Should You Take the 2022 Lexus GX 460 Off-Road?

If you’re looking to drive down bumpy, muddy, unpaved roads to hiking trails and campsites, the Lexus GX 460 will absolutely get you there. Here are the details.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
If you want serious off-road capabilities in a mid-size luxury package, the
Lexus GX 460
SUV is one of the few choices available. But while its ability to tackle unpaved trails is certainly impressive, its on-road performance is a bit clumsy and its interior is less than comfortable.
We're here to walk you through ground clearance, torque, tires, drivetrain, and all of the other specs that affect your Lexus’s off-roading capabilities. We’ll give you an honest breakdown of the GX 460, and even suggest possible alternatives. 
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Can the 2022 Lexus GX 460 go off-road?

Yes! In fact, the 2022 Lexus GX 460 is one of the few mid-size luxury SUVs with true off-road capabilities. The GX exhibits satisfactory handling on paved streets, but it is in its element when taken off-road—so it’s an excellent option for those who love the great outdoors. 
The base model has a starting MSRP of $57,200, and the highest trim level starts as high as $66,670.
To understand what makes your Lexus so great in dirt and mud, you’ll first have to understand certain specs. Read on to go through the GX 460’s ground clearance, torque, tires, drivetrain, and angles. 

Ground clearance

Ground clearance—which refers to the space between the lowest point on your SUV’s chassis and the ground—is one of the most important factors when considering your car’s off-road capabilities. 
Experts recommend a minimum of 8.5 inches for off-road adventures, but the most adventurous vehicles should have a ground clearance between 8.8 and 10.8 inches to tackle the roughest roads. Essentially, the higher the vehicle’s minimum clearance, the more comfortable you can be driving on rough terrains without worrying about damaging the vehicle’s chassis. 
The Lexus GX 460 has a ground clearance of 8.1 inches—slightly lower than what experts recommend. However, it’s still enough for rough terrains like unpaved parking lots and bumpy, muddy campsites. If you do head out to extremely rocky, bumpy off-roads, be sure to proceed with caution.
Keep in mind that this ground clearance is particularly impressive for a luxury SUV. For example, the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class only offers 7.88 inches of clearance.  


Torque refers to your vehicle’s power—which matters much more than speed when you’re driving off-road. Specifically, you want your vehicle to have low-end torque—which means it offers high amounts of torque, but at a lower rpm. 
The 2022 Lexus GX 460 has a 4.6-liter V-8 that generates 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm. Rival models might be quicker, but the Lexus is quite powerful! 


The GX 460 comes with P265/60HR18 tires—which are all-season and all-terrain tires. 
All-terrain tires are used for traction on all kinds of surfaces, including on and off-road. They combine the open-tread design of off-road tires with the good handling of street tires. All-terrain tires will wear faster than street tires of similar quality but will last much longer on the road than mud-terrain tires, making them a great middle-ground option for SUV drivers.


The 2022 Lexus GX 460 comes standard with four-wheel drive, which is a drivetrain specifically designed for driving on muddy and rough terrains. 


You’ll also need to consider your vehicle’s angles before hitting the hills—especially the approach angle and departure angle.
A vehicle’s approach angle is the maximum angle at which a vehicle can climb without interference. For the GX 460, that’s an angle of 21 degrees.
The departure angle is exactly the opposite—it’s the maximum angle at which the vehicle can descend without interference—and in the Lexus SUV’s case, it’s 23 degrees.
This means that you can handle some slight rises and dips, though you won’t be able to tackle super steep hills! 

Off-road rating: Rough and ready

We’ve rated the 2022 Lexus GX 460 using
super-technical DIRT rating system, broken down in the table below:
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
Based on its specs, we’ve assigned the 2022 Lexus GX 460 a solid rating of “R” because it’s rough and ready for casual off-roading. You’ll be able to tackle off-road trails with confidence, but the ground clearance, approach angle, and departure angle will mean that you’ll have to proceed with caution on the bumpiest of roads. 

The best off-road alternatives to the 2022 Lexus GX 460

As we mentioned, the 2022 Lexus GX 460 is one of the few luxury midsize SUVs built specifically for heading off-road—but it’s certainly not your only option.
And while it’s a great option for off-the-grid adventures, drivers don’t particularly love its clumsy on-the-road demeanor. It handles smoothly enough, but isn’t nearly as comfortable to drive as some of its competitors!
Take a look at some of the other luxury SUVs you might want to consider if you’re looking for something both sporty and luxurious:
Land Rover Discovery
Not only is the Land Rover Discovery slightly cheaper—but it’s just as capable as the GX 460 off-road. In fact, it has a much more impressive ground clearance of 11.1 inches. Even better, the Discovery is way more comfortable to drive on paved roads, offers additional cargo space, and has way roomier seating. Though it doesn’t offer a V8, the Discovery has a powerful inline-6 turbocharged engine that has plenty of torque to get the job done.
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class
The Mercedes is luxury to a T—offering the latest tech, a spacious interior, and two comfortable rows of seats, plus an optional third row. While it may not be as adventurous as the GX 460, it offers more off-roading capabilities than most luxury vehicle owners will ever use—and can even be equipped with an adjustable air suspension that provides additional ground clearance for driving in sand or mud.
This BMW offers a wonderful balance of comfort and performance—something that the Lexus GX 460 doesn’t do quite as gracefully. Keep in mind that all-wheel drive isn’t standard, so you’ll have to upgrade if you plan to take your X5 off-road.
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How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

Off-roading can be exciting and fun but—even in the best-equipped vehicles—it can be riskier than driving on paved streets. Car insurance companies know this and will charge for coverage for your off-road SUV accordingly.
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