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2020 Lexus GX Review

We can’t view the 2020 Lexus GX through the same lens that we do some other big SUVs. The truck-based GX uses body-on-frame construction. This means it can out-tow (6,500 pounds) some of its crossover competitors and outperform them off-road, but it also means that this Lexus has a stiffer ride and less nimble handling.

Moreover, the GX isn’t as well-suited for hauling people as other vehicles in its segment are. Its third-row seating is downright cramped, and the second row isn’t particularly comfortable, either. The craftsmanship inside and out is as solid as we’ve come to expect from Lexus. Although the interior offers plenty of creature comforts and technology, it’s a bit dated in its styling.

In the end, the GX is a high-end luxury workhorse better suited to towing and off-road adventures than it is family hauling.

What’s New for 2020?

Lexus didn’t make any sweeping changes to the GX, but it made a number of enhancements and added some standard features. Outside, it gets triple-beam LED headlights and a revised grille. Inside, it gets a color multi-information display and two rear USB ports. The biggest news is that every GX will now come with the Lexus Safety System+ and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The Safety System+ includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, automatic high-beam assistance and adaptive cruise control. See the 2020 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
  • Dated interior styling
  • Low fuel economy

How Much?

$54,025-$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 4-wheel drive system includes a dual-range transfer case for proper off-road use.

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

Standard Features & Options

The 2020 Lexus GX 460 premium midsize SUV comes in three grades: the 460, the 460 Premium and the 460 Luxury. All prices include the $1,025 factory delivery charge.

The base GX 460 ($54,025) includes 18-in alloy wheels, a power moonroof, roof rails, triple-beam LED headlights, 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, electroluminescent 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, the Lexus Safety System+, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Bluetooth connectivity, Siri Eyes Free voice command functionality, Lexus Enform connectivity and a 9-speaker audio system with an 8-in touchscreen, a 6-CD changer, four USB ports, satellite radio and HD Radio.

The GX 460 Premium trim ($56,815) adds upgraded 18-in alloy wheels, heated and 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 trim ($65,290) includes all the above plus an adaptive air suspension with auto-leveling rear suspension, headlamp washers, power-folding and self-dimming exterior mirrors, a heated steering wheel, semi-aniline leather upholstery, a power folding third-row seat and a tonneau cover for the cargo area. Available only on the Luxury grade is the Driver Support Package with navigation, a Mark Levinson premium surround sound audio system, a wide-view front and side monitor system and Crawl Control for automated low-speed off-roading.

The Sport Design package comes with unique 19-in dark gray alloy wheels, 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.

The 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. It’s 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. The Lexus Safety System+ and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert are standard on all GX grades.

To date, no third-party agencies in 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, a purpose-built people carrier such as a minivan 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 it 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. When traveling 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.

The 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 trucklike SUV standards.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Acura MDX — Good equipment levels for the money. Great on-road manners.

2020 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.

2020 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 pricing could save you thousands over a brand-new GX.

Autotrader’s Advice

Assuming you’re really serious about the 2020 Lexus GX, even though there are more modern rivals, go for the Luxury trim. We recommend it because it’s eligible for the Mark Levinson audio system upgrade and because its adaptive suspension improves ground clearance over the base model, just in case there’s some off-roading to be done. Find a 2020 Lexus GX for sale

 

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