The Lexus GX mid-size luxury SUV has been on sale since 2003 and has enjoyed some success during that time, managing to rack up to 35,420 sales in 2004--its best year on record and easily eclipsing the company’s annual target of 20,000 units.

Demand in the mid-size luxury SUV segment, especially in the U.S., has tanked in recent years and so far this year sales have dropped more than 52%. That’s why for its latest version of the GX SUV, Lexus will be using China’s 2009 Guangzhou Auto Show for the world debut.

The new 2010 Lexus GX 460 is more powerful, more efficient, quieter and more luxurious than the GX 470 model it replaces.

The mid-size SUV has a standard seven-passenger configuration and is once again built with older body-on-frame construction. The GX 460 is also equipped with constant four-wheel drive and Toyota’s Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) to help in the handling department. By adjusting roll resistance provided by the front and rear stabilizer bars, KDSS can reduce maximum body-roll angle by as much as 50% to help enhance both on-road handling response and off-highway capability.

Power comes from an all-new 4.6-liter V-8 that is rated at 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque, and this engine is teamed to a new 6-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift.

Combined city/highway fuel economy is improved by 13% to an EPA-estimated 17 mpg (versus 15 mpg in the 2009 GX 470). Individual estimates for city and highway are 15 mpg and 20 mpg, respectively.

Inside, there are 60/40 split-folding seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, active front headrests that move up and forward, and a multimedia package with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity and a 9-speaker stereo system.

You can check out a first drive report of the vehicle over at TheCarConnection by clicking here.