If you’re a fan of off-road SUVs, the Lexus GX should already be on your radar. Just in case it’s not, the 2024 model is coming in hot, packing a twin-turbo V6, a new suspension and other niceties inherited from the big papa of Toyota/Lexus SUVs: the LX. If you want an SUV that can just about do it all without breaking a sweat, come with us for a look at this redesigned beast.
The 2024 Lexus GX is about as close to a clean-sheet redesign as it gets these days. While its fundamentals are shared with Toyota’s new trucks and the LX, there’s very little here beyond the basic exterior shape that harkens back to the last-gen GX. That box-on-wheels look can now be augmented with a set of 33-inch all-terrain tires on the new Overtrail trim — one of six variants Lexus will offer. We might be running out of words for going off-road at this point, no?
The new GX measures 197 inches long (just under 3 inches longer than the model it replaces, Lexus says) and is based on Toyota’s GA-F platform. Two- and three-row layouts are available, and the former can be had with second-row captain’s chairs. Lexus added a new one-touch tumble system for the center row that allows easy access to the rear bench in three-row models.
The new GX chassis features a double-wishbone suspension up front and a multilink setup in the rear. Approach, breakover and departure angles are 26 degrees, 23 degrees and 23 degrees on the Premium (base) model, respectively. The Overtrail and Overtrail+ trims check in at 26/24/22 degrees; the breakover improvement is due to the extra height from the 33-inch tires. While the Overtrail’s approach angle is no better than a standard model, GX Chief Engineer Koji Tsukasaki noted that those figures are for head-on approaches. The Overtrail’s redesigned front bumper and fenders offer more clearance for approach (and turning in tight spaces) than the rest of the lineup.
Gone is the old GX’s V8. Standard across the lineup (for now) is a new 3.4-liter, twin-turbo V6 making 349 horsepower (up 48 over the V8, if you’re counting) and 479 pound-feet of torque. This is mated to a 10-speed automatic and standard four-wheel drive. Lexus says this combo is good for 17 mpg combined (city/highway numbers were not provided) and a towing capacity between 6,780 and 8,000 pounds, depending on the trim. That’s a chunky improvement, and Lexus says it’s down to three things: the bigger engine, improved cooling capacity and the more-rigid chassis. A hybrid version is coming, and while it might not be quite as potent as the 437-horse iForce Max offered in the Toyota Tundra, we expect it won’t be far off. Details TBA.
Overtrail and Overtrail+ models get a few exclusive features. We already mentioned the 33-inch all-terrain tires, which are mounted on unique 18-inch wheels. The Overtrail variants also get an electronic locking differential, black fender accents and a 6mm aluminum skid plate. Off-road specific drive modes and a 3D terrain monitor round out the standard go-anywhere bits. The Overtrail is also the only variant that can be optioned with Electronic-Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS) — its fully mechanical off-road suspension that uses hydraulic pressure to engage and disengage the GX’s stabilizers bars when the need for more articulation is detected.
While the E-KDSS is an exclusivity play for the GX, it still technically plays second fiddle to the Lexus LX, which is offered overseas with an equivalent to the Overtrail trim and locking front, center and rear differentials. The GX gives up the front locker entirely, conceding to its more expensive and prestigious sibling. On paper, the two seems to match up dimensionally, but the Lexus engineers on hand pointed out that the specs are deceiving. The GX is wide at the fenders, but narrow in the body, giving it that punched-out look, whereas the LX’s width is more consistent from front to back.
The interior is slathered in leather and other such niceties and equipped with the latest “Lexus Interface” infotainment system with a 14-inch screen. All trims have six charge ports inside with the exception of Overtrail, which ships with just four; a wireless device charger is optional. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard up and down the lineup, as is Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which incorporates the typical word salad of advanced driver aids, including full-range adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.
Lexus says cargo management has improved for all variants to the point where five suitcases can be loaded into the car with the third row folded (when applicable). We’re not sure how big those suitcases are, exactly, but that sounds promising. The up-swing tailgate is the result of customer feedback, Lexus said, and is more versatile and functional than the old swinging door. Oh, and there are 12 cupholders. Cool. Look for the 2024 Lexus GX to hit showrooms early next year.