Lexus has completely redesigned its mid-sized SUV, the GX, with a boxier look that captures its off-road prowess.
The new model, unveiled in Texas on Thursday, marks a new beginning for the carmaker's GX line that was first introduced in 2002.
In addition to the major facelift, Lexus designers are keen to highlight the SUV's off-road functionality. Its inspiration, according to the company, came from GX customers who enjoyed “refined outdoor experiences”.
“For more than two decades, the GX has bridged the gap between legendary off-road capability and luxurious everyday driving,” said Dejuan Ross, the group vice president and general manager of Lexus.
The Lexus GX 2024 will be assembled at the Toyota Motors Tahara Plant in Japan, and is expected to go on sale early next year in North America. No details about a UAE release date have been announced yet.
Rugged on the outside, lush on the inside
The new model looks significantly different from last year's version. The exterior is blockier, with sharper curves to emphasise its tough body-on-frame build. It is bigger in size as well, and only a few inches smaller than the LX (Lexus's top-of-the-line SUV) in most dimensions. It is 9.5cm wider than previous-generation GX for more stability, while its length is 7cm longer.
The front of the car still sports Lexus's spindle body concept, but with a more rugged look. The headlamps and the grille opening have been raised higher, and the front overhang has been decreased by about 2.5cm so drivers have a clearer view.
At the back is an L-shaped light bar along with the updated Lexus logo, which was introduced last year. The new GX will feature a rear lift door that can be opened with a kick sensor, and a pop-out window that opens separately.
The model will be offered in 11 exterior colour options, such as Eminent White Pearl and Nightfall Mica.
Inside the car is dominated by luxe leather accents. In terms of seating, the SUV can fit up to seven people, with a tight third row best suited for children. Storage space in the cabin includes 12 cup holders, six charging ports and a wireless charging pad.
The dash is also modernised, featuring a 12.3-inch driver's display and a 14-inch central multimedia screen.
This new model is a big deal for Lexus because it sports the carmaker's new Overtrail trim, which also contributes to the aesthetic changes.
The new GX will be available in six grades: Premium, Premium+, Luxury, Luxury+ and the all-new Overtrail and Overtrail+.
The Overtrail trim is built to enhance the car's off-roading capacity and features style and mechanical upgrades, from bigger all-terrain tyres to an electronic locking differential, which can provide the car with additional traction.
The Overtrail+ grade, for example, comes with an exclusive seat design for optimal off-road comfort, with massage features and a cushion extender for the driver.
Exclusive bi-tone colours are also available for Overtrail customers to “create a cohesive relationship with the outdoors via calming earth tones that blend in with nature", said a representative for Lexus.
All the new GX models come with standard four-wheel drive, but the engine is new. Lexus has replaced the old 4.6-litre and six-speed automatic transmission with a 3.4-litre twin-turbo V6 and a 10-speed transmission – which car experts said should make for an overall better performance, on-road and off-road.
The twin-turbo V6 engine produces 349 horsepower, compared to the previous generation's 301 horsepower with a V8. Prices have not been announced for all the trims, but for comparison, the Lexus GX 2023 currently sells from Dh260,000 in the UAE.