KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/26/2013
"This is my gift, my curse." While we don't normally begin our reviews with quotes from popular superhero films, the above reference does do a respectable job of encapsulating the core essence of the 2014 Lexus GX 460. Riding atop a reinforced boxed ladder frame, the Lexus GX can conquer all manner of challenging off-road situations without breaking a sweat. But when it comes time for urban duty, the GX's excessively rugged underpinnings produce a ride quality that is decidedly less forgiving than that of the BMW X5, Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Nevertheless, practical incentives like a strong record for reliability and above-average residual values make the Lexus GX a recommendable buy for the adventurous-yet-sensible luxury SUV shopper.
You'll Like This Car If...
If exceptional off-road capability, a host of standard features including 4-wheel-drive (4WD), and superb value-for-dollar are paramount in your next luxury SUV purchase, the 2014 Lexus GX could be the one. However, we strongly suggest back-to-back test drives of the GX and its closest competitors on rough pavement.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're like most SUV buyers, hardcore off-roading capability seems about as important as helmets for skydivers. Those who are looking for a better balance of on-road comfort and athleticism should consider the Acura MDX, BMW X5, or Mercedes-Benz M-Class.
What's New for 2014
Cresting the halfway point of its current lifecycle, the Lexus GX sees a number of changes for 2014. Highlights include a larger 8-inch touch-screen display (up from seven inches), Lexus' 8th-generation infotainment system, standard LED headlights, a newly available blind-spot monitoring system, and revised front and rear bodywork.
Even though it's luxurious and nicely appointed, the 2014 Lexus GX 460 gives the strong impression that its natural habitat is out in the dirt and rocks. The GX 460's fully boxed frame withstands the abuses of extreme off-road excursions but is not ideal on the pavement. The overall ride quality is certainly acceptable, but not quite up to Lexus standards. On the other hand, the GX 460's potent 301-horsepower V8, responsive and smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission and proper 2-speed transfer case combine to make short work of most any task on most any surface. The GX even tows up to 6,500 pounds. To help counteract the potential cornering awkwardness of a tall SUV, the GX 460 has what Lexus calls a "Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System" that decreases body lean with its massive anti-roll bars or, when needed, automatically relaxes sway control for increased wheel articulation and greater traction off road.
KINETIC DYNAMIC SUSPENSION SYSTEM (KDSS)
During serious off-road driving, standard KDSS maximizes suspension travel in order to keep the tires on the ground. Without it, a tire would remain in the air over deep moguls when either the front or rear suspension has reached its natural limit of travel.
WIDE-VIEW FRONT AND SIDE MONITOR
The 2014 Lexus GX 460 offers a pair of cameras integrated within the front grille and passenger-side outside mirror for improved outward vision when exiting a parking structure or parking adjacent to a curb.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…