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There are still a few genuinely old-school SUVs on the market, and one might surprise you. The popular 2023 Lexus GX is a relic of the past – a body-on-frame luxury SUV that hasn’t significantly changed in over a decade. Yet, despite being outdated compared to competitors, the GX continues to produce steady sales annually and maintain impressive resale value. What’s keeping the decade-old Lexus GX so popular?

A white Lexus GX, a popular luxury SUV, sits in front a misty forest.
2023 Lexus GX 460 | Lexus

According to Edmunds, the current Lexus GX model can trace its lineage all the way back to 2010. The popular Lexus SUV has had some aesthetic changes over those 13 years – but it’s structurally identical to the 2010 model. The Lexus GX uses the same ladder-frame architecture, solid rear axle, and old-school V8 as it did a decade ago. 

Meanwhile, the GX’s rivals have changed significantly. Competitors from Audi, BMW, and Acura have added heaps of technology to help their SUVs handle more like cars. Turbocharged and hybrid powertrains, active suspension systems, and other innovations have brought luxury SUVs forward lightyears since 2010. 

The popular Lexus GX has mostly neglected these advancements and stuck to its formula. Despite its outdated design, the GX still sells. Car Figures reports that Lexus sells about 20,000 new GX models annually, and even used examples command excellent resale value. What’s the deal?

It’s rated as one of the most reliable new SUVs of 2023

If there’s one thing that the Lexus GX 460 is known for, it’s reliability. 

That’s no surprise seeing as the SUV shares its platform and many components with the Toyota 4Runner and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado. Both the 4Runner and Land Cruiser Prado are purpose-built off-road SUVs that stake their reputations on being able to go hundreds of thousands of miles with only routine maintenance. The 2023 GX has the same foundation, along with some luxury features. 

The fact that the Lexus GX hasn’t changed in a decade plays in favor of reliability. It has remained relatively simple, while other luxury SUVs have become more complex. U.S. News and World Report even ranked the GX as one of the most reliable SUVs of 2023. 

The Lexus GX is a sleeper off-road SUV 

The Lexus GX quietly offers one of the best off-road SUV platforms on the market today, with standard four-wheel drive, a solid rear axle, body-on-frame underpinnings, and high ground clearance. 

Most luxury SUVs have spent the last decade chasing on-road refinement and sporty handling. The GX may seem like a dinosaur on the road by comparison, but its old-school architecture is ideal for off-road use. Adding just a few minor upgrades like off-road tires can turn the Lexus GX into one of the best overland rigs today. 

Should you drive a Lexus GX?

The Lexus GX is a great SUV to drive if you want traditionally rugged capability in a comfortable package. 

The days of old-school luxury SUVs like the Lexus GX are likely numbered. Electrification, efficiency standards, and other factors push automakers to modernize their SUVs into more efficient crossovers. Suppose you want to enjoy a luxury SUV with a traditional V8 and truck-based underpinnings. In that case, the Lexus GX may be one of the last options available.  


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