By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.5
As one of the few luxury SUVs utilizing a traditional boxed ladder frame, the 2012 Lexus GX 460 strikes an excellent balance between serious off-road capability and civilized daily driving manners. Competing against such worthy adversaries as the BMW X5, Acura MDX and Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the Lexus GX 460 separates itself from its road-going competitors with standard full-time 4-wheel drive (4WD), exceptional ground clearance and a host of off-road tech features. Considering its all-terrain supremacy, along with Lexus' enviable reputation for reliability, the 2012 Lexus GX 460 is an enticing proposition for the adventurous luxury SUV buyer.
If you need an SUV capable of tackling the roughest terrain, but yearn for a luxurious cabin outfitted with upscale amenities and versatile seating, the 2012 Lexus GX 460 will meet your unique demands. Additionally, the GX's exceptional build quality and strong resale value make it a smart choice for value-driven consumers.
Due to its rugged body-on-frame construction, we found the Lexus GX 460's overall ride quality and ambient noise levels a bit below par for a luxury vehicle. By comparison, the Acura MDX and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class deliver more comfortable rides and quieter cabins.
The Lexus GX 460 receives minimal changes for the 2012 model year, including new color-keyed body-side moldings with chrome inserts and a new high-gloss wheel finish for the Premium trim.
Driving Impressions It was apparent following our comprehensive road test that the 2012 Lexus GX 460's natural habitat is in the dirt. Designed to withstand the abuses associated with hardcore off-road excursions,...the GX 460's fully-boxed frame is a fish out of water on the pavement. And, while overall ride quality is certainly acceptable for most drivers, the GX 460 does not live up to the discriminating Lexus standards for world-class driving comfort. On the other hand, the GX 460's potent 301-horsepower V8 and a responsive and smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission combine to make towing up to 6,500 pounds a breeze. To help counteract the occasional cornering awkwardness associated with tall SUVs, the Lexus GX 460 has a Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) that decreases body lean with its massive stabilizer bars or, when needed, the KDSS can automatically relax roll control under extreme off-road conditions for increased wheel articulation and greater traction.
For difficult obstacles requiring consistent low-speeds and precise throttle control, the Lexus GX 460 has an available Crawl Control feature. This piece of off-road technology automatically modulates the throttle and brakes so drivers can focus their attention exclusively on steering.
Wide-view Front and Side Monitor
The 2012 Lexus GX 460 offers a pair of cameras integrated within the front grille and passenger-side outside mirror for improved visibility when exiting a parking structure or parking adjacent to a curb.
Inside, the GX offers roomy quarters for up to seven passengers as well as class-leading cargo space for all of your gear. A 40/20/40-split second-row seat, combined with a convenient power-folding third-row seat, provides a variety of configurations for people, cargo or both. The cockpit and its abundance of high-quality materials impart a sense of luxury, while the thick-rimmed steering wheel, large controls and elevated seating position signify the GX 460's s rugged underpinnings. Although the GX 460's available touch-screen navigation system does not feature the latest infotainment functions Lexus has to offer, the system's 8-inch display does include an intuitive interface along with SiriusXM traffic, weather, sports and stocks to satisfy your mobile entertainment cravings.Exterior
To help convey its off-road capabilities, Lexus designers aspired to sculpt the exterior of the 2012 GX 460 as if it were constructed from a single block of metal. The GX 460 offers standard running boards with integrated courtesy lights to help facilitate ingress and egress from the vehicle in all lighting conditions. Whereas most modern SUVs offer a versatile rear liftgate, the 2012 Lexus GX 460 continues to employ the outmoded barn door-style rear door that can make loading and unloading cargo on the street or in tight garages a chore. On a brighter note, behind the standard 18-inch alloy wheels are substantial 13.3-inch front disc brakes with 4-piston calipers to tame the GX 460's potent V8 engine and substantial 5,300-pound curb weight.
The 2012 Lexus GX 460 offers a wealth of standard equipment, including full-time 4WD, Downhill Assist Control for assistance during steep or slippery descents, SmartAccess for keyless access and ignition without ever removing the key fob from your pocket or bag, illuminated running boards, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, two multi-information displays, a rear backup camera and a 9-speaker audio system with SiriusXM Satellite Radio and a USB port for portable media players. Safety features include 10 airbags including driver and front passenger knee airbags, active front head restraints to help minimize whiplash injuries and live emergency services provided by Lexus' Safety Connect telematics service.
The Lexus GX 460's stand-alone option list is comprised of 3-zone automatic climate control, front and rear parking assist sonar, a headrest-mounted rear-seat DVD entertainment system and xenon headlights. The Mark Levinson Premium Sound and Navigation Package includes a hard drive-based touch-screen navigation system with Lexus Enform concierge services and a 17-speaker audio system with a DVD player. Crawl Control, automatic high beams, wide-angle exterior camera system, adaptive cruise control and a Pre-Collision System are bundled together within the aptly-named Wide-view Monitor/Pre-Collision/Driver Attention Package.
Both the 2012 Lexus GX 460 base and Premium trim models are powered by an all-aluminum 4.6-liter V8 engine that makes 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. The sole engine choice is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with a sequential shift mode. Though Lexus claims the GX 460 features best-in-class V8 fuel economy, competitors with V6 engines and comparable power outputs, such as the BMW X5 and the Acura MDX, best the GX 460 in terms of fuel efficiency.
301 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
329 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/20 mpg
By Tex on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,250overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "good size, luxurious, pretty comfortable"
Cons: "the very senstive steering is driving me crazy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I am 6'3", so finding something that is comfortable is very important. This is my first Lexus SUV, and for the most part, it has been good. But the sensitive steering is not what I expect in this type vehicle. It drifts from one side to the other depending on the wind and the slant or divets in the pavement. Hold on to the steering wheel or you will wind up on the side of the road."
14 people out of 22 found this review helpful
By Tjr on Friday, October 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very fun to drive, cuts corners, easy 2 park"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Want more space..one driver only, female driver, driver is a doctor . Drive 30 miles one way to work each day"
7 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Jack on Saturday, September 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Understated classy vehicle."
Cons: "Poor city gas mileage/breaks down after warranty"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"The only negative is 12 miles/gallon in the city. On the highway I can easily average 17+ miles/gallon, but in the city it's a gas guzzler. Very comfortable ride and feels like a million dollars when you are sitting in the vehicle. I purchased extended warranty, and it's a good thing, because one week after the three year warranty expired, it required $1800 repair for some obscure pump that went out. Wow! This is the second large Lexus SUV that I've owned. The last one starting giving me problems right after the warranty expired also."
17 people out of 25 found this review helpful
By Richmond GX on Sunday, July 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent headroom, technology, and space"
Cons: "No standard hitch"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased a 2014 GX base with Navigation and Blind-spot monitoring. Was amazed that my first trip (from Maryland to Richmond) I averaged more than 23 MPG at a speed of 70+ mph. Head room is amazing (I'm 6'5" and have been in few vehicles that have this much room). Navigation/apps are top notch and the touch screen is very responsive. I have a very 'southern' accent and the voice activation has no problem understanding what I am saying. My dogs (Great Dane and Golden Doodle) are very comfortable in this SUV."
12 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By Dr. J on Sunday, June 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,210overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy, quiet...GREAT highway traveller"
Cons: "A 110v outlet up front would be nice"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car has performed brilliantly throughout its life with me. It is quite comfortable, roomy, and will swallow lots of my "stuff" for long trips. The V8 engine is a little underpowered, in my opinion, but pulls my 7500 lb 21 ft boat/trailer combo with ease. The fit and finish of the interior is excellent, and far better than Yukon Denali or Cadillac Escalade models similarly priced. The SUV still runs quietly...just as it did on day 1, even after 100,000 miles.Very pleased with this car and will probably replace it with another one just like it!"
12 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By Rich on Thursday, May 29, 2014
I want this caroverall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "In demand luxury!"
Cons: "Not enough produced."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I am sure this is a great vehicle. However the demand is high and my local Lexus dealer seems to pre-sale the few they order. I have not been able to test drive a GX much less make an offer. Most people are paying MSRP for them."
3 people out of 19 found this review helpful