Lexus GX vs. Toyota 4Runner

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - October 25, 2018

Off-road-oriented SUVs are getting harder and harder to find. Toyota, and its luxury company Lexus, both continue to offer SUVs that put an emphasis on being able to traverse rough terrain. For Toyota, the 4Runner is the SUV that can do it all. If you're looking for something more luxurious and spacious, but aren't willing to make a compromise when it comes to being able to go off-roading, Lexus offers the GX. If you're cross-shopping both SUVs, which one should you go with? We examined both models and found one of them to be a better overall option.

See a side-by-side comparison of the GX & 4Runner »

What the 4Runner Gets Right

If you're on a budget, the 4Runner is the obvious choice. The 2019 Toyota 4Runner starts at $35,955 (all prices include destination), which is $17,225 less than the base 2019 Lexus GX 460 that carries a starting price tag of $53,180. The range-topping 2019 4Runner Limited trim is priced at $44,635, which is still $8,545 less than the entry-level GX 460.

Neither the 4Runner nor the GX 460 are fuel-efficient options, but it's the 4Runner that gets the nod for having slightly better fuel economy figures. The 4Runner gets an EPA-estimated 17 miles per gallon city, 21 mpg highway, and 18 combined. The GX lags behind with ratings of 15/18/16 mpg (city/highway/combined).

For consumers looking to do some serious off-roading, Toyota offers the 4Runner in a TRD Pro trim that comes with special components to go places other SUVs wouldn't dare. As a luxury vehicle, the GX 460 has options that make it more opulent, but not necessarily better at off-roading.

What the GX Gets Right

While the GX 460 has a large price tag than the 4Runner, it comes with more standard features, the majority of which are high-end luxury ones. Standard equipment on the GX includes a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, running boards, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, and a universal garage door opener.

The GX 460 is also the option if you plan on being able to ferry seven passengers around. Lexus' SUV has seating for seven passengers as standard, while the 4Runner is only capable of seating up to five.

When it comes to power, the GX 460 is the better option. The SUV features a 4.6-liter V8 that generates 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque. The 4Runner's 4.0-liter V6 is rated to produce 270 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque. Lexus offers a four-wheel-drive system as standard on the GX 460, while the 4Runner comes with rear-wheel drive as standard.

Want Some Luxury?

While the 4Runner's range-topping Limited trim has some luxury features, the GX 460 is a really opulent vehicle. It also has the ability to seat seven, which isn't an option with the 4Runner. And while it has a large price tag, the GX 460's lengthy list of standard features and upscale materials justify the price.

Verdict: Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner is the better option for the majority of consumers. The Limited trim adds some luxury features and is still much cheaper than the Lexus GX, which makes it the better choice for those seeking a rugged SUV with some luxury. If you're after a SUV that's more utilitarian than luxurious, some of the 4Runner's trims offer a lot of value.

Take a closer look at the Lexus GX »

Take a closer look at the Toyota 4Runner »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website