In 1983, Toyota chairman Eiji Toyoda issued a challenge to build the world’s best car. The 16 years later, the first Lexus vehicle came off the assembly line and forever put to pasture. The concept that Japanese automobiles catered to the masses while high-end luxury vehicles were the sole domain of American and European brands. In time the legendary ‘L’ brazenly emblazoned on the front grille of Lexus vehicles became a symbol of high-end class and luxury. In fact, its reputation as a top-end status symbol is such that business tycoons and politicians flaunt it both as a status symbol and as the ‘end word’ in reliability.
An Overview of the GX:
The Lexus GX 460 is a potent example of a top end premium SUV. A close relative of the high performing Toyota 4Runner, the 2016 version is slightly smaller than its big brother ‘the full-size Lexus LX 570′. The LX is essentially built on the same platform as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. In fact, it has that vehicle’s frame as well as ‘live’ rear axle. But this is where the similarity ends since the Lexus GX is equipped with a full-throated V8 engine (unlike the former’s V6). Of course all the luxurious refinements that the Lexus name that is the hallmark of the Lexus brand name.
Add to that the fact that Lexus already possesses a stellar repute in the market as a manufacturer of luxury SUVs that offer their owners top-notch features and comfort along with exceptional off-roading abilities. It is due to the robustness of their suspensions as well as 4 wheel drive and all wheel drive options along with a true center differential lock that may be utilized for tackling sand, snow, and mud. The vehicle is able to deliver exceptional performance irrespective of the toughness of the terrain even as it handles with the smoothness of a luxury sedan on city roads and highways.
2017 Lexus GX – Exterior:
In terms of looks, the GX is remarkably like its predecessors ever since the original 2003 GX 470 first hit the roads. However, the interior is different from the older models and has many upgrades in the safety, navigation and entertainment segments. It now offer a strong differentiating point from its older cousins.
2017 Lexus GX – Under the Hood:
The four cam, four valves per cylinder, with dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-I) V8 engine produces 301 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 RPM revs per minute) It is a ULEV II engine (Certified Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle) and as such showcases Lexus as an environmentally conscious automobile manufacturer.
Its 4600 cc (4.6-liter) gasoline engine is not exactly conducive to high fuel economy. It has been logged at 17 mpg (miles per gallon), and 22 mpg on highways.
It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. This may be excellent for a V6 but for a V8 it’s a trifle underwhelming.
The front suspension is an ‘independent double-wishbone with coil springs’ set up with gas-pressurized shock absorbers along with a stabilizer bar to ensure the Lexus’s trademark smooth ride. While the rear suspensions is a four-link affair and just like its front counterpart even the back one is fully equipped with coil springs, gas-pressurized shock absorbers, and the ever present stabilizer bar.
All four wheels of the 2017 Lexus GX have power assisted discs, with a quad sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). It is further complemented by an intelligent ‘Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist system’. While the brakes themselves are 13.3 inches front discs and the rear discs are 12.3 inches. Both front and rear disks are ventilated.
2017 Lexus GX – Transmission System:
The 2017 Lexus GX is equipped with a 6-speed sequential shift Electronically Controlled Transmission auto transmission. However, the Land Rover LR 4 and the Acura MDX have 8-speed trannies and offer better overall fuel economy.
2017 Lexus GX – Capability:
The 2017 Lexus GX is a highly capable off-roader and can hold its own against many similar-sized SUVs. It can easily handle the weight of seven people and their cargo in even the most rugged terrain around. However, this is where the comparison ends because the Lexus with it’s over 41-foot turning radius and sluggish response on the highway makes it a slightly slower alternative to its more fuel-efficient counterparts.
2017 Lexus GX – Interior:
The overall look and feel of the interior of the GX are as expected with a Lexus. i.e. Absolute top quality, with easy to handle controls of both the navigation as well as entertainment systems. The 2017 Lexus GX is equipped with a highly responsive electronic steering wheel. Moreover, a lot of controls of the infotainment system are embedded in the steering wheel itself so that the driver would not have to move his hand away from the wheel while driving. In this way, the driver would be able to operate any number of features in the vehicle. Thus ensuring safety at all times. The Lexus GX also has a climate control feature.
Moreover, the seating positions of not just the driver but the passengers as well, are somewhat high. Thus ensuring excellent visibility of the external environment around the vehicle.
For the first two-row vehicle, it is surprisingly roomy and has a lot of head and leg space. Unfortunately, the same does not hold true for the third row and indeed it seems to be added as some sort of afterthought because the leg and head room is far narrower than the other two rows. It’s definitely not for people who tend to feel claustrophobic in enclosed spaces.
2017 Lexus GX – Trims:
The list of features is formidable even with the ‘plain vanilla’ model. All three trims are equipped with high allows 918 inches sunroof, back cam, multi-point adjustable front seats. The leather upholstery comes as standard. Moreover, the infotainment system even in the base model boasts of at least 9 speakers and a big 8.0 screen.
The Premium trim is equipped with heated and ventilated front seats as well as heated rear seats. Along with side and rear sensors that aid in parking this huge SUV. It also has a more advanced navigation system.
The top end version has a variable suspension that boasts of an ‘auto leveling’ feature for the ultimate in silky smooth rides even on bumpy terrain. A handy ‘blind-spot monitor’ along with a mildly heated steering wheel (for those really cold mornings) has also been included in this version.
2017 Lexus GX – Price:
The Standard starts at $51,000, the Premium at $55,000 and the Luxury at $63,000.