2017 Lexus GX 460 Luxury

The GX 460 from Lexus is a real niche vehicle. It’s one of a handful of luxury SUVs with true off-road ability. Washed out roads, mud, or deep snow won’t stop it. A look underneath reveals why. That’s a Toyota truck frame and rear-end under there and a height-adjustable air suspension.

Our test vehicle is the loaded Luxury model with LED headlights and many premium features. While base GX’s get vinyl upholstery, this Luxury version is slathered in leather and real wood trim. It’s roomy and comfortable with heated and ventilated seats.

Near the six-speed automatic are switches to control full-time four-wheel drive with crawl mode, descent control, and the adjustable air suspension. Touch screen navigation controls are intuitive and even if the design is dated, it all works well.

Row two passengers will find plenty of leg room, heated seats, and their own climate controls. There are a couple of row three seats that deploy and fold with the touch of a power button.

An unusual feature on the GX 460 is the tailgate. It pivots from the side instead of from the top.

Only one engine is offered: a 4.6 liter V8 with 301 horsepower. Gas mileage is poor. I averaged about 16 miles per gallon.

Despite the heavy-duty chassis, it’s as quiet as a luxury car.

So for the 2017 Lexus GX 460 Luxury, I say thumbs up to the luxury, off-road ability, and comfort; thumbs down to poor gas mileage.

The pre-production vehicle had no sticker, but the price will be around $70,000.

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