At the beginning of the month, Lexus revealed the newest version of their GX line. I have always had a soft spot for Toyota/Lexus off roaders. My second car was a 2000 4Runner. Lexus’ first foray into the luxury off road scene was with the LX 450, their version of Toyota’s Land Cruiser, in 1996. 2002 saw the introduction of the GX line, a smaller sibling than the LX based off the new for 2003 4Runner platform.

The GX has gone through two generations with multiple facelifts through the years for both. The first gen GX 470 ran from 2003 to 2009 and the second gen GX 460 ran from 2010 to 2023. The 470 stood for the 4.7 liter 2UZ-FE V8 used in the first gen, and the 460 stands for the 4.6 liter 1UR-FE V8 used in the second gen.

The third gen GX design brings to mind older Land Cruisers, spanning the J50, J60, J70, and J80 models. The boxier than previous design makes the GX appear to be a little shorter in height and a little longer in length. This gives the SUV the appearance of a more utilitarian vehicle. A more rugged design that should inject some nostalgia in those that remember Toyota’s older flag ship off roader. The GX looks even better to me with the 18″ wheels and 33″ all terrain tires. I believe the Overtrail trim is the one to get. You get all the “base” model Premium trim level options, minus the third row seat, plus some add ons. These include: full time 4WD (AWD), low range, a selectable center locker to lock it in 4WD, Lexus’ E-KDSS, adaptive variable suspension, electronic rear locker, crawl control with turn assist, downhill assist control, and multi-terrain select. This trim also retains an 8,000 pound tow rating and a trailer brake controller.

Under the hood, you get the same 3.4 liter twin-turbo V6 found in the new Tundra and Sequoia. This gets you 349 horsepower and 479 LB-FT of torque through a 10 speed automatic transmission. At the time of this writing I could not find any info on front or rear gear ratios. The 3.4 liter V6 is a nice call back to the legendary 5VZ-FE found primarily in the third gen 4Runner. With the new model being a GX 550, that means the 3.4 twin turbo is pretty much putting out the equivalent power of a 5.5 liter engine. You’ll find the engine bay is covered in the plastic cladding that plagues most new vehicles.

A big touch screen infotainment center dominates the middle of the dashboard. Lexus has joined many newer luxury brands in dropping physical buttons on the center stack for media and climate controls. My opinion on that doesn’t change the fact that it is a really sleek design.

For off-road purposes, the new GX Overtrail boasts a 26 degree approach angle, 24 degree breakover angle, and a 22 degree departure angle. Let’s compare those numbers to my current 2018 F-150 FX4 in stock form that claims a 23.8 approach angle, a 17.2 breakover angle, and a 24.5 departure angle. Some numbers that I am almost certain the GX could beat with some better bumpers, lift, and rock sliders.

I’m excited about the direction Toyota and Lexus are taking with their off-road brands. I’ve always had a soft spot for these vehicles and the new GX is at the top of my list for a new vehicle somewhere around 2030. Hopefully at that point a used model will be affordable enough for me to move on from the truck world for a little bit.

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