Los Angeles Auto Show: The 2010 Lexus GX460 is an all New Type of Hybrid

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The mad scientists at Toyota are at it again. It appears that not only did they cross the DNA streams of three of their different SUVs they also managed to create a great looking one to boot! By taking the butch stance of the Land Cruiser and softening it with elements of the Highlander you would think the Lexus GX460 would be one ugly SUV. But its not. It may be the best looking SUV Toyota has ever built.

And this is no mere crossover as it can do some serious off-roading time with the boys at Land Rover. There are similar switches to the ones used in Land Rover products in the GX460 for snow, sand, mud etc. that alter the four wheel drive settings. Oddly enough, some of the switches for the four wheel drive  are located above your head where the sunroof controls sometimes sit. In the GX460 this design works and de-clutters the dash and console area.

Then as you gracefully slide yourself into the drivers seat you will notice the chunky and angular design themes that made the interior of the 2010 4Runner such a hit are present here as well. Only here in the Lexus all the controls have been slathered in pounds of butter (no margarine here) so they move with that patented oily slickness.

The dashboard is a true triumph of form following function. Yes, it is no nonsense but the subtle strips of real looking wood (about time Lexus) and expensive looking metals all conspire to give the cabin the feeling that wouldnt be out of place in a modern multi-million dollar home. This is a car whose interior makes you want to spend time in it. Take road trips in it.

Materials choices are first rate and for the first time in a Lexus all of the hues and patterns used are in the utmost taste. It is masculine and luxurious yet extremely no-nonsense. Finally, Lexus has found a style here that it could call its own.

Unlike last years GX, the 2010 model has third row seats that fold flat into the floor (they used to fold awkwardly toward the side window thereby blocking your view). Second row seat legroom is now truly cavernous so this is now truly a family car that you can take long legged business associates to lunch in.

Prices start at $51,970 (not bad for an SUV you may never want to sell) and the GX470 is powered by Toyotas hi-tech new 4.6 liter V8 good for 301 horsepower and 329 pound feet of torque. Suffice it to say you shouldnt be too stressed during freeway passing situations even with seven passengers aboard. Fuel economy ratings are 15 city/20 highway, again not bad for a vehicle this heavy and powerful.  

Although the GX460 is just now making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show they should already be trickling onto dealer lots. How easy is that? You can just saunter on over to the Auto Show then on your way home pick up your new SUV at the Lexus dealer. Why dont more automakers time their launches that way?

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