If one of your primary problems with Lexus’ beefiest SUV was that its grille simply wasn’t bold enough, good news: the 2020 GX 460 is here, and the spindle grille is more gaping than ever. The updated three-row SUV follows the rest of Lexus’ line-up with a wider, taller, and very, very controversial grille, but also adds a new off-road specific package to the options list and bumps up the standard safety tech.
The stying update for the 2020 GX 460 isn’t just about the grille, though that does bring the SUV more in line with the rest of the Lexus range. There’s also new triple-beam LED headlamps as standard, for example, and a Sport Design Package that adds a new lower grille surround, rear valence, side mirrors, and 19-inch Gunmetal Metallic finish alloy wheels.
What hasn’t changed is the engine. Lexus has kept the 4.6-liter V8, good for 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. It’s good for 6,500 pounds of towing capacity, which Lexus doubles-down on with Trailer Sway Control to help avoid a wagging rear. Adaptive Variable Suspension is optional, with electronically controlled dampers and three drive mode settings.
A new Off-Road Package is being offered on the Luxury grade, for the times you want to actually tackle something other than asphalt. While it’s unlikely to make the GX 460 a true mud-plugger, it does include a variety of tech that should help avoid scratching up the paintwork – or worse.
So, there’s the Lexus Multi-Terrain Monitor and Panoramic View Monitors – which can show views from the front, rear, sides, and even underneath the car – along with a transmission cooler and fuel tank protector. Multi-Terrain Select gives a variety of modes to deal with different surface types. Crawl Control, meanwhile, is effectively cruise control for off-roading, handling the gas and brakes across five low-speed settings so that the driver can focus on steering.
All-wheel drive is permanently engaged, with a Torsen limited-slip center differential that most of the time pushes 60-percent of the power to the rear. There’s also a low range option, and drivers can lock the center diff. In addition to Crawl Control, there’s Downhill Assist Control (DAC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC).
How often 2020 GX 460 owners will actually drive off-road, however, is questionable. Perhaps more relevant, then, is the updated interior, with options like a wood and leather heated steering wheel, semi-aniline leather, and – on the Premium and Luxury grades – Gray Sapele wood with aluminum trim. There’s a new Rioja Red interior with a black headliner option, too. Heated and ventilated seats are standard on the Premium and Luxury trims, while the Sport Design Package swaps the second row for captain’s chairs.
Navigation is optional, and there are four USB ports – two up front and two in the back – along with remote app control over things like the locks, engine start, and climate control. You can also check things like fuel level via a Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa powered device. Lexus Safety System+ is standard, with Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Intelligent High Beams, and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.