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Lexus freshens GX 460 for 2012

Lexus has made minimal changes to the 301-horsepower-driven GX 460 luxury utility vehicle for 2012. The price range has not been announced yet by Lexus, but to give you a rough idea, 2011 GX 460s have sold for around $58,000, well-equipped, and 2010s were available for just over $51,000 base when they were new.

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The things that are new for 2012 are standard color-keyed bodyside molding with a chrome accent and a high-gloss wheel finish on the Premium model. And there's one color change, too: the Fire Agate Pearl exterior replaces Peridot Mica.

Other than that, everything is just about the same. The GX has a quiet cabin, a lengthy list of standard features and options that make it a versatile choice for city and off-road driving, a 7-passenger, 3-row configuration and fold-flat third row.

The GX 460 is equipped with a 4.6-liter V8 engine that generates 329 lb.-ft. of top torque at 3500 rpm, allowing the vehicle to tow up to 6,500 pounds. The 32-valve DOHC power plant adds dual Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence. These features control valve timing and overlap on both the intake and exhaust camshafts to maximize power, fuel efficiency and emissions.

The 4-wheel drive 460 offers an EPA-estimated 17 mpg combined, 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway ratings.

The available Adaptive Variable Suspension comes in Normal, Sport and Comfort modes. The 460 rides on standard 18-inch alloy wheels with 265/60 R18 tires. Available Adjustable Height Control enhances the vehicle’s flexibility in a wide range of driving situations.

Vehicle Stability Control keeps the 460 on course by detecting front- and rear-wheel slip during cornering and attempting to control either condition with torque intervention and individual wheel braking. Electronic Brake-force Distribution utilizes the anti-lock brake system and distributes proper brake force between the front and rear wheels according to driving conditions and wheel-load. Brake Assist determines if the driver is attempting emergency braking, and if the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage ABS, the system supplements the applied braking power.

The 460 also offers optional Crawl Control, a technology that automatically modulates the throttle and brake, allowing the driver to concentrate on steering. Crawl Control also helps get the 460 through sand, mud and snow.

Another cool gadget is Hill-start Assist Control, which provides additional control for off-road driving by helping to keep the vehicle from rolling back while starting on a steep incline. Then there's Downhill Assist Control, which helps the vehicle descend by holding the vehicle to a target speed with no intervention from the driver. Active traction control, or A-TRAC, provides the traction benefits of having locked front and rear differentials, but with lower weight. The system can apply the brake to a slipping wheel, while transferring torque to the wheels with better traction.

The Supplemental Restraint System includes standard 10 airbags.

The 460 features standard Smart Stop Technology as an additional measure of consumer confidence. The braking system enhancement automatically reduces engine power when the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are applied simultaneously under certain driving conditions.

Available on the Premium model, the optional Pre-Collision System with Driver Attention Monitor Package can help reduce collision damage. The package includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which uses millimeter-wave radar to measure and help maintain a pre-set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead.

The Driver Attention Monitor uses a camera to monitor the orientation of the driver's face. If the driver is not facing forward when an obstacle is detected ahead, it alerts the driver, first with a warning chime and a warning display. If the driver doesn’t respond as the car gets closer to the obstacle, PCS will warn the driver by gently applying the brakes.

The 460 presents a luxurious passenger environment. Standard features include 10-way power-adjustable, heated / ventilated front seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, leather trimmed seats and surfaces, steering wheel audio controls, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power moonroof an a memory system for the driver's seat, steering wheel and outside mirror positions.

The 460 comes standard with a Lexus Premium nine-speaker audio system with iPod / USB connectivity, Bluetooth hands free phone capability and music streaming and an integrated SirusXM Satellite Radio receiver.

A rear back-up camera is standard and provides the driver a view of what its lens can detect behind the vehicle when engaged in reverse gear, projecting the image on the standard 4.2-inch multi-information display, or the optional navigation system’s LCD display.

Lexus offers a Convenience Package and a Comfort Plus Package as well as stand-alone options. The Convenience Package includes electrochromic exterior mirrors with power retract and Intuitive Parking Assist. The Comfort Plus Package includes semi-aniline leather, heated second-row outer seats, wood-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob and three-zone automatic climate control.

A 17-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Audio system is the platinum standard for OEM mobile audio. Three-zone automatic climate control for enhanced third-row passenger comfort is also available as a standalone option.

Lexus designed the GX 460 to have the vehicle create the impression of being sculpted from a single block of metal. The grille features three horizontal bars and intricate detail and texture. The vehicle has 1-touch power windows.

The vehicle comes with a 48-month / 50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months / unlimited miles.

You can reach TN's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Lexus

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New Lexus GX (not verified)    October 24, 2011 - 11:25PM

Well the new 2011 GX 460 isn't a class apart, or a real stunner, but it does appeal to me in many ways... And, Lexus is coming to Indian markets next year - that's indeed a big news for all the Asian customers :)