We spent the winter with our GS350 AWD and a Volvo V50 wagon (non-AWD) and decided we needed an actual truck. My first instinct was several things:
- No cute utes, BOF or nothing
- It must be reliable long term (5-7 years)
- Third row was a major perk
- Comfortable/well optioned with heated seats, sunroof, etc.
- Ability to tow, haul, go off road, do stuff, swiss army knife vehicle, etc.
- Look good, my job requires a nice looking/clean vehicle as I have clients
- My spouse wouldn't complain about ride/tippiness like we had with our FJ
The decision making process really came down to a few things as well...I wanted to be on a budget under $30k, it had to be trustworthy/reliable which rapidly ruled out most of ze Germans and other Euro vehicles, and it needed to be a good all around truck.
We drove/considered -
2012+ Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon - I adored this car, it was a trash pile to drive, it checked about half the boxes, but damn it was fun. It was rapidly vetoed by my spouse and in the end I realized it was a pipe dream. Plus it's letting me get a few years before we cash the GS350 in for a gladiator (shhhhhhh!)
2007 4Runner Limited V8 - The one we saw was trashed, in fact, every single one I saw was trashed. Sadly, clean 4th gens in the upper midwest were pretty outrageous pricewise and most had a zillion miles on them. I don't mind paying 20k for a 10+ year old truck, I do mind when it as 190k on it...reliable or not, time, mediocre owners, and rust ruled a lot of these out.
GX470, really liked these, but the wife found them tippy. They have a booming aftermarket and a generally great buys, but there weren't many good ones for sale. Ultimately the age and cost for a clean one made it not work out.
Tahoe/Yukon - just too big. I like these trucks, but my spouse found it really uncomfortable to drive coming out of cars (even a big GS seems tiny by comparison). Plus the most recent ones don't seem to be quite the reliability tanks the older ones were.
2010+ 4Runner - these damn things must be plated with gold somewhere i'm not aware of. i couldn't find a single limited 2013+ for sale for less than 30k anywhere. it was downright outrageous. we looked at a new one and honestly we probably would have bought a new TRD Pro (that blue color...mmm) on the spot, but! no 3rd row on pro's or off-roads. if we were going to go over budget, we'd want everything...and when we looked at a new one, the Lexus dealer was right next door...
So...if you're already looking at going over budget and you want EVERYTHING for a long time with no compromises...you walk into the Lexus dealer.
Meet our new 2015 GX460, CPO, 38k miles, brand new tires and brakes, literally spotless. Even better, it's a luxury, 17 speaker levinson stereo, air ride, darker wheels, nicer leather. Other than the Nav being a touch dated, it's like buying brand new (sticker was $64k). It also has the remainder of its factory warranty until later this year and then 2 more years of bumper to bumper on top of that.
And we love the thing. It checks very box and the only real downside is that it gets about 17mpg average. These are on the 4Runner/Taco frame, they have the correct number of truck cylinders (8!), a small third row, nearly every option, and the dealer was great to work with. We paid $38k out the door. Yes it was over budget, but when we were looking at CPO 4Runner Limiteds, they were within a few thousand.
I have a few small complaints, I think the brakes are a touch soft, it has the notorious propshaft clunk (dealer is fixing this), and i wish the Nav was a little slicker, but otherwise, it's perfect.
There aren't a lot of threads on GX460's so feel free to send any Q's my way. Cheers.