Lexus just made things a little easier for all of the American off-roading enthusiasts who still miss the Land Cruiser.
Following weeks of enticing previews, Toyota’s luxury brand finally unveiled the next-generation GX on Thursday. The mid-size SUV will receive a major makeover that puts it more in line with the LX, Lexus’s still-in-production Land Cruiser equivalent, for 2024, as well as a new powertrain and two trim levels designed for off-roading.
Toyota hasn’t reversed its decision to discontinue the Land Cruiser in the US—at least not yet—but the Lexus lineup now includes two models that look awfully similar to the beloved SUV. The new GX 550 is built on the same platform as the larger LX, because of which it’s been stretched out so that it now has the same wheelbase as its bigger sibling. It’s also been completely restyled. Whereas the last generation’s GX had a somewhat generic look, the new version is brash and bold. It shares a blocky, boxy shape with the current Land Cruiser being sold in other parts of the world, but it has sharper, more angular lines that give it an attitude all its own. Upon launch, it’ll be one of the better-looking SUVs available stateside.
The interior has also been thoroughly redesigned. The new streamlined dashboard has two different displays—a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster for the driver and a 14.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Despite this, there are still physical knobs and switches for controlling the HVAC system and different drive modes, as well as a shifter for the four-wheel-drive system. The vehicle has room for up to seven adults thanks to three rows of seats, the last of which has a power-folding function when you need extra cargo room.
Under the hood, you’ll find a twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter V-6 in place of the last generation’s 4.6-liter V-8. The new mill is connected to a 10-speed automatic gearbox that sends power to all four wheels and is more potent than its predecessor. It produces 349 hp and 479 ft-lbs of torque compared to 301 hp and 329 ft lbs of torque. Its 17 mpg fuel-economy rating is 1 mpg better than the V-8’s as well, according to Car and Driver. You can expect that number to increase when a hybrid powertrain arrives later in the generation. The GX shares a suspension with the LX, including its Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System and adaptive dampers.
As is often the case, multiple trim levels will be available when the GX 550 launches. It’s currently unclear what differentiates the Premium, Premium+, Luxury and Luxury + from one another, but we know that two Overtrail trims were designed for off-roading. Both packages include a number of rugged upgrades—skid plates, a rear locking differential and 18-inch wheels wrapped in chunky all-terrain tires—while the Overtrail+ comes with luxe extras.
The new GX will launch as part of Lexus’s 2024 model year lineup. Deliveries of the SUV, which will be built in Japan, are expected to begin early next year. Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect it to cost more than the current model, which starts at $59,275.
Click here for more photos of the 2024 Lexus GX 550.
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