Enter the theme music to Star Wars! Because today I bring you the 2021 Millennium Falcon of SUVs… the 2021 Lexus GX 460. I can think of no better way to describe this, well, dinosaur of an SUV, than to compare it to the fictional starship beloved for decades. Of course, the current-gen GX hasn’t been around quite that long (since 2009), and doesn’t have the Falcon’s tattered freighter exterior, nor its mechanical issues. But you get the idea.
The 7-seater GX is unarguably a bit aged, and yes, it’s V8 fuel economy in this day and age may raise your eyebrows, but somehow this legendary, old-school SUV that blends luxury with ruggedness perfectly remains very appealing.
If you don’t mind the massive grille, the 2021 GX 460 Luxury is all-around quite stately and alluring in shiny Atomic Silver with an optional Sport Design Package. It includes 19-inch Dark Gray Metallic wheels, a unique lower grille surround, front and rear spoiler bumpers, chrome detail side mirrors, scarlet taillights and a dark gray exhaust tip. Other standard Luxury features include triple-beam LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, illuminated running boards and roof rails.
The GX Luxury trim’s two-toned cabin is an oasis of comfort with Rioja Red semi-aniline leather seats with Gray Sapele wood and aluminum trim. I’d go as far as to say the GX’s cabin is so comfortable, it can make you forget you just had your taxes done (I can attest to this from first-hand experience.) The cushiony leather of the heated and ventilated 10-way power driver’s seat is just that heavenly. The leather-wrapped heated, wood-trimmed steering wheel is equally soothing. It’s quiet in here, too, and acoustic front side glass is new for 2021.
A large center stack with climate controls and a CD player will take you back in time a bit. There are zero digital controls on it. It also doesn’t have Lexus’ newer, larger touchscreen like you find in the LX 570, which might be a deal breaker for those who want the latest tech. (Same goes for the digital driver’s display that admittedly is small by today’s standards.) But turn on the optional 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system and you might just not mind its tech shortcomings. New for 2021, the GX now offers Amazon Alexa, but you still won’t get Apple CarPlay, Android Audio or Lexus’ newer Dynamic Voice Command.
Things get a bit interesting in the 2nd- and 3rd- rows in terms of seats. The 2nd row tilt-and-slide captain’s chairs (part of the Sport Design package) are pretty flat both for your back and the seat cushion. There’s not much in the way of side bolstering. Cupholders extend out from the bottom when you need them. The power-reclining and fold-flat third-row seats remind me of airline jump seats, the ones flight attendants use during takeoff. Don’t expect a ton of leg-room back there for adults. Second-row passengers get 2 USBs.
The GX may stump you for a moment if you’ve never tried to open the trunk before. It’s not a liftgate, but a side-hinged door with a glass windshield that opens separately.
Under the hood of this 5,000+ lb. SUV you’ll find a 4.6-liter V8 engine mated to 6-speed transmission. Four-wheel drive is standard. The powertrain delivers 301-horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. The V8 engine and 6-speed add up to some pretty dismal fuel economy, only 15 city, 19 highway and 16 combined.
Lexus calls the GX a dual purpose vehicle and with its body-on-frame chassis and all-wheel drive it’s certainly one if you want it to be. An Off-Road Package gives you a mult-terrain and panoramic view monitor, a transmission cooler, fuel tank protector, crawl control and multi terrain select. It will also tow up to 6,500 pounds.
The GX comes with Lexus Safety System+ with Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Intelligent High Beams and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. The GX also has Blind Spot Monitor w/ Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Ride and Drive
Lexus never disappoints with its smooth ride and the GX is no exception. The body-on-frame platform provides a different type of ride than in a car-based SUV and I quite enjoyed it thanks to the Luxury trim’s Adaptive Variable Suspension and auto-leveling air suspension. I also enjoyed the ride height. The GX sits high off the ground with 8.1 inches of ground clearance. Running boards aid your entry as do grab handles, which my dad utilized when we visited our local camera shop.
Aside from the Sport Design Package ($2020), Off-Road Package ($1,570) and Mark Levinson Sound System ($1,145), other options on my test vehicle include Cargo Carpet mats ($140), tow hitch with ball mount ($655), and a glass breakage sensor ($335). These options take the MSRP as equipped to $71,255.
Sure, the GX is in need of some tech updates, but with its comfortable ride and drive, cushiony driver’s seat and take me anywhere vibe, somehow I didn’t mind. It is, after all, a Lexus.
2021 Lexus GX 460 Luxury Review
- What I liked most: Cabin Comfort, Looks, Ride.
- What I would change: Update technology and add wireless charger.
- MSRP: Base price $64,65, as equipped $71,255 with transportation.
- Fuel Economy: 15 city/19 highway/16 combined.
- Official Color: Atomic Silver.
- Weight: 5,198 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Full-size spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 192.1” long/74.2” wide/73.8” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 23 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
- Towing Capacity: 6,500 pounds.
- 2021 Lexus GX 460 in a few words: A luxurious, capable, comfortable SUV that stands the test of time.
- Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, 6-year/70,000 mile powertrain coverage. 24-hour roadside assistance; 6-year corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.
- Final Assembly Location: Tahara, Aichi, Japan.
- Manufacturers website: Lexus