2016 Lexus GX 460

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2016 Lexus GX 460. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Sure-footed on snowy roads
  • Visibility
  • Highway ride comfort
  • Quiet cabin
  • 6,500-pound towing capacity

The Bad

  • Brake dive
  • Body roll at low speeds
  • Second-row seat comfort
  • Tiny third row
  • Cargo room behind third row

Notable Features of the 2016 Lexus GX 460

  • Hourglass-style grille
  • Blind spot warning system available
  • Seats seven
  • Full-time 4WD with Low range standard
  • Collision mitigation system available

2016 Lexus GX 460 Road Test

Aaron Bragman

The Verdict: Comfortable, quiet and nimbler than the larger and more expensive LX 570, the Lexus GX 460 is an old-school luxury SUV — with all the pros and cons that come along with that.

Versus the competition: The Lexus fits in well with competitors on price and electronic safety equipment, but its onboard multimedia tech, powertrain, packaging and driving dynamics have all been improved upon by others’ more modern offerings.

Luxury SUVs have been around for decades, replacing big luxury sedans as the ultimate in posh, all-weather transportation. Lexus wasn’t the first on the scene, but it didn’t wait long to capitalize on the craze; the GX 460 you see here dates back to 2002. The 2016 model isn’t much different from that SUV. It still rides on a more luxury-oriented, modified body-on-frame (truck) platform that shares some components with the Toyota 4Runner and a Land Cruiser Prado that Toyota sells abroad. It still has full-time four-wheel drive with a Low range that enables it to go places most luxury SUVs can’t. And it still has a big V-8 engine and seating for seven.

Changes from 2015 to 2016 (compare the two here) are limited to some new features for the Lexus Enform Service Connect and Enform Remote concierge services.
Exterior & Styling
The  GX 460 received Lexus’ latest styling treatment for the 2014 model year, adding a new spindle grille and LED swoosh-style headlights. In other vehicles, this outrageous prow ...

The Verdict: Comfortable, quiet and nimbler than the larger and more expensive LX 570, the Lexus GX 460 is an old-school luxury SUV — with all the pros and cons that come along with that.

Versus the competition: The Lexus fits in well with competitors on price and electronic safety equipment, but its onboard multimedia tech, powertrain, packaging and driving dynamics have all been improved upon by others’ more modern offerings.

Luxury SUVs have been around for decades, replacing big luxury sedans as the ultimate in posh, all-weather transportation. Lexus wasn’t the first on the scene, but it didn’t wait long to capitalize on the craze; the GX 460 you see here dates back to 2002. The 2016 model isn’t much different from that SUV. It still rides on a more luxury-oriented, modified body-on-frame (truck) platform that shares some components with the Toyota 4Runner and a Land Cruiser Prado that Toyota sells abroad. It still has full-time four-wheel drive with a Low range that enables it to go places most luxury SUVs can’t. And it still has a big V-8 engine and seating for seven.

Changes from 2015 to 2016 (compare the two here) are limited to some new features for the Lexus Enform Service Connect and Enform Remote concierge services.
Exterior & Styling
The  GX 460 received Lexus’ latest styling treatment for the 2014 model year, adding a new spindle grille and LED swoosh-style headlights. In other vehicles, this outrageous prow looks awkward and overdone, but it somehow works on the GX — maybe due to the truck's already cartoonish proportions.

The GX looks every bit the traditional SUV that it is, with a short wheelbase and long overhangs front and rear topped off by an upright, boxy cabin. If you’re a fan of the trucky look, the GX should push all your buttons.
How It Drives
Powering the GX is a traditional engine, as well: a 4.6-liter V-8 making an unremarkable 301 horsepower and 329 pounds-feet of torque. It’s smooth and silent — most of the time — announcing its presence with a roar only if you need to call up some big acceleration.

When tasked to do it, the 
Lexus GX460 responds in a relaxed manner to accelerator input, with the truck’s rather unimpressive power output combining with its 5,199-pound curb weight to make for an unhurried but not underpowered pace. Competitors do out-muscle it, however: The GMC Yukon Denali offers up 420 hp from its much bigger 6.2-liter V-8; the Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit pumps out 360 hp from its 5.7-liter Hemi V-8; and even the Land Rover LR4 comes up with 340 hp from its smaller, supercharged 3.0-liter V-6.


The GX does have the ability to tow 6,500 pounds. That bests the rating of the Jeep Grand Cherokee but falls short of the abilities of a Yukon or LR4.

Power is routed through a six-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels through a full-time four-wheel-drive system. It has a Torsen limited-slip center differential and a driver-selectable electronic differential lock for when you’d like a bit more control. Toyota’s Crawl Control feature is offered as an optional part of the advanced four-wheel-drive system and, while I didn’t take the GX off-road (as most owners won’t), I’ve sampled this system in other vehicles and can declare it to be most impressive.

Winning stoplight drag races isn’t what the GX 460 is about; it’s about comfortable, luxurious cruising over just about any terrain you throw at it, and it does well with this mission. Its ride is well-damped and smooth, ironing out road imperfections before they disturb occupants. Tall tire sidewalls on 18-inch wheels help with that, but the Lexus’ electronic active suspension systems (including a rear air suspension with automatic load-leveling function) deserve most of the credit.

The softness does result in a fair bit of body roll in corners, plus forward dive under heavy braking — issues the Lexus Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System doesn’t completely resolve. If you’re used to driving big, old-style SUVs, the dynamics of the GX 460 will be familiar to you. It behaves much like the Land Rover LR4, with a tall, tippy body and large windows, and feels less planted than the wider GMC Yukon or Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Along with the old-school ride and handling come some old-school fuel economy numbers: The 
Lexus GX 460 is EPA-rated 15/20/17 mpg city/highway/combined. Indeed, my week of mixed city and highway driving returned about 16.8 mpg. But that really isn’t any worse than the competition, which stacks up similarly: 15/21/17 mpg for the Yukon Denali, 14/22/17 for the Grand Cherokee V-8 and a truly awful 15/19/16 mpg for the Land Rover LR4. In the Grand Cherokee, you can opt for a smaller gasoline V-6 that changes your numbers to 18/25/21 mpg, or even a truly fuel-efficient 3.0-liter, turbocharged diesel V-6 that returns a thrifty 21/28/24 mpg.

Interior
The 
Lexus GX 460 carries over the traditional SUV feel inside, as well, with a tall and narrow aesthetic that looks as if nothing’s changed since the late 1990s. The color scheme in my test car was appealing, with a high-quality, creamy beige leather and dark brown dash motif that was attractive, but that appeal was offset by cheap-feeling plastics on the center console and doors. For this price, I expect higher-quality materials — not an interior that looks as if it belongs in a much less expensive Toyota that’s been given some wood appliques.


While it may not look especially impressive, though, the 
Lexus LX 460 is quite comfortable, with big seats up front and plenty of room for occupants. Backseat dwellers aren’t as fortunate, with tight legroom and a seating position that’s lower than ideal. The third row is only for children or Olympic gymnasts, given its diminutive dimensions and ingress and egress that are frustrated by the limited motion of the right rear passenger seat’s tilt-and-fold function.


At speed, the Lexus is supremely quiet, as one expects from a Lexus. Still, the degree to which road and wind noise are muffled is surprising for a vehicle that looks like it was chiseled from a cinder block. Credit goes to thick glass and plenty of sound insulation.

Compared with much of its competition, however, the GX falls short in luxury. The GMC Yukon has a similar interior but, being a larger truck it provides considerably more occupant space. The LR4 is one of the oldest offerings in the segment and it looks it — yet it still wraps much of its interior in high-quality leather and wood, and it offers tons of headroom. The Grand Cherokee is a testament to how well Jeep has maintained its upscale image, with the Summit model featuring a lot of high-quality materials and a more comfortable backseat than the Lexus — but no third-row option.
Ergonomics & Electronics
While other Lexus products, including its flagship LX 570 SUV, all employ Lexus’ Remote Touch multimedia controller, the GX 460 soldiers on with a touch-screen. This is a good thing, as the Lexus system isn’t bad when you’re not forced to control it with a mouse-like remote. It works quickly, is easy to use while driving and provides everything you’ll need — except Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are not offered and won’t be anytime soon, according to Lexus.

The standard Lexus Enform multimedia suite provides a concierge service that’s free for your first year and subscription-based thereafter. My test vehicle came with an optional Mark Levinson 17-speaker audio system that sounded pretty terrific, as well as a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system to help keep backseat passengers quiet on longer drives. GMC’s IntelliLink and Jeep’s Uconnect systems are a bit more user-friendly in their operation, but the Lexus isn’t far behind and it beats out the clunky Land Rover system quite handily.
Cargo & Storage
Being an SUV, the 
Lexus GX 460 is ostensibly meant to be able to carry a lot of people and stuff while offering luxurious surroundings. With the third row up, you can indeed carry people, but not a whole lot of stuff; cargo room behind the third row is tight at 11.6 cubic feet of room. That’s just enough for a duffel or two. Fold the third row flat, however, and you’re granted a more spacious cargo area, although Lexus hasn’t published specs on exactly how much room you get. Stow the second and third rows and you get 64.7 cubic feet of room. That’s on the small side for a midsize SUV, given the Grand Cherokee has 68.3 cubic feet and the Land Rover LR4 somehow manages 90.3 cubic feet of maximum cargo room. That’s just 4.4 cubic feet shy of the GMC Yukon Denali’s 94.7 cubic feet.


What truly makes the GX unique is its swing gate door, which opens to the right. The rear window can be raised independently, in the manner of a common liftgate. The swing gate is of mixed utility; on one hand, shorter operators don’t have to reach up to try and grab the overhead door. On the other hand, it provides no shelter from a downpour as you’re trying to load the cargo bay with groceries. It also makes things difficult if you’ve pulled up to a curb on a two-way street and need to load something into the cargo area; the hatch swings the wrong way for that — a holdover from the Lexus’ origins as a Japanese-market, right-hand-drive vehicle.
Safety
The Lexus GX 460 has not been crash-tested. If it ever is, results will be posted here.

Updates made for the 2014 model year brought a host of modern safety features, such as standard blind spot warning with cross-traffic alert, a backup camera, and front and rear parking sensors. Opt for the Driver Support Package and you’ll get a wide-view front and side camera monitor, adaptive cruise control with autonomous braking, lane departure warning, an attention monitor and the aforementioned off-road Crawl Control system. See all the GX’s standard features here.
Value in Its Class
Lexus doesn’t give its premium SUVs away cheaply. There are three trims of the 
Lexus GX 460 available: Base, which starts at $51,730 including destination; Premium, which adds LED fog lights, a perforated leather interior, navigation, heated and ventilated power-assist front seats, heated split-bench rear seats, three-zone climate control and rain-sensing wipers and starts at $56,175; and Luxury, which starts at $63,105 and adds an adaptive suspension, power folding mirrors, a leather-and-wood steering wheel, blind spot monitors with cross-traffic alert, and a power-folding third row.


I tested a Luxury trim with the optional Mark Levinson premium audio system and dual-screen rear entertainment system, and it came to an as-tested price of $66,220. Adding the Driver Support Package, which brings electronic safety features like lane departure warning and Crawl Control, bumps the price up just short of $70,000. Build one your way here.

While there are plenty of luxury SUVs to compare with the GX, matching one up exactly is a little challenging given the Lexus’ true truck-style SUV nature. It’s a body-on-frame midsize truck, not a car-based crossover, so that limits the field somewhat.

In terms of price, luxury accommodations, equipment and abilities, the GMC Yukon Denali is an interesting matchup. It, too, is a body-on-frame truck and, though its proportions put it more in competition with the larger Lexus LX 570, its price makes it a more spacious alternative to the GX 460 — which it out-performs in powertrain, on-board connectivity tech and towing capacity.

The Land Rover LR4 is an excellent match for the GX, with similar proportions, construction, throwback looks and onboard tech. But it’s likely not long for this world, with the all-new, crossover-like Land Rover Discovery on its way soon.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee may not seem like a direct competitor (as Jeep isn’t a luxury brand), but many people cross-shop the Grand Cherokee specifically against luxury SUVs. That’s why Jeep offers expensive top trims like the Overland and Summit. While it seats only five, the Grand Cherokee has luxurious appointments in its top trims that allow it to easily go head-to-head with the 
Lexus GX 460 — plus a choice of powertrains, a sophisticated off-road system and plenty of towing capacity. Compare all four competitors here.

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Latest 2016 GX 460 Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.4)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

What Drivers Are Saying

(2.0)

Does not last

by boatmanjoe@comcast.net from Fort Myers on August 19, 2018

Thought it was a Quality Lexus Vehicle. I was wrong. 80,000 miles in two years, locks do not work, rear passenger floor board completely soaked every day. Will never buy another Lexus. Will go with ... Read full review

(4.0)

Handy, light ,an unwanted break intervention

by Brandon from Dallas on August 13, 2018

Car is good but scary self- braking intervention even as alone vehicle on the road. No technical solution to the self- braking mechanism activating without any due factor. How to turn it off? Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2016 Lexus GX 460 currently has 0 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Lexus
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 70,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    6 years/less than 70,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    6 years/unlimited mileage

  • Powertrain warranty

    6 years/unlimited mileage

  • Dealer Certification Required

    161-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The GX 460 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker