Add another one to the endangered list. The number of traditional body-on-frame SUVs has been dwindling as manufacturers replace them with crossovers, which is the direction the Lexus GX 460 is heading. According to Ward's Auto, the GX will likely be supplanted by a unibody, three-row crossover at the end of its current lifecycle.

Toyota introduced the current Lexus GX in 2010, at the same time it also redesigned the 4Runner, on which the Lexus model is based. If the GX is shifted to a unibody platform, that could mean that Toyota would do similarly with the 4Runner, or the two vehicles could diverge and the GX could assume the underpinnings of another model.

This is mere speculation, but Toyota could shift the GX to the Highlander platform that is currently shared with the Lexus RX. Since the RX is not available in a three-row model, the move would allow the GX to retain its third row as a differentiator without upsetting the successful formula of the RX, Lexus' best-seller.

Regardless of what Toyota decides to do with the GX and 4Runner, Ward's says the company is also investigating the use of turbocharged four-cylinder engines in Lexus products. Since Toyota already has one of the best engines in the world in its direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 that sits under the hood of most Lexus models, we wouldn't expect the brand to introduce a turbo four any time soon, at least not in its volume products.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 44 Comments
      Ernie Mccracken
      • 2 Years Ago
      They better not ruin the 4Runner by making it unibody. That is one of the few vehicles Toyota makes that isn't a boring, mushy pile of crap.
      rw33
      • 2 Years Ago
      This will only die in the US. The 4Runner is here to stay as well. The 4Runner and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado (Lexus GX for the rest of the world) sell very well and are used for everything from private use to UN convoys. Smart move though by Lexus to make this car based to give them a legit entry in the midsize-3 row luxury crossover market.
      Just Stuff
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who cares, less then 1% of these ever see anything more than a pothole.
      citidriver
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is another example of how people really use SUVs. There are just very large station wagons and manufacturers are catering to that market force.
      S. A.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I guess I am a noob, but what's the benefit of having body-on frame vs unibody?
        Drakkon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S. A.
        A body on frame construction is what it sounds like. A heavy steel frame with two long members that go from front to back and several cross members that tie the two together like a ladder. The body is a sheetmetal shell that sits on top. It does not contribute in a major way to strength of the vehicle to resist collision, flex under heavy load or tow. Excellent choice for towing, very heavy loading or off-roading. Bad for noise-vibration-harshness, fuel economy, we could blame it for poorer ride quality, but I think that's reverse thinking. Usually vehicles with body-on frame have suspensions meant for heavy loading or off-road. It's the suspension that probably causes the ride, not the frame it's attached to. Unibody is when the sheetmetal that makes the floor, side pillars, roof, firewall, inner quarter panels, front aprons & front frame rails, trunk floor & frame rails all contribute to the 'structure.' There is no heavy steel frame, save for sometimes the engine cradle at the front and sometimes a suspension cradle in the back. Unibodys are usually stiffer overall, lighter weight and better fuel economy, usually better noise-vibration-harness and often a better ride & handling. Not so good for towing, heavy loads or off-roading.
        BG
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S. A.
        Most suburban buyers did not understand the difference. So they bought an SUV, drove it around town like the car they were formerly using, then complained to the manufacturer that it rode like a truck, had a tendency to tip over, and had poor gasoline mileage. Deep thinking all the way around...
        citidriver
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S. A.
        The benefit is profit. Manufacturers built to the "light truck" category as there are less stringent emissions and safety requirements; therefore all SUV's were derived from already available pick-up truck platforms. For years, that break doesn't make sense so manufacturers are now building to the marketplace and that means better mileage that a uinbody's lighter weight (for the same exterior size) will provide.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @S. A.
        [blocked]
      stuckonthebridge
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Land Cruiser Prado. i had many a fun time offroading one in the mountains of Akita prefecture.
      MAX
      • 2 Years Ago
      Grand Cherokee kills this thing and when the new 8 speed comes out, Chrysler will pull away further.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MAX
        [blocked]
      BG
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, even dinosaurs eventually go extinct - bulk, mass, and large diet end up being real liabilities.
      axordonez
      • 2 Years Ago
      Toyota/Lexus, in your next generation Landcruiser/GX, just PLEASE-PLEASE-PLEASE, no more of those stupid-silly, "Hockey stick" style C-pillars. It is a lame attempt to copy BMW's who, for the most part, have mastered it. If you guys did a much cleaner job, then keep them. But please learn to master them. Your cars look great until we see these silly C-pillars kink.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @axordonez
        [blocked]
      carfan
      • 2 Years Ago
      what an unnecessary POS!!! And then the world has the balls to criticise the American gas guzzler monster SUVs, when the asians and the germans spew one monster POS after the other. I am not a gas guzzler SUV (or whatever the hell you guys call it in America) fan, but I would take a Hummer ANYTIME over this ugly POS what a joke, what hypocrisy!!!
      mkenjalo
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is NOT based on the 4Runner. They only share a basic platform. It's a Lexus-badged version of the Land Cruiser Prado (LC 150) - i.e. it's based on the Land Cruiser instead.
        Neil
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mkenjalo
        no, the lexus verion of the land cruiser is the LX570! the GX460 is the 4runner!
          Bok269
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Neil
          No. The land cruiser and land cruiser Prado are two different vehicles (google the Prado if you aren't convinced). The former serves as the basis for the LX, while the latter is rebadged into the GX. The Prado and 4runner may share a platform, but that's where the similarities end.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Neil
          [blocked]
          Nick
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Neil
          wow. lol you are sadly mistaken. do some research.
      Alex Hutchins
      • 2 Years Ago
      Me gusta the color of the Lexus GX used in the photos here, it looks very luxurious!
        Connor Murphy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Alex Hutchins
        Satin Cashmere. I'm a big fan of any that have the sepia interior.
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