This Land Cruiser By Another Name Is Getting an Off-Road Upgrade

Lexus’s GX may be growing old, but updates for the 2020 model year mean this smaller, rebadged Land Cruiser Prado is better than ever off-road.

Versatility is one of the benchmarks modern auto manufacturers shoot for with their vehicles — especially SUVs. How many types of roads can it navigate? How many people can it seat? And how many features can it offer to make driving easier and more comfortable? Well, if versatility is the goal, the 2020 Lexus GX 460 seems primed to drop straight into the net.

According to Lexus, the new GX 460 will be offering a variety of trim levels, along with a laundry list of luxury options like heated and ventilated seats, wood and leather trim, and heaps of touchscreen-accessible technological features designed to aid driveability and safety. A luxurious SUV is hardly news, though. But if Lexus delivers on its promises of improved off-road versatility with the new GX 460, this suburban grocery getter might offer a little more excitement than you’d expect from a class whose usual buyers consider finding a good Starbucks parking spot the high point of their day.

As before, Lexus has fitted the GX with a torquey 301-horsepower, 329-pound-foot 4.6-liter V8 capable of pulling a 6,500-pound load, tied to a full-time four-wheel-drive system — but the adventuring capability doesn’t stop there. See, the GX 460 is actually a rebranded, fancified version of the not-for-America Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, a smaller cousin of the off-road beast sold here. As a way of doing right by those Land Cruiser roots, the 2020 GX 460 will sport added off-road capabilities. Using with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), the GX can adapt to uneven surfaces automatically by filling the non-compressed suspension cylinder with fluid to even out the ride. The Luxury Grade models offer even more all-terrain capability, thanks to a new Off-Road Package; this variant is positively dripping in cameras that offer a full panoramic view to the operator, as well as a fuel tank protector, crawl control, and terrain selection system.

Once the GX gets out of the woods and back on the highway, the upgraded safety features start to shine through. The new Lexus Safety System + that comes standard on the entire 2020 Lexus lineup is here, featuring a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, intelligent high beams and dynamic radar cruise control.

Safety, capability, luxury: In the march towards this all-encompassing versatility, the GX 460 is another drop of water in a rising sea of tech-heavy off-roaders. And in spite of its age (the current model went on sale 10 years ago), it seems this Lexus is still more than able to hold its own.

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