In the Lexus lineup, the GX 470 is situated between the entry-level crossover RX and the premium full-size LX. Targeted exclusively for the North American market, the Lexus GX design has been characterized as focused on blending both on-road and off-road capabilities in a single vehicle. Since 2003, the GX 470 has been upgraded with added technological features, including a new off-road suspension system and a Sport model.
The Lexus GX 470 was introduced as a 2003 model in November 2002, and released at the same time as the now-defunct competitor, the Lincoln Aviator. The GX 470 has a welded steel body, an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission, and an enhanced four-wheel drive system. The GX interior offers a place for up to eight passengers with three rows of seating, although the third row is tight with only 24in (609.6mm) of legroom for its three passengers. A side-opening rear tailgate is standard. Other features include built-in mudguards, water-repellent glass for the windshield and the driver & passenger doors, integrated illuminated running boards, and a roof rack with crossbars. The premium Mark Levinson audio system along with a rear seat DVD entertainment system are available as options.