It’s hard to believe that the Lexus GX hasn’t been redesigned since 2009. The rugged body-on-frame SUV has received some styling changes over the years, but now 15 years later, Lexus has finally introduced an all-new GX, now called the GX 550.

2024 Lexus GX 550 Review

Unibody SUVs have become the norm, but the 2024 Lexus GX 550 stays true to its roots and mission with its body-on-frame platform. The GX has always been the luxury off-roader in the Lexus lineup, but now it finally features styling that aligns with its off-road chops. The GX now has a more rugged SUV look compared to the last generation. Lexus says that now that the unibody three-row TX crossover has arrived, the GX can focus more on its rugged nature without having to prioritize the desires of families that want a soft riding midsize SUV.

On the outside the GX 550 features a more squared look than its predecessor. One cool design feature are the hood creases which are meant to show the driver the front wheel placement, making it a bit easier when you’re traversing a rock or bump ahead of you on your off-road adventure.

The 2024 GX is new from the ground up and is built on the new GA-F platform, which is the same body-on-frame platform that’s used by the Lexus LX 600, in addition to the Toyota Sequoia, Tundra, Tacoma and even the new Land Cruiser. Speaking of that Land Cruiser, it’s easy to see that the GX is closely related to the 2024 Land Cruiser.

The outgoing GX 460 was powered by an archaic V8 engine with only 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque, that was mated to a six-speed automatic. The GX 550 is powered by a more modern 3.4-liter twin-turbo V6 that has more power than the old V8, with 349 hp and 479 lb-ft. The GX 550 now has a 10-speed automatic transmission and can now tow more than 9,000 pounds, compared to only 6,500 pounds for the last GX. It’s also more fuel efficient with a 15 mpg city, 21 mpg highway and 17 mpg combined rating. If you want a more fuel efficient version, Lexus has confirmed that a hybrid GX is coming, but we don’t have any official timing.

2024 Lexus GX 550 Review

The new V6 packs a lot of power that finally livens up the GX. There isn’t much turbo lag and the electric power steering provides more feedback than before. The powertrain as a whole feels a lot more modern than the outgoing GX. The biggest difference between the GX 550 and the new Land Cruiser, is that the Land Cruiser is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, compared to the V6 in the Lexus.

Since the GX is a true off-roader, it comes standard with full-time 4WD and a limited-slip locking center differential. The more rugged Overtail and Overtail+ trim levels get a locking rear differential, which splits the torque evenly between the rear wheels. Switching between the 4Hi and 4Lo modes is much quicker than before, but you still have to stop and put the transmission in neutral.

The GX offers a neat 360-degree camera system that can let you see either what’s going on underneath the GX or a split view that gives you a better look at what’s ahead of you.

The Overtrail models provide even more off-road chops with a standard Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS). The system can automatically lock and unlock the front and rear stabilizer bars, when more wheel articulation is needed. To demonstrate the GX’s capability, Lexus created an off-road obstacle course to show off how well the GX performs on a trail. The GX easily tackled the uneven terrain, while still keeping us comfortable in the cabin.

2024 Lexus GX 550 Review

Speaking of the cabin, the GX 550’s interior looks similar to other Lexus models, but its dashboard has a horizontal top to help the driver see the road ahead better. At the center of the dashboard, there’s the 14-inch touchscreen and in front of the driver there’s a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. A head-up display is also optional. We’re familiar with the infotainment system since its also used in other Lexus and Toyota models. The good news is that the GX features physical dials for frequently used controls, like the air conditioning and audio volume.

The overall look and feel of the interior isn’t quite as exciting as the exterior. Especially if you opt for the full black interior, which looks a bit drab. Fortunately there are some nice two tone options. A panoramic sunroof does brighten things up a bit, while a regular sized moonroof is standard.

The GX still offers three rows of seats on the Premium, Premium+, Luxury, and Luxury+ trim levels, with the second row able to be configured as a bench seat or captain’s chairs. The Overtrail models only offer two rows of seats. The third-row is a bit snug, so if you need more room all the way in the back, you’ll want to look at the TX.

2024 Lexus GX 550 Review

The pricing for the 2024 GX 550 starts at $65,600 for the base Premium trim level, while the Luxury+ is the most expensive version with its $82,600 starting price. The Overtrail version starts at $70,600.

To compare, the biggest rival to the GX 550 is easily the Land Rover Defender, which starts at $62,075 for the four-door version with a four-cylinder engine.

Lexus expects to sell 33,000 GX 550 SUVs this year, which is pretty comparable to how many it sold in 2023. This low number is likely due to production constraints, instead of actual demand, since the response to the new GX has been very positive. At the end of the day, the 2024 Lexus GX 550 stands out in the crowded midsize luxury SUV segment with its more rugged exterior and all that capability that you won’t find in too many of its rivals. We’d love to see a Nori Green GX 550 Overtrail+ in our driveway someday…

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Marc Carter is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of The Torque Report.
2024-lexus-gx-550-first-drive-review-a-modern-off-roaderAt the end of the day, the 2024 Lexus GX 550 stands out in the crowded midsize luxury SUV segment with its more rugged exterior and all that capability that you won't find in too many of its rivals. We'd love to see a Nori Green GX 550 Overtrail+ in our driveway someday...