Motoring | Test Drives

New Lexus GX 460 offers a mixed bag

While the excels in some aspects, it lets us down by compromising on something else

  • By Sony Thomas, Senior Sub Editor, wheels
  • Published: 18:34 July 26, 2012
  • Wheels

The Lexus GX 460
  • Image Credit: Grace Paras/ANM
  • The Lexus GX 460 is comfortable and luxurious, yet phenomenally thirsty.
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As the GX 460 completes four weeks in our fleet and after spending three of those in it, I still have mixed feelings towards our long-termer. I’ve come to accept the fact that class-leading luxury and safety features powered by a silky-smooth V8 come at a high-octane price.

However, with prices starting from close to Dh250K, this isn’t a cheap set of wheels by any measure, making me wonder if the car offers real value for a customer’s money. A seven-seater SUV is obviously aimed at those who are looking for a spacious, comfortable and safe means of transporting their loved ones.

As far as space is concerned, the GX offers loads of it in the first and second rows. However, while the front bucket seats are padded and wellcontoured, the same can’t be said about the second row. Although there’s no scope for complaint regarding leg- or headroom, the second-row seats lack padding and consequently fail to offer any kind of support.

This means that even the slightest amount of lateral roll will see passengers struggling to keep themselves from sliding to the other side. Moreover, the third-row seats, which
are even more basic and bench-like, are strictly for kids, and ingress and egress aren’t the easiest in class.

After spending some time with rival Infiniti’s new JX SUV last week, which goes for a starting price of around Dh190K, I feel Lexus has a lot more work to do with second- and thirdrow seats to justify the price tag. However, as you’d expect from Lexus, safety isn’t compromised at all in the GX.

In addition to driver and front-passenger knee airbags; there are seat-mounted side airbags as well as roll-sensing curtain airbags, for a total of 10 around the cabin. Then there’s the pre-collision system that can detect and warn the driver of an imminent collision, and also make adjustments to help lower the severity of the impact.

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Cargo room is decent at 1,322 litres with the third-row seats folded flat, and expands to an impressive 2,602 litres with both the rear rows stowed. However, if all seven seats are up and occupied then the cargo room suffers, with just a little more than 300 litres of luggage space left, which is less than that offered by an average small saloon.

So overall, the GX 460 is a mixed bag. It’s comfortable and luxurious, yet phenomenally thirsty. The seats are large and homely in the front but get progressively bad going back. And cargo space is great, only at the cost of a few seats.

The progress

Week 3: Superb engine and an all-round comfy ride, with occasional juddering from ladderframe chassis

Highs: Great engine, comfortable, quiet cabin. Lows Ride turns bumpy intermittently

Week 2: Into its second week at wheels towers, the GX makes a few good impressions, and a big bad one

Highs: Luxurious, smooth and refined Lows One of the thirstiest cars we’ve had

Week 1: GX 460 is basically a rebadged Toyota Prado. We’ll find out over the
coming eight weeks what else it has to offer other than a premium badge

Highs Should prove solid. It’s a Prado, after all. Lows It’s a Prado.

Fact Box

Start mileage: 5,350km

Recent cost: Fuel

Average fuel economy: 19 litres-per-100km

Highs: Good cargo space with seats folded

Lows: Rear seats not supportive enough

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