$27,659 - $30,040

2013 Lexus GX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Lexus GX was new.


Performance: 7.1

Reviewers say the 2013 Lexus GX offers a good overall blend of off-road capability and on-road ride comfort. However, it loses some points with reviewers for a transmission that is somewhat hesitant to downshift when more power is needed.

  • "As one of the few luxury SUVs utilizing a traditional boxed ladder frame, the 2013 Lexus GX 460 strikes an unusual and very appealing balance between serious off-road capability and civilized daily driving manners." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Blessed with the proven on- and off-road DNA of its Toyota 4Runner and Land Cruiser cousins, the GX 460 is as adept at providing a smooth, quiet highway ride as it is nimbly working its way through a rugged, rock-strewn trail." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Lexus GX is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 that produces 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque. Power is transmitted through a six-speed automatic transmission. The GX earns an EPA fuel economy estimate of 15/20 mpg city/highway, which is fairly good for the class.

One reviewer is pleased with the power from the engine. Others are less impressed on the highway. One says the GX’s curb weight is too much for the engine, while another says the transmission is slow to downshift when extra power is needed.

  • "… the GX 460's potent 301-horsepower V8, responsive and smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission and proper 2-speed transfer case combine to make short work of most any task on most any surface." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Acceleration from the V8 is fine around town, but with about 5,300 pounds to lug around, the GX 460 can feel winded during highway passing maneuvers. The transmission shifts smoothly, though it can occasionally be hesitant to downshift." -- Edmunds
  • "GX 460 is a heavy vehicle, but the standard V8 engine is powerful enough to provide fine acceleration. It's also very refined. The automatic transmission is smooth, but it can be very reluctant to downshift. This is especially true at highway speeds." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the Lexus GX offers a comfortable, composed ride. However, some reviewers note that the GX still feels like a truck, in that it exhibits a fair amount of body roll through turns and doesn’t offer a lot of steering feedback. One critic says the brake pedal is very sensitive, but most think the brakes are strong overall.

  • "Because the 2013 Lexus GX 460 is a body-on-frame SUV, it drives more like a truck than car-based crossovers. Still, the GX manages to impress with a refined, smooth ride and respectable handling. Those who like to take corners more aggressively, however, will notice ample body roll and intervention from the stability control system." -- Edmunds
  • "The GX 460 is a tall truck, so it's not too surprising that there's plenty of body lean while cornering. It never feels tippy, though. The steering doesn't provide much road feel, but we think it has just enough power assist. For an SUV of this size, the tight turning radius is a pleasant surprise. The brakes are strong, but the pedal is very touchy and the soft suspension allows for too much nosedive during heavy braking." -- Consumer Guide


The 2013 Lexus GX comes standard with full-time four-wheel drive and a locking differential, and it offers an array of features designed to improve its off-road prowess, including a two-speed transfer case and hill descent control. Reviewers are impressed with the GX’s off-road capability.

  • "Maintaining the old model's rather surprising off-road ability, the GX 460 features an adjustable transfer case that is activated by flipping a switch (unlike the more traditional mechanical transfer case lever on the outgoing model)." -- Left Lane News
  • "Even though it's luxurious and nicely appointed, the 2013 Lexus GX 460 gives the strong impression its natural habitat is out in the dirt and rocks. The GX 460's fully boxed frame withstands the abuses of hardcore off-road excursions but is not ideal on the pavement." -- Kelley Blue Book

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