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For people who love a traditional sport utility vehicle that provides old-school capability that was the standard bearer for years, the 2015 Lexus GX 460 deserves a good look.

But looks are not as frequent these days with traditional SUVs because many car shoppers prefer buying a luxury crossover model that possesses better on-road manners, features a car-like suspension, and provides better gas mileage. The GX 460 has three rows of seating and accommodates seven people.

Sedan-like choices include the Acura MDX, BMW X5, Infiniti QX60, and Audi Q7. They are popular crossovers that are quite different than the Lexus GX 460, which has a truck-based suspension. Oddly enough, parent company Toyota still makes the Land Rover, which remains a true rival of the V-8 powered GX 460.

However, other than the Land Rover, none of the others can match the GX 460 for its ability to scale challenging slopes, climb over rocks and haul heavy loads (6,500 towing capability). The GX 460 is certainly off-road friendly and has a “crawl control” feature with three speed presets that is perfect for some adventurous driving. A computer conveniently directs the speed and braking, leaving the driver to focus on steering only.

Despite its size, the Lexus LX 460 has an attractive exterior with an appealing hourglass-style grille that is substantial and distinctive. A mid-size SUV, the GX 460 remains a beefy SUV that weighs a whopping 5,200 pounds. It possesses one engine only – a 4.6-liter, V8 that delivers 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque.

The weight of the GX 460 is one reason it can labor a bit when climbing hills. From a standstill, this Lexus goes 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds, which is about average for a large luxury SUV. Gas mileage ranges from 15-20 mpg, so expect to visit the pumps fairly frequently.

The LX 460 may be large, but it delivers a firm, comfortable ride that doesn’t tax the driver. It has a good feel for the road and features a center console with an adaptive suspension that offers settings of Normal, Sport and Comfort.

2015 Lexus GX 460

  • Performance: 4.6-liter, V8, 301 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: – 15-20 mpg
  • Estimated price: $49,485-$61,115
  • Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 6 years/70,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 6 years/unlimited

What one also notices when driving the GX 460 is the extra attention that’s needed for braking when approaching other vehicles prior to a full stop. Crossovers are naturally more adept than the GX 460 when navigating challenging turns. The large windows offer great visibility.

Lexus models always arrive with many fine interior features and the LX 460 is no different. It has an attractive cabin with leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery in the base model and soft leather and wood trim offered as upgrades.

The GX 460 delivers excellent comfort and room for front seat occupants and the back seat is pretty good as well. Third row seating is for children only. With all three rows upright, the cargo area is minimal (11.6 cubic feet). However, when the third row is folded the space expands to 46.7 cubic feet and 64.7 cubic feet with the second row down.

What some might not enjoy about the GX 460 is the swing gate in the back, instead of a lift gate that goes up in the air and not off to one side.

Although the Lexus GX 460 is a sophisticated SUV with many fine features, the recommendation here is consider a crossover SUV if off-road excursions aren’t part of the driving plan.

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