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2020 Lexus GX Performance


MSRP
$53,000
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Lexus GX Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.0

The 2020 Lexus GX's performance is a mixed bag. It's an exceptional off-roader, which is rare for the class. However, it suffers from a firm on-pavement ride and ho-hum acceleration.

  • "Nearly every other competitor is more comfortable to drive and features more powerful and fuel-efficient engines." -- Edmunds
  • "The refinement of the 4.6-liter V8 engine and 6-speed transmission live up to Lexus’ standards, as does effective body roll control around corners. With 301 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque the GX 460 can hit 60 mph in less than 8 seconds. Yet even without aggressive driving the EPA rates it at a meager 15 city mpg, 18 highway mpg and 16 combined mpg." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The GX can tow up to 6,500 pounds with the optional trailer hitch, which is more than car-based crossover SUVs can handle, but not that much by truck-like SUV standards." -- Autotrader (2018)

Acceleration and Power

A 301-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 engine comes standard in the GX. The V8 has decent power, but this Lexus struggles to accelerate at times, especially at higher speeds. The standard six-speed automatic transmission can be slow to downshift.

The news doesn't get any better for the 2020 GX when it comes to fuel economy. It delivers 15 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway, which is low for the class.

  • "The GX's transmission shifts very smoothly, which gives this SUV a refined demeanor. But the throttle pedal and transmission seem to play dumb when you want to accelerate smartly. The throttle requires more pedal force than it should to accelerate and even more to trigger a downshift." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Acceleration is adequate, although it's unusual to see a V8 these days with such a low power rating; you'll feel the lack of juice at higher speeds." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "If you're looking for a boulevard cruiser, you might want to look at a crossover SUV like the Mercedes-Benz GLS. But in areas where a luxury SUV is needed to work, the GX's 301-horsepower V8 and smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic have what it takes to tackle the most stubborn off-road obstacles and provide up to 6,500 pounds of trailer-towing tenacity." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Handling and Braking

This Lexus is an excellent off-road SUV with standard four-wheel drive and a rugged suspension system. An optional off-road package (available only in the top Luxury trim) adds the Multi-Terrain Monitor with cameras under the body of the SUV, and Multi-Terrain Select with driving modes for surfaces like mud, sand, and rocks. The package also includes crawl control, a transmission cooler, and a surround-view camera system.

It doesn't fare as well on the road, however. The GX suffers from some body roll around turns, and it has a rough ride over bumpy roads.

  • "While body-on-frame construction doesn't allow for a truly supple ride, it gives the GX 460 a stronger backbone for better off-road and towing capability." -- Edmunds
  • "While it wears the same badge and grille as every other Lexus it clearly isn’t designed to be a plush, on-road conveyance. The GX 460’s body-on-frame chassis, 4-wheel independent suspension and somewhat numb steering system are tuned for off-road terrain, and its on-road ride reflects this through a somewhat bumpy ride quality on anything but smooth pavement." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Don't expect precision handling in corners, though. The GX is happiest when pointed straight ahead." -- Autotrader (2018)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Lexus GX

MSRP: $53,000 - $64,265

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