Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Trending News

Big off-road focus for Toyota Prado-based 2024 Lexus GX as large SUV brings new buyers as well as luxury up-graders to the brand

Lexus says interest in the off-road focused GX Overland is stronger than expected as it brings new buyers to the brand.

Keen off-road-focussed buyers are flocking to the upcoming Lexus GX 4x4 SUV, according to the brand's local boss.

Speaking to CarsGuide at the launch of the LBX small SUV, Lexus Australia Chief Executive, John Pappas said there was a big off-road preference emerging, which is new for the brand.

The GX is based on the new-generation Toyota Prado and has been a popular nameplate in the US where it has been offered since 2002. It will be offered for the first time in Australia from June this year in its third-generation form.

“The dealers are really pumped because of this interest from totally new buyers,” Pappas says of the impending GX launch. “We have over 500 pre-orders and expect about 1500 units for the first 12 months. We think it will be restricted supply from a demand perspective.”

But it's the emerging variant split that's most interesting to the brand and to the future direction of Lexus.

“From a planning point of view, we expected the Overtrail variant to be about 20 per cent of the mix, but at the moment it’s over 30 - interest in that off-road grade is higher than expected, but we also know from LX that people buy the car but don’t necessarily go off-road, so it will be interesting to see how that shapes out,” Pappas said.

He also doesn’t expect there to be issues with the GX cannibalising sales of the brand’s own LandCruiser-based LX, with supply issues meaning sales will be additive rather than overlap.

It's the emerging variant split that's most interesting to the brand and to the future direction of Lexus.

“We’re not seeing that right now. At the moment for LX we’ve still got a 12-month waiting list, and we don’t really see them crossing over.

“LX is bigger, it’s more luxurious, it’s more spacious and more powerful, but the GX is more of an accessible seven-seater.”

Regardless of this new off-road focus, Pappas said the GX was a key model for its existing crop of loyal luxury car buyers.

“There’s high loyalty there which we don’t take for granted,” he said. “There are a lot of existing buyers [of RX and NX] which want to upgrade into a GX.”

One big benefit for those looking to upgrade out of a non-luxury off-roader is the towing capacity.

The GX will set itself apart from its Toyota relation upon its arrival in Australia with a much more potent drivetrain - a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine mated to a 10-speed torque-converter automatic transmission - as opposed to the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel mated to an eight-speed torque converter in the incoming Prado.

One big benefit for those looking to upgrade out of a non-luxury off-roader is the towing capacity, which in the US is rated at a massive 4000kg, although locally it is certified to a still-leading 3500kg.

When it arrives in June, the GX will arrive in just one GX550 variant across three trim levels, the base Luxury ($116,000), off-road focused Overtrail ($122,250) and top-spec Sports Luxury ($128,250).

The Overtrail specifically departs from the rest of the range by dialling back the luxury items and removing the third row of seats while adding all-terrain Toyo tyres, centre and rear diff lockers, a multi-terrain monitoring system with additional cameras for being able to see under the car, and the new ‘eKDSS’ suspension system which can electronically disconnect the front and rear sway bars for additional wheel articulation in off-road scenarios.

Tom White
Senior Journalist
Despite studying ancient history and law at university, it makes sense Tom ended up writing about cars, as he spent the majority of his waking hours finding ways to drive as many as possible. His fascination with automobiles was also accompanied by an affinity for technology growing up, and he is just as comfortable tinkering with gadgets as he is behind the wheel. His time at CarsGuide has given him a nose for industry news and developments at the forefront of car technology.
About Author
Trending News