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2022 Lexus GX 460 Review: Old Bones With Updated Tech

The GX is an excellent platform for adventure, but you'll have to make some modifications -- and compromises.

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Emme Hall
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Emme Hall

Editor / Cars

I love 2-seater, RWD convertibles and own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata for pavement fun and a lifted 2001 Miata for pre-running. I race air-cooled Volkswagens in desert races like the Mint 400 and the Baja 1000. I have won the Rebelle Rally, 7-day navigational challenge, twice and I am the only driver to compete in an EV, the Rivian R1T.

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5 min read
2022 Lexus GX 460
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2022 Lexus GX 460

Pretty rugged.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The tried-and-true Lexus GX gets a few updates for 2022, but at its core, it's the same luxury SUV it's always been. It uses old-school body-on-frame architecture, but has that famous Lexus reliability and some serious off-road chops. However, against a crop of more modern, more capable SUVs, is that enough?

2022 Lexus GX 460
7.0

2022 Lexus GX 460

MSRP

Like

  • Great off-road potential
  • Quiet cabin
  • Proven reliability

Don't like

  • Poor ground clearance
  • No stop-and-go adaptive cruise control
  • Thirsty V8 engine

Available in base, Premium and Luxury trims, the 2022 GX has a larger touchscreen infotainment display that finally supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in addition to embedded navigation. My tester has the $3,835 Black Line Special Edition package that includes 18-inch gloss black wheels, black roof rails, black window trim, dark red-tinted taillights and some slightly nicer cabin materials. The Black Line package is offered alongside the GX's Starfire Pearl, Black Onyx or eye-catching Nori Green Pearl paint colors.

That said, the GX isn't pretty. It's 16 feet long with a huge grille and slab-sided design. It looks like a Lexus, for sure, but I'm not really sure if that's a good thing these days.

The GX has a big following in the overlanding community. Off-roaders appreciate its reliability, stellar suspension and ease of customization. Full-time four-wheel drive is coupled with Lexus' Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System keeping all four wheels on the ground over uneven surfaces for superior traction. A locking center differential can split the torque evenly from front to rear and a low range keeps the SUV motivated over slow and rocky terrain.

2022 Lexus GX 460: Still Chugging Along

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Add the $1,570 Off-Road package on the Luxury trim and you get a transmission cooler, a skid plate for your fuel tank and Lexus' Multi-Terrain Select with modes for rocks, mud, sand, moguls and the like. Also on hand is Crawl Control, which you can think of as a low-speed cruise control for off-roading, as well as the Multi-Terrain and Panoramic View Monitors which offer 360-degree views of the SUV's exterior as well as a view from underneath.

Still, the GX lacks some critical off-road components. The first is ground clearance. At 8.1 inches it's about as high off the ground as your everyday crossover. Off-road geometry is compromised, as well, with approach and departure angles of just 21 degrees, although the 23 degree breakover angle isn't bad. Further, there is only a brake-actuated differential locking system rather than true mechanical lockers, and the GX sports 265/60-series Bridgestone Dueler tires, which won't get you too far in the dirt.

Of course, all that can be changed with the help of aftermarket shops that can turn your mall-crawling GX into the off-road rig of your dreams. But if you're looking to really get off road right from the showroom floor, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee or Land Rover Defender gets you better ground clearance and geometry, though they don't have that proven Lexus reliability.

2022 Lexus GX 460
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2022 Lexus GX 460

You won't be going too far off road with these tires and the GX's geometry.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The GX's on-road manners are fine, but nothing to write home about. Under the hood is a thirsty 4.6-liter V8 producing 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the GX returns 15 mpg city, 19 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined. During my week of testing I only saw 18.2 mpg. Good thing there is a 23-gallon fuel tank.

The GX is comfortable and surprisingly quiet on the road, but its solid rear axle gives it a truck-like feeling while toddling down the highway. Plenty of vibrations and jolts from broken asphalt make their way into the cabin. If you plan on only driving on pavement you should look to Germans like the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class or the Audi Q8, both of which offer a more refined ride and better fuel economy.

When it comes to tech, the GX gets Lexus' Safety System Plus suite of driving aids standard. This includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert, intelligent high beams and high-speed adaptive cruise control. No, the adaptive cruise doesn't work below 32 mph, which is a big bummer if you have to commute in heavy traffic. The controls are also a bit weird. While there is room on the steering wheel for the distance selector the rest of the adaptive cruise controls are found on a stalk.

2022 Lexus GX
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2022 Lexus GX

A bigger infotainment screen is the highlight of the interior. 

Lexus

You won't find a digital gauge cluster in the GX, but it does have a revised infotainment system with a new 10.3-inch touchscreen. The screen can also be controlled with a touchpad but believe me, you won't want to use that. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and I recommend going with these apps in lieu of the in-dash navigation, which is clunky and difficult to use.

As for charging there are two USB ports and a 12-volt outlet up front, two more USB ports for second-row passengers and a 100-watt, 120-volt AC outlet in the rear cargo space. Wireless charging, however, is nowhere to be found.

While the GX's interior is awash with high-quality materials and excellent fit and finish, the design is 12 years old and it shows. There are buttons everywhere and even a CD changer, which feels weird in 2022. The third-row seats can fold flat but they aren't powered on my tester. To lock them in place I have to crawl into the cargo area.

Once those third row seats are up they cut the GX's cargo space to just 11.6 cubic feet. Frankly, nobody but the smallest of kids will ever fit back there, so it's best to just leave those seats down and roll with 46.7 cubes of cargo space.

2022 Lexus GX 460
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2022 Lexus GX 460

This ol' dog needs some new tricks.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Speaking of cargo space, it's accessed by a swinging gate hinged on the passenger side, so remember that when fitting into tight parallel parking spots. The good news is that the upper glass opens up if you just need to throw something inside right quick.

The GX's climate controls are easy to use, and this SUV has available heated and cooled front seats, as well as optional heated second-row seats. The front chairs are comfortable and supportive but I find the second row seats to be pretty rock-hard and not a great place to spend time.

If my money were on the line I'd just go with a base GX and add heated and cooled front seats for a grand total of $57,840 including $1,075 for delivery. I'd take the $4,000 or so I save by not purchasing my Black Line tester and head right to the aftermarket for some sick off-road mods. If you dig the GX but only need on-road performance, get the Luxury trim which adds an adaptive suspension with comfort, normal and sport modes, as well as auto-leveling rear air suspension which should help you tow the SUV's maximum 6,500 pounds.

Overall, the GX 460's on-road manners leave a lot to be desired, and while it has excellent off-road bones, you'll need to make some modifications to really get the most out of this SUV. Even with that stellar reliability and go-anywhere attitude, the GX is a pretty tough sell.

2022 Lexus GX 460
7.0

2022 Lexus GX 460

MSRP

Score Breakdown

Performance 7Features 7Design 6.5Media 7.5

Specs

See full specs Engine 8 Cylinder EngineDrivetrain Four Wheel DriveMPG 16 MPGPassenger Capacity 7Body Type SUVs