The Lexus GX and the Lexus LX are SUVs that offer the best of both worlds. They combine class-leading luxury with true off-road capability, a feat that few full-size SUVs have been able to pull off.
Based off the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Toyota Land Cruiser, both of these SUVs are truck-based (body-on-frame) SUVs—the same construction used in most serious off-roaders like the Jeep Wrangler or Mercedes G-Wagen.
Of course, they get the full Lexus treatment, meaning fancy styling, lavish interiors and more features.
A quick glance tells us the LX is more expensive and is available as either a 5-seater or 8-seater, whereas the GX is only sold as a 7-seater. But what else separates these two SUVs? Let’s take a closer look.
The Lexus GX and Lexus LX are both capable 4x4s that are based off the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Toyota Land Cruiser, respectively. The LX offers a higher level of luxury and slightly better performance, though most buyers will find it hard to justify the additional cost.
Lexus GX vs LX: Price
The GX and LX are positioned next to each other in the Lexus SUV range, but the price difference between their base models is steep—$33,480.
The base 2021 GX 460 starts at $53,100, while the range-topping GX 460 Luxury model starts at $64,365. The other option is the GX 460 Premium, which sits between the two and costs $56,190.
Being the most expensive SUV Lexus offers, the 2021 LX doesn’t come cheap. It starts at $86,580 for its LX 570 Two-Row model, while the LX 570 Three-Row starts at a whopping $91,580 and easily breaches the $100k mark when you throw in some optional extras.
Lexus GX vs LX: Size
Despite both belonging to the “full-size SUV” vehicle size class, the Lexus LX is significantly bigger than the GX.
The Lexus GX is 192.1 inches long, 74.2 inches wide, and 74.2 inches high, with a wheelbase of 109.8 inches.
The Lexus LX, on the other hand, is 200 inches long, 78 inches wide, and 75.2 inches high, with a wheelbase of 112.2 inches. These bigger exterior dimensions also make it 870 pounds heavier than the GX.
The LX is also larger on the inside. In the 1st row, it offers 0.3 inches more headroom, 1.2 inches more legroom, and 5.6 inches more shoulder room than the GX, while in the 2nd row, it offers 1.8 inches more shoulder room and 0.3 inches more legroom. The LX’s 3rd row is also substantially roomier than that of the GX. Of course, if you opt for the two-row LX, these figures will be slightly different.
For cargo, when the 2nd and 3rd-row seats are folded down, the LX can offer up to 81.3 cubic feet of cargo volume while the GX offers 64.7 cubic feet.
Lexus GX vs LX: Exterior and Interior Design
The Lexus GX and LX have exteriors that are very different to the spaceship-like bodies of the UX, NX and RX. They are typical boxy 4×4 designs, with give them superior approach and departure angles for off-roading.
Regardless of whether you choose the GX or LX, the angular spindle front-grilles and triple-beam LED headlamps make sure everyone knows you’re driving a Lexus. While the differences in head and tail light designs are significant, it’s the larger body of the LX and its bigger 20”/21” wheels that really helps you distinguish it from the GX.
Once you get inside, the differences become even more apparent. Both of them depart from the modern and daring interior that you find in the Lexus RX Crossover, and go for something a little more conventional and rugged.
The interior of the LX is simply much nicer than that of the GX (pretty understandable when you consider it costs over $30,000 more). It’s lined with plusher materials, less plastic and makes more use of premium quality wood trims. It also feels much more up-to-date thanks to its newer instrument panel and 12.3-inch infotainment screen which makes the GX’s older 8-inch system look ancient.
Lexus GX vs LX: Power and Fuel Economy
All the models of the Lexus GX are driven by a naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V8 gasoline engine rated at 301 horsepower and 329 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The power and torque is delivered to a full-time 4WD system.
According to Lexus, this powertrain takes the GX from 0-60mph in 7.8s and gives it a towing capacity of 6,500 pounds.
Meanwhile, the Lexus LX gets a more powerful, naturally aspirated 5.7-liter V8 engine that generates 383 horsepower and 403 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine pairs with an 8-speed automatic transmission and it also sends its output to a full-time 4WD system.
All this means the LX can tow up to 7,000 pounds and it requires just 7.3 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph.
Despite the LX having a bigger engine, its fuel economy is very comparable to that of the GX. Neither vehicle performs well in this department; the LX manages 13/18/15 mpg (city/highway/combined) and the GX manages a slightly better 15/18/16 mpg.
Lexus GX vs LX: Interior Features
Both SUVs also offer luxurious and well-equipped interiors, but the more expensive LX has the upper hand.
The 2021 base GX 460 model offers NuLuxe® leatherette seat trim, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, 10-way power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support and driver-seat memory settings. The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Siri® Eyes Free and Bluetooth connectivity is a little dated, but does the job.
The GX 460 Premium and GX 460 Luxury add features like pure leather interior upholstery, 2nd-row captain’s chairs, a wood and leather-trimmed dashboard and center console, heated and ventilated front seats, an upgraded three-zone automatic climate control system, and much more.
The 2021 Lexus LX is offered in LX 570 Two-Row or LX 570 Three-Row models, both of which are similarly equipped. Their standard 12.3-inch touchscreen and optional heads up display give the LX a big technological edge over the GX.
Other features include a standard semi-aniline perforated leather-trimmed interior with exotic wood trim, a 14-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar and driver memory settings, a four-zone automatic climate control system, a standard heated wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel and an available cool box in the center console.
Choosing between the GX and LX is like choosing between apples and oranges.
The average buyer looking for a true Lexus 7-seater 4×4 and not a regular Crossover SUV will want to start by looking into the GX. It’s rugged, decently specced and much more affordable.
But the LX is the true Lexus king of the off-road. It’s based off the Toyota Land Cruiser (as opposed to the Land Cruiser Prado which the GX is based off) and has a much more luxurious interior to boot.
If off-roading capabilities aren’t important to you, The Lexus RX and RX hybrid are also worthy of consideration. With modern exteriors and a unibody construction, they offer a comfier ride and better handling on tarmac.