If you want a luxury SUV from Lexus but find the RX too small and the LX too big, then the Lexus GX470 is a great option for you. This first-generation midsize GX is packed with features like a smooth and quiet running powertrain, great interior fit and finish, and excellent off-road performance. We recommend you read the common faults of the Lexus GX470 .
Succeeded by the confusingly named Lexus GX460 in 2009, the GX470 remains a good choice many years after its production line shut down. Lexus models hold a good resale value if they are kept in good condition. The GX470 depreciates at a slower rate than comparable vehicles in the same class.
How good is the Lexus GX470?
The average consumer rating for the GX470 is 3.9 out of 5. As a brand, Lexus enjoys a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking it seventh out of 32 car brands.
The GX470 also has an average annual cost of ownership of less than $600 per year . Although you may end up going to an auto repair center a bit more often than other luxury SUVs, the problems are usually minor and don’t cost much to repair.
It’s not uncommon to come across drivers who talk about their Lexus GX470 accumulating 100,000 miles or more on the odometer. To prolong the life of your vehicle, they recommend following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and promptly replacing worn parts like the timing chain and water pump.
Common failures of the Lexus GX470
The Lexus GX470 encompasses all first generation GX units produced from 2002 to 2009. Its age means that the GX470 can develop problems with its various systems. Some of these problems tend to appear more frequently on certain model years.
In a comparison of model years, two years in particular were identified as the most problematic representatives of the model. The largest number of complaints concerned the 2006 Lexus GX470. However, the 2003 model year is considered the worst GX470 for reasons such as the higher cost to repair its particular problems.
Here are some of the common Lexus GX470 failures reported by owners:
1- Powertrain problems
Squealing noises coming from the powertrain have been reported on some units of the 2003 Lexus GX470. The noises tend to start right after drivers take their foot off the brake pedal. In one case, the auto repair center explained that the problem was a manufacturer’s defect and that Lexus was working on a fix.
Another Lexus GX470 powertrain problem can appear on some 2006 units. An owner reported that the differential bearings on his recently purchased GX470 had failed. According to him, the SUV had 138,000 miles on its odometer and was pretty much spoiled by its previous owner. However, the differential bearings wore out shortly after purchase.
2- Engine problems
The 2006 Lexus GX470 gets a lot of power from its V8 engine, which it shares with some Toyota Tundra and Toyota 4-Runner models. However, some owners have reported that the secondary air injection system tends to fail. In at least one case, replacing the bypass sensor resolved the issue . However, other repair work accumulated considerable costs.
Its immediate successor also received similar complaints about a specific part of its secondary air injection system. Some 2007 Lexus GX470 owners have reported a defect in the secondary air pump that sends additional air to the engine.
According to one of the complaints, the plastic blades of the pump can separate from the device and bury themselves somewhere in the intake system. When this happens, the GX470 goes into safe mode and takes longer to accelerate and brake.
Although replacing the faulty air pump usually fixes the problem, some owners advise against buying a stock replacement. During the time of the complaint, Lexus was still selling the faulty air pump as one of the replacement part options.
3- Brake problems
The brakes help keep Lexus GX470 occupants safe on the road. However, the brakes on some 2006 models can fail prematurely. A driver filed multiple complaints about the failure of the brakes on her 2006 GH470 on three separate occasions, the last of which led to a cracking accident.
Several possible reasons for the failures were put forward, including air bubbles, bad master and slave brake cylinders, and faulty brake shoes. However, none of the repair work managed to permanently prevent the unexpected failure of the brakes.
Drivers have aired similar problems with some brakes on the 2008 Lexus GX470 failing without warning . Affected 2003 model year units may also have premature wear issues with the brake rotors and other brake parts.
4- Electrical problems
The worst electrical problem that can appear in a Lexus GX470 was reported in some 2009 model year units. In one case, the alternator died while the owner was driving to the repair center. At the time of the ruling, the GX470 was 3 years old and the expensive part was designed with a useful life of more than 5 years.
Other possible electrical problems are corrosion of battery terminals and cables, and battery discharge overnight. These two battery related issues were reported by many 2004 Lexus GX470 owners.
It may be old and out of production, but the Lexus GX470 can still provide reliable service for years to come. Whether you already drive one or plan to own one, you can’t go wrong with this vehicle.
Do your due diligence by reading up on common Lexus GX470 failures for the model year you own or plan to purchase. This will give you a better idea of your true cost of ownership and prepare you to deal with common problems should they arise.