2021 Lexus GX: New Premium Plus package adds power third-row seats

The 2021 Lexus GX is what the Japanese carmaker refers to as a dual-purpose luxury vehicle, and it's hard to argue with that. Based on the underpinnings of parent company Toyota's 4Runner SUV, the Lexus badge adds more than a gargantuan spindle grille. It comes with premium amenities and a fancy suspension system for a tamer ride, while the new Premium Plus package includes navigation, a brilliant Mark Levinson audio system with 17 speakers, and power-operated third-row seats.

Toyota recently updated the Land Cruiser Prado with a torquier and more powerful diesel engine, but you won't be getting that in the 2021 Lexus GX. Instead, you have a 4.6-liter V8 engine with 301 horsepower and 329 pound-feet of torque. The large motor allows a 6,500-pound towing capacity, while the standard Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) aids in ride comfort while enhancing off-road traction.

The engine is bolted to a six-speed automatic driving all four wheels via a full-time automatic four-wheel-drive system. The drivetrain has a Torsen torque-sensing limited-slip center differential that maintains a 40:60 front and rear torque split under normal driving conditions. The system shifts the power from the front to the rear axles as needed. It even has a two-speed transfer case with a low range feature to handle the rough stuff along with a plethora of electronic off-road aids including downhill assist, hill-start assist, active traction control, stability control, and crawl control.

Meanwhile, the Off-Road Package is available on the Luxury trim and includes panoramic and multi-terrain monitors with driver and passenger cameras, a new crawl control feature, a fuel tank protector, and Lexus' Multi-Terran Select system to effectively tackle varying terrain. The Premium and Premium Plus packages provide the option of silver 18-inch wheels (19-inch wheels are optional), a heated steering wheel, acoustic front side glass, and Amazon Alexa compatibility.

On the safety front, the 2021 Lexus GX is well-equipped with Lexus Safety System+ which includes pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, dynamic radar cruise control, and intelligent high beams. The new Lexus GX arrives at dealerships this fall. Pricing will be announced soon.