Car Review: Lexus GX is a thirsty beast that’s built to last

Car Review: Lexus GX is a thirsty beast that’s built to last

Saddling up in my big, boxy Lexus SUV, I very much felt like the King of Suburbia.

Dwarfing the other cars in my driveway was a Lexus GX 550 Overtrail+, ready for action in metallic forest green paint and supported by knobby tires that can best be described as “big as hell.” (Do I need them for driving around town? Of course not. But they look so cool!) Also, the paint appears near-black in shadows, and explodes with its green color — and even some yellow metal flake — in direct sunlight.

I hope you like blocky designs. This is so squared-off that it could be easily recreated with LEGO, and it gave off definite Mercedes G-Wagen vibes.

If you’re looking for something that will perform year in, year out, this is it. This all-new model is not some cutesy, gussied-up, mid-size car. This is an honest-to-goodness truck, with the body and mechanicals anchored to a full frame for strength and durability.

Of course, it could be trucklike on the roads and was prone to bounciness when driving about.

Then there’s the thorny issue of fuel economy. My dash readout claimed I was averaging all of 13 miles per gallon, while the label inside the gas cap demanded premium fuel. I can only hope the gas mileage was some kind of error as a result of the previous driver leaving the truck running and sitting still for, like, a day.

At least the fuel was put to good use, as the twin-turbo V6 engine produced plenty of power, especially on the low end. This Overtrail+ also featured a heavy-duty four-wheel drive setup meant to evenly split the power between the front and back wheels, “to help provide exceptional control in low grip situations,” according to Lexus.

The inside was luxurious, as expected, after I scaled the running boards to climb in. The black and tan seats (with a touch of green in this case) were sharp looking. I was impressed by the map lights that simply turned on by touching the lamp lenses, with no buttons or clicking. The center console featured a “cool box” to keep items chilled. Heated, and more importantly ventilated, seats are always enjoyable.

This Overtrail+ came as a two-row, which is probably for the best, as a third row would have likely been very cramped. Lexus says GX Premium and Luxury models feature three rows, though.

The GX starts at $64,250, after shipping. That number jumps to $77,250 for the off-road ready Overtrail+. Buyers should plan to keep these for a while, as Lexus tops the J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. Just also factor in a small fortune for gas when calculating your monthly payment.

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John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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