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Lexus updates its GX SUV for the 2010 model year, giving it a new engine and cabin tech. However, it remains a traditional body-on-frame style vehicle.
Although large, the GX 460 isn't Lexus' biggest SUV. That honor goes to the LX model. The GX 460 slots between that and the smaller RX crossover.
The new engine in the GX is a 4.6-liter V-8. Lexus used more advanced valve timing technology to increase horsepower and fuel economy, although it does not make dramatic improvements.
The GX 460 holds seven passengers, with two in front, three in the middle, and two in the third-row seats.
The GX 460, in Premium trim, gets an air suspension that is switchable between Comfort and Sport settings. It has four-wheel-drive with a locking differential.
The rear glass opens up for quick access to the cargo area.
Unlike most SUVs, the rear gate swings out sideways instead of up. Sideways gates don't need any extra height clearance, but they need more rear space.
With the third-row seats up, there rear cargo space is virtually eliminated.
As a Lexus, the cabin uses quality materials, and everything looks well put together.
Lexus overboosts the power steering in the vehicle, making it very easy to turn the wheel. While this tuning is good for parking maneuvers, it cuts out road feel.
The instrument cluster display shows the front wheel angle, the shifter position, and the ride height, useful for off-road situations.
The six-speed-automatic transmission includes a largely unnecessary sport mode.
Off-road gear includes a low setting for the four wheel drive, ride height adjustment, and descent control.
The maps show very good resolution, along with traffic information. But we would like to see richer maps with 3D features.
Lexus added to its destination options with Destination Assist, a feature of its new Enform Telematics service.
We are particularly intrigued by the eDestination feature that lets you pick destinations on a PC, then download them to the car.
New data sources in the GX include weather, stocks, and sports scores, all delivered via satellite radio.
The weather function shows the forecast, and can warn about severe weather conditions on a route.
Lexus added dial by name to the voice command system in the GX 460.
We don't care for this Lexus' iPod interface, but the audio system is exceptional.
The rearview camera image is crisp, but it doesn't show distance or trajectory lines.
Ultrasonic sensors aid you when parking the vehicle. Side and front view cameras are also available.