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2024 Lexus GX 550 Assessment: An Up-to-date Off-Roader Packed With Allure

It’s remarkable how the Lexus GX has persevered without a overhaul since 2009. Despite some style revisions over the years, fifteen years later Lexus has at last revealed the brand-new GX, rechristened as the GX 550.

In a time where unibody SUVs have become the standard, the 2024 Lexus GX 550 remains dedicated to its body-on-frame platform, staying true to its off-road focused purpose. The new GX flaunts a sturdy SUV look, mirroring its off-road capabilities. Lexus has stressed that the arrival of the unibody three-row TX crossover has freed the GX to concentrate more on its rugged nature without compromising its appeal to families seeking a smoother ride in a midsize SUV.

The appearance of the GX 550 is more angular compared to its forerunner, showcasing hood creases crafted to indicate the front wheel placement, aiding drivers when navigating rocky terrain or obstacles.

The 2024 GX is constructed on the new GA-F platform, the same body-on-frame platform employed by the Lexus LX 600, Toyota Sequoia, Tundra, Tacoma, and the latest Land Cruiser. The GX bears a significant resemblance to the 2024 Land Cruiser.

The outdated V8 engine with only 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic in the outgoing GX 460, has been substituted by a more contemporary 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, delivering 349 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. The new GX 550 also features a 10-speed automatic transmission and an increased towing capacity of over 9,000 pounds, as well as improved fuel efficiency with a 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined rating.

The new V6 engine provides enhanced performance, reduced turbo lag, and a more responsive electric power steering system, modernizing the powertrain. Remarkably, the Lexus GX 550 is powered by a V6, while the new Land Cruiser adopts a turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid powertrain.

As an authentic off-roader, 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, distributing torque evenly between the rear wheels. The switch between 4Hi and 4Lo modes is now quicker, although transition still necessitates stopping and placing the transmission in neutral.

The GX features a 360-degree camera system providing various perspectives underneath the vehicle or a split view offering improved visibility of the surroundings.

The Overtrail models also offer an Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS) that automatically locks and unlocks the front and rear stabilizer bars based on the need for increased wheel articulation. Lexus has devised an off-road course to showcase the GX’s capability, and the vehicle effortlessly conquered the challenging terrain while maintaining cabin comfort.

The interior of the GX 550 resembles other Lexus models but includes a horizontally oriented dashboard to provide improved 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, with an optional head-up display. The infotainment system, also utilized in other Lexus and Toyota models, retains physical dials for frequently used controls such as air conditioning and audio volume.

The overall interior design may feel less appealing than the exterior, particularly with the full black interior option, but there are attractive two-tone choices available. A standard-sized moonroof brightens the cabin, and a panoramic sunroof is also offered.

The GX continues to offer three rows of seats on specific trim levels, with the second row available as a bench seat or captain’s chairs. The third-row seating is somewhat confined, directing users requiring additional space to consider the TX crossover model.

Pricing for the 2024 GX 550 starts at $65,600 for the base Premium trim level and reaches $82,600 for the high-end Luxury+ version, with the Overtrail version beginning at $70,600.

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

Lexus is expecting to sell 33,000 GX 550 SUVs in 2024, similar to 2023 figures. The limited quantity is likely due to production constraints rather than actual demand, as the response to the new GX has been very positive. Overall, the 2024 Lexus GX 550 distinguishes itself in the midsize luxury SUV segment with its rugged exterior and exceptional capability, setting it apart from many of its competitors.

Image Source: Khairil Azhar Junos / Shutterstock

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