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2014 Kia Optima, Remington Red Metallic, 17 mi., $24,880
Review of the 2012 Lexus GX
IntroductionLexus redesigned GX 460 seven-passenger luxury SUV for the 2011 model year with a more powerful V8 engine, revised exterior and interior styling. The same has been retained for the 2012. Its gas mileage also slightly improved. The Lexus GX 460 enters 2012 with standard new Smart Stop Technology as an additional measure of consumer confidence. The 2012 Lexus GX takes on models like the Land Rover LR4 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class in the market.
Exterior Design and Special FeaturesThe Lexus GX 460, packaged with family-friendly comfort and premium craftsmanship, is available in two trims - Base and Premium. The GX 460 rolls on 18-inch six-spoke wheels and features chrome-like finished door handles, side rails and rear license plate garnish, front glass with UV protection and green tint, front bumper with integrated fog lamps, power tilt/slide moonroof with one touch open/close feature, jam protection and speed-sensing wind deflector. The standard interior features include 10-way power-adjustable, heated/ventilated front seats; automatic climate control; leather trimmed seats and surfaces; steering wheel audio controls; rain-sensing windshield wipers; power moonroof; a wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; memory system for the driver's seat, steering wheel position and outside mirrors; rear back-up camera and an overhead console with integrated HomeLink transmitter. A Lexus Premium nine-speaker audio system with integrated iPod control and XM Radio receiver is standard. Bluetooth capability includes music streaming and hands free phone. A Convenience Package and a Comfort Plus Package are available.
EngineThe Lexus GX 460 derives from an all-new 4.6-liter V8 engine rated at 301 horsepower and 329 lb.-ft. of peak torque. It is teamed with a new six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift. It is also equipped with full-time four-wheel drive and the advanced Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) that provides exceptional on-road ride and handling and true off-road capability. The GX 460 has an EPA-estimated 15 mpg city and 20 mpg highway. The combined city/highway fuel economy is improved by 13 percent to an EPA-estimated 17 mpg (It was just 15 mpg in the 2009 GX 470).
SafetyThe GX 460 features a series of 10 airbags which protect occupants in certain types of severe impacts. The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) includes advanced driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbag, front seat-mounted airbags, roll-sensing front and rear side-curtain airbags (first- and second-row only) and seat-mounted side airbags for second-row outer seats. The Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) uses sensors to detect loss of traction while in a turn. When a loss of traction is detected, the VSC may apply brakes to individual wheels and/or reduce throttle to help correct the problem. For even more assurance, Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) directs power to the wheels with the most traction to help control wheel spin on mud, sand and ice. An available Pre-Collision System with Driver Attention Monitor and Lane Departure Alert (LDA), active front head restraints, and the available Pre-Collision System with Driver Attention Monitor Package are other important safety features.