2024 Lexus GX 550 paints target on Land Rover

2024 Lexus GX 550 paints target on Land Rover

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Land Rover has a brand new downside, and of all of the automakers, the issue comes from Lexus.

We’ll simply file that beneath issues we didn’t see coming in 2024.

For the primary time in 14 years, the 2024 Lexus GX 550 is new. Most of it stays acquainted. This yr, the body-on-frame SUV arrives on a brand new platform, with fewer cylinders and extra trendy expertise, all in a sharply creased and enticing bundle. 

After driving the 2024 Lexus GX 550 on- and off-road outdoors Tucson, Arizona, I got here to at least one conclusion above all others. Land Rover sellers needs to be nervous.

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

What does the Lexus GX 550 appear to be?

An SUV. Gone are the delicate curves, actually any semblance of a gentle edge. The GX 550 is an upright, boxy brick with throwback design cues and slab sides. The oblong facet view mirrors harken again to the FJ Cruiser and different traditional Toyota SUVs. The A-pillars are extra upright because of the bottom of the windshield being set again 2.8 inches additional. The headlights are mounted up excessive to be protected against off-road adventures whereas the horizontal LED taillight is mounted excessive for higher visibility whereas off-roading. Overtrail fashions characteristic operating boards that may be eliminated with 4 bolts per facet. All variations put on a giant Lexus spindle grille. 

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

Contained in the GX is all about horizontal, arduous traces. The upright dashboard is just like that of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class the place it’s not very deep and mounted near the windshield. Thankfully Lexus didn’t set up the RX and NX’s touch-sensitive steering wheel buttons within the GX, and these are actual buttons. Each GX will get a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 14.0-inch touchscreen. Each use the identical software program as different Lexus automobiles, which suggests the gauge cluster could be practically washed out in sure lighting situations and the huge touchscreen lacks split-screen functionality. Does anyone want full-width Apple CarPlay or navigation?

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

What sort of engine does the Lexus GX 550 have?

The V-8 is lifeless. RIP.

Each 2024 GX 550 is powered by a 3.4-liter twin-turbo V-6 producing 349 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. A full-time four-wheel-drive system that includes a 2-speed switch case is customary. A hybrid mannequin will probably be obtainable in some unspecified time in the future, however Lexus was mum on a timeline.

Lexus claims a 0-60 mph dash of 6.5 seconds, and my butt dyno says that feels about proper. The previous mannequin was comparatively sluggish with the identical dash taking 7.8 seconds.

The turbo-6 has a deep sound to it that isn’t nasal, and torque kicks in rapidly off the road at about 2,000 rpm because of quick-spooling turbos. Not like different iterations of this engine, you may’t actually hear the turbos spool right here.

The ten-speed automated is a pleasure and amongst my favourite automated transmissions available on the market. It cracks off fast, clean shifts and by no means appears to get misplaced in all these gears. Sport and Sport+ mode drops the system down a gear for extra participating driving. In off-road modes the transmission will maintain gear adjustments and enhance engine pace to make sure extra management within the energy supply.

The GX gained’t win any effectivity contests, however it’s higher (barely) than the outgoing V-8 with estimated gas financial system rankings of 15 mpg metropolis, 21 mpg freeway, 17 mpg mixed. In my abbreviated publicity it was arduous to get a real sense of the GX’s real-world gas financial system, however it was clear that round city, if the motive force retains their foot out of the facility, the turbos gained’t be spooling. With the turbos not spooling it appears the powertrain is able to averaging within the mid-20s. We’ll want extra time behind the wheel to actually decide how environment friendly the GX is. 

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

How a lot can the Lexus GX 550 tow?

Greater than initially marketed. Lexus initially estimated the GX would tow as much as 8,000 kilos. After SAE J2807 validation the max tow score climbed to 9,096 kilos in Overtrail trim. That’s a ton of weight with a 112.2-inch wheelbase. We stay up for towing with the GX in some unspecified time in the future. 

Notably the 7- and 5-pin connector for trailer lights is mounted beneath the bumper on the left facet of the receiver. Identical to the bigger LX 600, this implies you will want to get down on the bottom to see the plug and join the trailer lights. Hope it’s not muddy down there. The hitch receiver itself has a plastic cowl that’s secured with two push pins, which require a flathead screwdriver to take away. It’s a ache and practically everybody else makes use of conventional twist-to-release fasteners.

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

How does the Lexus GX 550 drive?

In comparison with the outgoing GX 470 the GX 550 feels sprightly on its rubber toes. The steering is boosted and light-weight, however not sloppy, not like the sluggish, heavy steering within the earlier GX. That is regardless of weighing tons of (relying on the configuration) of kilos greater than the outgoing mannequin. Plumbing and {hardware} for turbos provides weight.

Sharing its TNGA-F platform with every thing from the Toyota Tundra and Tacoma pickups to the Sequoia SUV, the GX isn’t constructed just like the Land Rover Defender, but Lexus has tuned the suspension so it doesn’t experience like a truck. It’s extra akin to a super-stiff crossover when issues get bumpy.

Base Premium and Premium+ fashions experience on 20-inch wheels with passive dampers, however high-zoot Luxurious and Luxurious+ fashions roll on 22-inch wheels with the latter getting adaptive dampers. Fashions with the passive dampers characteristic a cushty and managed experience with some physique lean round corners, however cobblestone driveways fail to upset the GX. Extra luxurious Luxurious+ fashions can soften the experience in consolation mode or agency issues up in Sport and Sport+. The passive dampers appear to have a impartial tune that equates to Regular mode in GXs with adaptive dampers. 

Probably the most snug GX is the Overtrail. That’s due partly to the adaptive dampers, however principally it’s from downsizing to 18-inch wheels and thick 33-inch Toyo Open Nation tires. The latter present a 10-mm wider observe on Overtrail fashions. Lexus spokespeople confirmed 35s is not going to match with out rubbing and or different points in inventory type. Regardless of their chunky look the all-terrain tires don’t include a howl on dry pavement.  

The off-road mannequin is the one trim to characteristic Toyota’s E-KDSS system, which routinely electronically (earlier iterations used a hydraulic setup) disconnects the sway bars for extra articulation off-road. However on the street the system helps stiffen the car laterally round corners, which helps compensate for the softer, taller, sidewall on the all-terrain tires. It is a trick setup and no person else affords such a system.

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

How succesful is the Lexus GX 550 off-road?

Way more succesful than most crossover SUVs. With a 2-speed switch case, the E-KDDS system enabling as much as 25 inches of entrance and 21 inches of rear articulation, and crawl management (which is like off-road cruise management) the GX 550 can enterprise additional off-road than Lexus despatched us.

Nevertheless, that Lexus spindle grille poses a difficulty. Lexus plans on launching the GX with as much as 15 equipment via the dealership together with companions like ARB and Dometic. Clients will be capable of match equipment proper from the showroom and wrap them into their fee—however a type of equipment, a minimum of at launch, gained’t be a metal bumper or a winch. 

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

The issue: The grille goes all the best way as much as the hoodline, and the front-facing digicam, parking sensors, and forward-facing radar unit for the security methods are all built-in utterly into the grille. None are protected properly sufficient. After I requested GX Chief Engineer Koji Sato how a metal bumper, say from ARB, and a winch might be built-in into the entrance finish of the GX his smile turned and he rapidly stated via a translator that they would wish to research an answer. At the least the decrease heart panel on the Overtrail’s entrance finish could be changed simply in the event that they get broken. 

All GXs have an strategy angle of 26 levels, however the departure angle varies by trim with 21 levels on the low finish on Luxurious fashions and 23 levels on the excessive finish on Premium fashions. Overtrails break up the distinction with a departure angle of twenty-two levels. Breakover angle is 23 levels on all however Overtrail fashions, which will increase to 24 levels. 

Each GX can wade in as much as 27.56 inches of water, in response to Lexus. We didn’t go anyplace practically that deep. Probably the most technical course we had been set to deal with was flooded out by uncommon rainstorms in Tucson simply earlier than my arrival. However I used to be in a position to put the GX via its paces on some articulation workout routines the place it was extraordinarily composted and quiet. Partaking the 2-speed switch case requires the flick of a swap and  introduces gear whine because the discount gears do their factor to multiply the torque.

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

Our off-road information had me put the GX in Mud mode, lock the usual heart differential that splits the facility evenly 50:50, put the four-wheel-drive system in 4Lo, and have interaction the digital rear locking differential, which is customary on the Overtrail mannequin. It was all excessive overkill. The GX crawled alongside the rocky and at occasions mud-covered path with out breaking a sweat.

After ditching our off-road information I made a decision to belief my intestine that this was all far beneath the GX’s capabilities. I took the GX out of 4Lo and put it in 4Hi, disengaged the rear locker, however did go away the system in Mud mode and stored the middle locker engaged. Minutes into the off-road course it was obvious the GX nonetheless wasn’t breaking a sweat. This SUV’s capabilities had been far past what Lexus was exhibiting off. 

If there’s the rest the GX lacks in off-road {hardware} it might be air suspension and a entrance locker. Land Rovers characteristic the previous, although whereas it can provide a car extra floor clearance it additionally introduces a brand new level of failure. The latter was deemed pointless, in response to Sato. It in all probability is, however there’s no kill like overkill in the case of off-road {hardware}.

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

Is the Lexus GX 550 snug?

It relies upon which seat you’re sitting in. These up entrance would be the most snug with supportive seats, gentle leather-based, and on Luxurious + and Overtrail+, a therapeutic massage operate that’s sadly solely accessed deep into the menu system requiring a number of faucets to interact.

The second row is snug with 36.7 inches of legroom, however pay attention to which seats you go for. Luxurious+ and Overtrail+ fashions with the massaging entrance seats can have the middle of the entrance seat backs eat into legroom as a result of massaging {hardware}. Lexus places arduous seat again covers on these seats and scallops them to create extra knee room. Fashions with out entrance massaging seats have gentle, flat seatbacks and extra legroom total. 

Whereas vast second-row captain’s seats are an possibility, I discovered the bench seat to be extra snug regardless of the seat backside being a bit flat. The captain’s chairs have airplane-style flip down armrests I struggled to discover a snug place with. The second row options reclining seat backs that will probably be welcome on street journeys. As a result of body-on-frame packaging the rear seats hug the rear axle. This creates a stadium-style seating impact the place the second-row occupants are positioned increased than these within the entrance. 

Each GX outdoors of the Overtraill is a three-row SUV whereas Overtrails ditch the third row, for now. Lexus’ Common Supervisor Greg Kitzens advised Motor Authority attributable to buyer suggestions the automaker could add a 3rd row as an choice to the Overtrail trim. Clients requesting a 3rd row within the Overtrail clearly haven’t sat in the best way again, but. With a hair lower than 32 inches of legroom again there the third row is at greatest for brief journeys as a child zone. Cargo house drops to 10.3 cubic toes of house with the third row up, and expands to a spacious 40.2 cubic toes of house with it folded. The third row folds practically flat, however slopes the ground because the entrance folds into the stable rear axle.  

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

A key design change on the GX is the rear door for the cargo space. Find it irresistible or hate it, the barn-style door from the GX 460 and 470 is gone. The Defender nonetheless has this barn door and it has a spare tire mounted to the again of it hindering rear imaginative and prescient. Lexus gave the GX 550 a extra conventional flip-up tailgate with a separate flip-up rear window. The tall rear finish makes this a large piece of steel that can present good cowl within the Costco parking zone. However just like the 4Runner’s tailgate, it’s probably going to hit your storage door. Not like the 4Runner the GX’s tailgate is powered and could be programmed to solely open so excessive as to not hit the storage door. Clutch.  

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

What sort of security expertise does the Lexus GX 550 characteristic?

Each GX 550 comes customary with the most recent lively security tech together with automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise management, lane departure warning, and site visitors signal recognition. Blind-spot displays with rear cross-traffic alerts and parking sensors are customary, however solely oddly base Premium and Overtrail fashions don’t have rear pedestrian detection whereas the remainder of the lineup does. 

The system additionally options Lexus’ Proactive Driving Help, which is able to apply the steering and braking inputs to assist the motive force keep distance from surrounding automobiles. Each GX will characteristic a surround-view digicam system, however solely the Overtrail fashions characteristic cameras that may see beneath the SUV as a part of its off-road {hardware}. 

The 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster will probably be acquainted to anybody having been in a current Lexus. The identical could be stated for the 14.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is straightforward to function. The touchscreen nonetheless can’t break up its display screen into zones, so I hope you want an enormous map or extra Apple CarPlay than anybody wants on their dashboard. A ten.0-inch colour head-up show is out there on all trims, however like most methods it washes out and may’t actually be seen whereas sporting polarized sun shades.

2024 Lexus GX 550

2024 Lexus GX 550

How a lot does the 2024 Lexus GX 550 value?

At $64,250 together with a $1,350 vacation spot cost the bottom 2024 GX Premium costs $5,125 lower than a comparable Land Rover Defender with a turbo-6 and $8,620 lower than a comparable Land Rover Discovery with a turbo-6. Even a loaded Overtrail+ at $78,600 slices hundreds off the value of a aggressive Land Rover.

With six trims together with Premium, Premium+, Luxurious, Luxurious+, Overtrail, and Overtrail+, the pricing unfold solely runs $17,000. Being a Lexus, all however the base Premium and Overtrail fashions characteristic an influence steering column, heated entrance and rear seats, and a wi-fi smartphone charger. Solely Luxurious and Luxurious+ fashions at $78,600 and the $82,600 characteristic semi-aniline leather-trimmed interiors, and people massaging entrance seats that eat into rear seat legroom are customary on the Luxurious, Luxurious+, and Overtrail+ fashions.

With related off-road functionality and on-road chutzpah for much less cash, the 2024 Lexus GX 550 ought to give Land Rover pause. It’s a powerful turnaround from the dated bundle Lexus bought simply final yr. It’s a greater off-roader, too—with a bit room for enchancment. 

Lexus flew me to Tucson the place it was raining on and off always to drive the GX so I might write this overview. I bought moist.

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