No, Troy Queef hasn’t been hired by Consumer Reports to bring a “dab of oppo” to the magazine’s SUV reviews. Nor is lift-off oversteer a particularly fun, predictable or desirable handling trait, especially in a 5,000+ lb luxury SUV. And according to CR’s write-up, the cause is a bit of a mystery:
We perform this evaluation on every vehicle we test, which includes the 95 SUVs in our current auto Ratings. No other SUV in recent years slid out as far as the GX 460, including the Toyota 4Runner, which shares the same platform as the GX.
To confirm our results, we paid for the use of another GX 460 from Lexus and experienced the same problem.
And, as CR points out, the problem isn’t so much the lift-off oversteer itself, but the extreme rollover risk presented by the GX’s clumsy drifting. The last time CR dropped the “Do Not Buy” hammer? The 2001 Mitsubishi Montero. Expect GX460 sales to fall off a cliff until the model is fitted with an electronic straitjacket.
Toyota’s official reponse:
We’re concerned with the results of Consumer Reports’ testing of the Lexus GX 460 and the suggested buyer recommendation. Our engineers conducted similar tests during the development of the new GX and had no issues. However, we will try to duplicate the Consumer Reports test, quickly evaluate the results and determine what appropriate steps need to be taken. It’s important to remember that the 2010 GX 460 meets or exceeds all Federal Government test requirements. Customer safety and satisfaction are our highest priorities. We are taking this very seriously and appreciate Consumer Reports bringing it to our attention