How the Lexus GX ‘Can Be Misleading,’ According to CarFax

Sometimes automakers design a vehicle that almost no one complains about, but that is a rare thing indeed. The Lexus GX certainly can’t boast this achievement. It is unique in the fact that it looks totally amazing, but fails to deliver in some key areas. Even though Consumer Reports ranked it No. 1 in reliability, not everyone is impressed. According to CarFax, that slick, modern body hides some really annoying features that can turn drivers off. So what’s the deal? Here’s what we found out.

What CarFax hates about the GX

Lexus GX 460 SUVs are seen on a sales lot on April 13, 2010 in Coconut Creek, Florida
The Lexus GX | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

CarFax is reliable in putting out the facts, especially if those facts aren’t so glamorous. So when the car report site speaks up, it’s best to at least take it into consideration, even if you disagree. When CarFax test-drove the Lexus GX 460 with the Luxury trim, they were prepared to be impressed. Instead, they found themselves underwhelmed.

While there were several good points that we’ll discuss later, the sad truth is that the infotainment system is outdated. We’re not talking a little behind times. The infotainment system would better suit a vehicle designed before 2010, not one built in 2020. Technology has changed drastically in the past ten years, and it makes one wonder where Lexus even found such old technology, much less why they chose to use it.

If you’re a fan of Apple CarPlay, you won’t be using it in the GX. Not unless you strip the infotainment system that comes preinstalled, and install a brand-new one, anyway.

Another feature that CarFax hated was the way the GX drives. According to the car report site, “When we hit the accelerator to dart into traffic, the front end tends to fly up; any quick braking, and the front end dips. Compared to competitors that use a unibody design (meaning they’re more carlike), the GX feels clunky.”

For a vehicle that costs $71,240, that’s totally unforgivable, especially when you can purchase a vehicle like the Kia Telluride that costs considerably less. 

The good side of the Lexus GX

With such a hefty price tag, there has to be something that can draw in consumers or Lexus just shelled out a lot of money to produce it for nothing. Car and Driver reports that the GX has a quiet cabin, can take on even the toughest of trails with ease, and has a lot of safety features that come standard.

In a surprise twist, Car and Driver actually disagrees with CarFax by stating that the GX is fairly smooth to drive. It is unclear whether Car and Driver test-drove a different trim level than the one CarFax drove. 

Is the Lexus GX totally irredeemable?

As ugly as it is, even the Pontiac Aztek has claimed a fan club for itself, and it appears the GX may have done the same. So how did Lexus manage this? The Japanese automaker already targets high-end consumers who are willing to shell out a lot of money for a vehicle. Now they decided to target the off-road crowd by releasing a GX model designed for camping.

While the Jeep Wrangler is what normally comes to mind when you think of for going off-road, there are plenty of other contenders that give it a run for its money. Whether the Lexus GX will be able to take on the Wrangler remains to be seen, but for someone who wants an SUV that looks just as good on the NY streets as it does ripping up trails in the Appalachian Mountains, the Lexus GX may be it. J.D. Power reports that the Lexus GX is very popular with younger women, so it definitely has some fans of its own.