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Car Review

Lexus GX (US) (2010-2023) review

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Published: 23 Oct 2019
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Luxury Land Cruiser sibling still offers compelling old school mix of ability and quality

Good stuff

Excellent all-rounder SUV with legendary reliability

Bad stuff

Body-on-frame chassis and cabin starting to show signs of age

Overview

What is it?

Known in the rest of the world – where it’s sold – as the Land Cruiser Prado, the Lexus GX460 is a luxury, slightly smaller version of the Lexus LX560. As such it is part of a small but select group of SUVs which still boasts a body-on-frame construction, which, when specced with the right suspension package, can scrabble up and over mountains and through sump-licking mud without breaking a sweat. The sort of stuff most less versatile unibody – where the bodyshell is part of the stressed structure – SUVs would not, should not, even attempt.

But for all its benefits, that ladder-frame construction doesn’t always give it the most refined on-road manners. If you grew up thrashing around in leaf-sprung Land Rover Defenders, it will feel like a Rolls Royce. But if you step out of your Volvo XC90, you’ll notice the greater body roll, the looser steering, and, quite possibly, greater NVH, too. So it’s a trade off.

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For the 2020 model year GX, Lexus has decided to go big or go home with its off-road abilities. First up there’s a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which helps the car remain on an even keel when on uneven surfaces by filling the uncompressed suspension cylinder with fluid. And in the Luxury Grade variants, there is now a new optional Off-Road Package which adds a range of cameras, gas tank protection, terrain selection, crawl control and all manner of other Let’s Off-Road! type of kit.

Mechanically it is still powered by the trusty 301bhp 4.6-liter V8, so no surprises there. But the car does get a suite of safety aids for ’20. This includes lane departure warning, intelligent high beams, dynamic cruise control and, should the end be nigh, a pre-collision system.

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What's the verdict?

Luxury Land Cruiser sibling still offers compelling old school mix of ability and quality

Ageing gracefully is quite an art. But the GX has managed it to date. The 2020 model does enough to keep it current with the market needs and desires, but still retains enough of the true GX adventure spirit to keep it interesting and able. There are faster, better handling and more luxurious SUVs available for the same money as this Lexus, but none which combines those attributes with the rock-solid reliability and unusually good off-road ability of the GX.

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