New here - shopping for either a GX 470 or 4th Gen 4Runner, any advice? (1 Viewer)

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Hello all - newbie here on the forums. I've been lurking for a while and reading/researching a bit. In the process of relocating to Central Oregon over the next year or so. I have property near Bend and will be building a small home to retire (sort of) up in that area. I currently have a "AWD" 2nd Gen Honda CR-V manual transmission 148k on the clock and runs great - is OK in a bit of snow and ice, dirt roads, etc... but have been hankering fro something that I can use for "real" off-roading and able to handle some deeper snow which they get in this area once or twice a year for a couple weeks or longer. I've had a Toy truck, Samurai and Isuzu Trooper over the years, and all were used fairly extensively off-road in the Anza Borrego & Cleveland NF areas when I lived in San Diego. I started looking at 100 series LC and found out about the Prado LC in OZ, which is what the GX470 is... 4Runners have a great rep and I like them, but it appears the GX has a taller interior ceiling height. As you might tell by my name, I am a fairly avid mountain biker and also road rider. Getting up in years so not too fast any longer but still love to ride. One of the reasons I purchased the CR-V was that I can more easily carry a couple/three bikes in the back as it was taller and I can stand them up with the front wheels off. 4Runner wouldn't allow that and neither would the many of the other soft-roaders - therefore the Honda as I wasn't in a place or lifestyle where I was likely to go off-road. On a GX or 4R I would probably not go too crazy changing things (at least initially...). Beefier tires maybe and some armor underneath should cover most of what I would do. Probably lift the suspension an inch or two down the road. Plan on leaving the engine stock and want something that will last years and still be able to get into some rougher/rutty dirt roads and handle deep-ish mud and snow.

Does anyone here have the measurement of the height(s) of the GX rear door opening and floor-to-ceiling? Also, 4th Gen 4Runner input would be appreciated too - if it's taller than it used to be I might lean there too... I'm looking for a first gen GX or 4th gen 4R. With my budget I'll probably be looking for a rig with around 200k on it. If there are service records is there anything to hesitate with on this? I hear that these can go for double that if maintained.... Also, for a reasonably easy-driving guy, what sort of real fuel economy should I expect? The Honda gets 25 mpg on the highway and I usually get 19-20 in my normal around town/some freeway usage. I know I'll take a hit, just wondering how much. My old Trooper (V6 & Manual) gave me about 16-17 in the same usage as I do now. I may keep the Honda as a run-around but really don't need 3 vehicles either, so this may replace as my daily. Other vehicle is a full size Transit van that I use for work and camping in when road tripping. Also gets about 16 mpg for my usual usage.

OK - that was long. I look forward to hearing what you more seasoned Toyota/Lexus owners out there have to say. BTW - the LC and LX 470 are also potentials, but the slightly smaller vehicle appeals to me... Thanks in advance!
ATBScott
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
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79
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Oregon Coast
Welcome! I'm sort of jealous of your property in Bend, as I'd love to have some in that area myself. I'm on the Oregon coast, so Bend is only a few hours away, but it is just far enough away that making a day trip of it is just to little time doing anything but driving to/from there.

As for the GX, I don't have exact dimensions, but the 4Runner is smaller inside than the GX. I chose the GX over the 4Runner partially because of that factor, and also because at the time the GX was considerably cheaper than a same year and mileage 4Runner while also much better optioned. I'm a mountain biker too, and while I have only put my bike in the back once (I have a nice Thule hitch-mounted bike carrier), I was able to fit it in with the front tire off. With that said, the 5th gen 4Runner can do that as well.

For fuel mileage, I average around 17mpg with mixed city/highway driving (mostly coastal roads with speed limits 45mph and below). I've done a few multi-state drives and got as high as 19mpg and as low as 15mpg, so that mixed number makes sense. It is worth noting that my GX is still mostly stock on stock size all seasons.

Good luck with your decision. I love the 100 series, but the size and capability of the GX hits the sweet spot for me. I've spent the last few decades offroading full-size trucks and Jeeps, and the GX is the first vehicle I've owned where I didn't feel like I was making a huge trade-off in livability to also have capability.

Tom
 
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Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
90
Location
Tempe, AZ
Hello all - newbie here on the forums. I've been lurking for a while and reading/researching a bit. In the process of relocating to Central Oregon over the next year or so. I have property near Bend and will be building a small home to retire (sort of) up in that area. I currently have a "AWD" 2nd Gen Honda CR-V manual transmission 148k on the clock and runs great - is OK in a bit of snow and ice, dirt roads, etc... but have been hankering fro something that I can use for "real" off-roading and able to handle some deeper snow which they get in this area once or twice a year for a couple weeks or longer. I've had a Toy truck, Samurai and Isuzu Trooper over the years, and all were used fairly extensively off-road in the Anza Borrego & Cleveland NF areas when I lived in San Diego. I started looking at 100 series LC and found out about the Prado LC in OZ, which is what the GX470 is... 4Runners have a great rep and I like them, but it appears the GX has a taller interior ceiling height. As you might tell by my name, I am a fairly avid mountain biker and also road rider. Getting up in years so not too fast any longer but still love to ride. One of the reasons I purchased the CR-V was that I can more easily carry a couple/three bikes in the back as it was taller and I can stand them up with the front wheels off. 4Runner wouldn't allow that and neither would the many of the other soft-roaders - therefore the Honda as I wasn't in a place or lifestyle where I was likely to go off-road. On a GX or 4R I would probably not go too crazy changing things (at least initially...). Beefier tires maybe and some armor underneath should cover most of what I would do. Probably lift the suspension an inch or two down the road. Plan on leaving the engine stock and want something that will last years and still be able to get into some rougher/rutty dirt roads and handle deep-ish mud and snow.

Does anyone here have the measurement of the height(s) of the GX rear door opening and floor-to-ceiling? Also, 4th Gen 4Runner input would be appreciated too - if it's taller than it used to be I might lean there too... I'm looking for a first gen GX or 4th gen 4R. With my budget I'll probably be looking for a rig with around 200k on it. If there are service records is there anything to hesitate with on this? I hear that these can go for double that if maintained.... Also, for a reasonably easy-driving guy, what sort of real fuel economy should I expect? The Honda gets 25 mpg on the highway and I usually get 19-20 in my normal around town/some freeway usage. I know I'll take a hit, just wondering how much. My old Trooper (V6 & Manual) gave me about 16-17 in the same usage as I do now. I may keep the Honda as a run-around but really don't need 3 vehicles either, so this may replace as my daily. Other vehicle is a full size Transit van that I use for work and camping in when road tripping. Also gets about 16 mpg for my usual usage.

OK - that was long. I look forward to hearing what you more seasoned Toyota/Lexus owners out there have to say. BTW - the LC and LX 470 are also potentials, but the slightly smaller vehicle appeals to me... Thanks in advance!
ATBScott

I just today purchased my '07 GX from a small dealer here in the Phoenix area. Pretty excited! I did a lot of research/searching/trolling using the CarGurus app and had really good luck. One other thing to note, Lexus has a site that allows you to input VIN in order to review (Lexus) service records; which I relied upon quite a bit. Helped to find any funny stuff with each respective vehicle. For the GX I landed on today, the Lexus site revealed a very recent timing belt/water pump replacement - which is what pushed me into a panic buy mode today.

As for bikes, I highly recommend the Rocky Mounts Backstage. Rad setup for keeping your bikes mounted, and locked, to your vehicle AND the swing arm feature makes getting into and out of the rear hatch/tailgate pretty damn easy. I use it on my 80-Series quite a bit.

There's also a great thread here on upgrades to the GX that I have found pretty valuable.

Welcome to the worm hole...
 
Joined
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Messages
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NorCal
That's good information guys - thanks! I'm mainly interested in keeping my bikes inside as I have had a couple of friends and customers (I used to own a bike shop) get rear-ended while driving with their bikes on the back. My bike is about the same price as what I plan on spending on a clean used 470 so I prefer to (hopefully) keep her 'indoors'. I'll have to give cargurus a check - have mainly been looking CL and Autotrader. The two 470's I am most interested in (one GX, one LX) have both had the belt/pump/etc... changed in the last few thousand miles, so that is a major factor in whatever vehicle I may get.

Squirrelmaster: Do you feel that you have to make a trade-off in livability with the GX, or was that supposed to be "didn't"? If not a typo, what trade-offs? I love the Oregon Coast as well - parts of the Willamette Valley are nice - I have friends in Corvallis that I spend time in that area riding with, etc... Ashland and Klamath Falls are nice areas too. The Bend area fits well for the lifestyle I hope to be able to maintain there. I'll be far enough outside of Bend to hopefully miss the 'city' feel of the growth they have been seeing while still close enough to enjoy the conveniences of a city nearby. Best part for me - out my driveway, make a left and in 1/4 mile hit singletrack in Deschutes Nat'l Forest. About 6 miles up to hit the DRT, much of that off the roadway. Lots of 4x4 driving to do in the area as well. I have a dual sport that I'll use to explore also. Hopefully be up there in about 3 weeks to do some planning and work on the lot - kinda guesing my house building plans will be delayed with this Shelter in place keeping county offices closed. Looking forward to being an 'owner' in this group in the future!
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2014
Messages
448
Location
South Lake Tahoe, CA USA
That's good information guys - thanks! I'm mainly interested in keeping my bikes inside as I have had a couple of friends and customers (I used to own a bike shop) get rear-ended while driving with their bikes on the back. My bike is about the same price as what I plan on spending on a clean used 470 so I prefer to (hopefully) keep her 'indoors'. I'll have to give cargurus a check - have mainly been looking CL and Autotrader. The two 470's I am most interested in (one GX, one LX) have both had the belt/pump/etc... changed in the last few thousand miles, so that is a major factor in whatever vehicle I may get.

Squirrelmaster: Do you feel that you have to make a trade-off in livability with the GX, or was that supposed to be "didn't"? If not a typo, what trade-offs? I love the Oregon Coast as well - parts of the Willamette Valley are nice - I have friends in Corvallis that I spend time in that area riding with, etc... Ashland and Klamath Falls are nice areas too. The Bend area fits well for the lifestyle I hope to be able to maintain there. I'll be far enough outside of Bend to hopefully miss the 'city' feel of the growth they have been seeing while still close enough to enjoy the conveniences of a city nearby. Best part for me - out my driveway, make a left and in 1/4 mile hit singletrack in Deschutes Nat'l Forest. About 6 miles up to hit the DRT, much of that off the roadway. Lots of 4x4 driving to do in the area as well. I have a dual sport that I'll use to explore also. Hopefully be up there in about 3 weeks to do some planning and work on the lot - kinda guesing my house building plans will be delayed with this Shelter in place keeping county offices closed. Looking forward to being an 'owner' in this group in the future!

Hello all - newbie here on the forums. I've been lurking for a while and reading/researching a bit. In the process of relocating to Central Oregon over the next year or so. I have property near Bend and will be building a small home to retire (sort of) up in that area. I currently have a "AWD" 2nd Gen Honda CR-V manual transmission 148k on the clock and runs great - is OK in a bit of snow and ice, dirt roads, etc... but have been hankering fro something that I can use for "real" off-roading and able to handle some deeper snow which they get in this area once or twice a year for a couple weeks or longer. I've had a Toy truck, Samurai and Isuzu Trooper over the years, and all were used fairly extensively off-road in the Anza Borrego & Cleveland NF areas when I lived in San Diego. I started looking at 100 series LC and found out about the Prado LC in OZ, which is what the GX470 is... 4Runners have a great rep and I like them, but it appears the GX has a taller interior ceiling height. As you might tell by my name, I am a fairly avid mountain biker and also road rider. Getting up in years so not too fast any longer but still love to ride. One of the reasons I purchased the CR-V was that I can more easily carry a couple/three bikes in the back as it was taller and I can stand them up with the front wheels off. 4Runner wouldn't allow that and neither would the many of the other soft-roaders - therefore the Honda as I wasn't in a place or lifestyle where I was likely to go off-road. On a GX or 4R I would probably not go too crazy changing things (at least initially...). Beefier tires maybe and some armor underneath should cover most of what I would do. Probably lift the suspension an inch or two down the road. Plan on leaving the engine stock and want something that will last years and still be able to get into some rougher/rutty dirt roads and handle deep-ish mud and snow.

Does anyone here have the measurement of the height(s) of the GX rear door opening and floor-to-ceiling? Also, 4th Gen 4Runner input would be appreciated too - if it's taller than it used to be I might lean there too... I'm looking for a first gen GX or 4th gen 4R. With my budget I'll probably be looking for a rig with around 200k on it. If there are service records is there anything to hesitate with on this? I hear that these can go for double that if maintained.... Also, for a reasonably easy-driving guy, what sort of real fuel economy should I expect? The Honda gets 25 mpg on the highway and I usually get 19-20 in my normal around town/some freeway usage. I know I'll take a hit, just wondering how much. My old Trooper (V6 & Manual) gave me about 16-17 in the same usage as I do now. I may keep the Honda as a run-around but really don't need 3 vehicles either, so this may replace as my daily. Other vehicle is a full size Transit van that I use for work and camping in when road tripping. Also gets about 16 mpg for my usual usage.

OK - that was long. I look forward to hearing what you more seasoned Toyota/Lexus owners out there have to say. BTW - the LC and LX 470 are also potentials, but the slightly smaller vehicle appeals to me... Thanks in advance!
ATBScott

Without a drawer system you'll be fine putting two, maybe three bikes in on a skewer mounts. The GX is pretty tall so just drop the seat post a few inches and bikes fit fine. The 4Runner has considerably less roof height but may fit if you take your seat off. I too have a hitch rack but I understand putting them inside for security if you are parked a while. I found someone had tried to cut my average cable lock in attempt to get my LiteSpeed Mt. Bike one day...
 
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Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
21
Location
Connecticut
Originally I had 4th gen 4runners on my list when searching for vehicles, but I was finding significantly better maintained GXs for a better price. This will surely vary for various parts of the country. A site like edmumds or similar will probably give you a quick answer on rear dimensions, but the GX is much taller inside compared to the 4runner.

I can't comment on fuel economy, as I've been stuck at home since I got my GX from South Carolina in March and haven't filled up the tank yet :(

I don't feel I made any tradeoffs so far, I enjoy driving it when I get a chance, hopefully more to come this summer when the Covid calms down. I plan to use my GX as a camping and kayak hauling rig here in the North East. With the center locking differential (make sure that works before you buy) and low range, I personally don't have much planned for upgrades as the truck is so capable stock.

Once the airbags go, I'll update the suspension, and new tires once I wear the current ones down or get I manage to get it really stuck :D
 
Joined
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Messages
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Oregon Coast
Squirrelmaster: Do you feel that you have to make a trade-off in livability with the GX, or was that supposed to be "didn't"? If not a typo, what trade-offs?
Yep, typo, and I edited the post in case someone reads this later on.

With the gas trucks the trade-off was the size and fuel economy with big tires. With the diesel trucks it was size and weight. With the 2-door Jeeps it was the cargo capacity and crap highway ride...and fuel economy...and lack of sound deadening and thermal insulation. With the 4-door Jeeps it was the same as the 2-door Jeeps but with slightly better cargo capacity.

With the GX it has most of the capability of a stock Jeep (I only had Rubicon models, so I miss the lockers, though I do plan to add those at some point to the GX), but with something that is far more pleasant to live with when not off-road. Sure, it doesn't get much better fuel economy, but it is nimble enough on both the trails and parking lots, and my wife isn't terrified of driving it like she was my trucks. While I love the 100-series, the GX fit the narrower Jeep trails that I was accustomed to driving on at the time, though I think that is a bit less of a concern on the eastern side of the Cascades.

Tom
 
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90
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Tempe, AZ
Question: When looking over a previously owned GX (or any IFS vehicle), how do you determine the health of the CV boots? Visually? By touch? Safe to grab the boots and squeeze?
 
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NorCal
Yeah, Squirrelmaster - I really liked the "small" aspect of my Suzuki Samurai. That little bugger would go anywhere, if you didn't mind the paint-shaker ride. I went from that to an Isuzu Trooper, which the GX feels close to in size - GX is slightly larger maybe, but not enough to feel 'big' to me. The LX is a nice vehicle and I'll bet the ride is really nice, but it does feel a little big - and I drive a full-size high-roof Transit. I tested out an LX today - the one I was looking at didn't have that nice a ride - the airbag suspension was bad. Grrrrr..... Drove a good distance to check it out, wouldn't have if they had mentioned it needed that work. Otherwise it was pretty nice. I told the guy it was going to cost at least $1200 to put in a standard suspension and more than it was worth to replace the air suspension with a new one. He wasn't budging on the price so that one is off my list! I may be looking at a GX tomorrow. We'll see what happens. I am fortunate to not be in a real hurry (well, at least I don't need to get another vehicle. If I get one in the few weeks I'll take it up to OR with me next month.
 
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Messages
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NorCal
Without a drawer system you'll be fine putting two, maybe three bikes in on a skewer mounts. The GX is pretty tall so just drop the seat post a few inches and bikes fit fine. The 4Runner has considerably less roof height but may fit if you take your seat off. I too have a hitch rack but I understand putting them inside for security if you are parked a while. I found someone had tried to cut my average cable lock in attempt to get my LiteSpeed Mt. Bike one day...
That is good to know - that a bike may even fit over a drawer system... How tall are you and what size frame do you ride? I am about 5'9" and ride a Medium frame in everything. My Pivot has a dropper post so that is never an issue - but a couple of my riding buddies are in the 6' range and their bikes JUST fit height-wise in my CR-V. Probably not the 4Runner - at least standing up. My single speed doesn't have a dropper post and it is close getting it through the door but fine once inside. If I go tomorrow to look at a GX one thing I will do it take that bike with me to see how it fits. My Trooper was even a few inches taller at the door and never had a problem getting a bike in. Be nice to be able to fit a couple of bikes in over a drawer! I'll do the same on a newer (4th Gen) 4Runner and see it they are taller than the 3rd gen. Doesn't look like they are tho...
 
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Messages
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South Lake Tahoe, CA USA
That is good to know - that a bike may even fit over a drawer system... How tall are you and what size frame do you ride? I am about 5'9" and ride a Medium frame in everything. My Pivot has a dropper post so that is never an issue - but a couple of my riding buddies are in the 6' range and their bikes JUST fit height-wise in my CR-V. Probably not the 4Runner - at least standing up. My single speed doesn't have a dropper post and it is close getting it through the door but fine once inside. If I go tomorrow to look at a GX one thing I will do it take that bike with me to see how it fits. My Trooper was even a few inches taller at the door and never had a problem getting a bike in. Be nice to be able to fit a couple of bikes in over a drawer! I'll do the same on a newer (4th Gen) 4Runner and see it they are taller than the 3rd gen. Doesn't look like they are tho...
I ride a medium as well. Now, It also depends how high your drawer system is. Mine are 9" low drawers. There are also very tall drawers for tons of gear. You will need to measure your handle bars and lowest part of your seat dropped with the front fork on the skewer that you will be using to be sure. What I can tell you is that the GX has more roof height then a 4Runner...I am not sure of the actual difference.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Messages
10
Location
Chandler
I just today purchased my '07 GX from a small dealer here in the Phoenix area. Pretty excited! I did a lot of research/searching/trolling using the CarGurus app and had really good luck. One other thing to note, Lexus has a site that allows you to input VIN in order to review (Lexus) service records; which I relied upon quite a bit. Helped to find any funny stuff with each respective vehicle. For the GX I landed on today, the Lexus site revealed a very recent timing belt/water pump replacement - which is what pushed me into a panic buy mode today.

curious who the dealer was? we live in Chandler and are ready to pounce on a 470 ourselves when we find one..
 

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