Lexus GX 460
This week we drive the Lexus GX 460. it is easy to see that like every Lexus, it is a quality piece, nice materials, excellent assembly. It is also easy to say it is a dinosaur. So, OK…I will…it’s a dinosaur.
And yes, this is that Lexus, the one that Consumer Reports warned you about. Run this thing hard into a curve, as they did, and they claim the stability control kicks in too late and the truck slides out of control. First of all, parent company Toyota is looking into the so-called problem. But I frankly don’t trust Consumer Reports any farther than I can throw a Buick.
These are the folks who worked very hard back in the late 80’s to make a Suzuki Samurai flip and finally did. What you never heard is that when challenged in court years later, they retracted the claim. Most of us who write about cars share this view of the magazine. If you are looking for a refrigerator, look in Consumer Reports. If you’re looking for a car, checks elsewhere.
I dare say, you race any large, heavy, tall SUV into a curve, you’ll come close to flipping the darned thing. It frankly proves nothing. In this case though, the GX is actually a disguised Toyota 4Runner, a very capable 4x4. What is lost as it dons the Lexus tuxedo is the nimbleness of the Toyota and what is gained is a slathering of luxury leather, real wood, and other signs of prosperity.
Under the hood is the 4.6-liter V8 and it’s 301 horsepower trying mightily to haul around 5300 pounds of truck. That’s the output of many modern V6’s and the engine works hard, albeit, smoothly to wrangle some performance through the 6-speed gearbox. Mileage, as expected, is 15 city / 20 highway.
And I did say dinosaur. It is expensive at over $52,000 base, and thirsty. Modern car-based crossover vehicles seem to get the same job done with a smoother ride and smaller carbon footprint. I’m afraid the future belongs to its sibling, the RX model. But as dinosaurs go, you’d be hard pressed to find a nicer one.