A lot of folks love turning used Lexus GX SUVs into overland rigs. They’re as reliable and capable as Toyotas, but more luxurious, and usually with more powerful engines.
Lexus noticed, and for the first time has launched a GX series with a trail-ready edition, giving it 33″ all-terrain tires and a clever dynamic sway bar that handles any terrain. The 2024 Lexus GX 550 Overtrain looks amazing, here’s everything you need to know…
2024 Lexus GX 550 Overtail key features
The GX 550’s sharp, angular looks aren’t just for show. First, the straighter sides and boxier corners provide more interior room, definitely a plus when we’re packing it to the hilt with gear.
Second, the high corners on the hood provide a clear visual guide to your vehicle’s corners, good for navigating tight trails and placing your tires. The center of the hood is lower to improve front visibility.
There’s also cameras, and the Overtrail adds a Multi-Terrain Monitor to the Panoramic View Monitor. That gives you the normal views around all sides of the vehicle, but also an Underfloor View to show the terrain and tire location underneath the GX 500!
Premium & Luxury models get 20-22″ rims with all-season tires. But the Overtrail has 18×6.5 rims with 265/70R18 all-terrain tires. Most of the photos show unmarked tires, but they’re Toyo Open Country.
However, the tread pattern looks unlike anything currently shown on Toyo’s website, so they could be a custom design (see photo in suspension section below for a better view). Given the likely user base, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re designed to be quieter on road and just capable enough off-road. They’re also the biggest tires Lexus has ever spec’d on a stock vehicle.
On top is a tilt/slide sunroof, not the longer moonroof found on the Luxury trim. That’s good because a rooftop tent would end up covering most of the moonroof anyway, but a standard-sized sunroof could be a great way to let more light into the cabin and keep things fresh after days (or weeks) on the road. Or you can save $1,100 and remove the sunroof altogether.
It also has stronger utility roof rails, making it more useful off the lot. Down low, it has running boards, but you’ll probably want to replace them with the optional rock sliders ($990).
And it comes standard with windshield wiper de-icers, which is nice.
Adaptive suspension & dynamic sway bars
The GX 550 Overtrail trim gets an Adaptive Suspension with Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (E-KDSS). The base setup is double wishbone up front, and four-arm linkage in the rear, all with coil springs.
The “Adaptive Suspension” is where it starts to get fancy. The adaptive system is shared with the Luxury+ trim and automatically tunes the shock’s performance based on road conditions. For the Overtail models, drivers can set it to specific modes to encourage certain behavior, or put it on auto and let it use terrain sensing and driver inputs (throttle & braking) to tune it in real time.
The E-KDSS is the real bonus of the Overtrail trim. It uses electronically detachable sway bars to give all four corners almost 2.5″ more articulation off road. Watch it in action in the videos below.
Unfortunately, this model won’t get the adjustable air suspension of prior GX SUVs, which could have given it better ground clearance when needed.
Handling & transmission
All models get a Torsen limited-slip center differential with locking feature. But Overtrail is also the only trim level with:
- Electronically Locking Rear Differential
- Crawl Control
- Downhill Assist
- Multi-Terrain Select
Mode select, differential locking, and 4-high/4-low controls are all in easy reach.
It has a 19.7 foot turning radius with a 112.2″ wheelbase. That’s a bit wider than the Bronco (18.7′ w/ 116″ wheelbase), but much better than the Jeep Gladiator (22.3′ w/ 137.3″ wheelbase).
The GX 550 has a body on frame, and it’s been upgraded from the prior model with new construction techniques and increased welding area to make it stiffer. It’s also lighter overall.
Interior features & tricks
One of the clearest indicators that this is built for overland is the lack of third-row seats. Other trim levels have manual or electric folding third row seating, but the Overtrail has none. Not only does this create more space for gear, it also saves weight! (here’s why GVWR is so important)
A flat dash improves forward visibility…no gauge cluster hump at all. You can opt for a 10.7″ full-color heads-up display, but it’s $900 and might actually be more distracting than helpful. Also, polarized sunglasses make it pointless.
The Overtrail has four USB-C ports, two less than the other trims, but it’s the only one with a 120V/400W AC power outlet in the cargo area.
Eight-way power adjust heated and cooled front seats come standard, as does the 14″ touchscreen display, wireless phone charging, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, Lane Tracing/Lane Departure Assist and Dynamic Cruise Control, automatic high beams, and a digital specialist to help you setup and learn to use all of the GX 550’s features.
Power, weight & departure angles
The GX550 has a 349hp 3.4L V6 twin-turbo engine with 479lb-ft torque, 10-speed transmission, full-time 4WD w/ modes, and an 8,000lb towing capacity.
Estimated gas mileage is 15 city, 21 highway, 17 combined. Which probably means maybe 12-15mpg once loaded and driving offroad. With a 21-gallon tank, that means a likely real world range of 250-310 miles per fill up, but you’ll need to use 91-octane premium fuel. Zero to 60 is 6.5 seconds.
Curb weight is 5,675lbs, and GVWR is 7,165lbs. That gives you 1,490lbs to play with. The curb weight bumps up to 5,705lbs for the more luxurious Overtrail+, see details in the next section.
Off-road specs are:
- Approach Angle: 26º
- Breakover: 24º
- Departure Angle: 22º
- Wading Depth: 27.5″
- Ground Clearance: 8.9″
Ground clearance is only 0.2″ higher than the other trim levels, due to the larger tires. Interestingly, the Departure Angle on the Premium & Luxury models is 1º better, but that appears to be due to the Overtrail’s included full-size spare tire mounted under the rear of the vehicle. Relocating that to the exterior or top of the vehicle would give it better overall numbers there (and make it easier to access in a tight spot).
What about the Overtrail+ model?
Want more luxury? The Lexus GX 550 Overtrail+ adds the following:
- Thematic ambient lighting
- Heated 2nd row seats
- Memory driver’s seat & mirror positions
- 10-way electric adjustable front seats w/ massage
- Puddle lamps under side mirrors
- Rear door kick sensor
- Optional 1800w, 21-speaker Mark Levinson sound system
Lexus GX550 videos
Lexus created a four-part video series, The Ground Up, covering the key features of the GX 550. Above is combo recap if you’re short on time, and it’s good. If you wanna dive deeper, here’s all four – click play, then click go Full Screen:
2024 Lexus GX 550 pricing & availability
Available in Spring 2024, the new GX 550 has six trim levels, base prices are:
- Premium ($64,250)
- Premium+ ($69,250)
- Luxury ($77,250)
- Luxury+ ($81,250)
- Overtrail ($69,250)
- Overtrail+ ($77,250)
Want further proof they’re serious about overlanding? You can tack on accessories like Dometic fridges, rooftop tents, and camp tables & chairs, plus Pelican cases & coolers, Yakima roof cargo tray, racks & shower, and ARB Tred Pro traction boards, recovery kits, air compressors, and more, straight from the dealer.
What does this mean for the 4Runner?
The Lexus GX has always been the upscale version of the 4runner. We’re betting the 2025 Toyota 4Runner could get a complete refresh on the GX 550’s chassis, but likely sharing the new Tacoma’s turbo-charged 4-cylinder rather than this Lexus’s twin turbo V6. Car & Driver spotted what could be the next 4Runner in disguise, and the silhouettes are similar.