2008 Lexus GX 470 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Off-road competence, well-appointed and high-quality cabin.
  • Cramped third-row seat, awkward side-swinging cargo door.
Other years
List Price
$11,499

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2008 Lexus GX 470 models

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.

2008 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Lexus GX 470.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great SUV,But...
carenthusiast7,04/05/2011
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.
Unsurpassed Quaility and Off Road Capabilities
LC Prado,08/30/2016
4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A)
I traded up from a FJ Cruiser to this. In short, it's an amazingly comfortable SUV that excels at off road performance. Based on the Land Cruiser Prado sold pretty much everywhere else in the world except the US (think sand dunes and the bush), this truck is NOT a pimped out 4Runner. The full time 4WD, V8, rear air suspension, build quality, comfort and reliability combined make this rig unsurpassed for those who venture beyond the mall. These trucks are often referred to as out of date dinosaurs, and are compared to their unibody competitors who may outperform in terms of drivability and road manners; but this truck is built for towing, adverse driving conditions, and off-road capabilities while maintaining superior daily driver comfort for the whole family. If that’s not what you need, then look elsewhere. If it is, then look no further, spend a little extra up front, and drive it for another 200k miles. The KDSS version will decrease road body roll and improve off-road capabilities, as well, but they are hard to find. Not so great features include: limited 3rd row seating space and comfort, high (but rare) repair costs, fuel efficiency, styling (face it, it's ugly front most angles), and rear door.
Best of all luxury SUV
Sam,04/12/2009
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
RNarenDMD,01/12/2009
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.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2008 Lexus GX 470 features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2008 Lexus GX 470

Used 2008 Lexus GX 470 Overview

The Used 2008 Lexus GX 470 is offered in the following submodels: GX 470 SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Lexus GX 470?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 Lexus GX 470 trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 Lexus GX 470 Base is priced between $11,499 and$11,499 with odometer readings between 172527 and172527 miles.

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Which used 2008 Lexus GX 470s are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2008 Lexus GX 470s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Lexus GX 470 for sale - 3 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $11,012.

Find a used Lexus for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $18,866.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus GX 470 for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $10,231.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus for sale - 3 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $21,347.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 Lexus GX 470?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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