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2018 Lexus GX Review

The 2018 Lexus GX 460 finishes near the bottom of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. It's a good off-roader with a terrific predicted reliability rating, but it's just not as practical, comfortable, or capable for daily driving as many of its classmates.

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding off-road capability
  • Excellent predicted reliability rating
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Unexceptional cabin comfort and features
  • Small, inconvenient cargo area
  • Weak acceleration




Critics' Rating: 6.3
Performance: 6.2
Interior: 6.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.2
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Lexus GX Overview

Is the 2018 Lexus GX a Good Used SUV?

The 2018 Lexus GX is OK, but there are better options in the luxury midsize SUV class. The GX's off-road abilities are superior to most of its rivals, with trail-ready features that include crawl control and a locking center differential. However, that's the only area where this Lexus really stands out in any positive way.

The 2018 GX has several main selling points:

  • Outstanding predicted reliability rating
  • Better off-road ability than most of its classmates
  • Respectable towing capacity of more than 3 tons
  • Long list of available driver assistance features

Though, its shortcomings are notable:

  • Terrible gas mileage
  • Engine can feel lethargic
  • Rides is too stiff for most folks
  • Less cargo space than most competitors
  • Tailgate inconveniently swings open to the side instead of up
  • Cabin isn’t particularly luxurious or comfortable
Why You Can Trust Us

Our reviews include far more than just one person’s opinion. We’ve analyzed 41 Lexus GX reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Lexus GX?

Based on listings for 2018 Lexus GX on our site, the average list price is $49,600. Prices range from $45,000 to $58,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Lexus GX Cost to Own?

The 2018 GX’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be around $33,800, or $6,760 per year. That’s a little above average for a luxury midsize SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New GX?

The 2019 Lexus GX is nearly identical to the 2018 model. You can spend thousands less and get the same basic SUV by purchasing a 2018 GX instead.

Read about the new Lexus GX »

Since the second-generation GX arrived for 2010, there have been only small changes throughout the years. For 2014, Lexus refreshed the GX's exterior styling and gave it a new infotainment system. Siri Eyes Free connectivity became standard for 2015, and second-row captain's chairs became available for 2017.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 GX »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Lexus GX?

The 2018 Lexus GX gets a stellar predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about GX reliability »

2018 Lexus GX Recalls

At the time of writing, one safety recall has been issued for the 2018 Lexus GX:

  • Incorrect load information may be on label

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Lexus GX safety recalls »

Which Used Lexus GX Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Lexus GX comes in three trims: base, Premium, and Luxury. Every 2018 GX 460 comes with a 4.6-liter V8 engine, a six-speed automatic, and four-wheel drive. The base GX comes well-equipped, so many buyers will probably like it just fine. You can step up to the midlevel Premium trim if you want more comfort and convenience features. For the most driver assistance aids, you'll have to look for the top-of-the-line Luxury trim.

  • Lexus GX 460: The Lexus GX 460 has an 8-inch touch screen, a nine-speaker audio system, two USB ports, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, satellite radio, HD Radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, Lexus' NuLuxe synthetic leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, a 120-volt household-style power outlet in the cargo area, and a rearview camera.
  • Lexus GX 460 Premium: Standard features in the GX 460 Premium include perforated leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, navigation, smartphone integration via the Enform App Suite, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and front and rear parking sensors.
  • Lexus GX 460 Luxury: The range-topping GX 460 Luxury model comes standard with captain's chairs in the second row, so it only seats six people. A power-folding third row, an adaptive variable suspension system, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert are also standard.

See 2018 Lexus GX trims and specs »

What Does Lexus' Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Lexus offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 70,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Lexus extends its original new-car warranty to six years or unlimited mileage. From the day you purchase or lease your Lexus CPO vehicle, you receive complimentary maintenance covering the next four factory-recommended services for two years or 20,000 miles. Every CPO Lexus must pass a 161-point inspection. Additional benefits like loaner cars, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Lexus warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Lexus has the best CPO program in the industry.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the GX?

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have put the 2018 GX through any crash tests. However, the IIHS did give properly equipped GX models the lowest rating of Basic for front crash prevention.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • forward collision warning
  • automatic braking
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • lane departure warning
  • automatic high beams
  • adaptive cruise control
  • driver drowsiness monitoring
  • rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • wide-view front and side camera system

See GX safety scores »

2018 Lexus GX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Lexus GX or 2018 Lexus RX 350?

The 2018 Lexus RX 350 finishes much higher in our luxury midsize SUV rankings than the GX, and with good reason. The RX rides smoothly, and it features a well-appointed cabin with comfortable seats. It gets much better fuel economy ratings than the GX, and its V6 engine packs ample punch. The only real reason to choose the GX over the RX is if you place a high priority on off-road capability.

Which Is Better: 2018 Lexus GX or 2018 Acura MDX?

The 2018 Acura MDX gets a much lower predicted reliability rating than the GX, but it still finishes higher in our rankings. The Acura has a softer ride and provides more cargo space than its Lexus rival. The MDX's standard features list includes leather upholstery, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, none of which come standard in the GX (some aren't available at all). As with the RX 350, unless you need the GX's off-road chops, the MDX is the better choice.

Compare the GX, RX, and MDX »

2018 GX Performance

How Does the 2018 Lexus GX Drive?

The Lexus GX 460 delivers adequate acceleration with its V8. However, the engine can feel strained at times, and the transmission sometimes hesitates to downshift. The GX rides firmly, leaving some wishing for more smoothness.

Where the GX does shine is in off-road situations. It can traverse terrain that many class rivals would find too daunting. In that regard, the stiff suspension is a plus. The GX provides 8.1 inches of ground clearance, and it has off-road features like a locking center differential, crawl control, and a torque-adjustment feature that is incorporated in the four-wheel-drive system to further improve traction.

  • Base engine: 301-horsepower 4.6-liter V8
  • Drivetrain: four-wheel drive
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Lexus GX Get Good Gas Mileage?

The GX 460 will have you spending more time at the fuel pump than most other vehicles, regardless of class.

  • 15/18 mpg city/highway
2018 Lexus GX Towing Capacity

The GX can tow up to 6,500 pounds when properly equipped.

Read more about GX performance »

2018 GX Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 GX Seat?

The 2018 GX seats seven people in three rows. Available second-row captain's chairs drop the seating capacity to six. The front seats provide the most space and comfort. The second-row seats slide and recline, but they lack adequate support for long drives. Third-row passengers will feel cramped on drives of any length.

Standard seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • genuine leather upholstery
  • heated and ventilated front seats
  • heated second-row seats
  • power-folding third-row seats
How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Lexus GX?

The 2018 GX has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the middle-row outboard seats and an upper tether on the second-row middle seat. The system earns the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety because the lower anchors are set too deep in the seat.

2018 Lexus GX Features

The GX's infotainment system is fairly intuitive, which makes it easy to use. However, redundant physical controls litter the center stack, giving it a cluttered look. The system also feels outdated when compared to more modern infotainment setups found in rivals.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, two USB ports, a 120-volt household-style power outlet, Siri Eyes Free, a nine-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and HD Radio
  • Available infotainment features: navigation, smartphone integration via the Enform App Suite, a 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system, and a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control and a moonroof
  • Other available features: tri-zone automatic climate control

See 2018 Lexus GX specs »

Read more about GX interior »

2018 Lexus GX Dimensions

Lexus GX Cargo Space

The GX 460 has a maximum cargo capacity of just 64.7 cubic feet, which is less space than most luxury midsize SUVs provide. With all seats in use, there's very little room behind the third row. The flip-up rear window makes it easy to load smaller items without opening the tailgate. To open the back, swing the tailgate to the side (as opposed to vertically, as with most SUVs), which can create a major obstacle when loading or unloading cargo.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Lexus GX Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet
  • Curb weight: 5,130 to 5,198 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 6,600 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Lexus GX Built?

Lexus built the GX in Japan.


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