2008 Lexus GX 470 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Lexus GX 470 SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Lexus GX 470 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.7 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 263 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/18 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Lexus GX 470

  • Though it's an older design, the 2008 Lexus GX 470 should satisfy buyers in need of a luxury SUV that can negotiate off-road trails and the valet driveway with equal aplomb.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Off-road competence, well-appointed and high-quality cabin.

  • Cons

    Cramped third-row seat, awkward side-swinging cargo door.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Lexus GX 470 SUV receives minor interior and exterior styling revisions.

Full 2008 Lexus GX 470 Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Lexus GX 470 SUV receives minor interior and exterior styling revisions.


Occupying the not-too-big, not-too-small slot in Lexus' SUV lineup, the midsize 2008 GX 470 could be an appealing choice for a select group of SUV shoppers. This well-seasoned design (it debuted for 2003) strikes a nearly perfect balance between tough four-wheel-drive capability and well-dressed road-going manners.

The GX 470 is built using a traditional body-on-frame design, and much of the underlying hardware is similar to that used for Toyota's rugged 4Runner and FJ Cruiser. The GX also benefits from the optional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which enhances both on- and off-road ride and handling by automatically adjusting sway bar resistance by up to 50 percent. In regular driving, KDSS can minimize body roll, while off-road it allows the wheels to independently articulate more fully.

Inside, passengers are treated to all the luxury, convenience and technology they'd expect to find in one of Lexus' passenger cars. Last year, Lexus updated the GX with state-of-the-art capabilities like voice-activated navigation and a high-resolution DVD-capable dashboard display. This year, the GX is unchanged, though there are minor interior and exterior cosmetic upgrades.

Only a handful of luxury SUVs combine luxurious comfort and capable off-road and towing performance in a reasonably sized and well-crafted package. And compared to its closest competitor, the Land Rover LR3, the 2008 Lexus GX 470 enjoys a much better reputation for reliability. But if you're not planning on fully utilizing the GX 470's capabilities, keep in mind that there are better choices that provide better on-road performance and interior versatility. For daily duty, modern crossover SUVs like the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class will likely serve you better.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Lexus GX 470 is a midsize luxury SUV. In typical Lexus fashion, it's offered in one fully equipped trim level. Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, heated outside mirrors, illuminated running boards, leather seating, heated power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and 11-speaker premium audio with a six-disc in-dash CD changer and auxiliary audio jack.

A navigation system is optional and comes bundled with a phenomenal 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. Also optional is the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, a rear-seat entertainment system and a folding 50/50-split third-row seat with rear air-conditioning. A Sport package adds special interior and exterior styling details as well as KDSS.

Powertrains and Performance

The Lexus GX 470 is equipped with a 4.7-liter V8 that produces 263 horsepower and 323 pound-feet of torque. It's coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission that transfers power through a standard dual-range transfer case and full-time four-wheel-drive system. Properly equipped, a GX 470 can tow up to 6,500 pounds -- more than its car-based crossover rivals. EPA estimated fuel economy for 2008 is a little below average for this segment at 14 mpg city and 18 mpg highway.


Standard safety equipment on the 2008 Lexus GX 470 includes antilock brakes, front seat-mounted side airbags and roll-sensing first- and second-row head curtain side airbags. Stability control and traction control help keep you on the road, while the full-time four-wheel-drive system is supplemented with Downhill Assist Control and Hill-start Assist Control to more effectively handle off-road adventures. A rear back-up camera is included with the optional navigation system, and Lexus Link communications is also available.

Interior Design and Special Features

Like other Lexus products, the GX 470's cabin is chock full of luxury features and rich leather everywhere you look, and it's put together with exacting fit and finish. Quality materials -- including your choice of elegant wood trim finishes -- extend to the finely detailed door panels and dashboard that incorporates the now familiar Lexus Optitron electroluminescent instrumentation display.

Upgraded last year, the optional navigation system features voice activation, an improved high-resolution display and an input jack for connecting external devices. There are a maximum of 78 cubic feet of cargo space available, which is competitive for the midsize SUV class. However, the optional third-row seat is very cramped in terms of space, and curbside loading of the cargo area can be awkward due to the GX's side-hinged rear door that blocks access when opened.

Driving Impressions

With car-based crossovers now the standard for midsize luxury SUVs, the 2008 Lexus GX 470 can feel like something of a throwback to the mid-1990s. However, it's still reasonably refined and delivers both a smooth ride and competent handling. Depending on driver preference, the standard four-mode adaptive variable suspension (AVS) can be set from Comfort to Sport to automatically adjust shock stiffness based upon road conditions and driving style. Adding more flexibility is the standard Rear Adjustable Height Control (AHC), which can offer an additional 1.6 inches of clearance for negotiating challenging terrain or lower the rear of the vehicle 1.2 inches for easier loading.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Great suv,but...

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Lexus GX 470 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

For an SUV it's very good with plenty of space unless you have a family or carrying more than 5 people, then some issues arise. The third row isn't exactly spacious and kids will fight for the mid row to avoid the third. Gas mileage is self explinatory since it runs on a V8. Power is plenty when you need it on highways and even after years, the GX is still fairly quiet even with a V8. All in all, it is a great SUV, just be prepared for gas trips and the questionable third row.

Love my lexus

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Lexus GX 470 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

I purchased a used 2008 Lexus GX470 2 weeks ago with just 7500 miles. I love this car! I previously drove an Acura MDX and this vehicle is so much more comfortable. The ride is smooth and there is no road noise at all. My only issue: my Blue tooth. I can hear perfectly but no one seems to hear me! Hopefully, this can be fixed. If you enjoy an SUV but yearn for the smooth ride of a luxury sedan, consider this model!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best of all luxury suv

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Lexus GX 470 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

Of all the vehicles I have owned, this must be the best one suited for the whole family. Used to drive an Infiniti Q45 that was an excellent vehicle but not enough room, my wife drives a Honda Pilot, which I dread to drive because of intolerable road noise. The GX470 is the end result of my hours of research and test drives. It is like driving in the quiet comfort and luxury of my previous Q45, with the roominess of the Honda Pilot.

Versatile, comfortable, impressive

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Lexus GX 470 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

I picked up my GX in 3/08. I wanted to wait awhile before posting a review to allow for some perspective. The craftsmanship and build quality is fantastic. Power train the smoothest I've experienced (previous BMW owner). The car has been 100% trouble free so far (14K miles). No squeaks or rattles to speak of. Superb driving position and seats. Having just moved into a new house with a new baby, this car has been very useful for carrying boxes, etc. Rock solid in snow as well. Wish gas mileage was better though; I've been averaging 17.5 mpg on premium. I would recommend this car as long as you don't mind the mileage.

Still love it - after

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Lexus GX 470 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

I was the first one here to write a review (see bottom). It has been a year and a month and a happy 14,000 miles since I got my 2008 GX470. What can I say, I STILL LOVE IT. I feel like 100 bucks when I get in and I know I made the right choice when I get out. Every day I look forward to driving the car. I use it primarily for commuting to my workplace (40 miles both ways). When I get home it feels nice to know that this great vehicle is waiting for me in the morning. I had 2 problems: driver side mirror was sticking and my aluminum wheels had some black spots. Both problems were fixed promptly and the dealer even apologized for the inconvenience. I will drive this truck forever!

Accept no substitutes!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Lexus GX 470 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)

I can't say enough great things about this truck! It's a phenomenal piece of machinery and if you love the 4runner, the GX 470 will put it to shame and make you wonder why you ever drove one! The ride is smooth. The interior is plush and luxurious. It rides so quiet! As many have said already, there are a few things that need improving but that's the advantage when you own one. You know it will only be a few years before they roll out the next new model. I just couldn't be happier. I traded my RX350 in for this and I think I made an excellent choice. Much roomier, not too much difference on the gas mileage and it's just a more solid vehicle. Truly outstanding product!

Talk About The 2008 GX 470

2008 Lexus GX 470 Discussions See all Started By

I am thinking to buy 2009 GX 470 with 3rd row and contacted two local Houston Lexus dealers, they sent identical price for the car...

GX 470: No major changes are foreseen....

I have searched and found nothing regarding xenon headlights and 2007 / 2008 GX 470 models. I know the SUVs dont have the option but there are aftermarket kits....

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 18
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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