Lexus goes all in on Australia, rolling out what seems like an infinite stream of recent fashions to cater for each phase.
Not solely is it bringing new individuals into the model, it’s additionally slowly decreasing the model’s common proprietor age as youthful persons are focused with small, family-friendly SUVs.
The most recent cab off the rank is the all-new 2024 Lexus GX, which shares a platform with the bigger Lexus LX, Toyota LandCruiser 300 Sequence and the upcoming Toyota LandCruiser Prado – however provides a decidedly Lexus take.
Pricing for the Lexus GX is but to be introduced for the Australian market.
As we’ve beforehand reported, pricing is anticipated to kick off from round $110,000 earlier than on-road prices for the entry-level Luxurious variant.
The inside of the GX is completely different to some other Lexus we’ve seen earlier than – and that’s not a nasty factor.
As a substitute of going to city with woodgrain and the kinds of belongings you’d discover in Lexuses of yesteryear, Lexus has gone down the utilitarian path – straight traces, soft-touch plastics and a utilitarian vibe is the order of occasions contained in the cabin.
However you’ll nonetheless discover numerous luxuries. The highest-spec Sports activities Luxurious model we examined included an electrically charged roof that may seamlessly transfer between opaque and clear nearly immediately on the push of a button. Likewise a set of aspect steps fold out from the underside of the door to make entry and exit simpler.
Then in fact there’s issues like a fridge, heated and cooled seats and a litany of four-wheel drive controls that I’ll run you thru shortly.
The GX can even be included within the Lexus Encore program (though this system stage is but to be confirmed) with advantages that stretch past simply possession of the automobile.
Central to the cabin is a 14-inch infotainment system – it consists of wi-fi smartphone mirroring, together with AM/FM and DAB+ digital radio. Relying on specification, patrons can go for a 21-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, with commonplace audio coming within the type of a 10-speaker Panasonic sound system decrease down within the vary.
There’s even the choice of a noise cancellation system that makes use of three microphones mounted inside the cabin and performs audio that cancels out undesirable frequencies through a separate amplifier. Issues like street noise and engine noise could be subdued with the system lively.
Forward of the driving force is a customisable show that doubles as a four-wheel drive data display screen whilst you’re off-roading. Lastly there’s a big 10-inch head-up show for extra journey, pace and navigation data.
Let’s discuss area. The entrance row is spacious – stacks of room to stretch out with very comfortable seats. There are a variety of color choices accessible to select from too, making the inside fairly customisable.
Second row area is sweet too for adults. Knee and toe room is sweet, likewise head room. You’ll discover creature comforts like USB-C connectivity and heated seats for the outboard positions, together with privateness blinds and privateness glass.
Relying on the specification, the automobile could be configured from the manufacturing facility as a five-, six- or seven-seat automobile. The six-seater provides a detachable centre cup holder part to permit simple move by to the third row.
The third row alternatively isn’t pretty much as good. And this appears to be a typical trait of automobiles on the TNGA-F platform – we’ve noticed the identical difficulty with the LX and 300 Sequence – the place it’s fairly cramped again there.
Getting in is troublesome for adults, as is discovering a cushty place. The second row solely folds and tumbles and doesn’t slide on rails to permit further area, which in the end compromises the usability of the third row for adults.
Children alternatively gained’t have any points, and to be frank, youngsters are those almost definitely to be utilizing the third row. Again there you’ll discover USB connectivity together with cup holders and air vents.
The boot has a intelligent twin-opening association. The glass door part opens, together with the total cargo door. Underneath the cargo ground you’ll discover further storage with a full-sized spare situated below the rear of the automobile.
Within the boot you’ll additionally discover a 400W energy outlet for powering auxiliary gadgets.
All Lexus GX 550 variants are powered by the identical 3.4-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine, which produces a claimed 260kW of energy and 650Nm of torque – representing will increase of 110kW and 150Nm over the upcoming Prado’s 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with 48V mild-hybrid help.
Drive is distributed to all 4 wheels by a 10-speed automated transmission, which options low-range gearing and a locking centre Torsen differential. Overtrail variants additionally choose up a rear differential lock.
Whereas the Lexus GX 550 Luxurious and Overtrail boast a 3500kg braked towing capability, the Sports activities Luxurious has a decreased capability of 3130kg. It’s a bit complicated as a result of the identical automobiles function a 4000kg braked and 3500kg braked towing capability for the North American market.
It’s value noting that every one GX variants, no matter spec, include an built-in tow receiver and brake controller, which is situated simply beneath the steering wheel. It means you don’t must spend cash on a expensive brake controller in case you determine you wish to tow down the observe.
Whereas the engine is similar capability and options a lot of the similar elements because the bigger Lexus LX, it has been detuned to distinguish itself from its bigger sibling.
Gas consumption figures are but to be confirmed for any market, however we count on the GX to be pretty thirsty given it’s a non-hybridised twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine. Utilizing the LX as a information, we count on gasoline economic system to take a seat someplace between 11-12 litres of gasoline per 100km.
Earlier than we run by how the GX drives, it’s value mentioning what lives beneath the pores and skin.
The GX sits on a ladder-frame chassis. Up entrance it makes use of unbiased suspension with double wishbones, whereas the rear differs from rivals just like the Land Rover Defender by utilising a stay axle as an alternative of unbiased rear suspension.
This setup permits further wheel articulation over the previous-generation GX, in addition to the fitment of wheels as much as 22-inches in diameter and tyres as much as 33-inches in measurement.
Whereas the bottom specification makes use of passive damping, Overtrail and Sports activities Luxurious variants include adaptive damping. The Overtrail additionally makes use of e-KDSS (a brand new electronically managed model of the earlier technology automobile’s kinetic dynamic suspension system setup that provides an additional 83mm of wheel articulation).
Kick the engine over and there’s a pleasant thrum because it sits idle. There’s even a lightweight exhaust word at idle that alerts there’s one thing happening below the bonnet – it’s not loopy, but it surely’s a pleasing shock.
The 10-speed automated transmission is a intelligent gearbox too. It was designed to be absolutely locked up as usually as attainable all through its rev band – this absolutely locked-up state makes the automotive really feel extra responsive and extra like a handbook automobile, with the engine immediately driving the driveline with no slip.
In Sport mode that is amplified even additional the place the automobile forces itself to stay absolutely locked at speeds above 3km/h. So in Sport mode, there’s a direct connection between the throttle and chassis really feel – it’s fairly a rewarding expertise and makes the automobile really feel fairly sporty.
Low-speed driving is quiet and comfy. Even the non-adaptive entry-level variant provides a cushty experience on 20-inch alloy wheels – it soaks up bumps properly and isn’t too fussed by potholes and cobblestoned roads.
It’s value noting our check route across the roads exterior of Tucson in Arizona have been pretty clean and there weren’t a substantial amount of corners to push the GX anyplace close to its limits.
Street noise is subdued, even on the Overtrail specification – which rides on all-terrain tyres, that may be fairly noisy on the freeway.
Visibility is great, particularly when it’s paired with the digital rear view mirror. The driving place is commanding and the oblong wing mirrors supply respectable imaginative and prescient down the perimeters of the automobile, with a blind-spot monitor built-in.
We did discover the driving force distraction monitor fairly annoying. It could usually try to remind us to maintain our eyes on the street, even when our eyes have been glued to the street. It additionally sometimes got here up with messages asking us to take a seat up – although our seating place hadn’t moved.
Of the corners we did discover, the GX remained pretty flat, however once more the decrease pace limits and huge sweeping bends weren’t actually an correct illustration of the number of roads you’ll discover throughout Australia.
Variations of the GX with larger 22-inch wheels and low-profile tyres additionally rode properly. The adaptive damping system has numerous modes to choose from that every one differ the experience high quality in a roundabout way.
We discovered the Consolation setting fairly good, however we wish to see the way it fares on the proving floor once we get the GX in Australia. We’ve skilled dealing with points beforehand with LX and 300 Sequence variants fitted with each KDSS and adaptive damping, so it’ll be fascinating to see if the GX fares the identical method.
One factor you’ll love is how a lot punch is on supply from the V6 petrol engine. The gearbox is fast to answer inputs and the slab of torque on supply from the drivetrain is addictive.
It feels a lot extra thrilling to drive than a diesel and in case you’re comfortable to pay a bit further to cowl the gasoline price, it’s a ripper drivetrain for this platform.
Let’s chat about off-road driving, one thing that GX homeowners are anticipated to do in the event that they go down the trail of the Overtrail variant.
The numbers are spectacular – method angle is available in at 26 levels, departure at 23 levels (or 21 for the Overtrail because of the bigger spare tyre beneath the rear). Floor clearance is 220mm (or 225mm for the Overtrail) and wading depth is 700mm.
Commonplace digital gear consists of crawl management, centre differential lock (Torsen), rear differential lock on Overtrail and low-range gearing on all variants.
We had the prospect to pattern GX throughout numerous purpose-built obstacles on the launch. These included an offset mogul to push articulation to its limits, steep gravel climbs to check crawl management, together with numerous obstacles designed to check the digicam programs.
Color-coded traces are displayed on the display screen to indicate wheel journey, together with digicam reminiscence to supply synthetic imaginative and prescient of what’s beneath the automobile. All of those views are fairly helpful for numerous terrain.
Throttle management off-road is nice, and it comes right down to the calibration provided in every drive mode. Relying on the mode you’re in, the automobile will tailor the steadiness management and throttle sensitivity to swimsuit the circumstances.
Over the offset mogul the quantity of wheel raise that was achieved due to the KDSS system was wonderful. It really works by utilizing hydraulics which can be pushed by load on every nook of the automobile. When there’s a wheel that falls right into a rut and reaches full extension, the system is ready to disconnect the anti-roll bar to permit the wheel to raise even additional.
With out KDSS and with an anti-roll bar, the GX would have much less articulation because of the limitations of the anti-roll system. The system not solely works in principle, but it surely works in follow and delivers wonderful outcomes. When coupled with the rear differential lock, lifting a wheel off the bottom on the rear doesn’t have an effect on the automobile’s traction.
For sure, all of it felt extremely succesful. Given these media occasions are engineered to focus on the automobile’s greatest components, we’ll reserve closing judgement for once we get the Lexus GX again dwelling in Australian check circumstances.
GX 550 Luxurious highlights:
- 20-inch alloy wheels (with a full-size spare)
- Self-levelling LED headlights
- Rear privateness glass
- Rear spoiler
- Flush roof rails
- 8-way power-adjustable entrance seats
- Heated, ventilated entrance seats
- Heated outboard rear seats
- 60:40-split folding rear seats
- Push-button folding third-row seats
- Tri-zone local weather management
- Head-up show
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- 14-inch infotainment display screen
- Wi-fi, wired Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- 10-speaker sound system
- Wi-fi telephone charger
- 5 x USB-C ports
- 12-volt entrance and 220-volt rear shops
- Energy tailgate with fold-out glass hatch
- 9 airbags
- Tyre strain monitoring system
- 360-degree digicam
GX 550 Overtrail provides:
- Black 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tyres
- Wheel arch mouldings
- Distinctive bumpers
- Black trim highlights
- Bridge-type roof rails
- Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS)
- Locking rear differential
- Digital Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (eKDSS)
- Multi-Terrain Choose off-road traction management system
- Multi-Terrain Monitor
- Downhill help management
- ‘Multi-stage’ Crawl Management
- Olive inexperienced Ultrasuede entrance seat accents and stitching
- Stiffer bases, softer bolstering
- ‘Distinctive door ornamentation’
- Sensible key
- Refrigerated cool field
- Removes third row seats
GX 550 Sports activities Luxurious provides (over Luxurious):
- 22-inch alloy wheels
- Adaptive high-beam
- Energy-extending aspect steps
- Panoramic glass roof
- Adaptive variable suspension
- 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
- Therapeutic massage operate for entrance seats
- Semi-aniline leather-accented trimmed seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Digital rear-view mirror
- 21-speaker Mark Levinson sound system
- Arms-free energy tailgate
- Refrigerated coolbox
Neither the brand new Lexus GX or Toyota LandCruiser Prado (250 Sequence) have been crash examined by ANCAP or Euro NCAP.
The associated Toyota LandCruiser 300 Sequence does, nevertheless, put on a 2022-stamped five-star ANCAP security score. Given the GX and Prado share the identical TNGA-F platform, and needs to be decked out with the newest and best security and help options Toyota has to supply, we count on them to realize comparable outcomes.
Lexus covers its vary with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.
The Lexus Encore possession plan included at buy additionally incorporates three years of roadside help. It’s unclear whether or not the GX will get the usual Encore advantages or the posher Encore Premium plan just like the LX.
Lexus Australia hasn’t confirmed service pricing for the GX 550 but, although as a information the LX 600 with the identical twin-turbo V6 (although with the next tune) asks for $495 per go to for the primary three years or 60,000km.
It’s value noting the LX requires upkeep both six months or 10,000 kilometres – whichever comes first.
I went into this check considering I’d just like the GX primarily based on its fundamentals – a punchy turbocharged V6 petrol engine, stacks of ordinary gear, and off-road functionality notably in Overtrail trim.
I got here away liking it lots greater than I assumed I might. I favored the Luxurious and Sports activities Luxurious variations, however for me the Overtrail is properly and actually the choose.
It seems sensational in particular person and comes with all of the gear it is advisable take it off-road after you’ve pushed out of the dealership.
Within the US the GX is obtainable with a stack of ARB aftermarket equipment – and confidently we’ll see this vary of kit provided in Australia down the observe too.
For those who’re taken with one, I’d get in fast sensible. These are more likely to promote out forward of the launch and can little doubt have prolonged wait occasions – hit up our Purchase a Automotive service to be linked with a vendor.
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