September 28, 2023

2024 Lexus GX and Land Rover Defender compared on paper

The 2024 Lexus GX finally brings the luxury off-roader up to date. And it does so in a boxy, rugged package that draws comparisons to the 2024 Land Rover Defender, another luxury off-roader of similar size and capability. So we thought let’s make that comparison. We took a look at all the specs available for the two SUVs to see how they stack up.

Engines and transmissions

The GX keeps it simple under the hood with a single powertrain. It has a 3.4-liter twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid that puts out 340 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. That horsepower number only surpasses the Defender’s four-cylinder engine, but the GX has the torque advantage even against the Defender’s mighty V8 option. The GX’s V6 is mated to a 10-speed automatic with full-time four-wheel drive. Full fuel economy figures have not been given, but Toyota expects a combined 17 mpg. Unfortunately, that fuel economy is worse than all Defender powertrains except the V8.

As mentioned, the Defender is available with three main engines, an inline-four, inline-six and V8. The GX’s closest competitors are the regular 110 four-door and the longer 130 four-door. The 110 can be had with the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder that makes 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque; the turbo mild-hybrid 3.0L six-cylinder with 395 horsepower and 405 pound-feet; or the supercharged 5.0L V8 that puts out 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet. The 130 gets two versions of the six-cylinder, one with 296 horsepower and 347 pound-feet and one with 395 horsepower and 405 pound-feet. The V8 is also available, but only with 493 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. All engines get an eight-speed automatic transmission and full-time four-wheel drive. The four-cylinder 110 gets 18 mpg combined, the six gets 20, and the V8 only gets 16. Both 130 six-cylinder powertrains add up to 19 mpg combined, and the V8 has no numbers yet.

Towing and cargo

The towing capacity is pretty straightforward. The Lexus has a maximum capacity of 8,000 pounds, and the Land Rover tops it by 200 pounds more. Some trim levels of both SUVs have reduced towing capacity, depending on configuration.

As for the cargo space, Lexus has not shared any details. It is available with up to three rows of seats and can accommodate seven passengers. The 110 has similar seating available, and the 130 raises the bar with a third row of three across. And we’ve found the 130’s third row of seats to be really usable for adults. The 110’s official cargo numbers range from 35.4 cubic feet with the second-row seats up to 70.4 with the seats folded, though we’ve found it to be roomier than the numbers say. As for the 130, it has 15.3 cubic feet behind the third row, and space increases to 80.9 with all seats folded.

Suspension, chassis and off-road features

The new GX shares the same body-on-frame platform as the Lexus LX, Toyota Sequoia and others. It also has a double wishbone front suspension and multi-link rea
r suspension. Toyota hasn’t given any other details on the rear, so we’re assuming it’s still a rear drive axle, similar to the Sequoia and Tundra. Lexus also skips any kind of air suspension for conventional suspension, and adaptive shocks, as well as an electronically controlled version of Toyota’s trick Kinetic Dynamic Suspension (a type of active sway bars that allow for extra articulation).

The Land Rover, on the other hand, has a one-piece chassis and fully independent suspension. The base models have a fixed steel coil spring, but air suspension with adjustable ride height and firmness is available on higher versions.

Without adjustable ride height, the Lexus cannot change ground clearance or angles of approach, departure, and crossing. Lexus did not give ground clearance, but it did provide the other specifications. The approach angle is 26 degrees on all versions. Breakover is 23 degrees on all but the Overtrail, which hits 24 degrees. The departure angle is 21 degrees on the top Luxury GXs, 22 on Overtrail and 23 on the base Premium trims. Land Rover doesn’t offer exactly the same off-road angle measurements, but both the 110 and 130 beat the GX on approach and departure angles with fixed suspension and at standard air suspension ride height. The approach angle for both is between 30 and 31 degrees, and the standard departure angle for the 110 is close to 38 degrees and 24.5 for the 130.

As for off-road goodies, the GX is most capable in Overtrail guise. It fits 18-inch wheels with 33-inch tires, an electronic locking rear differential, adjustable drive modes, surround-view cameras, Hill Descent Control, Crawl Control (Toyota’s off-road cruise control system), and the Electronic Kinetic Dynamic Suspension. The Defender is available with many similar features, such as adjustable drive modes, surround-view cameras, Hill Descent Control, All-Terrain Progress Control (Land Rover’s off-road cruise control) and Wade Sensing (a feature that senses how deep the vehicle is). ).

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