With all the complaints BMW has received from customers over the gigantic twin kidney grilles that adorn the recently launched BMW X7, It’s easy to forget that Lexus’s spindle grille has also seen its fair share of growth over the years. This is glaringly obvious on the GX which has been wearing the spindle ever since it was refreshed back in 2014, with very minimal changes since. Striving to maintain that simple motif, Lexus has formally refreshed the GX once more for 2020, with this update expected to hold the fort until its eventual replacement arrives in the near future.
When one looks at the 2020 Lexus GX, the changes might not be obvious at first glance, with the grille not being any larger than before. However, the new grille pattern on hand makes it look much more imposing than in the past with the web like pattern carrying a swath of “L” motifs. Lexus claims that this addition helps the GX fit in better with the company’s current design language, which is also why the headlights have been tweaked to have a decidedly more modern appearance than before. Otherwise, its largely business as usual, with the GX featuring a dominating profile that transitions into a tall rear end with big taillights serving as figurative exclamation points.
An optional Sport Design package for Premium and Luxury variants brings slightly more aggressive bodywork and 19-inch wheels finished in gunmetal black. Other goodies include different side mirror caps, a bespoke lower front grille surround, scarlet hued lenses for the taillights and a black chrome exhaust tip. Along with this sport focused package, an all new Off-Road package will also be available, but only for the Luxury model. Buyers that choose to equip this particular suite of equipment to the GX will be rewarded with a state of the art camera system, fuel tank protector, transmission cooler, and even the brand’s Multi-Terrain Select technology. That last item allows drivers to optimize the driving experience based on the type of terrain that they are currently on. This can include rocky trails, as well as very muddy sections of terrain. Crawl Control is also on deck, and it allows for more control and poise when doing low speed off-roading by automatically maintaining a steady pace when the SUV’s transmission is in low range mode.
As expected, Lexus is not making any changes to the powertrain, and will still continue to sell the GX in GX460 guise, with that model being powered by the familiar albeit aging 4.6 liter naturally aspirated V8 that is good for 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. All of this grunt is channeled to all four wheels through a six speed sequential shift automatic gearbox with a Torsen limited slip differential and a two speed transfer case being added for good measure. This should help translate into a very potent off-road offering, though we suspect that fuel economy will be an afterthought like it has been in prior GX offerings with no V6 option available.
The 2020 model year also sees the Lexus GX receive the Lexus Safety System+ technology as standard equipment. Part of a broader introduction effort by both Toyota and Lexus on all of their new or updated models, the suite of equipment allows even the base model to feature items such as lane departure alert, pre-collision system with pedestrian protection, radar guided cruise control, and automatic high beams. Speaking of technology, Lexus designers managed to find room for two more USB ports, which helps raise the number of ports available to a grand total of four. This is still less than some in its segment, but any minor improvement that enhances ease of use for mobile devices will always be appreciated by us.
Lexus did not reveal when the 2020 Lexus GX will make its way to Lexus showrooms, nor how much it will cost. But with the 2019 Lexus GX460 starting at $52,505 look for the 2020 version to see a bit of a bump in price, especially when equipped with its full arsenal of optional equipment.