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Guide me: GX or 4Runner to replace my TDi Touareg...

Discussion in '150-Series Toyotas' started by silverfstop, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. silverfstop

    silverfstop

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    Howdy all-

    First, I'm sorry if this has been discussed to death. I did flip back through the 150 forum and didn't see much.

    TL;DR: I can't decide between GX/4R/LC/LR4.

    Anyhow, I'm the (mostly happy) owner of a 2010 VW Touareg TDi. It has air suspension. It's had a low range. The interior is great, it looks OK and the fuel econ is wonderful. On the other hand it has it's share of Euro-car'ness (mostly electrical gremlins) and theres that whole TDi scandal... and the rig goes back under buy-back in about 8 weeks.

    So, now it's time to find a replacement vehicle. I'm really torn between a few camps. A bit about my requirements and use: DD in Los Angeles. Comfortable interior, heated seats, HID preferred, parking aids mandatory (sensors + camera ideal - I'm married), 4 low mandatory, center locker mandatory. Full time AWD (aka, Torsen center) is preferred, but not completely mandatory. Air suspension is nice, but not exactly desired (long term breakage is the concern). Most frequent non-DD use is weekend trips to the Eastern Sierras (off road and snowy/icy switchbacks), road trips to Arizona (with lots of fire trails and Sonoma-type adventures) and occasionally towing a 3000lb single axel trailer.

    Budget: Ideally $40k (about), but I could be pursueded to go up to 60k... Maybe.

    So far I've identified four possible options, all used: GX460, New/late 4Runner Trail Premium, 200 Series LC, and Land Rover LR4.

    The 200 Series LC has all sorts of tech and comfort, the three biggest drawbacks are the price, the abysmal econ and the horrid approach/departure angles. It's one of the more expensive options and I feed like I'd need to drop 5+ grand on bumpers to get anywhere close to the off road capability of the 4Runner or LR4.

    The LR4 is very capable, has great road manners and my wife likes it. The downsides are purchase price, reliability and repairs.

    The 4Runner came out strong in this contest. Well priced. V6 for reasonable econ. Center and rear locker. KDSS optional. What's not to like? Interior is VERY dated (seriously, I had a new Corolla rental the other day that was much nicer - sorry if that's offensive), and the 4L V6 and 5AT are ancient. I also take major issue with the 4WD system on the non-Limited models: 4H with an open (or limited slip) center diff (aka: Torsen) is incredibly useful for 90% of my limited-traction conditions: Mountain switchbacks in the winter with ice and snow. These are times when you want to drive as smoothly as possible and tire scrub isn't desirable. I could get a Limited, but then I'd be stuck with a wheel/tire combo I don't want and lose KDSS - which I'm quite intrigued by.

    The GX460 snuck up on me. On paper it has a lot going for it: V8 with minimal econ penalty. Lockable Torsen, KDSS, and off-road tech goodies. Nice interior, seating for 7, and it's a Prado so there are tons of aftermarket parts. The downsides are the looks, the stupid JDM rear door, and LC-like approach/departure angles.

    So, given all of this, what say ye? Is the daft 4WD system on the 4Runner that big a deal? How much will resale take a dump when the 6th gen comes out in a few years? Is KDSS worth it (oh, I know there have been threads about that...)? Is the GX departure angle THAT bad? Same question for the LC? Should I just suck it up, but the LR4 to please my wife and take all the money I'd spend modding' the LC/GX and put it towards repairs?

    The forum's guidance and expertise is greatly appreciated.
    -S
     
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  2. titanpat57

    titanpat57 Bigfoot?!...never heard of him... SILVER Star

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    I think 4runner FTW....(based on your list). The problem I see with the GX (outside of the 8, that would be nice) is the amount of trim and plastic hanging down. I think you should test drive a 4runner Trail Edition Premium (last) it can be had with KDSS, and a lever to lock the 4wd...easy enough to use. Also the electronic rear locker is huge .

    It comes with everything else I think your looking for....rear window rolls down, hatch lifts up. I would wait just a bit longer to see what the 2018 has to offer. As far as resale, no matter what gen, it has one of the highest out there.

    Good luck
     
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  3. silverfstop

    silverfstop

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    I agree about the low hanging trim on the GX. On the other hand, since that would be used I would be better insulated from depreciation.

    Haven't been able to find any 4R Trail Premiums with KDSS that are well priced. They're all nearly 40K - might as well buy new. I have about 60 days to get a new car (Touareg has to be turned in soon), so I'm dealing with a bit of deadline :-/
     
  4. Jacket

    Jacket Moderator

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    How important is premium branding and appointments to you? I'd put the GX and the 4Runner at the top of the list - but #1 would be driven by the above question. Lexus has the V8, nicer interior, strong off road platform, and most of the off road features you need. 4Runner is more capable than the GX out of the box, but it's a lacking in some of the refinements that the other 3 choices in your lineup have.
     
  5. silverfstop

    silverfstop

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    Funny, badge is actually the least of my concerns - if anything I *prefer* to avoid flashy cars.

    Appointments are somewhat important. If the 4Runner had even the current gen Corolla interior (had one the other day as a rental - quite nice!) this wouldn't be much of a discussion point. Similarly if the 4Runner had the KDSS / Torsen combo available I might look the other way on the interior. As it stands now, it feels like death by a thousand cuts, you know?
     
  6. Colonal Angus

    Colonal Angus

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    I'm actually in the exact same boat,silverfstop. I need to get a new car (work demands it). Don't know if I'll be of any help but here goes...

    My short list is 4Runner, GX460 or 200.

    4Runner - I currently have a 2013 Trail with KDSS. I have 118,000 and quite a few off road trips under the belt with her. Flat out, I'm having a very hard time parting with it. It is by far the best vehicle I've owned. It's comfortable, capable and super reliable. I've never noticed the "dated" look of the interior but then again I appreciate the simplicity of the Toyotas of yesteryear. The blue lights, shiny faceplates, touchscreen ac controls do absolutely nothing for me. People mention the manual transfer case on the Trail...I prefer it hands down over twist knobs and push buttons. The KDSS is worth it to me. Haven't noticed anything off-road but loaded up for trips it does feel like it rides on rails while cornering and driving mountain roads. I have two buddies with trails no KDSS and the body roll is noticible...they mentioned the difference to me while riding in my runner. I've had zero issues with the KDSS...not even with lifting the vehicle. My only hold up is with it going on it's 8th year of production for the 5th generation. I feel like as soon as I lock down another 4Runner...the 6th gen is going to come out and equal a 70 series with a diesel (kidding but you get my drift). On the flip side, maybe the 5th gen is last of its true off-road heritage...BOF, manual transfer case, locking rear diff etc in which case I want to hop on one asap. The rear lift gate is awesome as is the roll down rear window, mentioned earlier. It does provide a quick canopy in rain, it does make for a lit working area while camping and cooking under said canopy. The lift gate, however, does have a drawback...with the vehicle lifted my wife can't close the door, much less my little camping compadres. They can open the hell out of it but if I'm not there...it's open lol. Also, you can't use a fox wing awning. The second row folds completely flat! Has tons of storage space. The V6 is sufficient power. It's not a race car but I've always found it to be perfectly fine even loaded with gear, 3" lift, 32s, roof rack with gear atop creating drag cruising mountain roads.

    GX460 - GX460 just has a cool, low key sleeper 4x4 attraction to me. Yes it's a Lexus and a little bling but for now, a lifted, dirty, wheeled, modded 460 isn't on every street corner. Yes it has low valances killing approach/departure but the aftermarket will soon catch up as people start to build them...it's already happening with Metaltech and SSO. Plus, think of the things that a sawzall and cutting wheel could cure. They are plush inside. for the money, I'd much rather have a 460 than 4Runner limited but that's just me. The Lexus badge, it's a little loud but could probably be popped off the front and rear and replaced with a Prado or 4Runner Toyota T. I haven't quite come to terms with the swing gate. It's great that my wife and kids will be able to access the rear of the truck with out my help but swinging that big ass door open in a crowded parking lot or in a parallel parking situation seems like a pain in the ass. Plus, you lose all the benefits that the lift gate affords. On the flip side, I've seen some killer molle storage panels and fold down tables for the swing gate. Those could be extremely useful. All the 460s have KDSS. Arb makes an air locker for them, sliders and lifts are easy to find, snorkels are avail, front runner makes a nice full length rack for it. It has a third row (big plus to wife). It does fold somewhat flat but the third row eats a lot of usable space. V8 is killer...obviously. This one gets my wife's vote...which makes my life easier.

    200 series - Its a Land Cruiser. If that's not enough of an argument then....
    I'll say this, I grew up idolizing the Toyota Land Cruiser. My pops worked for and retired from Toyota. He always put the LC on a pedestal. My brother and I always looked at LCs (regardless of series, year, condition, amentities) as dream cars. I can kind of afford a slightly used one now but I don't know if I want to shell out the dough and make the selfish decision of roaming around in a $55-$60k used car when a $35k 4Runner would do the trick and has been doing the trick well for the past 4 years. One thing about Land Cruisers. They never go out of style. When they come out with the 300...the 200, 100, 80, 70, 60, 50 and 40 will be just as badass as they ever were.

    * I see a lot of land cruiser in both the 5th gen do the 460...I think that's the biggest attraction to them both. If you can afford it...go 200. If it's stretch, the other two choices are both winners too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
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  7. silverfstop

    silverfstop

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    Nope, almost zero help - lol. However I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone and that you're happy with the 4Runner.

    At this point I'm leaning towards the 4Runner. Given the myriad of other factors, it's probably the smart choice. It does the most right out of the box and it's the least expensive. In ~2 years when the dust has settled and the 6th Gen comes out I can consider "upgrading", or getting a GX, or the LC200, or who knows what. By then we'll probably have kids and I'm sure a lot will change.

    Now... if I could only find a deal on a late model 4Runner with KDSS!
     
  8. titanpat57

    titanpat57 Bigfoot?!...never heard of him... SILVER Star

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    It also has awesome aftermarket support, so when you can start modding right away. The only thing I would highly recommend before leaving the dealership....is better tires, stock tires just suck
     
  9. ttFJC

    ttFJC

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    buy the rover. def need to buy the rover ;)
     
  10. ttFJC

    ttFJC

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    but my serious vote is for the 200. look until you find the lower mileage one that's 3-4 years old and it should fit your budget. let someone eat the first couple of years of deprecation and look for your certified used one still under warranty. you wont need to worry about packages because they only come with everything.

    4 runners are for kids in college
     
  11. hobbes

    hobbes SILVER Star

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    I'm not sure your point here. It's not wearing a Land Cruiser badge so it's for the immature? As a long time continual owner of LCs, I'm looking at a 150 series for my next purchase. It lines up closer to my 80 series and current needs than the 200 does at this point in many categories (price, size, weight, range). I'm not closed to a 200 series but leaning away from it at this point.

    The biggest thing holding my purchase back has been covered above. The 4R is more the "workman" truck, but it trails the 460 in engine options and towing, plus you are very limited in build options. (Want a Pro with push button start and a sun roof? Whoa...no can do. We can't do that in the 21st century. Well, how 'bout that upgrade engine option? You mean the upgrade to the chrome exhaust tip? Well, at last give me the locking fuel door. Denied! Whatever...). The 460 trails the 4R with that stupid tailgate and awful plastic cadding.

    Be interesting to see what Toyota does going forward with the 150. Wonder if they'll merge the two vehicles into something more similar to each other. (Still secretly wishing for the 80 series suspension/79 series power train/40 series body mashup that will never come).
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
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  12. Virgilus11

    Virgilus11

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    I was in same place as you last year. I use to drive a 2014 TDI and I decide to buy something else due to emission BS. I use this truck mostly in weekend and a Tundra for work.
    I went to the dealer and tested both. The 4Runner and the GX for about 40 miles on the highway mostly, one after the other one ( dealers across the street).
    4Runner- less bulk, more nimble, smaller inside and I found it little plasticky inside.
    GX- bigger inside (have two German pointers), much quieter on the highway and better touch of the materials they use.

    Now, the biggest difference is the motor in my eyes. The V8 is not big enough for how heavy is this truck (a little turbo would be nice) but it runs like a cat.


    Decided on the GX,
    2" inch BP51, 34" tires, 4.56 front and rear, ARB at both ends. I still dont like the front facia but i will eventually install a custom bumper.
    The rear door is something that I got used to in few weeks.
    They are both good cars but until you drive both back to back you will not see the difference between. Good luck. IMG_0199.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
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  13. silverfstop

    silverfstop

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    I agree, the 4Runner and GX are different animals in terms of comfort. Presently I'm leaning towards the 4Runner for two reasons. 1) Out of the box with zero mods (save for tires) - its more capable. 2) It's also less expensive.

    I'm not anti-mod, however I'm not exactly excited to buy something *knowing* that I have to make alterations like a lift - just to make it functional off road.

    Can you expand on your mods? Rig looks great. 2" lift I get, same for tires. What's the 4.56? "ARB" - you mean air lockers?
     
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  14. Virgilus11

    Virgilus11

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    For some reason Lexus does not come with ATRAC in some models (at list mine does not have, premium model,)therefor you left with not much traction if you get off the beaten path. IMG_0470.JPG I decided to install ARB lockers and may as well change the gears to 4.56 to help with the bigger tires.I was lucky enough and Chase from ECGS him self did the swap.
     
  15. Colonal Angus

    Colonal Angus

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    I was under the impression that all GX460s had ATRAC. I thought it was was automatically engaged when in 4lo...unlike, the 4Runner that has a separate button for ATRAC.
     
  16. Colonal Angus

    Colonal Angus

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    Great looking shorthair, by the way. I had two and miss them dearly. Great dogs...tons of energy.

    You said you're running 34s...what's the actual size? Looks great!
     
  17. Virgilus11

    Virgilus11

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    Thank you,
    I have no explanation why mine does not have the ATRAC but it does not , regardless if I am in low or not.
    34 are the TKO and Bfgoodrich are notorious for been smaller then what they are claiming. They are the same as the 285/70/17 Yokohama that I use in winter. 32" at 35 psi mounted. I installed them as a test to see if the smaller foot print 10.5" vs 12" makes a difference. I would like to install a 255/80/17 but not much options for an all terrain tire.

    Thank you. He is full of energy and always within one inch from me.
     
  18. ttFJC

    ttFJC

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    no i just live in a college town and everyone here drives a 4R. nothing against them. i just wouldnt buy one if given the choices mentioned. i drive a FJC so i dont have alot of room to knock the 4R anyways
     
  19. txgringo

    txgringo

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    I drive an 80 series and was recently going through a similar selection process for a vehicle for my wife (100 series, 4runner, GX460, GX470).

    For me the towing capacity of the 4runner and the AWD capability of the other options eliminated the 4runner early on. (AWD was important as we live at high elevation and sometimes find fresh snow before the plows do)

    I really wanted to put her into a 100 series, but found the pricing of the GX options to be a lot more favorable.

    I ended up getting a smoking deal on a GX470. If I could have gotten a similar deal on a GX460 I would have definitely gone that route to get the updated controls & newer engine, but budget was a pretty major factor and getting a clean GX470 for $5k under NADA was hard to pass up.

    A couple of important things to note:

    Many (not all) parts from the GX have a Toyota equivalent. If you spend the time to research this when you need parts then you can save a few bucks. When you must buy a Lexus only part, it's going to cost a lot more than the Toyota option would.

    Insurance will be more on the GX vs. the Toyota options (mostly due to the aforementioned high cost of Lexus parts). One of the biggest factors in determining insurance premiums is the cost of repair/replacement of a vehicle, and it seems the GX is pretty expensive to repair compared to the other options. ​

    As far as aftermarket options, I've been told that the frame on the GX is the same as the 4runner, so any 5th gen 4runner sliders should bolt right on. Metaltech has some excellent options for bumpers, and I'm sure there are some others available as well.
     
  20. Virgilus11

    Virgilus11

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    As of now, there is no option for a bumper for a 2016 US model. At list not in USA.