by Michael Butler
The second-generation Lexus GX has been with us for over a decade and shows no sign of slowing down, especially with the 2020 Lexus GX updated as if it's going to last forever. This large luxury SUV is offered in the US with a 4.6-liter naturally aspirated V8 gas engine that develops 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. With body-on-frame construction, the Lexus GX offers impressive off-road ability but provides an unrefined on-road driving experience, especially at higher speed. The interior is also not as refined as we'd expect from a car in this price bracket, and competitors in the US such as the Land Rover Discovery and Acura MDX do it better with more space in the 3rd row, too. There are lots of standard driver assistance features, and the whole vehicle has been put together with care, which bodes well for reliability ratings, but it might just be a bit too old-school for many.
Most of the changes made to the GX for 2020 are skin-deep this year. A minor facelift in the form of a new spindle grille and updated back door, emblem, and license garnish finishes gives the SUV a slightly more modern appearance. The headlights have been replaced with triple beam LED clusters as standard, and Atomic Silver replaces Silver Lining on the color palette. Inside, the steering wheel and shifter each receive new detailing, while two rear USB ports supplement those up front. Lexus Safety System+ comes standard on every model, along with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The interior gets new color options and seating configurations, while the Luxury Grade and Off-road packages are available on the upper trims.
See trim levels and configurations:
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
The second-generation Lexus GX brings a hammer to a knife fight and, unfortunately, gets cut up by its more agile and dynamic competitors. This big 5-door features old school body on frame construction and a big naturally-aspirated V8 engine under the hood. This is fine if you're planning on moving to the Australian Outback, but for most, this is simply overkill. The V8 engine returns dismal fuel economy figures and is underpowered, and the lifted ride height and body-on-frame chassis mean sloppy handling is par for the course. The GX is good at towing a lot of stuff and is still an imposing off-road car. The interior features quality materials and is well built, but the seats are uncomfortable, and the trunk is unacceptably small. Add on to this with the steep asking price of the 2020 Lexus GX SUV, and you're left with an expensive, bloated dinosaur who is happiest when left out in the fields to graze.
How deep are your pockets? Since the GX SUV shares its engine across the entire trim line, performance is equal, no matter how much money you spend. Where the significant differences come in are in the number of standard features you get. A good choice would be the base GX 460 or mid-spec GX 460 Premium, as the Luxury trim charges over $10,000 more than base MSRP. The Premium comes standard with nice-to-haves such as heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. If you're looking for a luxurious off-road adventure, you'll have to go for the Luxury, as it adds a multi-terrain monitor to make rock-crawling easy.
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Check out some informative Lexus GX video reviews below.