortable up front, better than decent in the second row and the third row is useable and will accommodate adults up to about 5’10” in height. When in use, the third row decimates luggage space, which grows to a rated 1,322 litres when stowed – it looks to be far less than this.

And yet, I love the thing

2020 Lexus GX 460 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

I adore the truck because it’s an honest-to-goodness SUV that’s been dressed up by Lexus but the suit does not make the SUV. It’s not the GX’s fault if Toyota wants it to be more than what it is. And what it is, is a rugged off-road capable dye-in-the-wool off-roader. And this, it does well.

Finally, and I hate myself for saying this, but there’s no real good reason to purchase a GX over an Audi Q7, a BMW X5, a Mercedes-Benz GLE, or the aforementioned Land Rover.

As I more or less said in my 2020 Lexus LX review, we think an all-new Toyota Land Cruiser is expected to be revealed sometime this year which may entail an equally all-new GX before long.

2020 Lexus GX 460 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2020 Lexus GX 460 | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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