Someone has to say it: move over minivans. SUVs have become the most popular vehicle choice for families. And with many awesome features packed in new SUVs each year, it’s no wonder why auto manufacturers have been phasing out many other models in favor of more SUV styles. And when you add the luxury game into it, you’ve got a recipe for a winner.
The 2020 Lexus GX is a luxury SUV that can’t be stopped. Consumer Reports recently placed the Lexus GX on their list of 10 Best Luxury SUVs (along with three other Lexus SUVs). Let’s take a look at what makes it so great.
Features of the 2020 Lexus GX
The 2020 Lexus GX was rated highly by drivers and car experts alike. Consumer Reports has it listed at a 79 overall score and ranked at #5 out of 30 other luxury midsize SUVs. The 2020 GX comes with a 4.6-liter V8 engine that gets 301 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque. It’s available in all-wheel drive with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Like most Lexus vehicles, the 2020 Lexus GX shines in its comfort and convenience features. Road noise is minimal and there is ample cargo space behind the third row, with extra storage scattered throughout the cabin. Tech features include an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen control panel, SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and even available rear-seat entertainment systems.
One of the most important categories for drivers shopping for a new vehicle is safety features, which aren’t lacking. The 2020 Lexus GX comes standard with automated braking, pedestrian detection, a lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.
The Lexus GX has a body-on-frame design like a truck
One unique thing about the 2020 Lexus GX is surprisingly not about its comfort level — it’s about how it’s made. The Lexus GX has a body-on-frame design, unlike most SUVs and crossovers; it actually shares a frame with the Toyota 4Runner. With a body-on-frame design, a vehicle is built first with a standard horizontal frame, which the body is then attached. Originally vehicles were made with the body-on-frame design when first designed and manufactured; they’re still common in most trucks today.
Unibody construction, on the other hand, is much more common in SUVs and sedans. In unibody designs, the chassis is built with the frame and body as one piece. This cage-like housing usually weighs less, giving the vehicle better fuel efficiency, and commonly gets higher crash test ratings and less of a chance of rollover because of the vehicle’s lower center of gravity.
Pros and cons of body-on-frame construction
Since the Lexus GX is built like a truck, you can expect the toughness and longevity of a truck, but with all the stylings and convenience of an SUV. The body-on-frame construction gives the 2020 Lexus GX more ground clearance and can tow a heavier load than its unibody competitors. Additionally, a body-on-frame design usually makes repairs easier and less expensive, because you won’t have to replace the entire structure of the vehicle if you get into an accident.
Disadvantages of the body-on-frame design generally cover the Lexus GX’s problem areas. Fuel efficiency is decreased due to the heavier frame; the 2020 GX only gets 17 mpg combined city/highway. It was also rated only 2/5 in emergency handling, which could also be attributed to the body-on-frame design. The weight of the vehicle could make it difficult to control when you’re spinning out.
The 2020 Lexus GX deserves its place on Consumer Reports’ list of Best Luxury SUVs, and its body-on-frame design gives it a ton of unique features that other SUVs can’t offer.