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2020 Lexus GX Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Lexus GX?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Lexus GX? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Anyone looking for a luxury SUV will likely check out the Lexus' line-up, which includes the 2020 Lexus GX. Its design is based off of the Toyota 4Runner's last redesign, so you can expect the two to have a lot of similarities. Unfortunately, those redesigns were years ago, and that leaves the GX looking a bit dated. However, the GX is a strong off-roader, which is not something you can easily find in this segment. It also has some easy-to-use controls and a ton of new driving aids that come standard.

What's New for 2020?

The 2020 Lexus GX receives a few important updates for the model year, the most exciting of which being the new Off-Road package. The GX also has redesigned headlights, a new spindle grille, and a bunch of standardized driver aids. It isn't the full redesign the GX needs, but it certainly kicks things up a notch.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Lexus GX – The Pros

1. It's a Capable Off-roader

The one thing that really helps the 2020 Lexus GX stand out is that it is a capable off-roader, especially with the new Off-Road package equipped. This package gives you Crawl Control (which is essentially a low-speed cruise control system), a multi-terrain select system, underbody skid plates, an oil cooler for the transmission, and a multi-view surround camera system. If you plan on doing any off-roading, then this package is a must-have. It adds all the right things that you will need to make this luxury SUV a truly tough off-roader.

2. A Powerful V8 Engine

Even though it gets paired up with a sub-par transmission, the standard 4.6-L V8 engine is quite strong. It generates 301 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque, which is certainly sufficient enough to get a vehicle of this size up-and-running. It feels quite lively around town, and were it to be paired with a better transmission, it would get right up to speed on the highway without any hesitance. Unfortunately, the standard 6-speed automatic transmission is a drag that masks the V8's great qualities.

3. Climate Control Works Well

Okay, to the 2020 Lexus GX might have a climate control system that looks somewhat outdated. If you can get past its aesthetics, however, you will find that this system works remarkably well. Each of the three rows of seats has its own air ducts, so air will flow evenly throughout the cabin. And, of course, this means that each passenger can adjust their own climate controls to their liking. You can get front seats that are both heated and ventilated, and there are heating options available for the outboard seats in the back rows.

4. A Sensible Layout of Controls

The controls inside of the GX might not be the most up-to-date, but they are laid out in a familiar and sensible fashion. Everything is within your reach, and you will never have to spend time searching for buttons or wondering which control operates a specific function. It is all very straightforward, so for those of you who prefer more old-school set-ups, the GX has one.

5. Visibility is Excellent

Everyone wants a vehicle that has all-around clear exterior visibility. The 2020 Lexus GX has side mirrors that are well-sized, and the rear-view gives you a good glimpse at what is behind you. The driver's seat is power-adjustable a number of different ways, so finding an ideal driving position is pretty easy. The standard rear-view and optional surround-view cameras come in handy, but you don't necessarily need to rely on them or the blind-spot monitoring system. They're just nice to have on hand when you're in a tight parking lot or doing some off-roading.

6. A Good Towing Capacity for its Class

If you need a decent towing capacity, know that the GX maxes out at 6,500 pounds. That is a nice enough number for a vehicle in this class. Just be aware that the wiring and towing hitch are both accessories installed by the dealer and do not come as factory-integrated parts. So, yes, you will have to pay extra for them. However, it will be worth the cost if you need to do a lot of towing.

7. The Second and Third Rows Fold Flat

While the cargo area itself is not terribly spacious for a luxury SUV, you can fold the seats down and get a lot of extra space. Both the third and second rows fold down flat, which means you can free up a ton of extra space as needed. It is relatively simple to get the seats to fold too, which means it is less of a hassle for you to deal with when you have to load bulky cargo.

8. Handling at Low Speeds is Superb

High speed driving isn't the GX's thing, but at low speeds, the handling feels stellar. Both on the road and off, the handling feels comfortable. There is a light effort when it comes to steering, and the vehicle has a tight turn radius, which means you can easily navigate difficult turns in this vehicle and feel like it is totally planted on the ground. You won't feel any tipping here, that's for sure.

9. A Quiet Ride

Luxury vehicles are known for being quiet rides, and the 2020 Lexus GX is pretty serene. You will not hear any intrusive wind, road, or engine noise. Even when you push the vehicle to full throttle, you won't get any audible interruptions. There is no need to turn up the music just to hear it (but, with the excellent sound system, that's not a problem anyway), and you won't have to try to talk over a growling engine to your passengers in the rear.

10. Compliant Ride Quality

Along with being a tranquil cabin, the GX is relatively bump-free thanks to its well-tuned suspension. When going over jagged road surfaces, bumps are well-mitigated and kept from getting into the cabin. Passengers will not loose their lunch because they are getting jostled about; instead, they can enjoy a nice, calm, relaxing ride even on a long road trip.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Lexus GX – The Cons

1. The Brakes Feel Weak

A serious sore spot on the 2020 Lexus GX is its brake system. The brakes are downright weak for being equipped on a luxury sedan. It takes the vehicle a whopping 139 feet to come to a panic stop from 60 mph. Most vehicles in this class - and others - best that number by quite a bit. You better plan your stops and turns accordingly, because you will need to put a lot of effort into making a quick stop and hope that nothing bad happens. Not only is this kind of dangerous, but it is downright disappointing given the price you will pay for this fancy SUV.

2. The Steering Feels Numb

Again, the GX has driving performance issues that involve the steering. It just feels numb and disconnected, as the driver gets virtually no feedback coming through the steering wheel. This certainly isn't good if you want to go off-roading, and it really isn't that enjoyable during everyday driving situations either. You can find engaging performances in many of the GX's competitors.

3. Infotainment is Vastly Outdated

This is not a total deal-breaker for most people, but the 2020 Lexus GX has some last-gen technology that feels clunky at best. The infotainment system is horrendously outdated, and the audio screen has a tendency to switch back to the summary screen when it should clearly not be defaulting to that. That is a huge glitch that should have been fixed prior to the vehicle's release. Not to mention that most of the controls - like the voice controls - can be wonky and sluggish, and the navigation's graphics look wildly outdated. Not to mention, you cannot use smartphone app integration via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay in this vehicle. Given that most auto makers are putting this as a standard feature on even their economy vehicles, its absence on the GX is befuddling.

4. Terrible Fuel Economy

If you want a respectable fuel economy for the luxury SUV class, look elsewhere. The GX doesn't have it at all. Instead, what you get is a combined 16 mpg, with 15 mpg in the city and 19 mpg on the highway. Those are numbers you'd be more likely to find on an early-2000's model, not on a brand-new luxury SUV. Sure, this class isn't known for high fuel efficiency, but many competitors are upping the ante.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2020 Lexus GX vs. 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Want to shave over $10,000 off the price you'll pay? Take a peek at the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It might not be labeled as a luxury vehicle, but it is strong and good-looking nonetheless. The technology is top-notch, and the interior is made from quality materials that look and feel superb. You can manage just about any trail in this off-roader, and the optional V8 engines give a huge boost in power. You also get a huge towing capacity. The downsides? Even with the air suspension, you get a too-firm ride quality. Also, the base V6 engine is kind of a snooze. Definitely opt for the V8, even though it costs you more. Otherwise, this is a pretty solid SUV that will distract you from thinking you need a classified 'luxury' vehicle.

2020 Lexus GX vs. 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser

The 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser is another capable off-roader that poses some stiff competition for the 2020 Lexus GX. The Land Cruiser is way more expensive though (by about $20,000 - yikes!) and has a third row that is cramped and also infringes on the space in the cargo area. Additionally, its fuel economy is dismal at best, and you cannot do much in the way of smartphone app integration on this vehicle either. In other words, it is a lot like the GX, with the same strengths and pitfalls.


The 2020 Lexus GX hits a few high notes with its off-roading capabilities and comfy cabin. But it is far too outdated for its price, and the driving performance is spotty. You can find cheaper vehicles in this class that provide better driving performances and superior current-gen technology. Hold off on the GX if you can; wait for news of its future redesign. If you can't hold off, test drive a few other vehicles that are similar to the GX and see how you feel.

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