The 2014 Lexus GX 460 is an unusual offering from a luxury brand that most people have never associated with a rugged, go-anywhere image. Ping a Lexus owner about even the flagship LX 570 and it’s doubtful that they will know about its roots as the platform-mate of the desert-crossing Toyota Land Cruiser, for the simple reason that the automaker has refrained from crowing about – or even casually mentioning – the off-road capabilities of its two most-expensive sport-utility vehicles in almost any advertising.
There’s another reason why both the Lexus GX and LX haven’t managed to evoke the same all-terrain credibility afforded more boutique brands like Land Rover: very few people buy these vehicles. A refresh for 2014 that focuses on looks, as well as redistributing features and slashing prices, is unlikely to change this fact. This is in large part because the GX 460’s truck-like strengths that are also its greatest liabilities when facing off against much more accomplished mid-size rivals like the Land Rover LR4, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.