2020 Lexus GX Review

2020 Lexus GX - The 2020 Lexus GX 460 SUV is very off-road capable.


Prices: $53,000-$65,410

Pros-Upscale. Off-road champ. Roomy. Fast. Secure handling. Occasional choppy ride. Four-wheel drive. Safety items.

Cons-- General truck-like feel. High step-up. Hard-to-reach third row. Little cargo room with upright third row. Side-opening hatch.
Bottom Line - Serious off-road truck not for casual SUV buyer.

The 2020 Lexus GX 460 is for those who want a good dose of luxury, but like tackling really rough off-road terrain and towing heavy loads.

The GX 460 sold fairly well last year, although it was last designed about a decade ago and hasn't been changed much. Among changes for 2020 are a revised spindle grille, triple beam LED headlights and available dark gray metallic wheels.The interior has new steering-wheel detailing, a color multi-information display, available wood with aluminum trim and 2 rear USBs.

The standard Lexus safety system has a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, high-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane-departure alert, blind spot monitor, cross-traffic alert, trailer-sway control and 19 air bags.

There are Luxury Grade options, an off-road package with multi-terrain select, transmission cooler, crawl control and multi-terrain select.

In the Lexus tradition, my test GX 460's options included the Premium Package, which had heated/ventilated front seats, heated second-row tilt/slide captain's chairs, wood-and-leather trim and three-zone automatic climate controls. There's also Apple CarPlay and also the first Lexus with Android Auto.

Plenty of standard stuff in the high-grade interior include a backup camera, a multimedia system with a dated touchscreen that's slow to respond, power tilt/slide steering column, pushbutton start, dual-zone automatic climate control, power moonroof and a premium sound system.

There's good room in the first and second seat rows, but the uncomfortable third-row seats are hard to reach and best suited to children. There's little cargo room with the third-row seats put upright, but at least they fold flat into the cargo floor.

Occupants sit high in the quiet, refined cabin, which has a fair number of storage areas.

Illuminated running boards help with a high climb-in but are too narrow for large shoes.
The four-door GX 460's body on frame construction may be considered dated by some SUV buyers, but it enables this Lexus to tackle terrain that would leave many popular SUVs in the dirt. The construction also provides a solid base for an all-terrain suspension and helps enable a towing capacity of 6,500 pounds. The GX 460's four-wheel drive system never disengages.

Drawbacks are a general truck-like feel, the high step-up and large swing-out hatch door that calls for extra room to open.

However, this Lexus has a quiet, premium interior, powerful 301-horsepower V-8 with 329 pound/feet of torque and a smooth 6-speed automatic transmission. This combo enables the GX GX460 to do 0-60 m.p.h. in 7.8 seconds, although it weighs 5,130 pounds.

However, estimated fuel economy is just 15 miles per gallon in the city and 19 on highways, and 91-octane fuel is called for.
The steering is firm but accurate. Gauges can be rather hard to read in bright sunlight, but most controls are easy to use. Handling is secure for such a big, high, heavy vehicle on sweeping curves taken at above-normal speeds. Maneuverability of the 192.1-inch long GX 460 also does well in tight quarters. The brakes bite confidently.

I didn't have a chance to take my test GX 460 off road, but its reputation precedes it. It cruises serenely on regular decently paved roads, but broken pavement causes occupants to be jerked around a bit.

The upscale go-anywhere Lexus GX 460 is designed to mean business, which doubtlessly accounts for its continued popularity.


Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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