As a full-size SUV with three rows of seating, the 2021 Lexus GX has a lot of appeal for certain types of customers. It offers plenty of seats and ample cargo space, and as a luxury vehicle, it's packed with high-end features that will satisfy a certain subset of customers. The 2021 GX will please anyone who is looking for a sizable SUV with excellent capability and a sophisticated style.
Each Lexus GX is powered by the same engine, which is a naturally aspirated V8. With a displacement of 4.6 liters, it can generate over 300 horsepower. Torque is just shy of 330 pound-feet, and the SUV can tow up to 6,500 pounds. This is great news for anyone who may occasionally, or frequently, have to haul work equipment or fun toys like jet skis and boats along with them. Prospective buyers should know that the GX isn't the most efficient vehicle out there, as it earns approximately 15 miles per gallon in the city and 19 miles per gallon on the highway.
A full-time four-wheel-drive system has been installed in all of the GX models. This improves performance whether the vehicle is tackling rugged trails or driving on paved highways. Depending on the situation, more power can be sent to the rear wheels or the front ones, and the SUV can immediately make necessary adjustments once it senses any difference in traction. The GX sits over eight inches off of the ground, so it does have the clearance required to go off the beaten path.
Lexus makes three trims of the 2021 GX. With each trim, there are opportunities to get various packages added on to the standard components. This guide will go over what customers can expect to find in each GX trim so that they can make more informed purchasing decisions.
Compare the 2021 Lexus GX 460 vs 460 Premium Trim. What is the Difference?
While the Lexus GX 460 is quite refined, the GX 460 Premium has even more amenities. For example, the base model has a two-zone climate system whereas the Premium trim ha a thee-zone automatic temperature control system. Heated and ventilated front seats are standard in the Premium and only optional in the base model, and the Premium has heated second-row seats as well.
That being said, the GX 460 should make most customers happy. It has seats covered in a NuLuxe material, which is a synthetic leather that is easy to clean, soft, and durable. It also has power-adjustable front seats that can move in ten different ways. The seats in the third row can fold completely flat, opening up more room for storage. Second-row seats can also be folded down to create more space. Since those seatbacks in the middle row can be folded down individually, there's a lot of versatility in terms of how the cabin can be arranged.
For people who are deciding between the Lexus GX and another SUV, it would be helpful to include exact numbers regarding cargo space. Behind the third row, there isn't much room, with cargo volume being 11.6 cubic feet. Folding the third row down results in 46.7 cubic feet of storage space, and folding both the second and third rows down creates a total of 64.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity.
There are some options that customers can take advantage of if they prefer. First, these two trims have an available tonneau cover that can hide belongings in the back from view. The Premium can feature a heated steering wheel that's covered in leather and wood, and it can be equipped with power-reclining third-row seats. For people who are frequently rearranging the seats, this could prove to be valuable.
One other interesting point about the interior of the GX 460 Premium is that it can either have two captain's chairs or a second-row bench seat with room for three. For some, the captain's chairs are preferable because this layout creates a more open feeling inside the cabin and makes it easier for people to get in and out of the back row. Since the third row has only 29.3 inches of leg room, it might be best to save it for children and smaller adults. The second row is much more spacious, with 34.1 inches of leg room.
As one would expect from a luxury model, the Lexus GX has a lot of high-tech components. Two USB ports in the front and two more in the back will be appreciated by passengers who need to keep their devices charged. With Amazon Alexa compatibility, the Lexus's infotainment system can be used to look up all kinds of information and access streaming music services. HD Radio is included as part of the standard technology package, which comes with an eight-inch touchscreen.
What's even better is that the 2021 Lexus GX works with the Lexus app. Through the Lexus Enform system, people can use their smartphones to remotely start their engines, set up service appointments, and check on the status of their vehicles.
The GX 460 Premium has some more functionality that many people may be interested in. It comes standard with navigation. (This is an option on the base model.) It also comes standard with the Lexus Enform App Suite, through which drivers can access certain mobile apps through their touchscreens. The standard audio system on the Lexus GX uses nine speakers, and the Premium can be upgraded to have a Mark Levinson audio system with 17 speakers and surround sound.
Exterior differences between the 460 and 460 Premium are minimal, but they could be important to some buyers. The Lexus GX starts out with triple-beam LED headlamps that are modern and very functional, and it has a power moonroof. Illuminated running boards are a nice touch, and they can be useful at night. The heating element built into the outside mirrors can quickly clear things up on frosty mornings or cold evenings.
In the Premium trim of the GX, the Lexus is upgraded with LED fog lamps, and it has a de-icer built into its windshield wipers. The Premium comes standard with 18-inch wheels like the base model does, but it offers the opportunity to upgrade to more stylish 18-inch wheels or 19-inch wheels.
Also available on the Premium are a number of exterior enhancements that come as part of a package. These include a chrome finish around the lower grille, mirrors and a front fascia with sportier designs, scarlet taillamps, and a gunmetal finish on the exhaust tip.
From a safety perspective, the Lexus GX does very well. It has pre-collision alert, emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure alert. It also has high beams that can automatically turn on when there's no one on the road ahead. Through its adaptive cruise control system, it can adjust its own speed if the vehicle in front is changing speeds. If people are ever involved in accidents, the vehicle can call for roadside assistance.
Intuitive Parking Assist is one of the Premium's standard safety features, but it's only optional on the base model. With this program, the Lexus can warn drivers if they're getting too close to other objects when they're parking. It can be very useful since the the GX is a rather large vehicle and drivers might have difficulty fitting into smaller parking spots.
Compare the 2021 Lexus GX 460 Premium vs 460 Luxury Trim Level. What is the Difference?
The Luxury model is definitely more refined than the rest of the GX trims, but it's also more rugged. It's the only trim that comes with available Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select. These systems are often found in trucks, and they allow the GX to better handle uneven terrain and difficult conditions that may involve rocky, muddy, or sandy trails. Further, the GX 460 Luxury has an adaptive variable suspension that can make adjustments in order to smooth out the ride. A complementary system is the Luxury's auto-leveling rear air suspension.
In terms of technology and safety, the Luxury has the same features seen in the Premium. However, it has an option to include something additional. The available Panoramic View Monitor can give a driver a greater perspective of how he/she is doing in relation to the road and other objects. It comes with a under-vehicle camera that can show any obstacles that the Lexus might have trouble clearing. It also provides data regarding any wheelspin and tilt gauge so that the driver can adapt his/her approach to a particularly challenging drive.
Several exterior components are exclusively found on the Lexus GX 460 Luxury trim. It has 19-inch alloy wheels with a gray and machined finish, and it has washers integrated into the headlamps to prevent them from getting too dirty or muddy. The Luxury's heated side mirrors have a power-folding function so the SUV can squeeze into small spaces more easily and have a lower chance of getting swiped by other vehicles.
In the cabin of the Luxury trim, there are semi-aniline leather seats. This type of leather looks upscale and is still pretty durable. The available heated steering wheel that the Premium can come with is a standard part of the Luxury trim. The Luxury automatically comes with power-folding third row seats and a tonneau cover for the cargo area. It also has small lights built into its door scuff plates. Though these don't really have an important function, they do add to the overall aesthetic of the vehicle.
Like the Premium, the Luxury comes with the option to put in captain's chairs in the middle row. Since there are only two seats in the back, having captain's chairs would result in having accommodations for six total people. This may be enough for some customers, and having captain's chairs can enhance the experience of sitting in the middle row.
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Which Trim to Choose?
Most Lexus vehicles aren't known for being extremely affordable, though the GX's price is not even close to what the most expensive SUVs in the market may cost. The base model is priced at $53,100, and this is a reasonable amount given all the benefits that it offers. The Premium costs almost $56,000, and this price jump is justified because of the additional features it has. The biggest price increase is associated with moving from the Premium to the Luxury, which costs over $64,000. This means that the majority of customers likely won't go for the Luxury, even though it has the higher quality suspension system and leather seats.
This leaves the Premium and the base model. When taking everything into consideration, the base model edges ahead of the Premium trim. After all, it has synthetic leather seats, a moonroof, a solid infotainment package, and many advanced safety mechanisms. If having navigation and front seats with heating and ventilation matters to individual customers, they can pay a minimal additional cost to put those in. The base model runs on the same engine as the other trims and has standard four-wheel drive, and it will handle itself very well in a variety of situations.
• Compare the 2020 Lexus GX Trim Levels