You can count on one hand the number of luxury SUVs that are just as competent on the trail as they are on Main Street. The 2013 Lexus GX 460 is one of them. This great-looking 7-passenger SUV has a classy style and an upscale presence, as well as the Lexus reputation for reliability.

The Cabin

The GX's interior is first class, though not as high-end as we've come to expect from Lexus. Still, we like the long list of features that comes standard, including climate-controlled 10-way power leather front seats, reclining/sliding second-row seat with 40/20/40-split seat back, power fold-flat 50/50-split third-row seat, 9-speaker premium sound system and Bluetooth connectivity. Notable options include a navigation system and dual-screen DVD entertainment.

The split-fold sliding second-row seats and power fold-flat third-row seats make carrying cargo a snap. On the comfort scale, however, both rows are a little too firm and unforgiving for long trips. We also found the console control panel to be a little too busy.

Rugged Performance

On-road or off-road, the GX 460 is ready for anything. Its 4.6-liter V8 engine is smooth and powerful, outputting 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. The 6-speed automatic is a good match for this engine, and the full-time 4-wheel drive feels sure-footed on any surface. The optional Crawl Control also comes in handy in the wild. You can even manually adjust the ride height when the trail gets rocky.

But don't expect great fuel economy from this big V8-powered SUV. The GX 460 rates 15 miles per gallon city/20 mpg hwy, which means you'll be at the pump often.

Premium Price

The GX 460 is no bargain. The base model starts at $53,795, while the Premium trim begins at $58,590. If you're doing your homework, you'll want to stack it up against the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Land Rover LR4.

The Verdict

Looking for luxury, comfort and off-road ability in one roomy, high-end SUV? The 2013 Lexus GX 460 satisfies these job descriptions. It's not great on gas or affordably priced, but the GX 460 delivers a solid, reliable and enjoyable return on investment.

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Jessica Shea Choksey is an automotive journalist and former writer/reporter for the PBS/Discovery Channel television series "MotorWeek." She began her career in journalism as an editor for numerous magazines and publications mainly outside of the automotive field. Jessica currently resides with her family, in Southern California.

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