At the head of the luxury utility class is a vehicle that is designed to pamper its occupants in signature fashion while offering the off-road ability to go anywhere: The 2012 Lexus GX 460.
Luxury and Convenience
Open the door to the seven-passenger 2012 Lexus GX 460 (MSRP starting at $53,245), and you’re reminded instantly that it is, above all, a Lexus. Heated and ventilated leather seats, stitched trim elements, and wood accents convey the warmth and premium feel synonymous with the Lexus experience.
Comfort Plus Package enhancements include even more upscale leather seating, seat heaters for the two outboard positions in the second row, wood trim on the steering wheel and shifter and three-zone automatic climate control for individualized comfort in all three rows of seats. Second-row seats are split 60/40 and have a walk-in feature that offers easy access to the third row, which is easily stowed when not in use thanks to its power-folding feature.
The Lexus Satellite-Linked Hard Disc Drive Navigation system is also available with Voice Command, a convenient voice recognition/activation feature that allows the driver to interact with the device with minimal distraction. Bluetooth phonebook download is also part of the package.
To keep everyone entertained, a nine-speaker Lexus Premium Audio System with six-disc CD changer is standard. Drivers can connect an iPod or other portable media device via USB, and then take full control of it via the built-in stereo and steering wheel interfaces. Full music info is displayed on the standard radio display or the larger navigation screen (if so equipped). Bluetooth hands-free phone and music streaming are also standard.
Drivers can also choose the jaw-dropping Mark Levinson Premium Audio System with CD/DVD auto-changer, which pumps 330 watts of power through 17 speakers for an immersive, 7.1 surround-sound experience designed specifically for the GX cabin.
In addition to using the SiriusXM Satellite Radio system for your favorite music and talk shows, drivers enjoy NavTraffic and NavWeather, plus sports scores and stocks information right from the car. When traveling with kids, the available rear-seat entertainment system, which uses a pair of LCD screens mounted in the back of the front-seat headrests, helps keep everybody happy on longer road trips.
Power and Capability
At the heart of the 2012 Lexus GX 460 is its 4.6-liter aluminum-alloy 32-valve V8 engine. Churning out 301 hp and 329 lb/ft of torque, the burly V8 channels its power to a standard full-time 4WD system via a six-speed automatic transmission and can tow up to 6,500 pounds.
The standard Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System allows the GX to adjust to different terrain and driving conditions on the fly, helping to equalize the load on all four wheels and deliver increased articulation off-road and better handling on-road. When equipped with the available Adjustable Height Control system, the ability of the GX to handle different conditions is increased even further.
When operating off-road, a number of systems help the GX perform more capably and safely. The available Crawl Control system handles brake and throttle modulation automatically while the driver focuses on steering, a useful feature when traversing particularly loose or slippery surfaces. Hill-Start Assist Control keeps the GX from slipping backward on inclines, and Downhill Assist Control works in the transmission’s low range to maintain a target speed without driver input. Four-Wheel Active Traction Control delivers traction similar to what you would get with locked front and rear differentials, only without the added weight that hardware would bring with it.
Safety and Security
The Lexus GX 460 is equipped with 10 standard airbags and Vehicle Stability Control, and offers the available Pre-Collision System with Driver Attention Monitor Package. The system’s Dynamic Radar Cruise Control works to maintain a preset distance from the traffic ahead, and Driver Attention Monitor keeps tabs on where the driver is looking. If the car senses a collision may be imminent and the driver is not looking ahead, it will act to warn him or her, and then prepare the car for evasive maneuvers and a possible impact.
Lane Departure Alert, also part of the package, will alert the driver if the GX begins to stray out of its lane and prompt for the necessary corrections, and Intelligent High Beam headlights automatically detect oncoming traffic and dim the high beams accordingly. The system will also do likewise if the GX begins to overtake a vehicle traveling in front of it.
Luxury, Regardless of the Conditions
On-road or off, in every imaginable weather condition, the 2012 Lexus GX delivers unparalleled capability, comfort and safety. It’s a true all-terrain vehicle, yet it never forgets that it is, above all, a Lexus.