Motoring | Test Drives

Long-term review: Prado-based Lexus GX 460

Something familiar turns up in the wheels car park. Is the Toyota Prado-based Lexus GX 460 badge engineering done right?

  • By Dejan Jovanovic, wheels
  • Published: 13:16 July 9, 2012
  • Wheels

GCC-spec Lexus GX 460
  • Image Credit: Grace Paras/ANM
  • The GCC-spec Lexus GX 460 is differentiated from our Land Cruiser Prado by a few minor exterior details.

Week 1

Somewhere over the turn of the 21st century, badge engineering became such a taboo phrase that at a media roundtable discussion in Detroit a few years ago, I once blurted out the term to Bob Lutz who just about leapt on to the table. Taboo words and curses can turn innocuous phrases into no-nos, in isolation of cultures and societies, so that in America badge engineering can’t be uttered at a table, but in Japan you can shout it out loud in the street.

Fair enough. Americans have been badge engineering rubbish cars into rubbish-er ones for decades, but the Japanese haven’t really had that problem. If you look at the soaring climb of sales figures and customer-loyalty ratings for brands like Infiniti, Acura and Lexus, you’ll have proof.

And no customer is more faithful than the Lexus driver. So blindly resolute are they, in fact, that they’ll buy anything with a big shiny L stuck on the front grille, even if it normally rides around on a ladder frame introducing itself as a Toyota Prado. And here comes one of those right now…

The GCC-spec Lexus GX 460 is differentiated from our Land Cruiser Prado by a few minor exterior details. If you focus long enough, you’ll see that the front end is sharper, and the Lexus’s rear bumper more pronounced. But the key changes are inside and underneath, both in the supple leather covering almost every inch of the cabin, and the 4.6-litre V8 under the bonnet.

Toyota can only sort you out with a six-cylinder if you’re interested in the Prado, but walk across the road for some free coffee at the Lexus dealership, and they won’t just throw in free sugar, but a V8 too.

Over the next couple of months, we’ll find out  whether badge engineering remains a term of endearment, in Japan.


Driven by Dejan
Start mileage 4,350km
Recent cost Fuel
Average fuel economy N/A
Highs Should prove solid. It’s a Prado, after all
Lows It’s a Prado


Packed with the latest local and global motoring news, first drives, up-market car products, bikes and more


More from Wheels

More from friday

More from alpha

More from aquarius

  • Noura_Main
    Highly commended finalist: Noura Al Ramahi

    Along with our three fabulous finalists, the judges decided to include a Highly Commended category as the standard of entries to our competition was so high. This goes to Noura Al Ramahi for her stunning villa in Abu Dhabi. Well done Noura – it’s beautiful!

  • IO_141020_Home of the Year awar86
    In pictures: InsideOut Home of the Year Awards

    The InsideOut Home of the Year Awards 2014 party held at the Nawwara Bar at the JW Marriott Marquis on the 20th October went with a swing! Here’s our gallery of a really great night….

  • IO_141014_Casablanca_STF_Stefan07
    InsideOut Home Of The Year finalist: Dana Jaber

    Dana Jaber’s Al Barsha villa was considered by the judges to be bold, original and eclectic. We loved her individual approach to decorating which lends interest and unexpected touches to every room

  • Main_2
    InsideOut Home Of The Year finalist: Helena Brown

    Helena Brown’s home in Umm Suqeim was a favourite with the judges because of the many personal touches, and undeniable sense of comfort and style. Her interest in Feng Shui has helped achieve a calm relaxed ambience

  • claudia (4)
    And the InsideOut Home Of The Year winner is...

    Claudia Baliyan's apartment in Dubai Marina impressed the judges. Here's why

More from insideout

Life & Style editor's choice