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Avg. Price Paid:$42,861 - $46,582
Original MSRP: $53,245 - $58,040
MPG: 15 City / 20 Hwy
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2012 Lexus GX Review

Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

Reviewers say the 2012 Lexus GX is a great off-road vehicle with a classy, upscale interior. However, shoppers who prioritize on-road comfort over off-road brawn will find better choices elsewhere.

Automotive journalists warn that the features which make the Lexus GX so good off the beaten track make it subpar when driving on paved roads. Luxury crossover SUVs like the Acura MDX and Mercedes-Benz M-Class handle better on winding roads because of their unibody frames, though that comes at the price of sacrificing off-roading ability. Similarly, the GX’s long-travel suspension makes it easier to control off-road, but contributes to lots of body roll when taking corners on the street.

Reviewers say that the Lexus GX isn’t a bad SUV. In fact, it’s a great off-road SUV, which is what it was engineered for. Based on the Toyota 4Runner, the 2012 Lexus GX is meant to combine a high-quality interior with high-mountain adventure. The problem is that most shoppers are considering the GX for its seven seats, standard all-wheel drive and luxury-brand badge rather than its burly off-road capabilities, and its rivals are better family-hauling minivan alternatives than the GX is.

So, if you need an SUV that can get your family to the remote cabin on the weekend and to play group on Monday, it’s tough to find a better vehicle than the 2012 Lexus GX. However, test drivers bet that most shoppers would manage just fine by getting all-wheel drive and snow tires for their less-capable, but more comfortable, luxury crossovers.

Other SUVs to Consider

Shoppers who truly need serious off-road capability should look at the Land Rover LR4. This Land Rover is a beast on the trail and equally luxurious inside. It starts out at a lower price, but it also doesn’t come with as many standard features as the Lexus GX. However, for a price, it can be outfitted to near-Range Rover levels of luxury.

Most shoppers are likely considering the GX because of its luxury badge, seating for seven and high-class, tech-heavy interior. If that’s the case, take a close look at the Audi Q7. It comes standard with all-wheel drive and can seat seven, with a fairly roomy third row. Plus, it’s available with a fuel-efficient yet powerful diesel engine option, and reviewers say it’s got an interior that’s hard to top.

Details: Lexus GX

The 2012 Lexus GX 460 comes in base and Premium trims, both of which come standard with four-wheel drive. The GX sees just a few minor changes for 2012.

See the full list of 2012 Lexus GX specifications.

  • “For SUV shoppers who truly need off-road prowess and towing capability in their luxury SUV, GX 460 is well worth considering. However, most buyers would be better served by the superior fuel economy and more-polished road manners of crossover SUVs such as the Acura MDX, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, or Toyota's own Lexus RX." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Despite its rugged, truck-based architecture, the … Lexus GX 460 is not only very capable off road, but manages to coddle its occupants on pavement as well. Still, most crossover SUVs offer more practicality in terms of maximum cargo and passenger space.” -- Edmunds
  • “Yes, it's remarkably capable off-road. And yes, it's a good answer for people who want little more than towing capacity, build quality, and three rows of tech-heavy seats. But why does the phrase ‘affordable luxury’ have to mean anodyne styling? Or, for that matter, prehistoric chassis technology?" -- Jalopnik

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