Quick Take: 2016 Lexus GX 460

Lexus makes comfortable cars and good trucks that could be better. The 2016 Lexus GX 460 is a capable luxury SUV that gets the job done, but it’s in need of a design refresh to stay competitive.

2016 Lexus GX 460

The latest Lexus GX 460 features a 4.6-liter V-8 engine that produces 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a dated but smooth six-speed automatic transmission and can tow up to 6,500 lbs. That should be a more than enough for a mall run or picking up the kids. But the GX is also a capable off-roader, if you have the urge to go mudding.

After several years without a major update, however, the 2016 (and 2017) GX seems trapped in amber, inside and out. The massive spindle grille still looks awkward and slapped on to the front of the SUV’s boxy, steel body-on-frame. For roughly the same amount of money, you can buy a sleeker and snazzier Audi Q7, BMW X5, or Mercedes-Benz GL.

Overall, the 2016 GX lacks the design refinement of Lexus’ small, sporty crossovers — the RX and NX. It also lacks the power of the top truck by the luxury brand, the Lexus LX, though the base GX also sells for nearly half the price.

The three-row, luxury SUV has a cabin that seats seven adults comfortably. The front seats are 10-way adjustable and are heated and cooled; rear rows get heat and a split bench seat design. There are reading lamps back there as well, which is always a nice touch. Safety wise, there’s 10 airbags scattered throughout this big rig, including two side curtains.

Plus, there’s a modest moon roof and an 8-inch navigation screen that is slightly larger than a cell phone screen. Both should be bigger — much bigger — when the truck gets updated. But please keep the radio knobs — we need those as much as we need the backup camera.

In the back, there is 64.7 cu. ft. of cargo space for all of your gear. It’s also equipped with roof rails, illuminated running boards, and a huge, center console box the size of a cooler.

The GX is available in seven shades; our tester came in Starfire Pearl and resembled a giant marshmallow with 18-inch split-six spoke alloy wheels on the street. It weighs in at 5,130 pounds and its 23-gallon tank will take you far off the main road. It drinks the good stuff, 91 octane, so expect to drop at least $70 bucks to fill it up. Despite its massive size, it surprisingly fit inside a small, pre-war garage.

If it doesn’t get discontinued in 2018, we hope the next redesign recalls the less bulky, first-generation GX or something more along the lines of the tough and futuristic looking Lexus UX Concept we saw at the Paris auto show. At this price, we’d like to see more Lexus and less Toyota.

2016 Lexus GX 460 Specifications

On Sale: Now
Price: $50,140 (base), $56,785 (tested)
Engine: 4.6L DOHC 32-valve V-8/301-hp, 329 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Layout: 5-door, 7-passenger, front-engine, 4WD SUV
EPA Mileage: 15/20 mpg city/highway
L x W x H: 192.1. x 74.2 x 74.2 in
Wheelbase: 109.8 in
Weight: 5,130 lb
0-60 MPH: 7.8 sec
Top Speed: 110 mph

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