What Is It?
The latest Toyota Land Cruiser has been revealed at the Frankfurt Auto Show — but it’s not a new Land Cruiser to Americans. Instead, it’s the Land Cruiser “Prado,” which is a smaller version of the Land Cruiser sold overseas. In the States, this version of the Land Cruiser is sold (with some updates and modifications) as the Lexus GX 460.
Although some updates — like styling changes to the Land Cruiser Prado — won’t translate directly to a revised Lexus GX, we have no doubt the next GX will offer several of the technology updates added to the Prado with the most recent facelift. Such updates include Toyota’s Safety Sense system, which adds blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian protection. The ancient black-and-white gauge cluster screen has also been replaced by a 4.2-inch full-color TFT display. An increasing number of luxury SUVs offer these features, but the aging GX — last fully redesigned in 2010 — has missed out.
The fact that the Land Cruiser Prado will also feature some styling tweaks and adjustments suggests the GX may get a nip and a tuck, too. Unknown is whether the GX 460’s engine will change, as overseas Land Cruiser models don’t use the same power plant as the GX 460. The Lexus’s 4.6-liter V8 makes a muscular 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque, but it’s among the least-efficient engines on the market, returning just 15 miles per gallon in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.
A facelifted GX 460 likely will cost about the same as the current model, which has a starting MSRP of around $53,000 with shipping.
When Can You Get It?
Toyota hasn’t officially confirmed the Land Cruiser’s changes will make their way to the Lexus GX, but we suspect they’ll be added soon — possibly as early as next year.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
Many shoppers like the Lexus GX because it offers tough off-roader capabilities — as a result of it being a body-on-frame, Toyota Land Cruiser-based SUV — along with excellent reliability. Unfortunately, its interior design is ancient, missing many crucial luxury features now offered by virtually every rival. When the Land Cruiser Prado’s updates make it to the GX, the Lexus will once again be competitive with rivals in terms of technology while still offering some of the capabilities that most other luxury SUVs can’t match.
Other Cars to Consider
Audi Q7 — The Audi Q7 offers excellent technology and a reasonable starting price of around $50,000 — along with approximately the same cabin space as the GX. But it doesn’t have the Lexus’s off-road capability or its reputation for reliability.
Mercedes-Benz GLS — The full-size Mercedes-Benz GLS is more expensive than the GX, with a starting price north of $68,000 with shipping. But it offers excellent technology, a smooth ride and a little more interior space than the GX.
Volvo XC90 — The recently redesigned Volvo XC90 offers gorgeous styling and excellent technology, along with a lot of available luxury features. It also touts reasonable pricing that starts around $47,000. But it can’t match the GX in terms of capabilities or reliability.
Used Lexus LX 570 — If you like the GX but you need more space, the larger Lexus LX is a great choice. It touts a huge interior, a massive 5.7-liter V8 engine, a long list of features and options, and truly amazing capabilities. However, its $91,000 MSRP means you may have to consider a used model.