A surprisingly agile sport utility vehicle.

2014 Lexus GX 460 Luxury Review

A monstrous throwback to the SUVs of yesteryear.

By: Richard Noel

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: October 3rd, 2014

If you're in the market for a tank-sized throwback SUV of titanic proportions wrapped in leather and wood grain, look no further than the Lexus GX 460 Luxury.

My first impression was, "This thing is a land yacht." It was excessively large to the point of embarrassment. I began comparing the behemoth to other SUVs when I parked. Chevy Tahoes and Cadillac Escalades paled in comparison.

I imagined what people would think when they saw me behind the wheel. They would silently judge me from their drivers' seats, assuming I cared nothing for the environment and that I was one of those people who sat around with my conspiracy theorist friends debating the merits of global warming. "Carbon footprint be damned," they'd think. "That guy wants his space."

After driving the vehicle for awhile, I realized, they weren't completely wrong. I had come to miss the feeling of driving a massive vehicle that towered above every crossover on the road.

  • The GX 460's interior has enough room for you and 6 friends.

    The interior of the Lexus GX 460 Luxury is probably what you'd imagine. Its semi-leather front seats were comfortable, and with the vehicle being the size of the RMS Lusitania, there was plenty of leg room. Much of the inside is adorned in dark mahogany wood-grain and gunmetal trim. The dash, wrapped in black leather, gives the interior the luxurious feel you've come to expect from Lexus.

    The second row seats slide and recline. They also fold down easily for extra cargo space. The one thing I noticed was that when folded down against the front passenger's seat, the second-row seat can push the front seat forward enough to trick the Lexus into thinking someone is sitting up front. This will cause the seat belt chime to go crazy when you're driving. It was incredibly annoying.

    The power fold-flat third-row seats are roomy enough to accommodate small children. If you plan on taking the vehicle on a road trip with adults, they'll definitely want to draw straws for the third row.

    The eight-inch touch-screen navigation system, Bluetooth, and voice command in the GX 460 were less than perfect. The voice command became annoying to use, as prompting it to begin took one-too-many clicks of the steering wheel button. The maps for the navigation were slow to update, which can cause havoc if you're trying to get somewhere for the first time and are depending on it for timely information (I missed several turns as a result). The Bluetooth was pretty decent. Connection with a smartphone is fairly effortless and allows for hands-free and media connections that come in handy when trying to steer the ship.

    The Mark Levinson premium audio system will set you back $1,145, but it's worth it. The 7.1-channel audio was crystal clear through the system's 17 speakers. I could tell you that it pushes 330 watts through the speakers, but those wattage ratings are always b.s. They're the numbers that are taken moments before the product destroys itself, much like horsepower and towing ratings. Take them with a grain of salt.

  • A boxy shape you'd expect to see a decade ago.

    The GX 460 Luxury's exterior is ... an exterior. It's essentially a giant, stylishly colored box on wheels. It's big enough to make the 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 265/60 tires seem far too small. The body lacks any hard lines, which give it a slightly sleeker style. The running boards are nice, but useless, as the vehicle doesn't ride particularly high, even with the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system in its highest position.

  • With a light foot, you can still pull double digit gas mileage.

    The GX 460 handles surprisingly well for its size. The steering is responsive and the braking system, equipped with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), is solid without being overly touchy. The rear air suspension does make for a comfortable ride, even when plummeting into potholes or bounding over the occasional curb.

    The vehicle is equipped with a blind-spot monitoring system that I found utterly useless in rush-hour traffic. The little icons on either side mirror were almost always lit during heavy city driving. It almost became a distraction. But I was thankful for the cross-traffic alert system that beeped when cars passed behind the vehicle, as well as the absolutely necessary back-up camera.

    As you'd expect, the GX 460 went through gas like humans go through oxygen. Rated for an average 17 miles-per-gallon, it was lucky to pull 12 during rush-hour traffic, while in "economy" mode, when using the AC. I could only imagine single digit numbers if you planned on towing with this rig, which the Lexus GX 460 Luxury will have no problems doing.

  • The road king is dead, long live the road king.

    The Lexus GX 460 Luxury is enormous. It's too big for anyone to own. If you have the garage space, you're ahead of the game. If you need something this size, you should consider selling a child into the circus.

    But, if you absolutely want to own this beast, it's surprisingly agile and comfortable. It will take some practice to park and reverse, and you'll need to remortgage your house to afford the gas, but all in all, it will definitely get the job done. It will comfortably seat seven and tow whatever you need.

  • The feature-rich luxury SUV will keep you comfortable.

    Engine: 4.8-liter V-8

    Transmission: 6 speed automatic

    Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, full-time four-wheel drive with Torsen Limited Slip Differential (with electronic locking feature)

    Power Output: 301 horsepower / 329 lb-ft

    Fuel Economy: 15 city / 20 highway

    Base Price: $60,715

    As Tested: $62,770 (including $910 destination fee)

    Available Features: Mark Levinson Premium Audio, Navigation System with Adanced Voice Command, Enhanced Bluetooth, and Lexus Enform App Suite, Driver Support Package, and Comfort Package.

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• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2014 Lexus GX 460, click here: 2014 Lexus GX 460.