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There are some things in this industry that we're perplexed by, like the infotainment system on our long-term Subaru WRX or why the Mitsubishi Mirage is allowed to exist, among other things. Let's add one more to that group, with the Lexus GX. It's not a particularly bad vehicle for a big, body-on-frame brute, remaining one of the only true SUVs in the mid-size luxury class, alongside the equally old fashioned Land Rover LR4.

Considering these things, then, what we're about to tell you makes very little sense – sales are up 135 percent through last month. The Japanese luxury marque has moved over 5,300 during the first six months of 2014, owing in no small part to a significant price drop over the 2013 model. Today, a GX starts at $49,085, while a year ago, it was $53,445.

Don't mistake this price decrease for charity, though. Lexus specifically built a lower-cost GX to lure in customers. According to WardsAuto, faux leather covers the cabin rather than the real stuff, while the overall package is decontented relative to what you might find in a typical Lexus.

"That was our target in terms of positioning, to bring a true SUV down to a (CUV) price point," Brian Smith, VP of marketing for the brand, told Wards.

While the price cut has helped drive customers into showrooms, Lexus isn't selling many sub-$50,000 GXs.

"We've been successful with that [base grade], however it's not the biggest chunk of our volume," Smith said.

Base sales only constitute a fifth of the GX's totals, with customers generally flocking to the better outfitted GX Premium, which coincidentally starts at just a few hundred dollars more than last year's base model.

Despite this big increase in sales, the GX's future is far from certain, Smith said. Lexus is allegedly, according to AN, looking at swapping the GX from its truck-based roots to a proper unibody platform, in order to better compete dynamically with CUVs like the Acura MDX. Smith doesn't want that, though, citing the SUV's 6,500-pound towing capacity.

"I think there's a need for towing capability, without having to go all the way to an LX," Smith said. "So we're doing everything we can to continue to keep Toyota focused on the need for GX."

What are your thoughts? Should Lexus retain the GX as a body-on-frame vehicle, or should it just leave towing duties to American brands? Are you surprised to hear the GX still exists? Let us know in Comments.


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  • 62 Comments
      Bassracerx
      • 7 Months Ago
      its nearly as capable offroad as a range rover or land cruiser for almost half the price and is probably one of the best off road SUVs in its price range. with a Tahoe z71 being about 50 grand itself i would love to see a offroad comparison between the two. I also want to see what the refreshed land rover LR4 can do as well but sadly these vehicles dont get much press let alone does the press ever venture off road with them =(
        normc32
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Bassracerx
        At 5,000 plus units I think I seen them all at the mall.
      blasds78
      • 7 Months Ago
      I like this vehicle, mostly because I like the BOF construction and the model's capabilities off road. Most CUVs don't have any remarkable capabilities. Carrying passengers is something that any number of vehicles can do. The GX is one of the few in its class that can get filthy navigating off-road paths. I know they're rarely seen off-road. Most Lamborghinis, Bugattis, STis, Mustangs (and on and on) bought by consumers are rarely driven to their limits.
      Shawn
      • 7 Months Ago
      To impress me, rather than a luxed out Mall runner they turned it into for the USA, sell us the Land Cruiser Prado model with stripped interior, manual transmission for hard core offroading.
        Zoom
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Shawn
        Did you buy an FJ Cruiser? 6-speed manual, V6? Didn't think so.
        Herbie
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Shawn
        Ah yeah, sure. So they can do what? Sell 300 of them? TMD is in business. Business companies exist to make money. What part of that don't you understand? If you want an offroader - I do - then buy a 10 year old clapped out one and rebuild it yourself. Maybe try reading Hot Rod Magazine instead of AOL and see that anything is possible - without having a business company do it for you.
      blasds78
      • 7 Months Ago
      There is no worse comment system than this. It's awful.
      audisp0rta4
      • 7 Months Ago
      I just saw one of these on the fwy a few hours ago and it caught my attention (not sure in a good way or bad). I believe it's the first GX with the predator face that I've seen. I prefer the first gen's looks to this monstrosity, but I hope Lexus/Toyota can figure out a way to keep it alive. There are plenty of fake SUVs out already and a good ol fashion body on frame SUV is a good thing! But a 6500lb towing capacity is not reason enough to justify that design. My 2004 Touareg tows over 1000lbs more and is competitive off road...while riding on a unibody. Toyota is going to have to up their game in the towing dept if that's their justification to keep the GX body on frame.
        Carpinions
        • 7 Months Ago
        @audisp0rta4
        I would agree. I would definitely take the VW. Cleaner styling and presentation versus the GX.
          lost.juan
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Carpinions
          I see all these old right hand jdm land cruisers and kind of envious of their reliability. These GX's are hardly pretty but they are definitely at the other end of the reliability scale of VW's and the top end ones are pretty nice inside. Function over form.
          JaredN
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Carpinions
          While I prefer the styling (inside and out) of the Touareg, it simply doesn't have the reliability of the GX. I've put 150k miles on my '03 V8 4Runner (which is basically a GX470 with a different body and interior).
      ken
      • 7 Months Ago
      Definitely the ugliest truck currently on sale in North America.
        Herbie
        • 7 Months Ago
        @ken
        Definitely no for you ken, you need a prettier truck.........
      E
      • 7 Months Ago
      the GX should definitely continue to exist. it fills a spot in the market that is still required, and it does so quite well. it's a better value than the LX, and it would be a shame if Lexus decides to make this vehicle a unibody, glorified RX.
      CrasHDrive
      • 7 Months Ago
      I have the GX470, personally toyota should not go with the unibody I choose the GX over the RX due to its rugged go anywhere capability, track toy hauling and yet refine enough for everyday life. The GX was based on the toyota land cruiser prado a well know off roader in other country, prado build its reputation as a tough as nail second to the beloved Land Cruiser. Its bad enough toyota lowered down the newer gens tow capacity, people who wants refinement from a unibody should look in to a RX.
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 7 Months Ago
      It's really, really ugly.
      Avinash Machado
      • 7 Months Ago
      At least it still a good off-roader.
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 7 Months Ago
      Well....the LX is near $100K. This is the better option if you have to have a Lexus suv
      Kabayo
      • 7 Months Ago
      Another incredibly UGLY Toyota. WTF?
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