It really is hard to find something negative to say about a Lexus vehicle. In the case of the Lexus GX 470, which was produced from 2003-2009, the worst that can be said is that it was the wrong vehicle for the times. At a time when the public began looking for better fuel efficiency and less towing capacity and certainly stopped looking at SUVs for their off-road capabilities, along came the GX 470, a blast from the past so to speak.
The GX 470 was a no-nonsense SUV with a powerful 4.7-liter V8 engine kicking out 235 horsepower and superior off-road capabilities. Heavier and more solid than the new- rage crossover SUVs, the GX470 still managed to provide an uncommonly quiet and smooth ride but with less fuel economy. In other words, almost overnight it had become a dinosaur as the desires and needs of the common buyer shifted. This is in no way a slam on the Lexus GX 470. This vehicle delivered exactly what it was designed to deliver and it is really hard to fault the Lexus Corporation for that accomplishment.
To put things in perspective, imagine a house mom herding her three kids into the family SUV for a trip to the movie theater. Third-row seating allowed mom to pick up some of the neighborhood kids on the way and they were greeted with fine leather upholstery, a great sound system, upgraded safety features and an uncommonly quiet ride. But instead of driving along the city streets to the theater, mom decided to charge across empty, rock-strewn fields and dared to cross over small streams. The GX470 was quite capable of doing all of that and more owing to its full-time four-wheel drive, Downhill Assist Control, Hill-Start Assist Control, and Dynamic Suspension System.
The only thing wrong with that scenario is that the average mom wanted all of the safety features but had no desire to four-wheel it to the multi-screen movie theater. Add to that the raising of public-consciousness concerning fuel efficiency and mom started to look at crossover SUVs to handle her needs. That left the Lexus GX wondering what it had done wrong.
This truly was an exceptional vehicle, capable of doing much more than it was ever asked to do. Everything you have come to expect from a Lexus is in the GX 470, plus more than you probably ever imagined. The good news is that if you own one you can go off-roading any old time you want. The bad news is you’ll have to fill up the gas tank more than you may be accustomed to doing. Rest assured, however, that you will be safe no matter where you take the Lexus GX 470.