2024 Lexus GX550 Full-Size Rugged SUV Drive Review

Jackson Wheeler
9 Min Read


  • The 2024 Lexus GX550 features a 3.4-liter turbocharged V6 that makes 349 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque and replaces the second-generation’s 4.6-liter V8.
  • This full-size SUV starts at $64,250 for the entry-level Premium model.
  • Lexus says the 2024 Lexus GX is scheduled to hit dealers early this year.

For the off-roading and over-landing set, the Lexus GX has become a cheat code. This V8-powered adventurer is a darling among trail seekers because of its rugged capability.

Looking at the demand for first and second-generation GXs, and their attention in the off-road community, Lexus finally showed off the much-needed third-generation GX to the public last year. While this new GX eschews the beloved V8, this turbocharged, luxury people mover doubles down on its off-road chops but adds a much-needed tech upgrade.

If you’ve been following the Toyota TNGA-F platform change, the move away from the V8 should have been obvious. Basically, all of the 2024 Lexus GX’s platform mates have downsized their powerplants and added some forced induction to compensate.

This GX uses essentially the same engine you’ll find in a Toyota Tundra or Sequoia, as well as its larger Lexus LX600 counterpart.

In GX trim, this 3.4-liter turbocharged V6 sends 349 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque through a 10-speed automatic transmission. While power is down compared to the LX, that’s not exactly a big deal. Power is up over the outgoing V8, with a huge leap in the torque figure. Despite the pair of turbochargers force-feeding this V6 air, power delivery is smooth and linear.

In the normal drive mode, the throttle tip-in is near the tip and is easily rolled on for more oomph. Of course, you can make that more, or less, aggressive by cycling through the drive modes.

Even though the turbocharged V6 isn’t exactly the star of the GX, it does help give it some impressive numbers. The folks at Lexus say this GX can tug 9063 pounds in Premium trim. That number does shrink when you shuffle through the trim hierarchy, but that’s more than enough muscle to tug some jet skis, a boat, or a side-by-side.

Supporting this program is a ladder frame with a double-wishbone front suspension responsible for managing the front wheel movement and a multi-link at the rear. The base-model Premium trims sport 20-inch wheels, with the Luxury and Luxury Plus models moving to a 22-inch wheel wrapped in a set of 265/55 tires.

While we didn’t spend any time with the smaller wheel combination, we did drive a 22-inch wheel-equipped Luxury Plus model. Road noise from the road-centric rubber was low, and the tire managed smooth southern roads without trouble. With a 55-series aspect ratio, that should give your spendy 22-inch wheels a fighting chance in the post-snow north.

It appears Lexus wants to compete with the high-end, high-priced offerings from Land Rover.

Moving to the off-road-focused Overtrail model shakes up the suspension and rolling stock. The Overtrail models shrink the wheels to 18-inch units and wrap them in 33-inch Toyo tires.

These tires can probably handle some rough terrain, but, almost more importantly, handle the street well. Road noise is low with the more aggressive tires but slightly louder than the rollers on the Luxury Plus trim.

While off-roading, the ’25 GX has some handy features intended to handle the rigors of bad terrain. If you’ve followed the wave of adventure vehicles, you’re probably no stranger to features like hill descent and crawl control—both are present and work well. These systems are designed to help you focus on managing problems ahead of you, and have the car take over the power delivery.

Lexus also adds what it calls a Multi-Terrain Monitor—it’s essentially a camera array that helps you better navigate the hard-to-see terrain. The camera array, offered by other automakers as well, gives you a clean line of sight on the new infotainment screen, and the system is easy to trigger.

However, you’ll trigger the system often if you happen to go over 8 mph, as the camera system shuts off and the screen reverts to the normal infotainment system screen. The system isn’t designed to be a second windshield, but it can be frustrating to quickly find the button to turn the system on if you’re more focused on the road ahead.

That said, if you’re spending more than a few hours in one of these cockpits, you should be a pro at finding the camera button near your right knee. That brings us to what might be the true highlight of the GX.

Sure, the styling is sharp and it’s an attractive departure from the recent Lexus styling trend: The boxy shape and subdued grille are refreshing. However, the exterior pales in comparison to the refreshingly modern GX interior. Even though the second-generation GX is lovable, there was no hiding that its interior was of a different era.

This new GX features a standard 14.0-inch touchscreen media system that flanks a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. You can add a head-up display, too, if you want even more screens. Like the rest of the modern Lexus lineup, the screen is easy to navigate and well laid out. The system is snappy, and the Apple CarPlay performance is inoffensive.

Screens aren’t the only major change for the GX. The GX now offers massaging front seats. This is a minor feature in the land of uber luxury, but in a vehicle that’s ostensibly designed for off-roading, it appears Lexus wants to compete with the high-end, high-priced offerings from the folks at Land Rover.

The seat massaging controls might be the only frustrating part of the GX’s infotainment interface, as they’re kind of buried in a sub-menu. But when you remember to trigger your optional seat massagers, you’ll feel like you’re living in the lap of the luxury outdoors.

Overall, the Lexus GX sticks with its formula for the third generation and should give new GX owners what they’ve been craving. However, the hardcore GX off-roaders might have to wait until these hit the used market and depreciation goes into effect before sending them through compromising trails.

With the base price of $64,250, the ‘25 GX comes with a new heavier price tag. Even taking the nearly $10,000 premium over the outgoing model, the team at Lexus is targeting 33,000 sales, which would be one of the best years in the model’s history. As wild as it seems, that target might be within reach.

Do you think the third-generation Lexus GX will be popular among off-roaders? Or is it too high-tech? Tell us your thoughts below.

Headshot of Wesley Wren

Wesley Wren has spent his entire life around cars, whether it’s dressing up as his father’s 1954 Ford for Halloween as a child, repairing cars in college or collecting frustrating pieces of history—and most things in between. Wesley is the current steward of a 1954 Ford Crestline Victoria, a 1975 Harley-Davidson FXE and a 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Galaxie. Oh yeah, and a 2005 Kia Sedona.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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