The 2020 Lexus GX460 does a great job of blending understated luxury with off-road capability. If you’re into getting through the unknown backroads only to arrive at your remote vacation log cabin in style, then this opulent three-row SUV will get you there without a hitch. And while it did go through a slight refresh for the 2020 model year, we welcomed the added changes, but found that it needs just a little more updating.
The Lexus GX460 is great on the outside, but old on the inside
When walking around the 2020 Lexus GX460, the first part you’ll likely notice is it’s front “spindle” grille that’s prevalent on all of the brand’s other models. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay because the GX was the last in the lineup to get the giant gaping maw. We had the 2020 GX460 as a test car and it came with the “Sport Design” package that adds dark-finish 19-inch alloy wheels and some other dark gray touches like side mirrors and rear valence for an overall sportier look.
We admit that it looks nice, however, the updated touches don’t translate well to the interior of the SUV. The second row has two captain’s chairs that are heated, the leather is nice and soft, and we really like the Mark Levinson Premium sound system. But when it comes to the infotainment system, that’s where things get ugly.
The interface is easily around a decade old as the navigation map looks dated and basic, as do the menus and, worst of all, there’s no Apple Carplay or Android Auto capability. The interior is a nice place to spend time in while driving in traffic, but it needs a refresh all on its own.
The Lexus GX460 is well-equipped for off roading
Driving wise, we have found the Lexus GX460 to be perfectly comfortable and capable. Sure, it could use some more tech-savvy features to get it up to speed with the rest of the products in the brand’s lineup, however, we will say that it’s super quiet at almost any speed and its ride is very composed. That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering that there are adjustable settings for the suspension ride and height thanks to its Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS).
Flip a couple of switches and watch the GX460 go from an urban cruiser to a full-on rock crawler in a matter of seconds. All that adjustability is backed up by technical features like Crawl control, a torque-sensing center limited-slip differential that can adjust the power to a 60:40 split between the front and rear axles, and a multi-terrain monitor that uses the front cameras to show you the front and sides of the car and navigate through the muddy trenches.
At least the safety aids were updated too
The exterior aesthetics weren’t the only updates that Lexus added to the GX460. It now comes standard with the Lexus Safety System Plus suite of driver-assist features that includes features like lane departure alert, intelligent high beams, adaptive cruise control, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection. Again, we like all of the features that it has for those looking for the next great off-road adventure, but if you just want to integrate your smartphone and talk to Siri, unfortunately, the $70,000 that you’ll spend on this SUV just doesn’t have it.