2010 Lexus GX460 Premium

The GX is a very good choice if you're looking for an extremely well-equipped, luxuriously appointed, and genuinely capable off-roader. In other words, a Land Rover that won't ever break down. Its on-road manners are more than acceptable, with no scary body roll and minimal, if still present brake dive. There's likewise little to fault inside, even if it is possible at this point to get a Toyota 4Runner with almost as much leather. The small V-8 won't win any awards for efficiency or quietness, but it certainly muscles the GX's 5340-pounds around with authority.

Still, the GX won't fool anyone looking for a big crossover or even a more sporting SUV like the Volkswagen Touareg or Range Rover Sport. And given the fact that Lexus sold about 90,000 RXs last year against some 6000 GXs, wouldn't it have made sense to redesign the latter as a larger crossover rather than a body-on-frame truck? Granted, the GX shares its platform with the Toyota 4Runner, the Toyota FJ Cruiser, and the Toyota Land Rover Prado that is sold in other markets. Thus, it doesn't cost all that much to develop, but it does nothing to compete with the likes of the Buick Enclave, BMW X5, and Acura MDX.

David Zenlea, Assistant Editor

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