by Aiden Eksteen
Though it may form part of only the second GX generation, the 2021 Lexus GX is now more than a decade old in the USA and its dotage is clearly beginning to show. Beneath its chunky hood is an old-school V8 that, while pleasantly smooth and torquey, only produces 301 horsepower. This is not only scant for a V8 but also a lot less impressive than what the newer turbocharged four-cylinder engines can churn out. This rudimentary powertrain, combined with the GX SUVs' hefty and bygone body-on-frame construction, results in listless acceleration and horrendous fuel economy returns. Nevertheless, the GX carries many redeeming qualities. It's a fairly cozy cruiser and skilled off-roader that's sustained a solid reputation for dependability and safety since its inception. If you prefer a V8-equipped, body-on-frame vehicle for its commanding presence and apt off-roading potential, there are many options within the mid-size SUV classification. Some top rivals include the Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Tahoe, and the Land Rover Discovery.
Although fundamentally unchanged this year, Lexus has made a couple of updates to the 2021 GX in an attempt to keep the SUV fresh. A new Premium Plus package can be ordered and contains features like a 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system and a powered third row of seats. For both the Premium and Premium Plus packages, silver 18-inch wheels and a heated steering wheel with wood trim become available. Finally, acoustic front-side glass and Amazon Alexa capability find their way onto every model.
See trim levels and configurations:
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
The 2021 Lexus GX is targeted toward a rather niche market of buyers that value dependability, ruggedness, and an old-school look and feel, while the average luxury SUV buyer will most certainly look elsewhere. The GX continues to sell in surprisingly high volume, even with its minimal updates, because of its loyal fanbase.
For those that have never driven or owned a GX, it's a good car for anyone that's searching for a fairly cushy 5-door cruiser that has admirable off-roading capability. Its V8 engine isn't the most polished, with its listless acceleration responses and heavy fuel consumption, but it's smooth and reliable and accords the GX with the low-down torque that makes it so apt at tackling the unbeaten trail. The GX is also capable of towing a fair amount with this powertrain and 4x4 setup. It doesn't have the most spacious or contemporary cabin, but it does come with a really broad array of creature comforts, conveniences, and driver-assistance features all as standard. This means you get plenty of value from the 2021 Lexus GX SUV at its price, which starts at $53,450. This, along with its proven track record for dependability and safety, set the GX ahead of its core competitors in terms of value. So if you're willing to sacrifice some frugality and cabin room for the benefit of off-roading and towing capability, we'd certainly suggest you review the 2021 Lexus GX for your shortlist.
Choosing which GX model to go for will come solely down to how much you're willing to spend and what features you'd want it to come outfitted with. In this regard, we're always inclined to go for the most value-rich option in the lineup., In this case, it's the mid-tier GX 460 Premium model. At $56,540, the Premium is only $3,090 more than the entry-level GX 460 model and it comes with LED fog lights and rain-sensing wipers. These improve your safety during inclement weather, while front and rear parking sensors make the sizeable SUV a lot easier to park. On the inside, comfort and convenience are improved for the driver and passengers thanks to the addition of navigation, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and tri-zone automatic climate control.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Lexus GX: