Lexus updates its most rugged SUV model, the GX

Dave Kunz Image
Thursday, May 16, 2024
Lexus updates its most rugged SUV model, the GX
The rugged Lexus GX 2024 has gotten a full makeover and manages to combine luxury and technology with solid off-road chops.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Lexus brand is typically equated with luxury. But there's another aspect to one model: the rugged GX. It's gotten a full makeover and manages to combine luxury and technology with solid off-road chops.

For many years, this model was one sought out by those looking to tackle the rough stuff, while enjoying all the amenities one expects of a rather pricey SUV. Sticker prices can top $80,000, though the new GX 550 starts at $64,250.

With the 2024 redesign, the four-wheel drive capability is still there, along with the brand's latest safety and comfort technology. Oh, it does just fine on pavement as well, and it's likely some buyers never plan on heading into the dirt but like the rugged vibe. On the practical side, there is a third-row seat for family use.

Under the hood, no more V8 engine. Like other new Lexus models, a twin-turbo 3.4 liter V6 does duty, putting out 349 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. By comparison, the 2023 GX 460's 4.6 liter V8 only produced 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft.

Th GX is part of a comprehensive strategy by Lexus to offer a wide array of SUVs - the dominant style of vehicle today - to suit lots of tastes. At the other end of the size and price scale is the UX, which now has standard hybrid power. For urban dwellers it works well, in fact the name UX stands for "urban explorer."

But if your tastes run to the more burly, more suited to the rough stuff, and with a more lofty sticker price, the new GX 550 is ready to hit the trails, especially in the aptly-named Overtrail edition. If you're less inclined to leave the highway, it still looks like it could, for sure.

Luxury plus off-road capability has been the formula for Land Rover's upscale Range Rover models for literally decades. Land Rovers have tackled the roughest terrain from the beginning, and all their models are fully capable.

Range Rover's new direction is electrification, with a full EV model on the way, and plug-in hybrids like the Range Rover Sport combining gasoline power with battery power. Over 40 miles of EV driving is available for lots of around-town driving, gas-free. Going greener in a Ranger Rover Sport isn't cheap - the PHEV Autobiography starts at nearly $120,000.

The SUV craze may be partly due to the image that the vehicles tend to project. That they - and their owners - are ready for adventure where the road ends. The Lexus GX is maintaining its status as one that truly is ready to get out and away from it all.