As one of the few luxury SUVs utilizing a traditional boxed ladder frame, the 2013 Lexus GX 460 strikes an unusual and very appealing balance between serious off-road capability and civilized daily driving manners. Competing against such worthy adversaries as the BMW X5, Acura MDX and Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the Lexus GX 460 separates itself from its road-going competitors with standard full-time 4-wheel drive (4WD) that even includes a low range in the transfer case, exceptional ground clearance and a host of off-road tech features. Considering its all-terrain supremacy, along with Lexus' enviable reputation for reliability and customer care, the 2013 Lexus GX 460 is an enticing proposition for the adventurous luxury-SUV buyer.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you need an SUV capable of tackling the roughest terrain, but yearn for a luxurious cabin outfitted with upscale amenities and versatile seating, the 2013 Lexus GX 460 will meet your demands. And value-driven consumers will appreciate the GX's exceptional build quality and strong resale value.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Due to its rugged body-on-frame construction, the Lexus GX 460's overall ride quality and ambient noise levels may come up a little short by luxury-vehicle standards. By comparison, the Acura MDX and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class ride just a little more smoothly and quietly.
What's New for 2013
The Lexus GX 460 rolls into 2013 without substantial changes to its specifications or equipment.
Driving ItDriving Impressions
Even though it's luxurious and nicely appointed, the 2013 Lexus GX 460 gives the strong impression its natural habitat is out in the dirt and rocks. The GX 460's fully boxed frame withstands the abuses of hardcore off-road excursions but is not ideal on the pavement. Overall ride quality is certainly acceptable but maybe not up to Lexus' own normal standards. On the other hand, the GX 460's potent 301-horsepower V8, responsive and smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission and proper 2-speed transfer case combine to make short work of most any task on most any surface. The GX even tows up to 6,500 pounds. To help counteract the potential cornering awkwardness of a tall SUV, the Lexus GX 460 has a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) that decreases body lean with its massive anti-roll bars or, when needed, automatically relaxes roll control for increased wheel articulation and greater traction off road.
For difficult obstacles requiring consistent low speeds and precise throttle control, the Lexus GX 460 has an available Crawl Control feature. This piece of off-road technology automatically modulates the throttle and brakes to maintain gradual forward progress, so the driver can focus exclusively on steering.
WIDE-VIEW FRONT AND SIDE MONITOR
The 2013 Lexus GX 460 offers a pair of cameras integrated within the front grille and passenger-side outside mirror for improved outward vision when exiting a parking structure or parking adjacent to a curb.
Along with the impeccable finish quality found inside any Lexus, the 2013 GX 460 offers comfy accommodations for up to seven and class-leading cargo space. A 40/20/40-split second-row seat, combined with a convenient power fold-flat third-row seat, provides a variety of configurations for people, cargo or both. The cockpit's materials feel luxurious while the thick-rimmed steering wheel, large controls and elevated seating position signify the GX 460's rugged underpinnings. The GX 460's available touch-screen navigation system, though lacking Lexus' latest technology, includes an intuitive interface along with SiriusXM traffic, weather, sports and stocks to satisfy your mobile-infotainment needs.
Lexus designers sculpted the exterior of the 2013 GX 460 to give the impression it was cut from a single block of metal. The GX 460 offers standard running boards with integrated courtesy lights to help facilitate ingress and egress from the vehicle. In place of a versatile rear liftgate, the GX continues to use an outmoded barn-door-style, side-hinged rear door that can complicate loading and unloading cargo at the curb or in tight garages. On a brighter note, behind the standard 18-inch alloy wheels are substantial 13.3-inch front disc brakes that look businesslike and also tame the GX 460's weight and power.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2013 Lexus GX 460 offers a wealth of standard equipment, including full-time 4WD, Downhill Assist Control for steep or slippery descents, SmartAccess for keyless access and ignition without removing the key fob from your pocket or bag, illuminated running boards, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, two multi-information displays, a rearview camera and a 9-speaker audio system with SiriusXM satellite radio and a USB port. Among the safety features are 10 airbags including driver and front-passenger knee airbags, active front head restraints to help minimize whiplash injuries and live emergency services provided by Lexus' Safety Connect telematics service.
Notable Optional Equipment
The Lexus GX 460's stand-alone options list shows 3-zone automatic climate control, front and rear parking-assist sonar, a headrest-mounted rear-seat DVD entertainment system and xenon headlights. The Mark Levinson Premium Sound and Navigation Package includes a hard-drive-based touch-screen navigation system with Lexus Enform concierge services and a 17-speaker audio system with a DVD player. Crawl Control, automatic high beams, wide-angle exterior camera system, adaptive cruise control and a Pre-Collision System are bundled together as, appropriately enough, the Wide-view Monitor/Pre-Collision/Driver Attention Package.
Under the Hood
In both base and Premium form, the 2013 Lexus GX 460 is powered by an all-aluminum 4.6-liter V8 engine that makes 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. This sole engine choice is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with a sequential shift mode. Standard full-time 4WD uses a 2-speed transfer case with lockable center differential. This is serious off-road kit. Though Lexus claims the GX 460 features best-in-class V8 fuel economy, competitors with V6 engines and comparable power outputs, such as the BMW X5 and the Acura MDX, edge the GX 460 in terms of EPA-rated fuel efficiency.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a base 2013 Lexus GX 460 starts at just over $54,000, including destination. The GX 460's Premium trim adds around $5,000 to that opening price; it can top out around $70,000 fully loaded. The Lexus GX 460 commands a higher starting price than base models of the Land Rover LR4, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Acura MDX. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com to find out what GX 460s are currently selling for in your area. On the resale side, the 2013 Lexus GX 460's projected 5-year residual value exceeds the values set by the majority of its competitors, thanks to Lexus' long-standing reputation for both high quality and reliability.