2020 Lexus GX 460 – new face; safety, off-road packs

The Lexus GX 460, as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado is badged and known in North America, has received a revamp starring a bigger and bolder grille, as well as new equipment. The big news is the inclusion of Lexus Safety System+ as standard across the range (like our just-launched 2019 Lexus NX 300) and an available Off-Road Package featuring Multi-Terrain Select.

The Lexus GX first received a spindle grille in the previous facelift in 2013, but this 2020 GX 460’s updated nose keeps the ageing SUV in line with the rest of the Lexus range, from the front at least. Also helping the cause are those triple-beam LED headlamps with “tick” LED daytime running lights.

The three-row seven-seater SUV can be had with a Sport Design Package that adds on an unique lower grille surround, rear valence, side mirrors, matte black exhaust tip, scarlet taillamps and 19-inch alloys with a Gunmetal Metallic finish.

Inside, heated and ventilated front seats are available as a standalone option for the base model, and standard on Premium and Luxury specs. In the Sport Design Package for Premium and Luxury trims, two captain chairs comprise the second-row seating. Lexus says that the GX’s available semi-aniline leather is dyed completely through, unlike most leathers with conventional surface dyes. New for 2020, Premium and Luxury grades come with Gray Sapele wood with aluminium trim.

The big Prado is a legit off-roader, and it comes with a full-time automatic four-wheel drive system. A Torsen torque-sensing limited slip centre differential distributes power 40:60 under most driving conditions, and changes the ratio as needed based on wheel slip. The 4WD system offers a low range for off-road driving, and the centre diff can be electronically locked.

The two-speed transfer case with low range is supported by a range of chassis control technology. Downhill Assist Control (DAC), Hill-start Assist Control (HAC), Active Traction Control (A-TRAC), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and available Crawl Control assist the SUV off the beaten path. In the city, the available Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) active dampers adjust to road conditions.

The new Off-Road Package is available on the Luxury grade. It includes Lexus’ Multi-Terrain Monitor and Panoramic View Monitors with driver and passenger cameras; transmission cooler; fuel tank protector; Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select.

The latter allows you to choose from multiple surfaces such as loose rocks, mud and sand and more to optimise drivability. With the Multi-Terrain Monitor and Panoramic View Monitors, front passengers can view front, rear, side, and now under (displaying terrain and tire location under the car) camera views on the navigation screen.

Activated with the press of a button, Crawl Control is designed to maintain a slow and steady pace over demanding terrain. It automatically modulates the throttle and brakes on five driver-selectable low-speed settings, so drivers can focus on steering. Engaged when the SUV is in low range, CC also engages the front and rear “virtual” locking differentials to help reduce tyre slippage and optimise chassis behaviour.

As for the Lexus Safety System+ suite of active safety kit, there’s Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Intelligent High Beams and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

No change to the powertrain, so the proven 4.6 litre V8 with 301 hp and 446 Nm continues on with a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission. With nearly three tonnes of towing capacity aided by Trailer Sway Control, the GX is an ideal boat hauler, Lexus says. It has always been good in the rough, but the new face helps the GX do Rodeo Drive better.

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