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2019 Lexus GX Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader April 2019

Lexus didn't really do anything to advance its 2019 Lexus GX over the 2018 model. The good news is, pricing only inched up a couple of hundred dollars on each trim level. Able to absorb seven (or six with second-row captain's seats) occupants, the GX offers a well-constructed cabin. However, the interior design appears a bit dated and the materials aren't up to current Lexus standards.

Unlike most competitors, the GX uses a truck like body-on-frame construction, rather than a one-piece car like construction. This has pros and cons. The trade off is better-than-average towing (6,500 pounds) and off-road performance, but a somewhat diminished handling on the highway.

That doesn't mean the GX doesn't fit into the luxury mix. It hosts countless comfort features and technology. Its suspension delivers a rather civilized ride over pavement. Although its third-row seat is best left to children, it is still a family hauler.

What's New for 2018?

Once again Lexus has pretty much left the GX alone from 2018 to 2019. Now standard are Enform Safety Connect that automatically summons help in case of a crash, stolen vehicle or other emergency, and Service Connect that posts automatic updates about the health of your Lexus. Also standard is Enform Remote that can start the engine, engage the climate control, as well as other services. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is standard on the Luxury grade and is now a no-cost option on the lower two grades. See the 2019 Lexus GX models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Off-road-appropriate hardware
  • Compliant ride
  • Standard 3-row seating
  • Plenty of luxury and technology features

What We Don't

  • Uncomfortable seats in the second and third rows
  • Cumbersome on-road handling
  • Unremarkable interior quality
  • Low fuel economy
  • Most safety/driver-assist technologies only available on top trim level

How Much?

$53,380-$64,780

Fuel Economy

Linked to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the GX 460 has a 4.6-liter V8 engine making 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. A standard full-time all-wheel-drive system includes a dual-range transfer case for proper off-road use.

Fuel economy is estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 15 miles per gallon in the city, 18 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg in combined driving.

Standard Features & Options

The 2018 Lexus GX 460 premium midsize SUV comes in three grades: 460, 460 Premium and 460 Luxury. All prices include the $1,025 factory delivery charge.

The base GX 460 ($53,380) includes 18-in alloy wheels, a power moonroof, roof rails, LED low-beam headlights/daytime running lights, 10 airbags, keyless entry with push-button ignition, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel with automatic tilt-away, 10-way power front seats with driver's-side memory, synthetic leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, electro-luminescent gauges, a rearview camera, slide/recline second-row seats, a trip computer with a 4.2-in display, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 120-volt outlet in the cargo area, Bluetooth (for both phone and audio), Siri Eyes Free voice command functionality Lexus Enform Connectivity, and a 9-speaker audio system with an 8-in touchscreen, a 6-CD changer, two USB ports, satellite radio and HD Radio.

The GX 460 Premium ($55,950) adds upgraded 18-in alloy wheels, heated/ventilated front and second-row outboard seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers and LED fog lights. Options include second-row captain's seats and leather seating.

The GX 460 Luxury ($64,780) includes all the above, plus an adaptive air suspension with auto-leveling rear suspension, headlamp washers, power-folding/self-dimming exterior mirrors, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a heated steering wheel, semi-aniline leather upholstery, a power-folding third-row seat and a cargo area tonneau cover. Available only on Luxury grade is the Driver Support Package with navigation, Mark Levinson premium surround-sound audio, a Pre-Collision System with adaptive cruise control, driver attention monitor, lane-departure warning, automatic highbeams, and Wide-view Front and Side Monitor System and Crawl Control for automated low-speed off roading.

The Sport Design package comes with unique 18-in alloy wheels and a chrome exhaust tailpipe tip, redesigned side mirror housings, second-row captain's chairs and bespoke front and rear bumpers.

The Luxury model is also eligible for a 330-watt/17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, a dual-screen rear entertainment system and wide-view front and side parking cameras.

Cargo capacity measures 11.6 cu ft. behind the third-row seats. Power-fold that row into the floor for a more reasonable 36.5 cu ft. With the second-row seats folded down, the GX can haul a healthy 64.7 cu ft. However, the unusual lift gate is hinged on the passenger side, so it opens toward the curb on American roads. Not the most convenient design for curbside loading, but it does have a flip-up window.

Safety

The GX 460 comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and 10 airbags (front, front side, front knee, rear side and full-length side curtain). All models include Enform Safety Connect with its 24-hour response center to summon help if the unexpected occurs. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is standard on the Luxury and is a no-cost option on the GX and GX Premium. Optional on Luxury is the Driver Support package with its suite of safety technologies.

To date, no agencies within the United States have performed crash tests on the GX.

Behind the Wheel

The interior, frankly, lacks the top-quality materials that have become a Lexus hallmark over the years. In particular, the dashboard doesn't look or feel like it belongs in a vehicle that costs more than $50,000. Still, everything seems put together well, and the electroluminescent gauges serve as a reminder that this is more than just a fancy Toyota. Also, while the central control panel has many buttons, they're clearly marked in large white lettering, so there are no ergonomic missteps.

The standard third-row seat is mounted low, so longer-legged passengers will likely have their knees in their faces. The second row isn't particularly supportive or comfortable, either. For anyone planning to use more than two rows on a regular basis, purpose-built people carriers such as minivans or the Ford Flex with EcoBoost could be a better choice.

On the move, the GX 460 is a mixed bag. Its tall, slim build works well for tight off-road trails, but also makes the GX feel a bit claustrophobic. That feeling doesn't inspire confidence in corners, where the GX could hardly be more out of its element. In a straight line, however, the soft ride and excellent noise suppression create a pleasant cruising experience. Potholes are often barely noticeable thanks to the long-haul, off-road-ready suspension.

Acceleration is adequate, although it's unusual to see a V8 these days with such a low power rating, and you'll feel the lack of juice at higher speeds. The GX can tow up to 6,500 pounds with the optional trailer hitch, which is more than car-based crossover SUVs can handle, but not that much by truck like SUV standards.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Acura MDX -- Good equipment levels for the money, great on-road manners.

2019 BMW X5 -- With superior handling and an optional third row, the X5 is the driver's SUV in this class. But don't even think about it if you're the off-roading type.

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport -- For something more up to date and stylish, yet still luxurious and capable, this fits the bill. Third-row occupant space is not quite as generous as in the GX, though.

Used Audi Q7 -- With standard 3-row seating and premium appointments, this is a logical alternative. Certified pre-owned (CPO) pricing could save you thousands over a brand-new GX.

Autotrader's Advice

Assuming you're really serious about the 2019 Lexus GX, even though there are more modern rivals, go for the Luxury trim. That's because it's eligible for the Mark Levinson audio system upgrade, and its adaptive suspension improves ground clearance over the base model, just in case there's some off-roading to be done. Find a Lexus GX for sale

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Lexus GX Review - Autotrader