Also known as the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, the Lexus GX is a full-size SUV that has been in vogue for over 10 years.
Table of Contents
Whether you love the oldest model in the GX 470 or the more recent GX 460, there are always the best and the Lexus GX to avoid.
Having explored the Lexus GX lines, we have come up with the list of the most preferred and the ones that give the most issues.
The Best and Worst Years for Lexus GX Are:
The 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2019, and the 2020 model are the best Lexus GX years so far. On the contrary, the models to avoid are the 2003, 2006, 2010, 2014, and the 2016 model.
It’s important to note these models, especially when buying a used Lexus GX.
What Lexus GX Years Are the Most Reliable?
While Lexus GX have has received minimal negative reports on CarComplaints, the 2009 and 2020 years have the least of complaints. The 2005, 2009, 2007, 2012, and the 2017 also have good reliability reports.
Let’s check them out.
1. 2020 Lexus GX 460
The big, bold, and beautiful 2020 Lexus GX is a dependable version, with almost flawless reviews and ratings. With 4.9/5 ratings on Cars.com and 5/5 on CarMax, Lexus almost got it right with this GX version.
This SUV offers different standard safety features as well as additional off-road technologies. While it features Lexus Crawl Control, the SUV also introduced the Multi-Terrain Select system, which you may not find in older models.
As of the time of writing this review, CarComplaint.com has received no negative feedback about this model. Shall we then conclude that the 2020 GX is the best? Only time will tell.
Mind you, this SUV may disappoint you if you don’t compromise on the use of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Only the 2022 GX 460 features this tech.
That said, check out the 9 best SUVs with Apple CarPlay.
In spite of being a more recent model with higher features, its annual maintenance cost remains the same as that of older models. Edmunds quotes this to be $769 in the first year and $1,952 in the second year.
The maintenance cost takes a downward slope from the third year to the fifth, at $1,064, $1,526, and $1,621, respectively.
2. 2009 Lexus GX 470
The simple and stylish GX470 is also a reliable version of the Lexus GX model. It scored 4.6/5 rating on Edmunds, 4.7 on cars.com, and 4.8 on Carfax in overall ratings.
With a reliability rating of 5.0/5.0 and comfort rate of 4.9 on cars.com, this model remains the most reliable amongst the old GX 470 versions.
This mid-size SUV has received just a few reports on CarComplaints over the years. Aside from a complaint on the oxygen sensor and the battery, which failed after about 42,500 miles of use, there was no serious complaint on the vehicle.
Although it has a less spacious third-row seat, being a mid-size SUV, it is comfortable for both off-road and city driving.
It is also remarkable to note that the 2009 Lexus GX470 will only attract an average annual maintenance cost of $591.
3. 2017 Lexus GX 460
While the GX 460 succeeded the 470 after the 2009 model, the 2017 GX 460 is one of the most reliable amongst its counterparts. It may not enjoy the same ratings as the 2009 GX 470, but it is a more recent model.
This more refined and boastful SUV has 4.1/5 rating on Edmunds, and 4.3 on cars.com. It offers a quiet ride, comfortable handling, and driver safety assistance features that include the blind spot warning system.
While the 2017 GX 460 has received few complaints over the years, the major point of concern for users has been the vehicle’s stability.
Some drivers have faulted the suspension, with a claim that it leans a little towards the right.
It is important to also note that Repairpal only scores this SUV 3.5/5 on reliability rating. This may not be as admirable as the 2009 model. However, its average annual repair cost, according to Repairpal is only around $770.
4. 2007 Lexus GX 470
With a below average 15 mpg for a mid-size SUV that has a maximum gas tank capacity of 23.0 gal, this vehicle may not be the top choice for lovers of fuel economy.
However, in terms of reliability and positive reviews, the 2007 Lexus GX also stays atop. It has an overall score of 4.8/5 on Edmunds, 4.8/5 on Kelley Blue Book, and 4.7 overall rating on Cars.com, with a reliability score of 4.9.
This SUV just sits with the 2009 as the best GX 470 you can highly rely on. But it has some few downsides too.
There have been a lot of complaints about its body paint chipping and flying off, especially while driving. Even the dashboard got a mention on this issue, as it also cracks around the stereo and screen.
Another important complaint about this model is the defective secondary air pump system. Many issues about the air pump surfaced when the vehicle is within the range of 60,000 – 70,000 miles.
Mind you, it could cost around $4,000 to fix the car’s air injector system when it becomes faulty. This is why the 2007 Lexus GX appears as our least reliable model.
What Lexus GX Years Should You Avoid?
Here are the Lexus GX models you should avoid if you despise a series of unexpected issues.
1. 2003 Lexus GX 470
The 2003 GX has received the most complaints over the years. Well, being the earliest model, it could be that this SUV paved the way for the journey to perfection that some of the newer versions have enjoyed so far.
From the drivetrain, the brake, steering, engine, transmission, suspension, fuel system, and other minor issues, you may not have the best experience expected of an SUV in this GX year.
There have been a series of complaints about clunking noise or thumping sound from the rear transmission, especially when you used the brake.
Other prominent issues about the vehicle are the constant wear of the brake and its flaking body paint.
There is also an underlying problem with the suspension, which causes unnecessary vibration in the front end and steering wheel. This often occurs when the vehicle has covered around 1,000 – 5,000 miles.
Overall, the 2003 Lexus GX is not a bad ride. It just happens to be the one with most complaints amongst the other models. In fact, this vehicle has an overall score of 4.8/5 on Edmunds, 4.8 on Cars.com, and 4.7 on CarGurus.com.
2. 2010 Lexus GX
Some critics have even placed a ‘don’t buy’ tag on this GX year. So, what could be the dreadful issue about it?
This SUV has received a series of complaints about its air bags and the seat belts, the suspension, the engine, and the brake especially.
Drivers have complained about having to exert an unusually heavy pressure on the brake to bring the car to a halt. This is not only a serious safety issue; it could also attract a traffic offense when faced by the red light.
There have also been reports on the vehicle hesitating to stop for about 2-5 seconds when you thought you’ve brought down its speed.
3. 2016 Lexus GX
In terms of safety concerns, the 2016 Lexus GX is not very different from the 2010 version. CarComplaints have recorded two different crash reports attributed to defects in the brake and acceleration of the SUV.
A user complained of the car making an abnormal noise and crashing into an opposing vehicle after being placed on park.
Another customer has also aired an unpleasant experience with the ride. According to the customer, the car suddenly accelerated while attempting to use the brake, which has refused to work.
The 2016 Lexus GX also has issues with the failure of the airbags to deploy when needed. Although there had been a recall of this model to correct the issue, this has remained a point of concern for users.
However, unlike the 2010 model, the 2016 Lexus GX has a somewhat positive overall ratings from reviewers. Edmunds gave it 4.6/5, while Cars.com and several others gave it 4.5/5 overall rating.
Mind you, this vehicle offers a very quiet cabin and boasts of 6,500 towing capacity. You may just need to inspect its brake and acceleration system very carefully if you’ll love to use it. Otherwise, there are several other more reliable GX models to go for.
Make sure to also read about the problems with buying a brand new car.
4. 2006 Lexus GX
The 2006 Lexus GX comes with a quiet powertrain and noiseless cabin. However, it doesn’t offer a reliable brake system.
There has been a series of concern about brake failure, especially when the vehicle is around 30,000 – 40,000 miles coverage. For this reason, we really had to feature this ride here.
Aside from the brake, another major issue with the 2006 GX is its peeling body paint. You could observe this at the top of the car, around the four doors, and around the hood.
While this could be attributed to a bad primer, it could be fixed by a professional for a few bucks.
What Are Some Typical Problems With the Lexus GX Models?
Below are some of the typical problems with the Lexus GX models.
- Stuck Acceleration
- Premature Brake Wear
- ABS Problem
- Clunky Engine
- Chipping Body Paint
- Defective Air Pump
- Thumping Drivetrain
Please also check out our article on 6 Lexus models you can lease.
Go back: Overview of best/worst years for all Lexus models.
ⓘ The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.