Friday, September 08 2017 11:26

Test Drive: Rockin the Road - 2017 Lexus GX460 Luxury SUV

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I've always been fairly straightforward in admitting my love of the Lexus brand. When it comes to their vehicles, my affection tend to be toward their cars, so when the folks at DriveShop delivered one of their bigger rides to Rock Father HQ on-loan from Lexus USA, I was excited to see what an SUV under the Lexus nameplate had to offer. As the name implies, the 2017 Lexus GX460 Luxury is just that - a luxurious option for some big hauling and power.

2017 Lexus GX460 Luxury Review

The GX460 looks good, but it's not exactly sleek. It's tall and takes a boxier stance than you'd generally associate with a Lexus. That powerful build paired with the robust 301hp V8 engine and full-time all-wheel drive (which would be awesome in Midwest snow) mean that this ride could do some solid off-road action... but that's something I'd likely never do. As always, I like the Lexus handling options and mostly prefer the "Sport" mode for my own taste.

2017 Lexus GX460 Luxury Review

The interior is spacious and roomy - we made use of it while hauling things to-and-from our youngest daughter's birthday party at a local bounce-house emporium. Fold-flat third-row seating makes this one officially "seat 7," while the cargo capacity is ample, though we've seen bigger. One interesting feature with the GX460 is that the rear door swings to the right as opposed to being a lift gate. I'm honestly indifferent on that, although it could pose a loading challenge in certain parking situations. I do love the placement of the included tool kit and first aid kit.

2017 Lexus GX460 Luxury Review

If you're gonna spend the money, the optional Driver Support Package and Sport Design Package are an absolute must. This will add about $6K to the price, but are completely worth it for style, function, safety and tech.

One of the most important factors for me is how much the family likes a new ride, and this was a winner across the board. The kids loved it, and my wife loved it. What I don't love is the high fuel cost, which comes with the territory of larger vehicles such as this one. With a combined estimated MPG of just 16 (15 city/18 highway), it is estimated that you'd spend $6K more in fuel costs over the next five years when compared to the average new vehicle. In fact, they estimate an annual fuel cost of $2,600 - which would actually be significantly higher for our family based on driving habits. Certainly something to consider.

2017 Lexus GX460 Luxury Review

Overall: It's a great family ride that's a comfortable mix of size and power, but the high initial cost to own might be too pricey for some. On the flipside, a well-maintained Lexus will last and perform for many years, making this a very reliable consideration.

The 2017 Lexus GX460 starts at $51,855. GX460 Luxury as-driven: $69,920.

Build and price yours at http://www.lexus.com/models/GX

2017 Lexus GX460 Luxury Review

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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