Lexus GX Problems: 5 Most-Known Issues (Explained)

Since its introduction in 2002, the Lexus GX has remained a notable full-size SUV in the automobile industry. Unlike the LX, the GX comes at a much cheaper price and it has enjoyed more sales success than its counterpart.

Well, this large SUV also has a few notable issues, which we discuss in this article. To get you more informed about the worth of the vehicle, we also delve into its resale value.

Let’s begin.

1. Peeling Body Paint

Body paint is one of the most significant aesthetics of a vehicle. Besides, it’s an integral part that’s important in registering and licensing a ride.

Once you change the paint of your car, you may have to re-register it or seek legal approval.

It’s quite unfortunate that a solid-looking SUV like the Lexus GX could suffer from weak body paint.

Many owners have complained about how the paint peels off easily even within just three years of purchasing the vehicle.

A layer of clear coat protects most of the paints used on automobiles. However, if the painting was poorly done by the factory, it could peel off easily.

Notwithstanding, certain factors like unprotected parking, overexposure to direct sunlight, and damage to the clear coat could also weaken the body paint of a car over time.

Mind you, this problem is most common with the GX 470. Don’t forget to explore the problems with Lexus SUVs.

2. Melting or Cracking Dashboard

Many old Lexus vehicles have issues with their dashboard, and the GX 470 is no exception.

On many of these rides, it’s either the dashboard melts due to exposure to sunlight, or it cracks so visibly that you start to worry about the airbag bulging out.

It’s pretty unfortunate that while owners of the Lexus GX have to deal with peeling body paint, many of them have also expressed their dissatisfaction with the cracking dashboard.

As noted by a concerned customer:

The leathery type material that covers dashboard is melting. It is very soft to the touch and extremely hot and sticky in sunlight. This material has cracks that continues to split around instrument panels in my car.


A cracking dashboard could be dangerous, especially when the crack is around the airbag chamber.

Many users have lamented about this in particular.

I have repeatedly contacted Lexus, requesting they honor an earlier commitment to replace the cracking of my dashboard. I am especially concerned about the cracking where the passenger side airbag would deploy. The cracking could release small projectiles from the dashboard that could function like bullets in the event of an accident that deployed the airbag and its force.


3. Sudden or Unintended Acceleration

The acceleration or transmission system of a car could be faulty due to the wear and tear of some of its components.

However, when there’s a common issue involving the same vehicle, it becomes an underlying problem.

Quite a few owners of the Lexus GX 470 have complained about sudden acceleration made by their vehicle. The problem even led to some of them crashing into an object or another car.

Several factors could cause a sudden acceleration in a vehicle. Most notable among the causes are driver errors, mechanical problems, and electrical issues.

This is a very dangerous problem that could lead to a serious crash. Mind you, it is most common with the 2004 GX 470, not all GX models.

4. Thumping or Clunking Noise in the Rear Transmission

Lexus introduced the 2003 GX model as the first GX version in 2002.

Against its impressive features and simplistic appearance, this model is known for a series of issues, amongst which a clunking transmission noise is the most prominent.

Some owners have complained about hearing a thumping noise from the rear after using the brake.

According to various complaints, the thumping sound only occurs seldomly, but it’s very noticeable when it does.

Other owners claimed that they hear the disturbing noise whenever they accelerate after slowing down. This indicates that there’s an issue with the rear transmission system of the vehicle.

Faulty transmission sensors could be the cause of this issue. Other than that, it could be a result of problems with the internal components of the transmission.

Because it is an issue common with the vehicle, it couldn’t be caused by a low transmission fluid unless there’s an inherent transmission leak.

5. Mushy or Hard-To-Use Brake Pedal

Another problem with the Lexus GX is the brake system. The brake is a highly essential component of a vehicle, and it’s expected to be functional at all times. Otherwise, a vehicle becomes unsafe to drive.

Unfortunately, quite a few owners have complained about some abnormalities in the brake of the GX 460.

Unlike the GX 470, the GX 460 has only received very few complaints over the years. The major issue with the model is just the brake system, and it is only common with the 2010 version.

Some owners of the vehicle have complained about having to exert more pressure on the brake before stopping the car.

The brake of a car is expected to be very responsive to be effective. However, some owners of the 2010 GX 460 have claimed that their brake is too soft and often requires more pressure before it responds.

As noted by a customer,

The brakes on the vehicle do not work properly. The brakes feel extremely mushy as you are pushing down on them. In addition, while stopped at a red light, significant pressure needs to be held down on the brakes or else the vehicle lunges forward creating unsafe situation.


General Pros and Cons of the Lexus GX

The Lexus GX boasts some notable features but has a few downsides. Here are its pros and cons:


  • It offers an impressive off-road capability
  • Lexus GX gives off a quiet ride
  • Most GX rides provide good visibility due to their high seat positions
  • It comes with an available parking assist feature


  • The fuel economy of many GX vehicles is poor
  • Its acceleration is quite poky
  • Its interior is somewhat outdated
  • It comes with an awkward and less fancied trackpad controller

Since we’ve explored the pros and cons, check out the best and worst Lexus GX years.

What Do the Reviews Say?

The Lexus GX has been acclaimed to be a reliable full-size SUV. With over 20 years since its debut, it has received only a few user complaints.

Moreover, the few GX models that have the most complaints even fare better than most of their competitors.

The good news is that even the Lexus GX 460 years to avoid don’t have as many problems as a lot of other vehicles. They’re still consistent and a great vehicle, even if they are a little less durable than the others.


A number of reviewers have praised the Lexus GX for its off-road capability.

However, quite a few others have faulted its off-road geometry, claiming that its ground clearance is a little too high.

The GX has a big following in the overlanding community. Off-roaders appreciate its reliability, stellar suspension and ease of customization.


Still, the GX lacks some critical off-road components. The first is ground clearance. At 8.1 inches, it’s about as high off the ground as your everyday crossover. Off-road geometry is compromised, as well, with approach and departure angles of just 21 degrees.


However, newer GX models even come with different off-road technologies to enhance their much acclaimed tough terrain capacity.

Lexus is taking existing developed system and technologies and incorporating them into the GX platform. The Off-Road package also includes some hardware upgrades in the form of a transmission cooler and fuel tank protector.

With standard full-time 4WD, a torsen center differential that can be manually locked, and low range in the transfer case, the GX is not just pretending to be able to handle the rough stuff.


What’s the Resale Value for a Lexus GX?

Car Edge claims that the Lexus GX 460 will depreciate by 40% after five years, with a resale value of $44,798 if its selling price is $74,329.

Well, the highest MSRP of the 2023 GX 460 is $67,080 and, by the calculation, its value will drop to $40,248, losing $26,832.

In this regard, we can say that the Lexus GX does not hold its value much like many other Lexus vehicles.

Still, it retains its worth much like many other Lexus rides and thankfully, it’s a Lexus model you can lease.

That said, here are the resale values of different Lexus GX models:

Model Mileage Price
2022 GX 460 33,388 $54,990
2021 GX 460 23,220 $52,990
2020 GX 460 18,970 $48,590
2019 GX 460 45,556 $40,990
2018 GX 460 70,344 $34,990
2017 GX 470 58,254 $37,590
2015 GX 460 96,941 $28,990
2013 GX 460 69,085 $28,990
2008 GX 470 172,483 $13,408
2006 GX 470 222,012 $8,997

GO BACK: Problems for all Lexus models.

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ⓘ  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.