Both are three-row midsize SUVs, but they're completely different in so many ways.
Lexus introduced two three-row luxury SUVs on the same day, which seemed slightly confusing at first. At face value, the 2024 Lexus GX and all-new TX appear to do the same job. Is Lexus mimicking Mercedes-Benz in trying to launch a vehicle for every single niche, even though the rest of the world had no idea said niche existed? Not quite. While on the surface these two are incredibly similar, they will actually appeal to vastly different audiences. This has less to do with how they look and more to do with the mechanical differences between them.
While the GX is a global product and continues the legacy of the two generations that came before, the TX is not only all-new but developed from the ground up specifically for an American audience.
But how do the TX and GX differ, why do they both exist, and which one would best suit you?
According to Lexus, there is increasing demand in the three-row SUV segment, and it simply wants all its bases covered. The LX caters to the high-end market, while the GX will compete in the highly competitive midsize premium off-road segment alongside the Land Rover Defender.
To better understand the TX, we need to look back at the introduction of the 2023 RX. It was quite a surprise when the luxury automaker announced that the beloved RX (the SUV with the best ride comfort this side of a Rolls-Royce Cullinan) would no longer be sold as a seven-seater. Well, the RX L was pretty terrible, and with a new three-row in the works, it was unnecessary to replace it directly.
With that in mind, let's look at some key differences between the GX and TX and the kind of people that will inevitably buy them.
The GX is a body-on-frame SUV, while the TX is a unibody crossover. There are benefits to both, as we discussed in greater detail before.
Lexus stuck to a ladder-frame design for the GX because it still needs to be a proper off-roader. Even though Land Rover has proved that you can build a decent off-roader without using the ladder-frame method, there's no denying that it's better for wheel articulation, towing, and general robustness.
A unibody car like the TX weighs less, is more rigid, costs less to produce, and has a lower center of gravity. A unibody car also tends to be safer because the deformation of the cell is more predictable. And, because the body itself isn't separately shuffling aboard a frame underneath, it typically rides better and with more refinement.
We're not saying one is better than the other, but it's clear that Lexus was willing to sacrifice off-road ability in favor of comfort and rigidity while designing the TX. Lexus specifically mentions adding welds and adhesives to the existing GA-K platform to provide a more engaging driving experience.
That's also clear when you look at the cars' vastly different drivetrains. The GX has a full-time 4WD system with high and low ranges and a locking center differential.
The TX is a crossover; you can even have the base TX 350 with front-wheel drive only. It also has a basic all-wheel-drive system, which sends power to the rear axle when it detects the front wheels slipping. There's also a more advanced Direct4 AWD system that improves both grip and handling. It's standard on the hybrid models.
One of these cars is a dual-purpose vehicle, while the other is effectively a raised minivan. For proof, look no further than the specification sheets. Lexus provides approach, departure, and breakover angles for the GX (26/24/22 degrees in the Overtrail and Overtrail+) but not for the TX.
If you know anything about off-roading, you'll know how vital those angles are.
While the GX can boast that it's a proper off-roader, the TX can hit back and say it's a real seven-seater. Most midsize seven-seat SUVs have two small seats in the rear, and they're only used on odd occasions. Anything more than a 10-mile trip would be uncomfortable for anyone over the age of 13. Just look at the third-row seats side-by-side below and note the difference in how the seats were designed. The GX's seats were obviously designed to fold down as efficiently as possible, and they're mounted much closer to the floor. If an adult sits there, their knees will touch their ears.
The TX also has more space to work with. The GX has a 112.2-inch wheelbase, and the TX has 116.1 inches. More length means more room for passengers and luggage.
Toyota didn't provide a luggage capacity in the GX with the third-row up, which means it's either not great, the customers won't care, or both. It will likely resemble the Toyota Sequoia, which has 11.5 cubic inches of space behind its third row. Toyota didn't even provide a photo of the cargo space with three rows in place. Comparatively, the TX offers 20.1 cubes in the same configuration, roughly the same as a Sequoia with its third row folded down.
The GX will only be available with Toyota's 3.4-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine with 349 horsepower and 479 lb-ft, but a hybrid model will follow later. Lexus didn't say which hybrid system, but we expect it to be the same setup used in the Sequoia and Tundra.
The TX will launch in TX 350 and TX 500h guises, and the TX 550h+ plug-in hybrid is expected to go on sale later. A more comprehensive range of engine options gives customers more freedom to tailor a car to their needs. The base engine is a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-pot in FWD or AWD.
It produces 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. The TX 500h uses the same motor but with hybrid components. This pushes the output to 366 hp and 409 lb-ft of torque but lowers the estimated fuel consumption from 21 mpg (combined) to 24 mpg. The plug-in hybrid will have 406 hp on tap and will only consume 30 mpg. Crucially, it has a claimed electric-only range of 33 miles. That will be extremely useful if a TX owner has a short daily commute.
The GX consumes gas at 17 mpg, and prospective owners probably couldn't care less. An 8,000-pound tow rating is more impressive, as is low-down torque for idling over rocks and stuff.
The TX is a more focused replacement for the RX long-wheelbase. And it seems all the better for it, offering more space and luggage capacity. On the flipside, the GX is a worthy successor to the current model, especially in the all-new Overtrail trim, which is perfect for the off-road and overlanding market.
These two very different cars can be summarized by looking at their customers. The average GX customer prefers an old-school ladder-frame 4x4, despite the drawbacks. They enjoy off-roading and do it regularly. They don't care about the legroom in the third row because those seats are folded down 95% of the time to make space for camping gear.
The TX customer wants six or seven seats and a large trunk. They don't care about going off-road but still want the rugged appearance provided by a faux 4x4. To them, the AWD system is nothing more than a helpful feature in slippery conditions.
As you can see, these are entirely different customer pools, which means there is more than enough room for both cars to exist side-by-side.