With its rugged body-on-frame construction, standard 4-wheel drive and advanced electronic suspension setups, the 7-passenger 2019 Lexus GX 460 might be mistaken for some kind of Rubicon adventurer. But its Lexus roots provide ample luxury and creature comforts, plus a stellar reputation for reliability and strong resale.
You'll Like The 2019 Lexus GX If...
If your luxury SUV also has to be a rugged and capable weekend warrior, the 2019 Lexus GX 460 is one of a handful of choices, although few come with the GX’s legendary reliability and resale figures.
You May Not Like The 2019 Lexus GX If...
If you’re looking for a roomy midsize-luxury SUV with exceptional road manners and the latest in interior design and technology, the Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz GLS and Land Rover Discovery are probably better choices. Checking the GX’s equipment list, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are nowhere to be found.
For 2019, the Lexus GX gains 10 years’ complimentary Enform Safety Connect and Service Connect, and customers can now start their car, set the climate controls and unlock the doors via a smartphone, smartwatch or Amazon’s Alexa. The base model and Premium trim offer blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert at no cost.
The 2019 Lexus GX 460 has 3-row/7-passenger seating; a 40/20/40-split 2nd-row bench seat and flat-folding 3rd-row seat offer numerous configurations for people and cargo. Front-seat comfort is terrific, the second row is adequate for adults, and the third is best for children. The base and Premium versions have NuLuxe upholstery, with leather optional on the Premium and standard on the Luxury. Instrumentation is easy to see, and controls easy to reach but there are lots of them; the instrument panel’s center stack contains the sound and climate systems and in the center console are controls for the 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system. It’s all finished impeccably.
The GX 460’s tall, square-shouldered shape is clear evidence of its robust off-road intentions; no rounded-over aerodynamic teardrop this. But that tall shape pays dividends. Entry and exit are high, but the doors are big, and ample standard running boards make the step easy. Some may like, some may dislike the rear door; it’s a side-opening arrangement, hinged on the right, which can make loading from curbside awkward and is inconvenient when carrying long stuff home from the lumberyard. On the other hand, for loading luggage or groceries you don’t have to lean in over a swing-down tailgate.
Because of its body-on-frame design and tall ride height, the 2019 Lexus GX 460 can’t ride or corner like a car-based crossover SUV. It does, however, have enough electronic suspension-management systems to deliver a stable ride with decent cornering ability at reasonable speeds. Overall, the GX’s ride is firmer than that of the Infiniti QX60 and Acura MDX, but its standard full-time 4-wheel-drive system allows the GX to tread where the aforementioned competitors dare not. Lexus’ Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System helps minimize body lean on-road, and improve traction and wheel articulation off-road, providing the GX with real off-road credentials equaled only by some Land Rover models. Under the hood, a 4.6-liter V8 delivers plenty of power for hauling, with a tow rating set at 6,500 pounds. Regrettably, all that muscle comes at the expense of fuel economy, with the GX ranking near the bottom of its segment.
The 2019 Lexus GX 460 has a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) right around $54,200; fully loaded, it easily tops $70,000. At its base price, the GX costs more than every likely competitor except the BMW X5, which is slightly higher, so it’s not a bargain item. But it is a quality piece of work, with great fit and finish and a proven record of dependable reliability. We recommend the GX 460 Premium with the ECRU package for its value for the money. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the GX 460. While the Lexus starts several thousand dollars higher than most competitors, it holds its value exceptionally well. In fact, for 2019 it wins the KBB Best Resale Value Award for Luxury Mid-Size SUV/Crossover (3-row). Inexpensive? No. Great long-term value? Yes.
In base form, the Lexus GX 460 is well equipped with a synthetic leather interior, wood trim, 10-way-power front seats, dual-zone climate control, rearview camera, power moonroof and power-operated tilt/telescope steering wheel -- always a nice touch. Entertainment and phone connectivity are provided by a 9-speaker AM/FM/CD display audio system with 8-inch touch screen and Bluetooth, dual USB inputs, Siri Eyes Free iPhone compatibility and the Enform apps suite. On the safety side, there are 10 airbags, active headrests to reduce the severity of whiplash, and Lexus’ Safety Connect system with 24/7 emergency services.
While the base GX 460 is a good value, we recommend the Premium trim; it’s only slightly over $2,500 more but includes 3-zone automatic climate control with interior air filter, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rain-sensing wipers, LED fog lights and Intuitive Parking Assist. We think that represents reasonable value for the money. Top-line Luxury models include Adaptive Variable Suspension, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (a no-charge option on the other trims), captain’s-chair 2nd-row seating, power-folding outside mirrors, wood and leather-trimmed heated steering wheel and power-fold-flat 3rd-row seats. Other available options include a 17-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound audio system, the Driver Support Package and a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system.
KINETIC DYNAMIC SUSPENSION SYSTEM (KDSS)
Using stiffer anti-roll bars attached to hydraulic cylinders, the GX’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System can change levels of resistance. The system improves on-road performance with a comfortable ride and better cornering, and off-road performance with greater wheel articulation.
COMPREHENSIVE FULL-TIME 4-WHEEL DRIVE
The 2019 Lexus GX 460’s full-time 4-wheel drive is one of the best in the business, using Active Traction Control to limit wheel slip and an electronically locking Torsen limited-slip center differential for even power distribution front-to-rear.
Under the Hood
Power for the 2019 Lexus GX 460 comes from a 4.6-liter V8 good for 301 horsepower. It’s attached to a reliable but somewhat outdated 6-speed automatic transmission. Power is routed to all four wheels via a full-time 4WD system and 2-speed transfer case with locking center differential. While this setup is stout to be sure, it’s also extremely fuel-thirsty, returning a dismal 15 mpg in the city and not much better 18 mpg on the highway. For reference, that’s roughly the same fuel economy as a 1984 Lincoln Town Car. In the luxury segment, there are far more efficient choices such as the Audi Q7, Acura MDX Sport Hybrid or the Land Rover Discovery with the diesel engine.
301 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
329 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/18 mpg
How good is the 7-passenger 2019 Lexus GX 460 luxury SUV? So good, it appears, that Lexus has made almost no changes to this year’s model. In truth, the GX is growing a bit long in the tooth, still riding on the Toyota 4Runner’s body-on-frame platform, which while rugged, doesn’t necessarily fit into the comfy-soft-luxury side of the equation. Where the GX lacks the ride comfort and stable handling of an Audi Q7 or Acura MDX, it excels in the areas of technology, safety and off-road ability, not to mention towing figures second only to the Land Rover Discovery. The Lexus GX 460 also maintains exceptionally high resale values, a good thing when you’re expecting to plunk down north of $50,000.