The selection of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) has been shifting over the years. The original buyers of SUVs tended to be people who needed pulling power and the ability to drive off the road with ease. However, the unique styling paired with the expanded seating options made the basic SUV design popular for larger families who simply want to get around urban areas. Both target audiences were specifically marketed to by car companies with SUVs made just for their needs. The problem comes when someone desires a middle option that contains the best of both worlds. The combination of a pure SUV's off-road driving power matched with the ability to fit on the average street pavement of cities can be rather difficult to find.
A possible option is the 2009 Lexus GX 470. Since it was based off the platforms that created several other popular SUVs, the GX 470 was able to embrace raw off-road power. This trait is then matched with the Lexus standard of luxurious cabin spaces. The ultimate result is a stylish midsize SUV that can drive in a variety of terrains while still being appealing in appearance. Also, the slightly smaller size means that getting into tight urban parking spaces is no longer a death sentence.
Body Style: SUV
Engines: 4.7-liter V-8
Transmissions: 4x4 five-speed automatic
The traditional and classically stylish Lexus GX 470 rarely needs to undergo huge modifications. Since the creation of the tried-and-true exterior style and the recent inclusion of the high-tech features, changes between yearly models have been relatively few. The 2009 GX 470 is one of the models which continues from the previous year's design without any alterations of which to speak. No new elements were included and nothing was removed.
One of the standard selling points of the 2009 Lexus GX 470 is the very smooth exterior look. It is a very sleek SUV with plenty of curves, favoring the swept-back appearance to the recently popular box shape. Lexus added luxury-based fixtures such as the shimmering grille made of three slender bars, and the delicate Lexus symbol is matched with a five-spoke standard wheel design. The only real issue with this conservative, but still lovely, exterior design is the fact that it is certainly showing its age. The design of the 2009 GX 470 is not very new. It originally debuted for the 2003 model year and has not changed very much since then. However, the traditional appearance is still very nice if someone does not enjoy the newer and more unique designs of other options.
The interior of the 2009 GX 470 was expertly designed and executed. Like all Lexus vehicles, a top-notch style is combined with the highest quality materials to create a genuine luxurious feel. The rich wood trim is matched with supple leather to completely envelop the occupants in style. The majority of the surfaces are actually soft to the touch rather than the cheaper hard plastic of lesser SUVs. Many people worry that the expansive list of both standard and optional features could lead to a boggled down control panel, but this is not the case. Intuitive design and control placement actually make them all easy to reach and use despite the multitude of elements included in the GX 470. Storage size is about average for the midsize SUV class, but the third-row seating can cause problems. While the option of a third row is highly advantageous, the area is very cramped.
Performance & Handling
The 2009 Lexus GX 470 is powered by a relatively standard 4.7-liter V-8 engine, which is capable of 263 horsepower and 323 lb-ft of torque. The only available transmission is the five-speed automatic. It is responsible for routing the engine's power to all four wheels through the dual-range transfer case. When properly equipped, the GX 470 can tow up to 6500 pounds.
Lexus has a high reputation when it comes to the safety of its vehicles. This means the 2009 GX 470 comes well stocked in terms of safety features. Standard elements include anti-lock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, roll-sensing side curtain airbags for the first and second rows, stability control, and traction control. The standard package even has downhill assist control and hill-start assist control.
EPA Fuel Economy
Lexus GX 470: 14/18 mpg city/highway
- Off-road capability
- Plenty of luxury features
- Stylish interior
You Won't Like
- Limited space in third-row seats
- Inconvenient cargo door
An appealing option that works well on city pavement and off-road trails.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Land Rover LR3
- Toyota 4Runner
- BMW X5