June 21, 2023 3 min read
Well we weren’t expecting this one. To say the 2024 Lexus GX is impressive is an understatement. But to explain how impressive it is might be a challenge. Could this be the best out-off-the-box overland vehicle ever made?
Let’s start with a comparison. Overall length for the new GX (which includes three-row seating) is 197 inches. The vehicle we’re comparing it to here measures 195 inches. Overall width for the GX is 83 inches, including mirrors. Our comparison vehicle is 84 inches. Front and rear track width on the new GX (in Overtrail trim) is 66.4 inches. The other vehicle is 64.4. Crucially, wheelbase for both is precisely 112.2 inches. Which might give particularly astute readers a clue of where we’re going here.
You see, that 112.2-inch number was determined by Toyota to be the ideal compromise between interior space, stability, turning radius, and breakover angle when it designed the 80-series Land Cruiser. That number was so perfect that it was maintained on the 100-, and 200-, and 300-series. 112.2 inches is part of the magic formula that makes Land Cruisers so special.
There’s a couple of other specs we should mention before we get to our comparison vehicle: KDSS, the TorSen center differential, and the 8,000lbs towing capacity. Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System is a fancy way of saying the sway bars automatically disconnect over uneven terrain. TorSen differentials similarly direct torque to the wheels with the most traction without driver input. And that 8,000lbs towing number is within 100lbs of the 200-series Land Cruiser.
That the new GX is so strikingly similar to a 200-series is remarkable. The last Land Cruiser sold in the United States is also the most capable ever made. And that’s in large part thanks to all the numbers above, plus KDSS, that TorSen, and the strong tow capacity.
But, there’s actually a few things the new GX does better. It has more torque, a more advanced transmission, smoother traction aids, a locking rear differential, and a substantially nicer interior. It also comes stock, in Overtrail trim, with actual all-terrains—something the 200-series forced owners to upgrade.
The new GX is powered by a a 3.4-liter, twin-turbo V6 that makes 349 horsepower and a very solid 479lb-ft of torque. The old 200-series made 381bhp and 401lb-ft of torque. The best thing about that old 5.7-liter V8 was it was shared with the Tundra, which made parts for it ubiquitous. This is 3.4 is also sold in the Lexus LS, GX, which also share the new 10-speed transmission.
And the GX will be able to put those additional pound-feet down on slippery surfaces better than a 200-series, not only thanks to the locking rear diff (which 200 owners had to add from the aftermarket), but also the latest generation of traction aids, which are shared with other vehicles on this new GA-F platform. When I drove the new Tundra a couple years ago, I was generally dismayed by that vehicle’s poor execution, but amazed at how smooth the brake-based traction controls system had become. You’ll actually want to use it now.
And then there’s the interior. While the top-grain leather on my family’s 200-series is extremely nice (a feature the GX won’t be matching), the rest of it could have come out of a 10-year old 4Runner. We like the fact that there’s little to distinguish our Land Cruiser from more affordable vehicles, but sitting in modern cars with equivalent price tags sure does feel a lot nicer. And this GX ticks all those same boxes with a huge touch screen, an uncluttered dashboard, plenty of charging ports, and even a heads up display.
That’s really all the information that’s available about the new GX, for now. I should be able to drive one later this year, and will report back.
Want to access remote places, in comfort, with plenty of space? This new GX should offer substantially more interior space than the outgoing model, and in Overtrail trim, a massive boost to off-road capability.
We don’t know numbers like payload and dynamic roof load capacity yet, but we do know that the GFC Platform RTT is the absolute thinnest rooftop tent available, that will mount the lowest and most flush to the GX’s roof. And that way it will make the least wind noise, impairing the GX’s interior noise levels to the least possible degree. Plus, GFC’s sleek, tech-forward design with exposed clear-anodized billet aluminum components should complement Lexus’s new two-tone paint schemes. — Wes Siler