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2024 Lexus GX 550 Evaluation: A Contemporary Off-Roader Filled With Abundant Features

Image Source: Khairil Azhar Junos / Shutterstock

It is remarkable to observe how the Lexus GX has maintained its design since 2009 without any major overhaul. Despite receiving some design updates throughout the years, Lexus has finally introduced the brand-new GX, now known as the GX 550 after a fifteen-year gap.

In an era where unibody SUVs have become prevalent, the 2024 Lexus GX 550 continues to stay true to its body-on-frame structure, remaining steadfast in its commitment to off-road adventures. The fresh GX showcases a rugged SUV aesthetic that mirrors its off-road capabilities. Lexus has highlighted that the emergence of the unibody three-row TX crossover has allowed the GX to concentrate more on its tough demeanor, without compromising its appeal to families seeking a smoother ride in a medium-sized SUV.

The GX 550 exhibits a more angular appearance than its predecessor, with pronounced hood creases strategically positioned to indicate the placement of the front wheels, aiding drivers during navigation over rough terrains or obstacles.

Built on the novel GA-F platform, the 2024 GX shares the same body-on-frame platform as the Lexus LX 600, Toyota Sequoia, Tundra, Tacoma, and the new Land Cruiser. The resemblances between the GX and the 2024 Land Cruiser are quite evident.

Replacing the outdated V8 engine, which produced merely 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque paired with a six-speed automatic in the outgoing GX 460, is a more contemporary 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that delivers 349 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque in the new GX 550. Additionally, the latest GX now includes a 10-speed automatic transmission, heightened towing capacity surpassing 9,000 pounds, and enhanced fuel efficiency with ratings of 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined.

The upgraded V6 engine offers improved performance, reduced turbo lag, and a more responsive electric power steering system. Notably, the Lexus GX 550 operates on a V6 engine, while the new Land Cruiser adopts a turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid powertrain.

Being a genuine off-road vehicle, the GX comes standard with full-time 4WD and a limited-slip locking center differential. The Overtail and Overtail+ trim levels are outfitted with a locking rear differential, which effectively distributes torque evenly between the rear wheels. Although the transition between 4Hi and 4Lo modes has become faster, it still necessitates coming to a stop and placing the transmission in neutral.

Equipped with a 360-degree camera system, the GX provides various viewpoints beneath the vehicle or a split view for enhanced visibility of the surroundings.

The Overtrail models introduce an Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS) that automatically engages or disengages the front and rear stabilizer bars based on the need for increased wheel articulation. Lexus has developed an off-road course to exhibit the GX’s capabilities, demonstrating its ability to conquer challenging terrains effortlessly while ensuring cabin comfort.

The interior of the GX 550 resembles that of other Lexus models, featuring a horizontally oriented dashboard to improve road visibility for the driver. The dashboard accommodates a 14-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster in front of the driver, along with an optional head-up display. The infotainment system, shared with other Lexus and Toyota models, retains physical dials for frequently used functions such as air conditioning and audio volume control.

Regarding the interior design, while the overall ambiance may seem less captivating than the exterior, especially with the fully black interior option, there are attractive two-tone selections available. A standard-sized moonroof illuminates the cabin, while an optional panoramic sunroof adds to the appeal.

The GX continues to offer three rows of seating on specific trim levels, with the second row available as either a bench seat or captain’s chairs. The third-row seating may feel slightly cramped, pushing users in need of more space to consider the TX crossover model.

Priced starting at $65,600 for the base Premium trim level, the 2024 GX 550 reaches $82,600 for the luxurious Luxury+ version, with the Overtrail version commencing at $70,600.

The primary rival of the GX 550 is the Land Rover Defender, with the four-door variant featuring a four-cylinder engine starting at $62,075.

Lexus foresees the sale of 33,000 GX 550 SUVs in 2024, a figure on par with the 2023 results. The limited availability is likely due to production limitations rather than actual demand, given the overwhelmingly positive reception to the new GX. Overall, the 2024 Lexus GX 550 distinguishes itself in the midsize luxury SUV category with its rugged exterior and exceptional capabilities, setting it apart from many competitors.

Image Source: Khairil Azhar Junos / Shutterstock

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