Lexus GX 460
The handsomely redesigned GX 460 is one of the rare SUVs with actual off-road competence to back up its off-road looks. The GX packs an arsenal of features to keep things moving when the pavement ends, including a four-wheel-drive system with a Torsen limited-slip center differential, Downhill Assist for controlled descents on steep and loose surfaces, Hill-Start Assist to prevent rollback when starting uphill, and an optional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension, which allows greater wheel articulation to maintain traction on extremely rough terrain. One not-to-be-missed option is the splendid, 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, which is packaged with a voice-activated DVD-based GPS navigation system—arguably the most user-friendly in the industry. To top it off, the GX460 offers the most fuel efficient V-8 in its class by using the same 4.6-liter motor found in the LS460h. Pros: Lexus luxury with a rugged, off-road alter ego. Cons: Lexus buyers usually don't stray too far from the pavement.