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The People Have Spoken: Lexus GX550 Is A Better Buy Than The Land Cruiser

Both Japanese SUVs can trade punches, but most people on Reddit are adamant that the Lexus GX is a slightly better purchase than the J250 Toyota Land Cruiser.

When a carmaker brings out two very similar models, it is often a debate about which one to pick. For the better part of the last 20 or so years, every Toyota Land Cruiser generation has had its Lexus equivalent. The first hybrid Toyota Land Cruiser arrived in 2024 and it is no exception to the rule. Although they share the GA-F platform and the overall styling, the J250 Toyota and Lexus twins have a few key differences.  

There are a few discussions on Reddit, which aim to answer one question: which J250 SUV to get? While both SUVs have their strengths, it seems the Lexus GX wins this argument, and here's why.

I delved into these three Reddit discussions:

1. 2024 Lexus GX550 vs 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser: Which Toyota Is Best?

2. Which and why...2024 Toyota Land Cruiser or 2024 Lexus GX?

3. Thoughts on Lexus GX 550 VS Land Cruiser LC300?

I also shared all relevant information on the two SUV models to examine the reasons.

Toyota Land Cruiser is more affordable, but does it offer better bang for the buck? 

The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser with the thinner headlights rmeiniscent of the 80 Series Land Cruiser

Price is the easiest way to compare the two Japanese SUVs, and to no surprise, the more luxurious Lexus commands a premium over the J250 Land Cruiser. Depending on the trim, the J250 Toyota Land Cruiser has an MSRP of $55,950 to $74,950. The Lexus GX550 is slightly more expensive with an MSRP of $62,900 to $79,900 depending on how you spec it. 

Both have a spacious interior, but Lexus GX offers more practicality and refinement 

The 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser interior is not the most luxurious, but it feels like it's built to last

By now, we know that most people's issue with the Land Cruiser J250 is that it is a bit too utilitarian. It's not that the interior is terrible, it just isn't as luxurious as you might expect. Still, Toyota is a master of getting away with these things, and the Land Cruiser gives the impression it was built to last. 

While both J250 SUVs provide similar interior space, they are different in one key area. The Lexus GX550 offers third-row seating, for up to seven passengers. Toyota Land Cruiser, however, features a hybrid powertrain, which requires batteries, located in the trunk. Because of this, the Toyota J250 doesn't feature third-row seating, and can seat only five people max. 

As always, the Lexus model is the more luxurious one, and it simply features a more upscale interior. Better materials, more leather, and most importantly, better sound insulation make for a much more pleasant experience.  

SamboTheSodaJerk says: “GX because they are similar price and the same car. May as well get the better interior”. 

Both powertrains are great, but... 

One of the main reasons many people point out as to why they would choose the Lexus is the powertrain – the twin-turbo V-6 in the GX550 is not available on the Toyota Land Cruiser – something many people wished was different.  

Reddit user, ArtZTech, says: “I wish the LC had the V-6". 

On the other side, Toyota's i-Force Max powertrain is a good argument for some and provides much better fuel economy while performance isn't that far off the V-6.  

PseudoImmortall says: “Single turbo 4-cyl. hybrid. 326hp 465ftlbs. It's very comparable to the V-6 twin-turbo numbers". 

Some like mr_bots make a reply to the previous comment and make valid point that the hybrid powertrain is potent and fuel-efficient only as long as the battery has charge: “But only as long as the battery has charge. Reviews of the Taco don’t show much difference in performance between the 2.4T and 2.4T hybrid”.  

Having driven FHEV and PHEV vehicles with and without battery charge, I can confirm this is, indeed, the case. Driving a hybrid vehicle without battery charge is like driving a non-hybrid vehicle that's 500-700 pounds heavier. Even so, the Land Cruiser J250 is lighter at 5,038 pounds versus the Lexus GX550’s 5,467 pounds. 

While on the subject of fuel economy, the i-Force Max hybrid powertrain in the Land Cruiser J250 was, initially, rated at 27 MG combined. Reddit user, JPD232, made a point that those numbers were removed by Toyota since they turned out to be incorrect. Even so, Toyota Land Cruiser achieves a 23 MPG combined EPA figure with 22 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. 

Meanwhile, the Lexus GX550's V-6 is thirstier at 17 MPG combined EPA – 15 MPG in the city, 21 MPG on the highway. 

Towing power – the Lexus has more of it 

The 2024 Lexus GX Overtrail is what many wanted the Land Cruiser J250 to be from the start

Some say, nothing pulls like a big engine. Apparently, it's the same case here. The Lexus GX550 and its twin-turbo V-6 can tow up to 8,000 pounds while the J250 Land Cruiser's turbo-four hybrid powertrain can tow up to 6,000 pounds.

Granted, the V-6 has 349 horsepower and 479 pound-feet versus the i-Force Max hybrid's 326 horsepower and 465 pound-feet, but honestly, I thought that instant electric torque would make up for it. 

Performance is near-identical 

MotorTrend tested a 2024 Toyota Land Crusesr and managed a 6.0-second 0-60 mph time. However, they measure the time with one-foot rollout, so that's easily another 0.5 second. A 6.5-second 0-60 mph time seems more believable. The Lexus GX550 meanwhile reaches 60 mph from a standstill in 6.3 seconds and on to a 14.7-second quarter-mile time.

These figures are, largely, irrelevant for big SUVs like those two, but still worth mentioning. Of course, there is the question of reliability and while Toyota has assured us the 2.4-liter turbo-four (with or without hybrid assist) is robust enough to provide reliable performance, there are concerns regarding the 3.4-liter V-6 engine, due to which Toyota recalled a good amount of its new trucks

The J250 Paradox 

Toyota and Lexus did a brilliant job at differentiating the J250 twins. The Land Cruiser comes with smaller, 18-inch wheels and more sidewall for the tires – 265/70 R18. The Lexus GX550 is obviously meant more for on-road driving with its factory, 22-inch wheels, wrapped in 275/50 R22 tires. However, the Lexus GX550 Overtrail gets a more rugged disposition with a couple of features, including the Land Cruiser's 18-inch wheel and tire combo.

The sad part is that KDSS with electronic front and rear sway bar disconnect is only available on the Lexus GX550. In fact, the only Toyota SUV currently available with KDSS suspension is the 2024 Toyota 4Runner.  

Manually disconnecting the sway bars on the J250 Land Cruiser is still possible, though why Toyota wouldn't give you the option on the more off-road prepped SUV is beyond me. I would also reckon the Lexus GX550 is slightly more aerodynamic than the Land Cruiser's 0.35 drag coefficient, due to the tapered hood line. Of course, that last part is purely speculation.  

Which J250 SUV would you go for? Lexus GX550 or Toyota Land Cruiser? Feel free to share your thoughts below.  

About the author

Dimitar Angelov's automotive interests made him an expert in a wide variety of vehicles. Japanese brands like Toyota are closest to his heart, although performance cars in general are his favorite segment, which is why he is constantly on the lookout for the best deals on the market. Dimitar Angelov's car passion and knack for the written word led him to complete a Master of Arts in Media and Communications, and classic car restoration. Dim is happy to get behind the wheel of any car and share his impressions. You can follow Dimitar on XLinked-inInstagram, and Facebook.

Image sources: 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser, 2024 Lexus GX550