2020 Lexus GX460 vs. 2019 Ford Flex

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Lexus GX460 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Ford Flex doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

The GX460’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Flex doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Lexus GX460 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Ford Flex doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The GX460 has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Flex doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The GX460 has a standard Pre-Collision System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Flex offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GX460. But it costs extra on the Flex.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the GX460’s standard Downhill Assist Control allows you to creep down safely. The Flex doesn’t offer Downhill Assist Control.

The Lexus GX460 has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Flex doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The GX460’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Flex doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The GX460 Luxury offers an optional Panoramic View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Flex only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The GX460’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Flex doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the GX460 and the Flex have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and rearview cameras.

The Lexus GX460 has a better fatality history. The GX460 was involved in fatal accidents at a rate 37% lower per vehicle registered than the Flex, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Warranty

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The GX460 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Flex’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the GX460 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Flex. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Flex ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The GX460’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Flex’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the GX460’s reliability 15 points higher than the Flex.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.

Engine

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The GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8 produces 14 more horsepower (301 vs. 287) and 75 lbs.-ft. more torque (329 vs. 254) than the Flex’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Lexus GX460 is faster than the Ford Flex V6:

GX460

Flex

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

8.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.8 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.2 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

The GX460 has 4.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Flex (23 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the GX460’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Flex:

GX460

Flex

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.8 inches

The GX460 stops much shorter than the Flex:

GX460

Flex

70 to 0 MPH

176 feet

192 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

136 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GX460 has larger tires than the Flex (265/60R18 vs. 235/60R18). The GX460’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Flex (265/60R18 vs. 255/45R20).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GX460 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Flex SE.

The Lexus GX460’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford Flex only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The GX460 has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Flex, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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The GX460 has active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Flex doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The GX460 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Flex’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The GX460 Luxury has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The GX460’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Flex doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The GX460’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (52% to 48%) than the Flex’s (54.4% to 45.6%). This gives the GX460 more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

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The GX460 is 9.7 inches shorter than the Flex, making the GX460 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the GX460 is quieter than the Flex Limited AWD (66 vs. 68 dB).

Passenger Space

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The GX460 has 1 inch more front hip room, .2 inches more rear hip room, 2 inches more third row hip room and 3.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the Flex.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GX460’s middle row seats recline, and the GX460 Luxury’s third row seats also recline. The Flex’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The GX460’s cargo area provides more volume than the Flex.

GX460

Flex

Third Seat Folded

46.7 cubic feet

43.2 cubic feet

The GX460’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the right swing out door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Flex’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

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The GX460’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Flex’s (6500 vs. 2000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the GX460 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Flex. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 70% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

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The GX460’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the Flex, and is not available on all models.

The GX460’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Flex’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the GX460 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Flex can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The GX460 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Flex doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the GX460’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Flex’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The GX460 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Flex doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the GX460 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Flex doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the GX460 offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Flex doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the GX460 is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Flex’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The GX460 Luxury has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Flex has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The GX460 has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning is only available on the Flex SEL/Limited.

Economic Advantages

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The GX460 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the GX460 will retain 49.39% to 52.53% of its original price after five years, while the Flex only retains 42.16% to 47.41%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the GX460 is less expensive to operate than the Flex because typical repairs cost much less on the GX460 than the Flex, including $50 less for a water pump, $222 less for a muffler, $3 less for front brake pads and $67 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/22

The Lexus GX460 outsold the Ford Flex by 11% during the 2019 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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