Most people consider Lexus as one of the premier luxury car manufacturers of the modern era. In the area of mid-size SUVs, though, they somehow did not do quite as well as others.
Case in point is Lexus’s GX that now has a new 2020 edition out. When reviewed by Kelley Blue Book earlier this year, it never cracked the Top 10. With an expert rating there of only 3.7, what did Lexus do wrong in their mid-size SUV line? Even Lexus’s other SUV (the RX) avoided No. 1 and instead became dominated by Audi and BMW.
Take a minute to see what Lexus could improve in their SUVs to place them back on top.
What are the best features of the Lexus GX?
Just how far down on the Kelley Blue Book “Best of” list did the Lexus GX fall? It came in at No. 18 on the list. Some might say this is abysmal for Lexus after years of always being voted at No. 1 for its sports cars.
Not that Kelley completely knocked Lexus for its latest mid-size SUV. Considering it costs more than others at $53,000, Kelley did note the luxurious aspects to it are still well-noted. Through the 2020 edition, drivers can enjoy some new, tweaked styling, plus added Lexus Safety System Plus as a driver aid.
Thanks to Lexus’s reliability and amazing resale value, Kelley does give some major pros. Yet, the cons were a little glaring. One barb Kelley threw out was: “Not a tarmac champ like, say, an Audi Q7.”
They also noted the overall design seemed a bit ancient since no changes have occurred much in a decade. Part of this involved one major tech faux pas.
How did Lexus overlook smartphone integration?
As noted in the Kelley Blue Book cons, Lexus neglected to put in Apple Car Play or Android Auto into their GX. For many, this will likely be a deal breaker since smartphone integration is one of the standard features in most cars and SUVs. With Lexus being so luxurious, it seems like a major fumble not applying this in 2020.
On their RX SUV, there was somewhat of a similar problem, as noted by Kelly. They said it had a lack of digital instrumentation, something unusual based on past Lexus vehicles.
Because of this, Audi is now out-dominating Lexus by far in this niche, something nobody could have predicted several years ago. Not that all aspects of the above cons are necessarily bad.
Kelley does make one interesting observation about the lack of smartphone integration based on how some buyers possibly use the SUV when traveling.
Will there be an eventual redesign of the Lexus GX?
These mid-sized SUVs were first introduced in 2009, so they have had some design evolution. Back then, places like Edmunds noted Lexus at the top of their class in providing the latest luxurious features.
Now Kelly above is beginning to ask whether Lexus needs to redesign their GX models. In their Q&A section from the public, they answer the GX could be redesigned eventually. Despite having only minor upgrades on the 2020 version, it seems logical Lexus would take the lack of smartphone integration seriously and bring it aboard for 2021.
As for buyers themselves, they still seem to enjoy buying the GX. One interesting argument for not having Apple Car Play or Android Auto is many people take this SUV out into remote places where there may be no Wi-Fi available.
Perhaps this is the mid-size SUV people want to go out and get lost in. In that regard, it essentially means going unplugged at the will of Lexus themselves.