Finding a luxury SUV that doubles over as a solidly-built off-roader is not exactly an easy task. Very few strong off-roaders exist within the luxury SUV segment. Of the several that do, the 2019 Lexus GX stands out for all the right reasons. With its available adaptive air suspension equipped, the GX goes from a somewhat mediocre daily driver to a stellar off-roading SUV.
Yes, this vehicle does not have a great fuel efficiency, and the standard powertrain is sluggish at best. Taking it over a broken-up road surface on the standard suspension makes for a rough ride. But, when it is properly equipped, the Lexus GX morphs into something that is fun to take off of the beaten path. The fact that the controls located in its cockpit are easy to use makes driving the GT even more enjoyable.
Choosing the right 2019 Lexus GX should not take too terribly long since there are only three trim levels available: the base GX 460, the GX 460 Premium, and the GX 460 Luxury. All three trim levels are powered by the same 4.6-L V8 engine, which is capable of generating 301 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque. This engine gets paired up with a 6-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel drive drivetrain. 18-inch alloy wheels also come standard on each of the three GX trim levels, as do speed sensitive power steering, an independent front suspension, and a live rear suspension.
So, which of these three trim levels is right for you? Is there a GX that presents the best overall deal? Read on through to the end of this comparison review, and you should gain a clearer idea of which 2019 Lexus GX trim level best suits your unique needs.
Compare the 2019 Lexus GX 460 vs 460 Premium - What is the difference?
The base trim for the 2019 Lexus GX is simply known as the GX 460. This trim level comes with an array of standard luxury and convenience features that make this vehicle worthy of its price tag. But which features are really necessary, and which are simply just for pleasure?
The GX 460 is equipped with standard Bluetooth technology, which frees up the driver's hands from having to push a bunch of buttons to access various controls. There are also a good number of voice activated controls built into the vehicle. A rearview camera also comes with the GX 460 and both of the two higher trim levels. This helps you see what is behind you while you are driving and is a handy safety feature. A subscription option for real time traffic information also gets included on the base GX 460 trim. Also, Lexus gives each buyer a one-year trial subscription to its telematic services, after which you can continue to pay for a subscription if you so choose.
Other helpful safety features on the GX 460 include the Smart Key System, a multi-functional remote, and a universal garage door opener made by HomeLink. Keyless entry is also standard. Electronic stability control and traction control are included, as is par for the course on all new vehicles. There are disc brakes in the front and rear and a 4-wheel automatic braking system with a brake assist feature for extra safety precautions while driving. A tire pressure monitor, sensors for the front and rear of the Lexus GX 460, front airbag occupant sensors, and a full array of airbags are built into the vehicle as well. The Lexus GX 460 comes with a standard anti-theft system, engine immobilizer, and a panic button or alarm.
Some of the cabin's nicest creature comforts include a power sunroof, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, and power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats. Multiple controls are mounted on to the steering wheel for easy access. Heating for the front seats is optional. Dual zone automatic climate control comes equipped, and there are vents for the rear in addition to the controls up front. An interior air filter also helps to keep airborne allergens like pollen from making their way into the vehicle. You also get an interior day/night electrochromic rearview mirror.
On the multimedia end of things, the Lexus GX 460 comes with a 9-speaker sound system that pumps high-quality audio throughout the cabin. While an AM/FM radio comes standard, you can choose to continue your SiriusXM Satellite Radio subscription after the trial period of 90 days is up. There is an auxiliary input jack, an antenna built into the glass, a 12-volt power outlet, and a standard infotainment system. If you want to add the upgraded infotainment system with built-in navigational features, you can do so on the base trim.
On the exterior of the GX 460, there is tinted glass, a rear spoiler, and automatic on and off headlights. The headlights and taillights are given a full-on LED treatment. Other standard features include a rear window defogger, daytime running lights, and power-adjustable side mirrors with integrated turn signals come on all of the trim levels.
As far as fuel efficiency goes, it is the same across the line-up since the trim levels all share a powertrain and drivetrain configuration. The Lexus GX gets 15 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway. This is far from being a miserly vehicle, so you will have to budget out a fair amount of money for fuel.
Now, let us take a look at what Lexus adds onto the GX 460 Premium trim level. The Premium comes with everything that you get on the base GX 460 trim, of course, but there are several noteworthy additions. The heated front seats that are optional on the base trim come standard on the Premium and additionally include ventilation. The Premium also gains NuLuxe leather interior trim for a more chic and bolder look. The outboard seats in the second row gain heating, and the cabin gets upgraded to a tri-zone automatic climate control system with an automatic re-circulation mode, smog sensor, and an interior air filter.
The wheels also get upgraded to 18-inch split-spoke alloy wheels. Fog lights get added onto the exterior of the vehicle, as do rain-sensing windshield wipers and a de-icing function for the wipers.
Intuitive Parking Assist also gets slapped onto the list of standard features. This system is sonar-based and relies on sensors placed on the front and rear of the vehicle to help the driver mitigate perceived obstacles while trying to park. It is certainly a helpful feature and one that is worth having as standard if you struggle with parallel or perpendicular parking on your own.
Compare the 2019 GX 460 Premium vs 460 Luxury Trims. What is the difference?
Now, it is time to get into the nitty-gritty details of what separates the line-topping GX 460 Luxury trim levels from the other two. Of course, the price tag is the most obvious difference. You will be paying several thousand dollars more than the Premium's starting MSRP. So, what do you get for the extra money you will have to pay?
First of all, the Lexus GX 460 Luxury gets some seriously stunning 18-inch split six spoke alloy wheels. These wheels are set in a beautiful Liquid Graphite finish. The side mirrors gain power-folding, electrochromic (which is just a fancy way of saying that they are automatically dimming) functionality. Headlamp washers also get added to the mix for an extra touch of luxury.
An adaptive variable suspension (AVS) also comes on the Luxury trim level. This lends the vehicle exponentially more stability while cornering and increases the SUV's overall ride comfort. The AVS system has the job of controlling the damping force to all four of the vehicle's wheels at the same time, and it does so in accordance with the driver's set preferences and what it detects the road surface to be like. When a rougher road surface is detected, the AVS system will decrease the damper force so that vibrations can be better absorbed. Anti-squat and anti-dive are just two of the AVS system's seven methods for controlling damping force.
An auto-leveling rear air suspension system gets added as well. This means that the Luxury trim can have its air springs automatically inflated or deflated, as the system works to detect whenever the vehicle is not level. This will readjust the vehicle to your desired ride height.
Quite a few upgrades also get made to the interior, which certainly does embody the "Luxury" name. There is some lovely semi-aniline leather interior trim that gets swapped in, and the steering wheel (which is heated, by the way) gets decked out in a combination of wood and leather trim. The third row of seats gains power-folding and reclining capabilities, and a cargo area tonneau cover also comes standard.
Finally, the Luxury ups the ante in terms of driver aids with the standard inclusion of the blind spot monitoring system. Rear cross traffic alert comes as part of this system.
If you want to boost your vehicle's entertainment set-up, you can opt for the add-on dual screen DVD entertainment system for the back seat. For those with young children constantly in tow, this addition can feel like a life-saver. There is also a Driver Support Package available on the Lexus GX 460 Luxury trim level. It includes a lane departure alert, a driver attention monitor, a pre-collision system with high-speed dynamic radar cruise control, intelligent high beams, crawl control, and a Mark Levinson premium surround sound audio package.
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Which One Should You Choose?
All three of the trim levels on the 2019 Lexus GX have quite a few pros and a few cons to them. The biggest downfall on the two lower trims is that their standard suspension systems do not create a pleasant ride quality. And, of course, all three trims have a rather sub par fuel economy.
But, if we had to pick just one trim level, the line-topping Luxury trim is the stand-out for this model year. Upgrading to the adaptive variable suspension and auto-leveling rear air suspension makes the ride quality a lot smoother and more enjoyable. Sure, you are paying more for this trim, but if you are dead-set on getting the GX, this one has all the necessities and the bells and whistles too.