Toyota, not wanting to risk anything these days, has responded to Consumer Reports‘ Do Not Buy warning on the Lexus GX460 by telling consumers not to buy a Lexus GX460. Okay, truthfully, Lexus dealers aren’t supposed to sell the GX460 until Toyota has found a fix for the SUVs excessively active tail, slow-to-respond stability control, and possible rollover dangers.
The Lexus GX460 isn’t sold in huge volumes for Toyota. In other parts of the world, the nearly identical Toyota Land Cruiser is perhaps more popular but still isn’t Camry-like in its sales success. Nevertheless, one has to wonder whether this could have a negative impact on Toyota’s formerly stellar reputation. Formerly? Hmm, perhaps Toyota never lost nearly as much credibility as we’ve led ourselves to believe. Toyota was America’s best-selling brand in March. The Toyota Camry was the best-selling car in the States in March, and Lexus was the best-selling luxury brand in the country in March. Still, it’s not a good thing when one of your vehicle’s is forced up on the shelf where Marilla Cuthbert keeps the “raspberry cordial”.
Thanks to the revamped model line, sales of the Lexus GX460 had been higher than last year. In March of 2009, Lexus sold just 561 GX SUVs in the United States. Last month, Lexus GX460 sales reached 1,785. Where are a couple thousand potential Lexus customers to turn with the GX460 such a dangerous consideration? The Good Car Guy has five excellent ideas, and every one of them is less expensive than the $51,970 Lexus GX460. Read about each option all after the jump, and check out the Consumer Reports video regarding the GX460’s rollover risk while you’re at it.
Audi Q7 3.6: If space is your concern, the three-row Q7 has boatloads. Though not hardcore off-road, the Audi Q7 will be far more of a delight on real roads than a Lexus GX460 could’ve been, safe or not.
Land Rover LR4: Gorgeous and capable, the LR4 is the latest in a long line of allegedly unreliable British SUVs. The company is now owned by India’s Tata, but an aura of British aristocracy still pervades.
Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTec: There ain’t nothin’ wrong with diesel when it brings 400 lb-ft and a possible Alternative Motor Vehicle Tax Credit.
Volkswagen Touareg TDI: Here’s more German diesel to go along with the Benz. A Touareg would love to be challenged with the same kind of terrain GX460’s tame. And the VeeDub can accept the challenge while consuming a gallon of gasoline every 20 miles, instead of every 17 as in the Lexus GX460.
Volvo XC90 V8: Long in the tooth it may be now, but the XC90 was a hit when it first arrived 212 years ago. In fact, just last year the XC90 was beating up on the Lexus GX in U.S. Sales Stats. Still a very attractive vehicle, particularly inside the cabin, the XC90 is also the only V8-powered SUV on this list.