2018 Lexus GX 460 – Last One Standing (in Mid-Size Premium Environment)

2018 Lexus GX 460
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2018 Lexus GX 460 has two big issues plaguing it. First one would be the fact that it is eight years old product with no replacement in sight, other would the notion that it is based on non-premium Land Cruiser Prado, from whom it borrows underpinnings (also shared with again not luxury 4Runner) but also body shape and significant amounts of styling language. In a world full of mid-size luxury SUVs coming from all directions, ones not troubled by mentioned issues, is there still a spot for this Lexus?

LAST BEACON

Short answer? Yes, there is. And here is why. If you want a luxury mid-size SUV choice is plentiful. From abundant European offer (X5, GLE, Q7, XC90, Cayenne, Range Rover Sport, Velar, Discovery, Levante), Japanese one (QX60, QX70, MDX, even Lexus’s own RX) to the American one (Enclave, MKX, MKT, XT5). But there is something that all those products share…

2018 Lexus GX 460

source:lexus.com                                                                                      2018 Lexus GX 460

They are all crossovers and only actual SUV in the segment is the very own GX, giving that Land Rover Discovery flip the side with the latest generation. So, if you want a proper SUV with a premium badge, and last year 25k buyers did (!), this is the only thing standing between nothing and $90k Lexus’s LX and $123k Merc’s G-Class. So, it has a spot and a very good one.

2018 LEXUS GX 460 SPECS

As we clarified, GX is a true SUV, meaning it has ladder frame chassis and solid rear axle, which is also accompanied by the genuine 4WD system with low range gearbox and lockable Torsen center differential. That means that it plows through nature and take its beating without a sweat, but it also means that its body rolls in the corners, dive upon braking, steering feel is imprecise, and ride quality is usually no class leading in refinement (though this SUV still tackles road imperfections in familiar Lexus manner or very comfortably).

2018 Lexus GX 460

source:lexus.com                                                                                              2018 Lexus GX 460

And any body on frame SUV weights a lot, 5240 pounds in this case, which also signifies that it devours fuel, for this one its 16 mpg combined. They also often come with dated engines and that would a story here too, where naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 is employed, delivering 301 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque and propelling GX to 60 mph in 7 seconds. Those are honestly figures seen in mid-size SUVs powered by non-turbo V6 units (RX’s one is one of those).

2018 Lexus GX 460
Dimensions And Weight
Wheelbase 109.8 in
Length 189.2 in
Height 73.8 in
Width 74.2 in
Weight 6600 lbs
Engine And Transmission
Engine type V-8 Engine
Displacement 4.6L 
Power/torque 301 hp/329 lb-ft
Transmission 6-speed auto w/OD Transmission
Performance
0-60 mph 7 seconds
Top speed N/A
PRICE RANGE:$63,230
Competitors:Cayenne, Range Rover Sport, Velar, Discovery, Levante

INEXPLICABLE CHARM OF TRUE SUVS

If we try to be direct, current GX was an ugly thing. Fortunately, refresh from 2013 made the things incredibly better upon adorning the fascia with a famous spindle grille and new headlights. It doesn’t appear fresh or modern today, but it still glows with that special charm of ruggedness thanks to cumbersome body shape, while implementation of newer Lexus’s styling touches creates distinctive allure around it.

2018 Lexus GX 460 Exterior

source:lexus.com                                                                                    2018 Lexus GX 460 Exterior

You know it is not pretty by the usual standards, but you still yearn for it, not knowing why… The same story is with the cabin. Visually, it is grossly outdated, maybe even rudely, but you can actually dig that tough and unbeatable nature of it reflecting in its shapes, while in this case of a luxury badge, usually low-grade materials are partially replaced by lavish ones.

2018 Lexus GX 460 Interior

source:lexus.com                                                                                     2018 Lexus GX 460 Interior

If that doesn’t sway you, the fact that cabin could be loaded with equipment for a modest amount of cash might will. Stuff like heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear ones, three-zone climate control, 8-inch touchscreen with embedded navigation, moon-roof, split third-row seating and lots of other amenities are not even whole five grand above starting price.

2018 LEXUS GX 460 PRICE

So, let’s discuss 2018 Lexus GX 460 pricing strategy a bit more. Things start at $51.8k, Premium trim is at $56.3k while the top of the line Luxury level asks for $63.2k. Giving that pretty much you don’t get any significant extras outside of mentioned trims, this comes as a plain bargain compared to other premium mid-size offerings. At the end, if you want a true SUV, one missing crossover side of the equation, there is nothing to properly rival it. The only thing that could trigger the questioning is (un)necessary poshness of the badge, because if that is missing, things like substantially cheaper 4Runner come to mind, along with the whole array of similarly priced non-premium full-size things as Tahoe, Yukon, Armada, Sequoia, and Expedition.

Written by Djordje (George) Mijatov (djole.mijatov@gmail.com)

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