By on May 8, 2010

The sun had long set over Tokyo on a Friday night, and the hardworking executives had ordered their last round in the Ginza hostess bars, when The Nikkei [sub] put on the ticker that Consumer Reports magazine has lifted their “do not buy” fatwa against Toyota’s 2010 Lexus GX460.

Last month, the magazine issued their damning assessment after the SUV scared the dickens out of the testers:

“When pushed to its limits on our track’s handling course, the rear of the GX we bought slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways before the electronic stability control system was able to regain control. We believe that in real-world driving, that situation could lead to a rollover accident, which could cause serious injury or death. We are not aware, however, of any such reports.”

Two days after the report was out, Toyota halted sales production of the SUV worldwide.

As predicted, Toyota did a software upgrade to the electronic stability control system.

Consumer Reports tested the GX 460 again and came to the following conclusion:

“Following that, we again put the SUV through our full series of emergency handling tests. This time, the ESC system intervened earlier and its rear did not slide out in the lift-off oversteer test. Instead, the vehicle understeered—or plowed—when it exceeded its limits of traction, which is a more common result and makes the vehicle more predictable and less likely to roll over. Overall, we did not experience any safety concerns with the corrected GX 460 in our handling tests.”

CR still has some issues with the GX460. It calls the GX 460’s handling “ultimately secure but still ponderous and ungainly, as is common with traditional body-on-frame SUVs.” If someone still looks for a seven-passenger SUV, “there are better choices, including the Acura MDX and Buick Enclave,” says CR.

And since an “All clear” gets far less coverage than a “Don’t buy,” especially during an anti-Toyota frenzy, the GX460  appears to be done.

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9 Comments on “CR Lifts Fatwa Against Lexus GX460...”

  • avatar

    And here I thought auto testers were always looking for “tail-out” fun…

  • avatar

    Isn’t the GX460 the Lexus version of the 4Runner? I wonder why CR didn’t have the same problem with the latter.

    • 0 avatar

      Apparently the difference between the two models is something like 600 lbs of fanciness, so when both were running the same stability control program the heavier Lexus was a bit happier with its tail out.

    • 0 avatar

      I wonder if that’s the explanation for the GX460’s abhorrent behavior on the test track in comparison to the better-handling 4Runner – Toyota’s engineers were running the same ESC program for both vehicles which failed to compensate for the GX460’s added weight.

    • 0 avatar

      The GX460 is the Lexus version of what’s sold RoW the Land Cruiser Prado. The Prado, GX460 and 4Runner are built in the same platform but much of the underpinnings are different.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    I won’t shed a tear for the GX. The demise of the Corvair was sad because it was an interesting design for the times. The GX? It’s a mediocre, bloated and ugly holdover from the Suvasaur era. I never understood why Lexus needed a body-on-frame SUV.

  • avatar

    My eyes still force me to have a Fatwa against it because it is so ugly. At least the shot above makes it look like modernized Aztek.

    I guess only blind people would buy it. and in case of the blind the lack of high speed cornering capability is the least concern…

  • avatar

    Way to go CR…glad you were able to get that over-steer thing figured out.


    I should probably be dead already…seeing as my truck over-steers a lot in the snow…and doesn’t even have that nanny-state stability control…what was GM thinking holding people responsible for their actions…

  • avatar

    Funny, the ubiquitous screens with “news” at the office building where I work were repeating the lifting of the fatwah all day long, in equal measure to when they were reporting the initial no-buy recommendation.

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