2023 Lexus GX 460 Review - It's just as charming as you remember
When Lexus dropped off their aged (going on 14 years now) GX at my house, I wasn’t sure what to expect — other than a gaping predator maw and beautiful Nori Green paint. I am admittedly a big fan of Toyota trucks, and I especially love the TRD Pro 4Runner — so much so I bought one (read about it here) — but could the GX be that much better?
As Paul and Todd would say, “Let’s find out!” if the beloved Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, err, Lexus GX 460 is different enough on its family tree to make it worth the extra dough over a loaded-up 4Runner -- specifically a TRD Pro.
Buttery smooth V8
One of the huge advantages over the 4Runner is the silky smooth V8. It makes the power the 4Runner should and never feels like it’s straining for oomph. It’s responsive, sounds good, and just makes the world a happier place compared to the 4Runner’s ancient V6. I enjoy the V6 in my 4Runner because of its relaxed nature, but the V8 wakes up the beast in a way that feels natural, capable, and lively. I really enjoyed the V8 here and would love one in the 4Runner. Alas, it’s just not meant to be.
I know, I know, you’re laughing that a six-speed transmission can be a positive thing. And yes, in a world of 10-speed automatics, even a six-speed is outdated. But! Where I still have a five-speed in my 2022 4Runner, a six-speed feels like a breath of fresh air. It’s lovely! It works well with the V8 and returns decent fuel economy (more on that later). And you know it's going to last forever.
Wireless Apple CarPlay
Why can’t every car have wireless Apple CarPlay? And what’s odd is its absence in cars you would think would have it — like my 4Runner. Wireless Apple CarPlay is a game changer and we were grateful to have it here.
Third-row jump seats
I know some 4Runner trims have the third-row option. But the most expensive trim, the TRD Pro, does not. So, if you’re someone who appreciates having extra seating available in a pinch, the GX offers that. And I do mean in a pinch. Literally. The third-row seats are so small they should only be reserved for small children. Adults will not be happy. Regardless, it’s hard to argue with the seating versatility of the GX over some of the trims of the 4Runner.
Better fuel economy
This just speaks to how inefficient (yet bulletproof) the 4.0-liter V6 and five-speed transmission are in the fifth-generation 4Runner, but I achieved better fuel economy in the GX than I ever have in my 4Runner. Yes, the GX has a V8, but it beat out the 4Runner's V6 in the city and on the highway. In my week of testing, I achieved 18 mpg combined and up to 23 mpg on the highway. Not bad at all considering I average about 17 mpg combined and 20 mpg on the highway in my 4Runner.
More luxury features
Obviously, right? I mean, it's a Lexus. And it’s true. Features like ventilated front seats are always nice to have, and the perforated grey NuLuxe faux leather always impresses. Sure, you don’t have to look hard to see all the parts sharing with the 4Runner’s interior, but it’s fine. It feels nice, looks nice, and in my mind justifies the jump in price. That sounds like a rap.
Is the 2023 Lexus GX 460 worth it?
The GX sticker's about $6,000 more than my 4Runner, but the GX feels much more luxurious and refined, even if its shared parts are abundant. Like its step-sibling, the GX is old — but that’s part of what makes it great. It’s old-school in some seriously charming ways, and I loved my time with it. If you’re ok with a less rugged look, the predator maw, and slightly less off-road capability from the factory, the price jump will probably be worth it. The V8 and six-speed transmission alone are hugely appealing. Add in some nice luxury features, versatility, and additional comfort, and you’ve got yourself a pretty good deal. And it'll last a lot longer than anything else in your garage.
We’re excited about the new GX, but for now, this old dog is so good at its endearingly old tricks that we are happy to enjoy it for the time it has left.
*Shoutout to the guys at Secured Auto Group in SLC for helping me get a great deal on my 4Runner TRD Pro.
**The views and opinions expressed here are my own and may not align with the founders of Everyday Driver.
About the author: Having owned everything from a DeLorean to an E46 BMW M3 and a Toyota Land Cruiser, Jason Bell is a lifelong car enthusiast who loves sharing his passions as a teacher, automotive journalist and social media manager. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press where he serves on the Board of Directors. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.