Best & Worst Lexus GX Years

I have taken a closer look at every Lexus GX car model from 2003 until the latest model and categorized the best & worst years in this guide.

In this guide, I’ll break down all Lexus GX generations, pinpointing the best Lexus GX years to buy and the worst GX years to avoid since its debut.

Drawing on comprehensive evaluations and feedback from authoritative sources such as the NHTSA, Edmunds, and Cars.com, we provide a nuanced overview of the Lexus GX’s performance, safety, and owner satisfaction across different years.

We’ll highlight the best years for the Lexus GX 470 and 460, pointing out the yearly reliability, technology and safety, common owner-reported problems, recalls, and average resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

Related:Best & Worst Lexus ES YearsBest & Worst Lexus NX Years

Table of ContentsShow

Lexus GX Generations

The Lexus GX, first introduced in 2003, quickly established itself as a robust and luxurious mid-size SUV. With its first model, the GX offered a blend of off-road capability and on-road comfort, setting it apart in the luxury SUV market.

It came equipped with a powerful V8 engine, full-time four-wheel drive, and luxury features, embodying Lexus’s commitment to quality and performance.

All Lexus GX generations from 2003 to present.

GenerationYears
1st generation (J120)2003-2009
2nd generation (J150)2010-2023
3rd generation (J250)2024-Present

Each Lexus GX generation brought significant technological, performance, and luxury updates, which can significantly influence purchasing decisions.

Lexus GX Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

In determining the best, neutral, and worst years for the Lexus GX, we analyze a multitude of factors, such as:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • Cars.com owner ratings

This graph amalgamates the ratings from the above sources, providing a visual overview of the Lexus GX’s performance across different years.

Lexus GX Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Following is a table that categorizes all model years of the Lexus GX into the best, neutral, and worst years, offering a concise reference for buyers and enthusiasts.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation (J120)2006
2007
2008
2009
N/A2003
2004
2005
2nd generation (J150)2012
2013
2018
2019
2020
2021
2022
2023
2014
2015
2016
2017
2010
2011
3rd generation (J250)2024N/AN/A

“Neutral Years” refer to those years that did not significantly stand out in terms of excellence or issues, based on our collected data and criteria.

Factors such as NHTSA recalls can negatively impact our rankings. The more complaints and recalls a vehicle has, the more it may affect its overall reliability and satisfaction scores.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Lexus GX 1st Generation (2003-2009)

Lexus GX 1st generation 2003 model
The 2003 Lexus GX

The Lexus GX’s first generation debuted in 2003, setting a new benchmark for luxury SUVs with its combination of off-road prowess, comfort, and premium features.

The best years for the first-generation Lexus GX span between 2006 and 2009, while 2003-2005 are the years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

What are the most reliable years of GX 470? The later years of the first generation, specifically 2006 to 2009, are considered the best and most reliable model years for the Lexus GX 470.

During these years, Lexus refined the GX’s offerings, enhancing its luxury features and driving performance. The vehicle retained its powerful 4.7L V8 engine, which delivered 263 hp and provided a towing capacity of up to 6,500 pounds.

It was coupled with a 5-speed automatic transmission that offered smooth transitions and reliable performance. Fuel efficiency during these years remained consistent, with models averaging around 14 city/18 highway MPG.

Lexus also introduced more advanced safety features, including an upgraded Vehicle Stability Control system and side-curtain airbags, alongside luxury amenities like an updated navigation system, improved audio systems, and more comfortable seating with higher-quality materials.

These enhancements, combined with the reduced number of reported issues, make 2006-2009 the best Lexus GX 470 model years in the first generation for potential buyers.

The Worst Years: 2003, 2004, 2005

The initial years of the Lexus GX, 2003 to 2005, faced several issues that detracted from its overall appeal.

Owners reported various issues, including powertrain problems like clunking noises from the rear, unexpected vehicle lurching, and structural concerns like frame corrosion and paint peeling.

Despite being equipped with the same 4.7L V8 engine as later models, these early GXs were marred by these reliability issues, marking them as the Lexus GX 470 years to avoid.

See NHTSA 2003, 2004, 2005 Lexus GX recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Lexus GX 2nd Generation (2010-2023)

Lexus GX 2nd generation 2010 model
The 2010 Lexus GX

The second generation of the Lexus GX, launched in 2010, introduced a more refined interior, updated technology, and improved performance features, making it a strong contender in the luxury SUV market.

2012, 2013, and 2018-2023 are the best Lexus GX years, while 2010 and 2011 are the years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2012, 2013, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

What are the best years for the Lexus GX 460? The best years for the Lexus GX’s second generation include 2012, 2013, and the period from 2018 to 2023.

These models were powered by a 4.6L V8 engine producing 301 hp and a 6-speed automatic transmission. They balanced power with a degree of fuel efficiency for their class, averaging around 15 city/20 highway MPG.

Significant enhancements in safety technology were introduced, including the Lexus Safety System+ package in later years, offering features like lane departure alert, dynamic radar cruise control, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.

The interior saw luxury upgrades with higher-quality materials, advanced infotainment systems featuring large touchscreen displays, and improved connectivity options.

Trim levels varied from the well-equipped base model to the luxurious Premium and Ultra Premium packages, which offered features like adaptive suspension and upgraded leather upholstery.

The Neutral Years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

The years 2014 to 2017 are considered neutral for the Lexus GX. These models maintained the robust 4.6L V8 engine.

They featured incremental updates to comfort and technology, including improvements to the infotainment system and the introduction of new safety features like blind-spot monitoring.

The vehicles from this period offer a solid luxury SUV experience with reliable performance and Lexus’s signature comfort and safety, making them a stable but not particularly standout choice within the second generation.

The Worst Years: 2010, 2011

The initial years of the second-generation Lexus GX, 2010 and 2011, faced challenges with reports of reduced braking performance and oil leaks, as well as recalls concerning airbags and electronic stability control.

These early models, while still offering the new generation’s enhanced size and luxury features, such as the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System for improved off-road capability, were let down by these reliability issues.

Despite having the same V8 powertrain and luxury amenities as later models, these issues mark 2010 and 2011 as the Lexus GX 460 years to avoid for those seeking reliability.

See NHTSA 2010, 2011 Lexus GX recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Lexus GX 3rd Generation (2024-Present)

Lexus GX 3rd generation 2024 model
The 2024 Lexus GX

The Lexus GX entered its third generation in 2024, showcasing a significant design, capability, and technology evolution.

This generation, debuting with the GX 550, introduced a more robust and boxier aesthetic, aligning with modern trends while enhancing its off-road persona. Built on the new GA-F platform shared with the latest Land Cruiser Prado, the GX 550 promises enhanced durability and performance.

The Best Years: 2024

As the inaugural year for the third generation, 2024 stands out for its comprehensive advancements. The GX 550 has grown in size, offering more interior space and comfort thanks to increases in width, wheelbase, and length.

The 2024 Lexus GX 550 is powered by a 3.4L twin-turbocharged V6 engine, delivering a formidable 349 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque and a 10-speed “Direct Shift” automatic transmission. Lexus announced a hybrid powertrain will come later.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy is around 15 city/21 highway MPG. Its towing capacity peaks at an impressive 8,000 lbs, catering to a wide range of utility needs.

The 2024 Lexus GX 550 is available in six grades, including Premium, Premium+, Luxury, Luxury+, and the new Overtrail and Overtrail+ off-road-oriented models.

Safety and technology also receive significant upgrades, with the GX 550 featuring Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 and a 14-inch multimedia touchscreen as standard across all six grades.

The Overtrail grades, particularly, are equipped with 33-inch All-Terrain tires and 18-inch wheels, emphasizing the GX’s enhanced off-road capabilities.

The third generation sets a new benchmark in the luxury SUV segment, promising an unparalleled driving experience that combines Lexus’s signature comfort with the latest advancements in automotive engineering.

Lexus GX Resale Values

Explore this graph to see the Lexus GX’s average resale values across its various model years.

Lexus GX Average List Price

Conclusion

Which Lexus GX model year is the most reliable?

For those seeking the pinnacle of luxury SUV performance and innovation, the latest Lexus GX models, 2006-2009, 2012, 2013, and 2018-2024 models emerge as the best and most reliable model years to buy.

Conversely, earlier years within each generation have their merits but may come with certain drawbacks that potential buyers should consider. 2003-2005, 2010, and 2011 are the Lexus GX model years you may want to avoid.

Which features of the Lexus GX do you prioritize when considering a purchase?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.