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Many consider the GX 460 the purest SUV in the Lexus lineup with its body-on-frame design and traditional V8 engine. Most Lexus models have a sister version in the Toyota lineup – and the Lexus GX is no different. The closest Toyota model to the Lexus GX is an old-school off-roader. 

The 4Runner is Toyota’s version of the Lexus GX 

A red Toyota 4Runner climbs up a rocky slope. The SUV is the Toyota's closest model to the Lexus GX.
2020 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota

If you’re looking for a cheaper, simpler version of the Lexus GX, the Toyota 4Runner is the answer. The 4Runner is similar in size and purpose to the GX but is much cheaper. However, there are still some stark differences between the two vehicles. 

How are the Lexus GX and Toyota 4Runner similar?

The Lexus GX and Toyota 4Runner are similar SUVs in size, capability, and build style. 

Firstly, the two SUVs both share the same core J150 platform that underpins other rugged Toyota 4x4s like the FJ Cruiser and Land Cruiser Prado.

Both the 4Runner and GX have roughly the same exterior dimensions. The Lexus is slightly bigger, with two more inches of length and about three more inches of height. But the 4Runner has a bit more width and an extra inch of ground clearance, according to MotorTrend.

SUV ModelLengthWidthHeight
Toyota 4Runner191.3 inches75.8 inches71.5 inches
Lexus GX192.1 inches74.2 inches74.2 inches

Regardless, they’re both midsize SUVs with traditional, body-on-frame architecture. It’s the same kind of engineering you’ll find in models like the Toyota Tundra, and it’s strongly preferred for towing and off-roading. 

Each model offers four-wheel drive and a third row of seats – though these features are only optional on the 4Runner. 

How are the two SUVs different?

The Lexus GX and Toyota 4Runner differ in cabin features, standard equipment, and performance metrics. 

Each SUV has a different powertrain. According to MotorTrend, the Lexus GX uses a 4.6-liter V8 making 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque. The 4Runner’s standard V6 trails behind with 270 horsepower and 279 pound-feet of torque. 

The Lexus GX has far more comfort and convenience features than the Toyota 4Runner. It’s a luxury SUV, and it comes with all the upscale trappings you’d expect of the segment. 

That does mean, however, that the GX is pretty expensive compared to the 4Runner. The Lexus starts over $15,000 higher than the Toyota at $56,542. 

Should you drive a Toyota 4Runner or a Lexus GX?

Choosing between the Toyota 4Runner and Lexus GX has everything to do with the use case and individual driver preference. 

The 4Runner is a simple, utilitarian SUV. It’s ideal for drivers who want straightforward capability and a more rugged aesthetic. Meanwhile, the Lexus GX is more refined. Features like available air suspension and wood interior trim give it a serious luxury pedigree, especially compared to the 4Runner’s relatively spartan interior. The GX is an excellent pick for a driver who wants an upscale vehicle that can still handle more rugged use. 

Either way, the Lexus GX and Toyota 4Runner are exceptionally capable SUVs.  

Editor’s Note: This article was updated May 26, 2023.


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