Update: ‘Release date’ section updated.
The Lexus GX has received its biggest makeover since its arrival in 2002 and entered its third generation. For the first time, the range includes a Lexus GX Hybrid, developed for customers who want an extended driving range and travel long distances in remote areas without having to worry about finding the next gas station.
In terms of design, the Lexus GX, like its big brother Lexus LX, has always stood out from the rest of the Lexus SUVs. Of course, it has become more upscale and sophisticated with the latest redesign. It still has a brawny character with a conventional shape and lots of muscle all around. If fact, the third-gen Lexus GX looks squarer than the outgoing model.
The front of the Lexus GX no longer looks weird and an afterthought. It’s quite the opposite, projecting confidence and aggression. The new triple-beam headlamps feature a horizontal daytime running light (DRL) configuration, with a vertical grille positioned just beneath it, reminiscent of Toyota’s latest American pickup trucks, namely the Tundra and Tacoma. Their shorter height and straighter positioning go well with the shape of the body, which has become boxier. LED fog and cornering lamps are present in the lower bumper.
Lexus designers have pulled back the A-pillar to improve visibility, and they’ve also straightened it up. As a result, the windshield is more upright. The hood, which is straighter, too, has a low-set center section for the same reason. It ensures the driver gets a good view of the corners and is able to make complex off-road maneuvers with confidence.
Even the nose section is more upright. Gone is the oversized spindle grille. The new grille, positioned at a higher level like the headlamps for protection from obstacles when driving on rough roads, has a criss-cross mesh. Radiator cooling ducts placed below this grille give the all-new GX a raw and classic look. Further lower, there’s a skid plate to protect the underbody. The overhang is shorter, which gives a greater angle and makes it possible to climb up steeper slopes.
On the sides, the 2024 Lexus GX features a high and straight shoulder line, broad shoulders, vertical mirrors, squarish windows and quarter glass, and protruding wheel arches. Lexus designers have used the textbook SUV formula to its fullest, and that’s most visible at this angle. A lower beltline gives the driver a better view of the surroundings and helps them have a better sense of the vehicle’s position on the terrain.
Moving to the rear, an attention-grabbing LED blade stretches across the width of the SUV, which is a distinctive hallmark of Lexus design. It ends in the signature L-shape at both ends. The brand logo has been tastefully inscribed in a minimalist manner, positioned directly above the center of the light bar, further accentuating the vehicle’s rear look. The liftgate is positioned in an almost fully upright position, with a slight forward tilt in the upper half. The back glass is not only rectangular but also wide and tall, ensuring that the driver has an unobstructed view of the rear when looking through the inside mirror.
The third-gen Lexus GX features a more contemporary interior that marks a sizeable upgrade over the outgoing model. The dashboard features a sharper design and is set lower, giving the driver improved forward visibility.
The cockpit is more driver-focused, with the start-stop button placed in a higher position that makes it easier to spot, the central display placed lower for improved forward visibility, and a more informative, (12.3-inch) fully digital instrument cluster used in place of a traditional unit. There’s a nice color head-up display, too, projecting vital driving information on the windshield.
The center console has fewer physical controls, as many of the functions have been integrated into the infotainment system, which has a larger, 14-inch display. The new infotainment system comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The all-new GX offers more comfort and convenience. The front seat hip point to heel height has been raised by 1.18 in. A one-motion tumble system isn’t something bragging about in 2023, but it’s worth mentioning, as it’s a new feature in the redesigned GX. There’s more storage space in the center console and door pockets. Two additional storage spaces under the cargo area allow customers to put smaller items.
To ensure all the occupants have their smartphones and other portable electronics powered up for entertainment and work on the go, Lexus has installed up to six charging ports, all illuminated, in the all-new GX. There’s a wireless charger, too, a feature not available in the outgoing model. Also new in the Mk3 GX is a 120-volt AC inverter for additional power needs.
Depending on the configuration, it’s possible to have five, six, or seven seats in the all-new GX. The redesigned model has more luggage space and can accommodate up to five suitcases with the third row folded. We’ll get to numbers in the next section. For markets that won’t get the Lexus TX, probably including RHD countries like Australia and New Zealand, the GX would be the cheapest three-row Lexus model.
The glass of the liftgate can be opened to access the cargo space. Pets sitting in the cargo area will be able to get a better view outside and enjoy the fresh air when parked at some scenic spot. We wouldn’t suggest keeping it open when driving, as exhaust gases may enter the vehicle.
On the safety front, the all-new Lexus GX packs a gigantic upgrade over the outgoing model. The latter comes with Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+), which has been succeeded by three newer systems one after the other: Lexus Safety System 2.0+ (LSS 2.0+), Lexus Safety System 2.5+ (LSS 2.5+), and Lexus Safety System 3.0 (LSS 3.0). Thus, it includes just Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Intelligent High Beams, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
The third-gen Lexus GX packs Lexus Safety System 3.0 (LSS 3.0), which is the company’s latest ADAS suite. The third generation of the active safety equipment package includes new features like All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Road Sign Assist (RSA), and Proactive Driving Assist.
The Lexus GX has retained its much-favored feature moving to its third generation: ladder frame construction. However, the only body-on-frame luxury SUV in its class has adopted a new platform – the GA-F. This is for the first time since the launch of the GX in 2002 that Lexus has given it a new platform.
GA-F belongs to Toyota’s TNGA family of modern platforms that cover various product segments and classes since 2016. Introduced in the Toyota Land Cruiser 300 in 2021 and also underpinning the fourth-gen Lexus LX that debuted later the same year, the GA-F platform has increased body rigidity and improved on-road handling.
The all-new GX has a newly developed double-wishbone front suspension with optimized coil spring rate, increased caster trail, and reduced kingpin offset. These changes ensure high stability during straight-line driving, turning, and braking. At the rear, just like the outgoing GX, the redesigned model uses a four-link rigid suspension
The third-gen Lexus GX measures 197.0 in. in length, 83.2 in. in width (incl. mirrors), and 75.39 in., 75.59 in., or 76.18 in. depending on the configuration. Similarly, its approach, breakover, and departure angles are 26º, 23º/24º, or 21º/22º/23º, respectively. Its wheelbase is 2.4 in. longer than that of the outgoing model (109.8 in.) – 112.2 in.
The first-ever Lexus GX Hybrid clubs a 2.4-liter turbocharged gas engine with a newly developed direct-shift 8-speed automatic transmission with a front module that integrates an electric motor and a wet clutch. The front module is responsible for the usual hybrid electric vehicle functions like starting the engine, EV-mode driving, regenerative braking, etc.
As we indicated at the beginning of the story, the main purpose of the hybrid system in the Lexus GX is not to reduce fuel costs. Lexus has given the GX electrical assistance to ensure it “goes where you want to go and returns,” as that is the essence of a full-fledged off-roader. Customers will appreciate the reduced fuel consumption when they travel on routes where they may not see a gas station for hundreds of miles. Thus, the possibility of being stuck on safaris and other outdoor adventures in remote places because of running out of fuel has been reduced.
As you can see in the pictures above and below, the traction battery pack of the Lexus GX Hybrid is located at the back, below the floor. The picture below also suggests that three-row seating will be available in the hybrid SUV. The power, torque, or fuel economy figures aren’t out yet. We’ll update this story as and when more information emerges.
The gas-powered GX will go on sale in the U.S. at the end of 2023. The Lexus GX Hybrid will follow in 2024, most likely as an MY2025 product. Prices for the electrified version may fall in the USD 65,000-70,000 range.
We’re thrilled to see how our off-road enthusiasts put the GX to work. And to continue our electrification strategy down the road, GX will adopt a hybrid powertrain.DeJuan Ross, Group Vice President and General Manager, Lexus Division, Toyota Motor North America (third-gen Lexus GX world premiere on June 8, 2023)
The gas model will be available in six grades: Premium, Premium+, Luxury, Luxury+, Overtrail, and Overtrail+. The grade line-up of the GX Hybrid will probably be announced closer to launch in 2024.
We’re hoping that the first-ever Overtrail grade and the feature-packed Overtrail+ grade, targeted at adventurous customers who embrace the outdoor lifestyle and need the ability to tackle any terrain, are included in the GX Hybrid range. These grades pack 33-inch all-terrain tires wrapped around 18-inch wheels, an electronic locking rear differential, a standard aluminum skid plate, and more special features required during serious off-roading.
Lexus GX sales
Lexus GX sales in the U.S. went up 14% in 2021, growing from 28,519 units in 2020 to 32,509 units. It was the third highest-selling Lexus SUV in the country in 2021, while the RX and NX took the first and second spots. It contributed approximately 11% to Lexus’ total U.S. sales in 2021 – 304,476 units.
In 2022, as the auto industry hit turbulence with new supply chain problems, the Lexus GX recorded a 7.9% year-over-year decline in sales, with 29,945 units delivered (2021: 32,509 units). In Q1 2023, 6,370 units of the GX were delivered, 12.2% lower than in Q1 2022. It seems supply chain issues have continued to create a production shortage for the model in the first quarter of the year, which would mean customers are waiting longer than usual for deliveries.
Lexus electrification strategy
Announcing the EV strategy of Toyota (the parent company) on December 14, 2021, former President Akio Toyoda said that Lexus aims to launch a full line-up of EVs in all vehicle segments by 2030. The luxury brand targets EVs to account for 100% of its sales in North America, China, and Europe and targets EV sales of 1 million units globally by that year. By 2035, the company wants to convert 100% of its sales globally to EVs.
The Lexus NX 450h+ PHEV, the brand’s first plug-in hybrid model, broke cover in June 2021. The Lexus RX 450h+ PHEV followed in May 2022. The Lexus RZ, the production version of the Lexus LF-Z Electrified concept, is also on sale in America, and will be followed by the Lexus TX three-row SUV later this year.
GX customers in the U.S. love its V8 engine, which, although not very powerful or torquey, is silky smooth. With its so-called tank-like strength and million-mile reliability, it makes for a highly desirable purchase for people who often drive in extreme weather or go overlanding.
Built in Tahara (Aichi Prefecture), Japan, it’s also highly regarded for its quality paint and build. If you enjoy off-roading with a twist of luxury, the GX provides an excellent entry point with a price of under USD 60,000, making it nearly 30,000 cheaper than the LX. The redesigned model should be a little more expensive, though, especially in the Hybrid variant.
The all-new Lexus GX is probably the company’s final new body-on-frame SUV packing a combustion engine under the hood. The redesigned GX makes sense for the small segment of Lexus clients who want their posh SUVs to go anywhere but don’t need something as big or extreme as the LX, allowing it to tackle even more terrain than its predecessor while being less thirsty, thanks to its hybrid-electric powertrain.
Lexus GX Hybrid FAQs
What is the Lexus GX Hybrid release date?
The Lexus GX Hybrid will likely be launched in the U.S. in 2024.
What will be the Lexus GX Hybrid price?
The GX Hybrid should start in the USD 65,000-70,000 range.
Which SUVs will rival the Lexus GX Hybrid?
The all-new Lexus GX Hybrid will compete with the BMW X5 and the Land Rover Discovery.
Featured Image Source: Lexus