If you define a "sport utility vehicle" by its ability to go off-road, then the 2016 Lexus GX 460 is just the ticket. Rather than big brother to the Lexus RX 350 crossover, think of the Lexus GX 460 as a little brother to the full-size Lexus LX 570 and its legendary off-road capability. With a 301-horsepower V8 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, and full-time all-wheel drive, the Lexus GX 460 can get you there and back, wherever "there" happens to be.
But just because the GX 460 likes to play in the dirt, don't think that it's lacking in refinement. Quite the opposite, this Lexus SUV can be packed to the door sills with soft leather, real wood trim, and luxury touches like multi-zone climate control, a high-end Mark Levinson audio system and a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system. Electronics go beyond just coddling the seven passengers, and include advanced safety systems such as lane departure warning, blind spot detection, adaptive cruise control, and side-view cameras to make maneuvering in tight spots a snap.
Expressive styling is part of the luxury experience as well, and there's virtually nothing on the market these days with the drama of this Lexus SUV's front end. The dramatic grille opening -- called a "spindle" by Lexus -- is trimmed in chrome and flanked by jeweled headlights. The rear end features LED taillights, and from the side it's obvious from the short front overhangs that underneath the flawless paint and tasteful chrome trim that there's a true off-road ready machine waiting. Inside it's more conventional, with a touch-screen navigation and audio system, soft leather and wood trim, all arranged logically.
Prices for the 2016 Lexus GX 460 start at about $51,000, and climb steadily upward to the GX 460 Luxury model and its $62,000 price tag. Options add up, as you'd expect from a luxury SUV, but with the best resale value in its class, you'll get a sizeable amount back when you decide to sell.