Review: Above and Beyond with the Lexus GX 460

The end of the year is the perfect time for me to spotlight the 2016 Lexus GX 460. The features invested in this seven-passenger luxury SUV have inspired me go above and beyond in the New Year.

This full-time, four-wheel drive, with a 301-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 engine, boasts on-road and off-road capabilities as well respectable towing capacity of 6,500 pounds. The color I happen to be test driving is silver lining metallic. That in itself is an attention grabber. But, the I-know-you-see-me body of the GX460 is classic. Add on the 18-inch alloy wheels with 265/60R18 mud and snow tires as well as running boards and onlookers can’t turn away even if they tried.

The interior was described as a spaceship by one of my passengers who journeyed with me on an evening test ride. They were impressed by the many bells and whistles that lit up the dash. The passengers in the back rows have their own world with the rear entertainment system including LCD displays on the back of each front seat headrest.

I must admit my adrenaline spiked at first sight of all the buttons and knobs, especially for the multi-media display. I thought about all the tasks that I could complete from my heated/ventilated 10-way power driver’s seat. The multi-media display alone offers at least three different display modes including: single display of navigation and map, dual display of navigation/map, audio, compass, triple display of navigation/map, audio and weather.

The rear entertainment system features an LCD display on the back of each front seat headrest.

Did I mention the three-dimensional map feature in the front? Whew! And this was just a sampling of all the offerings. Altogether there were almost too many possibilities for me to handle – let’s say perfectly– in one test drive, particularly on the steering wheel.

I didn’t make it any easier for myself, by choosing to drive in sport mode at the beginning of the test drive. This made it hard for me to turn the steering wheel. I had to be careful of where my fingers landed when steering this four-wheel drive. I didn’t know if I unknowingly hit a button to turn something on or off. Eventually I adjusted the mode to normal and then comfort, and all was right in my world.

The design of the console, while spectacular, did not offer a natural location to place your phone. I should have taken this as encouragement to utilize the voice enabled apps and take advantage of the all the available hands-free technology. But I really wanted a place for my phone. I did however appreciate the adjustable armrest. My front seat passenger and I could adjust our respective armrest without intruding on the other’s space. Double kudos to the designers on that.

This GX 460 is inspiring from its performance and look, down to the side-swinging rear door. Unconventionally successful. Consider me inspired.

The 2016 Lexus GX460 Luxury MSRP: $61,515; Combined city/highway MPG: 17.