Bringing an Older Cruiser into the Modern World

    The Lexus GX 550: A Luxury SUV Built for Off-Road Adventures

    Lexus has been a player in the luxury SUV market for almost two decades, and their latest offering, the 2024 GX 550, continues their tradition of combining luxury and off-road capability. The GX line originally started with the 1996 LX 450, which borrowed its construction and capabilities from the Toyota Land Cruiser. Over the years, the GX has grown larger and more luxurious but has not forgotten its roots.

    The new GX 550 is equipped with a twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6 engine, producing 349 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. This is a significant improvement over the previous model’s V-8 engine. The GX retains its body-on-frame construction, making it unique among mid-size luxury SUVs. It also comes standard with four-wheel drive and a center locking differential, ensuring it can handle any terrain. The new Overtrail model even includes a locking rear differential, further enhancing its off-road capabilities.

    The design of the GX is upright and rugged, with a low beltline and vertical A-pillars that improve visibility. The signature spindle grille is prominently displayed on the front end, giving it a distinct Lexus look. Inside, the cabin offers a military-issue vibe with a shallow, flat-faced dashboard and minimal brightwork.

    One of the standout features of the GX is its Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS). This system automatically adjusts the sway bars to provide better stability at higher speeds and increased wheel travel over uneven terrain. It works wonders on the trail, providing a smooth and controlled ride even over large bumps.

    While the GX is certainly capable off-road, it does have some drawbacks on-road. The all-terrain tires on the Overtrail model can be noisy, and the ride is not as smooth or comfortable as some of its unibody rivals. However, considering its rugged capabilities, these trade-offs are expected.

    The interior of the GX is spacious and well-appointed, with the option for different levels of luxury depending on the trim level. The first two rows of seats offer ample headroom and thigh support, while a third row is available on some models. The cargo space is decent, but the third-row seats limit its capacity.

    The GX comes with a 14.0-inch center touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, both equipped with Lexus’ infotainment system. The system is user-friendly and includes wireless smartphone mirroring for added convenience.

    In terms of pricing, the GX starts at $69,250 for the base Premium model. The Overtrail models, which offer additional off-road features, start at $69,250 and go up to $77,250 for the top-tier Overtrail+. The Luxury trims start at $74,275 and range up to $81,780 for the fully-loaded Luxury+ model.

    Compared to its competitors, such as the Land Rover Defender, the GX offers a more intuitive and less tech-heavy off-road experience. While the Defender may have a more rugged interior and a higher status badge, the GX is easier to drive and offers a more comfortable on-road experience.

    Overall, the 2024 Lexus GX 550 is a capable and luxurious SUV that caters to both off-road enthusiasts and those who appreciate a comfortable and refined ride. With its powerful engine, off-road features, and spacious interior, it’s a great option for those who value both luxury and adventure.

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