Yes, we know you've already read all about our favorite SUV, and sure, you might even be tired of all the superlatives we used to describe the Lexus' trail prowess. No, we don't intend to beat a dead horse here, it's just when we find a good thing that works well, we feel compelled to praise it. And also, to 'wheel it.
So it was that our new '04 GX 470 showed up while the boss, Mr. Editor Thompson, was away on a trip. Free from his watchful eyes, slipping off unnoticed for the weekend to break in our new chariot in true Four Wheeler fashion was indeed child's play. Heading out towards the trail with only 12 miles on the ticker, it was great to be confident that the GX is more capable than other SUVs we've tested. Sure, the boss might not be thrilled if our new Lexus got scratched and dusty before he'd had a chance to 'wheel it, but how often does a young editor get blessed with an opportunity like this? So out to the deserts we went. Lets just say our GX 470 was baptized by more than 300 miles of the harshest desert we could find. When we finally hit pavement again, and much to the surprise of our codriver, we found no misalign-ments, no funny squeaks or rattles, not even a hint that the vehicle had been fazed by the torture we'd provided. We were so impressed by the vehicle's sturdy construction that we decided to come clean about our little adventure in hopes that the boss would appreciate our solicitous assess-ment of Toyota's engineering. We're still employed, so we guess it went down just fine. Maybe he's actually got a sense of humor. (Or, maybe not.-Ed.)
The articulation afforded by the passive hydraulic antiroll-bar disconnect system (KDSS) translates into uncompromised traction on the trail. Most of the time our GX 470 won't lift a tire. But when it does, the seamless traction control takes over and effortlessly propels the vehicle forward without drama.
Since July of 1985 Lexi have graced the roads of America, lending new meaning to the word luxury. These 19 years of refinement have produced a caliber of automotive excellence that other manufacturers strive to emulate. The GX 470 remains ruggedly luxurious and as an all-round player, is second to none.
We love the GX's intelligent airbag suspension almost as much as the interior's rich leather-wrapped, burl-wood-trimmed appointments. Above all, we appreciate the fact that Toyota engineers included a manual 4WD lever and a button to disengage the traction-control system when needed.
Miles to date: 5,113
Average mpg: 14.3
Best tank mpg: 15.0
Worst tank mpg: 12.6
Oil consumed (qts.): 0
Stucks to date: 0
None to date
Six Words Describing The Gx 470:
What We Like Most:
The GX is a real-world get-it-done machine disguised as a gracious dignitary.
What We Dislike Most:
The Ivory color interior is very hard to keep clean.
* "Solid and tight, with a ride as smooth as silk."
* "No drama during hard cornering."