Fun 2 Drive Ratio

One would think Toyota was satisfied with the five SUVs to its name and two from its luxury brand, Lexus. Evidently not, as Lexus introduced the GX 470 in 2003, bringing the Toyota SUV total to eight.

The GX fits right in between the high-end LX 470 and the entry level RX 300 (now the 330). It is aimed to compete with the likes of the BMW X5 and Land Rover’s Discovery, evident in the GX’s tall body.

Although based on the redesigned Toyota 4Runner, the GX looks a lot like a longer, slightly wider RAV 4. The GX is rather tall and narrow, quite an unpopular shape for modern SUVs. But, like all Lexus vehicles out there, the GX is very pretty.

There are strong cues that this is a luxury truck, from the gem-like head and tail light fixtures to its solid, sure-footed stance. It is a competitive alternative to the luxury mid-sized SUVs on the market, and in the traditional Lexus manner, it is bland but attractive, unlike the Infiniti FX 45 that commands your attention instantly. This can be good or bad, depending on how much attention you desire.

The interior is scrumptious, reminiscent of a jewel box with intricate detail. Not surprising, since Lexus is known for making beautiful interiors. The cabin is light and airy, even in the darker charcoal leather trim, due in part to the beautiful, birds-eye maple. One odd thing about the interior is the gear lever. It resembles a stick shift, yet all GXs are automatic. The sticks are unappealing but otherwise, the interior is gorgeous.

There is room for seven passengers,with a collapsible third row seat for more cargo space. There is a DVD entertainment system with a fold-down screen, a nice-albeit trite-touch. Features such as the Mark Levinson audio system add to the elegance of the GX.

The engine is the same 235hp V8 from the larger LX 470, but the performance is better since the GX is lighter. At less than $54,000, including the most expensive package available ($8,300), the GX might seem pricey. However you’ll thank yourself for buying it every time you behold your new Lexus.

Although the GX seems unnecessary, it is a very well-made SUV, that you cannot help but like.

Contact Andrew Popoolaat