in 2009 Luxury Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $26,241 - $26,241
Original MSRP: $47,615 - $47,615
MPG: 14 City / 18 Hwy
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2009 Lexus GX Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Lexus GX offers a smooth ride, a powerful V8 engine and capable off-roading abilities. However, a few reviewers complained that its body-on-frame construction leads to a less-than-serene ride.

  • "Highway speeds are serene considering the iron underneath, but expect lots of body roll and tire squeal when you try to turn this tall truck." -- Car and Driver
  • "GX 470's truck-based roots are evident in slight bounce and occasional wobble on blemished surfaces. The driver-adjustable suspension feels too floaty set to Comfort, too jittery in Sport, and just adequately absorbent in modes Lexus calls Semi-Comfort and Semi-Sport." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The pleasant, enjoyable GX shines brightest when traveling off-road." -- Cars.com
  • "Driving the GX was easy, though. The ride was smooth as silk, and there was enough power to really tempt me. Its huge V-8 engine humbled hills; the full-time four-wheel drive left lesser cars in the dust." -- Mother Proof

Acceleration and Power

The GX 470's 4.7-liter V8 engine makes 263 horsepower and is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. It offers plenty of power, but that takes a toll on fuel economy. According to the EPA, the GX 470 should achieve 14/18 mpg city/highway, which is not too impressive compared with others in the GX's class.

  • "Strong and exceptionally smooth despite not having as much horsepower as rival 6- and 8-cylinder engines. The transmission downshifts promptly for good passing punch." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The GX 470's V8 engine allows it to accelerate with some authority, and its potent torque rating allows it to move briskly from a standing start while towing up to 6,500 pounds." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Test drivers offered mixed reviews on the GX's handling, but found the all-wheel drive system outstanding. The GX has a fully independent double-wishbone suspension in the front and four-link suspension in the rear.

  • "GX's traditional truck-type construction results in handling with marked cornering lean. It doesn't feel tippy, though. The steering is nicely weighted but lacks road feel. Hill ascent and descent assists are useful off-road." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Once underway, you'll appreciate the way the GX 470 handles itself, both on the highway and on winding back roads. You can thank the sophisticated electronic setup attached to the GX 470's independent front and air-spring rear suspension." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The ride in the GX was luxurious, too; it wasn't even slightly truckish. It was so smooth, in fact, that it seemed almost unconnected to the road. It was more like flying or floating than driving. Personally, I'd like a bit more feedback from the tires, but I can't really complain about an SUV being too smooth (well, I can, but...). There was some of that roly-poly feeling in the turns, which reminded me that I was in a large SUV, and maneuvering around parking lots was a bit of a trial." -- Mother Proof