. Click image to enlarge
Review and photos Lesley Wimbush
Let’s just say that the GX 460 and I didn’t get off to a very good beginning.
I’d like to think it was negligence and not sadism that compelled the previous occupant to leave the seat ventilation on “chill” – but either way – having a ferocious blast of cold air reduce my backside to a frosty buttsicle left me with a rather jaundiced view towards the big Lexus.
And while I did eventually warm up [Ha! I see what you did there! –Ed.] to the big Lexus there were still a few niggling details about this vehicle that left me cold.
Smaller to its full-size LX 570 sibling, the GX is a handsome beast, and its blocky, cubist design gives it a rugged air underscoring its truck-based roots. No softly rounded crossover, the GX is one of the few remaining body-on-frame utility vehicles on the market, and rides on the same platform as its more humble cousin, the Toyota 4Runner.
Updated for 2014, its new look features the Lexus-family “spindle grille”, an aggressive, mandibular face that on a vehicle this size, would be downright disturbing to have appear in your rear view mirror. Sharp, geometrically shaped LED headlamps and boomerang running lights frame the knife-sharp creases of the front fascia. Its square body is saved from slabsidedness by bulging fenders over the front and rear haunches, with just a dab of brightwork to add visual drama. Chrome-trimmed clear taillights brighten up the rear, which is otherwise as broad and flat as the north end of a south-bound bus.
2014 Lexus GX 460. Click image to enlarge
The design elements of the GX’s cabin will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s ever spent time in Toyota’s Japanese-spec luxury vans. Luxurious? You bet, but so dated it borders on kitsch. Deep cushy leather and premium materials arranged in great slabs and planes are complimented with the kind of glossy wood you’d expect to see in a disco-era limo.
There’s not a curve, swoop, or hi-tech surface in sight. Square and solid, the chairs are so well- cushioned that great swooshes of air release when you sink into their depths. Swathed in yards of cream hides, soft-touch materials and grey pile carpet as soft as a mouse’s underbelly, the GX’s cabin is as luxuriously cheesy as a cruise ship stateroom.
Although the addition of an eight-inch touchscreen is a modernizing touch – it’s puzzling that there’s no Navigation feature in this $58,900 vehicle. I shuffled through the screens several times thinking I’d missed something, but no – it’s main function outside of the backup camera is to display fuel consumption, climate controls and sound system preferences.
If you want a GX 460 with navigation – a standard feature in a $20,000 Hyundai Veloster – you’ve got to pony up an extra $7,000 for the Premium model. Surprising too, is the absence of a heated steering wheel – once again Hyundai throws that in on their $28,399 Santa Fe Premium, a mid-range utility that’s half the price. It’s not a huge oversight, but at this price point, it’s the little touches that stand out for the luxury buyer.