LC100/LX470 vs GX470 vs 4Runner Trail Edition (new)

dnorrell

Adventurer
Hey gang!

Well, due to some reliability issues I've been having with my Jeep, I'm thinking of parting ways with my 2012 Wrangler Unlimited. The bummer is I've spent about 15k (probably more) on AEV goodies, etc kitting it up the way I like, but it is spending far too much time at the dealership for warranty repairs lately, and I'm frankly getting fed up with being told, "We don't know what's wrong with it - I wouldn't worry about it"...etc.

So, I troll the heck out of some forums soaking up as much information as possible. I've identified a few alternatives to fit our needs if I go and sell the JK.

Needs: Comfortably fit 2 adults, 2 dogs (one tiny, and one big ol' Irish Wolfhound) and potential future kiddos on backcountry adventures here in Colorado, and beyond. Planning a 2-3 week trip for the summer to get up into Canada and AK where we will camp the whole time. The gal likes the idea of a RTT, so having decent aftermarket support for roofracks and the like would be good. Should be comfy for trips down to TX to see family. Above all, I want to know it will be reliable deep down in the cockles of my heart.

4Runner Trail Edition: Drove it, and like it, but it is pricey. I think I would have to spend less money on making it trail worthy enough for me. Gal likes it. Pricey, and new (which can be good, and bad).

100 series: Always loved them, and there seem to be some good ones floating around in the upper 20s/low 30s - around 2006 with 60k miles, thereabouts. Comfy, but maybe a bit less fuel efficient than I would like.

GX470: Strong engine, and comfortable, but US aftermarket seems to be limited?

I would love to hear some thoughts of what you might consider if you were in my shoes. I know the location of this thread may serve up some biased responses, and I'm ok with that :)

Thanks a ton!
 

JP5EDC

New member
Sorry to hear of your Jeep troubles, I was stuck between the Wrangler and the 4Runner but ended up going with the 4Runner always wondering if I made a mistake. Lately it seems like I hear about so many Jeep issues so I feel pretty good about my decision. I picked up a Limited (full time 4WD) and plan on beefing up the suspension and wheels/tires for some offroading next year. I think if you end up going with the 4Runner you'll be happy with your decision. I've been impressed with the aftermarket support...
 

dnorrell

Adventurer
Thanks for the reply. I've noticed there's a good deal of aftermarket support for the 4Runner already. They sure are nice. I haven't driven a limited, only the trail and SR5, and really liked the KDSS of the TE.

If I were to consider the 100 series, it looks like it might behoove me to consider vehicles with 100k+ mileage. I could save a ton of money by going with something with more miles - and likely have no payment, which would be nice - but gosh if I wouldn't be nervous with the higher miles. Though, looking through the 100 series registry thread, most of them were bought over 100k and look to be going strong. Maybe it was the misadventure I had with buying a Land Rover Discovery II a few years back - flew out to TX and drove it back, and it just barely made it here. That think always needed attention, and I hated to park it in the driveway because it always leaked something.

I'm hoping an older LC would be a little more house-trained ;)
 

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ChuckB

Expedition Leader
Go with the 100. It sounds perfect for your use. I have two dogs, one little and one big (but not as big as yours!). I also now have 2 kiddos. Trust me you'll want the space. 100K is just broken in on a LC. As long as there is a maintenance history you should have nothing to worry about. Plenty of aftermarket support.
I have thought about the 4-dr JK, but I keep coming back to the LC for its reliability and capability. The 100 is arguably one of if not the best platforms for use in North America and some would say the world. But we are a little bias around here... :ylsmoke:
 
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sleeoffroad

Adventurer
Have owned all the trucks you are looking at one point or another, except the GX470.

For the 4Runner, if you want to use it on the trails, get the trail edition. The extra plastic body cladding on the others make it difficult to fit sliders etc. However you do not get the all the goodies and leather seats. Mine had 3" lift with 285 tires. Never wheeled it much, but the size made it nice on the trails. Less space in the back than a 100. Also was not a huge fan of the small v6 motor. Had to work it pretty hard on the road to maintain 75 mph with the larger tires. Pretty much a high revving motor that you had to work to get going. Don't expect miraculous mileage either. Never tracked, but onboard display showed about 17.5 mpg average in town. I recently sold it. The truck just never inspired me when I drove it, but I did like the look. They are a decent platform, but as you mentioned, they are getting up there in price. Advantage is you can get it brand new with warrantee.

For the 100 vs LX470, as far as mechanical go, just the hydraulic suspension is different. Works fine while all parts still work. Failure is not common but it does not like a ton of weight added to the truck. I personally like the LX470 interior better but not a huge fan of the body cladding. 100's have proven to be very reliable, but still when buying a 100k mile truck, have it inspected first. There are still basket cases around. There are some common failure items, but nothing major.

The GX470 is a nice platform with the 4.7 v8 and the size of the truck. Aftermarket support is going to be limited. Lifts can be done, but off-the-shelve armor is not easy to come by. The 4th gen 4Runner with the v8 is the same. Not a huge fan of the body shape, but mechanically pretty good. Aftermarket support is decent, but not great.
 

dnorrell

Adventurer
Thanks for the input, Christo. I was thinking about giving Slee a call for input on this, but now I don't have to. You will undoubtedly see whatever it is I end up with because it will be a Toyota somethingorother and I am local.

I like the slightly smaller platform of the GX470 with its V8, but also really love the 100 platform. It will all depend on what's out there when the time is right (early next year).

I have even noticed that some GX/LX can be had as Lexus certified pre owned, which will be up in price, but comes with additional peace of mind with good warranty. Just another thought.

Thanks again y'all!
 

p nut

butter
I cross shopped the same vehicles several years ago (except the Trail Edition wasn't available). The 4Runner was nice and very agile compared to the others. I think it is a great platform, with good aftermarket support and a very reliable powertrain. I was planning for the future, and I felt it would be just a little too small for my growing family, so I passed. The 100-series was a winner from the first sit and gawk. The thing feels huge, but in a good, security blanket kind of way. There is only a few inches of difference in the interior (vs 4Runner), but that extra space can definitely be felt. The wife was googly-eyed and fell in love right away. The comfort-level is MUCH MUCH improved from the 4Runner (although the 4Runner is pretty comfy in and of itself). You can also tell much more engineering and robustness went into the LC. It is built like a tank.

MPG was also taken into consideration. However, after some quick 5th grader math, I realized that as much as I'll be driving this vehicle per year (I'm at around 5,000 miles. It's not a daily driver), the difference in gas would be $400, given that the LC is at 14MPG and 4Runner at 20MPG. When you start modding and putting bigger tires on, that gap even closes more. So MPG is really not a factor.

The GX, to me, is a fine vehicle, but it should really be just considered the same vehicle as the 4Runner. I really see no advantages with the GX vs a 4Runner TE. Maybe a bit more headroom for your Irish Wolfhound.
 

86tuning

Adventurer
GX470 will have the v8, and the 5th-gen 4Runner will have a 4.0L v6.

IMO, most people will prefer the 4.7L V8, and that makes it a choice between the GX470 and the LX470 (or 100).

With any used vehicle, definitely get it inspected first. And try to find one with service history.
 

dnorrell

Adventurer
I'm sort of all over the map on these vehicles, favoring any one over the others at various points during the day. I'm in no rush, so the flutter should settle. The one I keep coming back to is the GX with it's slightly smaller size, but nice 4.7 V8. With the Wolfhound, head room is a definite plus!

I will certainly have it inspected before purchase...that's a lesson I learned the hard way with my past Land Rover :yikes:
 

bunduguy

Supporting Sponsor
dnorrell, there are a few of us on here with GX's, and love them. I came from a LC100 to the GX, and love the change. Smaller size, strong engine and extreme ride comfort have all been plusses. You will notice a difference in load space, as the GX is narrower obviously.
You are correct in there not being much aftermarket, but there is enough to get you going.
Shocks are all FJ Cruiser and 4-Runner compatible, so any of those work.
Skid plates from Asfir4x4 bolt right on (non-KDSS models only)
Ironman 4x4 snorkel, and bumper fit on (fender flares need some trimming for the bumper)
BajaRack will soon have a production rack fro the GX too, since i have been prototyping one for them for 6 months.
all finished.jpg
It now has new wheels with 33's on.
Salt River trip.jpg
Is it everyone's cup of tea; probably not, but I'm really enjoying it!
Rou
 

dnorrell

Adventurer
Thanks, bunduguy. I've followed your thread a bit on your GX. Looks really nice. How much work was it to move the front bumper out the requisite 3" to accommodate GX fitment? I also wandered over to your website; love the camp kitchen accessories.

Folks, would I be a fool to toss the LR4 in the mix? Sure, I had some issues with my DII, but it really was a comfortable truck. I just got tired of the constant leaks :) I know, I know...maybe not the best sub-forum for the latest addition. :beer:
 

bunduguy

Supporting Sponsor
Thanks, bunduguy. I've followed your thread a bit on your GX. Looks really nice. How much work was it to move the front bumper out the requisite 3" to accommodate GX fitment? I also wandered over to your website; love the camp kitchen accessories.

Folks, would I be a fool to toss the LR4 in the mix? Sure, I had some issues with my DII, but it really was a comfortable truck. I just got tired of the constant leaks :) I know, I know...maybe not the best sub-forum for the latest addition. :beer:
It is not really a question of pushing the bumper out, as much as it is just not snugging it in. It really fitted just like any other bumper, except that the fenders need to be trimmed first. if the front-middle hoop was not there, it would snug right up with no interference, nd i may even have mine bent in a curve to achieve the same result.
As for the LR4, i think you would be a fool NOT to toss the LR4 into the mix, or a later LR3. I heavily considered it but found i could just not afford the later models LR3. The early 05-06 were more troublesome, but from what i hear, the 07-08 were/are great. Extremely comfortable, spacious, powerful and capable. For my budget and needs, it just came down to the Toyota reliability, since i can have only one car, and did not want to take any chances. If you have the budget, or the warranty, the LR3/4 should be a strong contender.
 

dnorrell

Adventurer
Ah, that makes sense on your bumper fitment. It came out looking great - they did a nice trim to fit on the fenders.

I've looked around a bit and see that there are many LR4s to be had in the price range of a new 4Runner with remaining warranty, and an occasional certified pre owned. I haven't seen any up close yet, but from the pictures they sure look great and I've read many good things about the later year LR3s and LR4s.

Great feedback and info, folks. Thanks a ton.
 

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Bahnstoermer

New member
The 4th gen 4Runner with the v8 is the same. Not a huge fan of the body shape, but mechanically pretty good. Aftermarket support is decent, but not great.

I guess this is all relative... coming from a Mitsubishi, the 4th Gen 4Runner has huge aftermarket support! With body on frame, factory V8, AWD w center diff lock etc etc it's doing a lot of things really well given the ridiculous direction goverments are driving automobiles.

Mine is 2008 and still very "new", and all I'm worried about is that they won't build one with a V8 again when I need a new one someday. Damn shame they aren't building the 5th gens with V8s.
 

haven

Expedition Leader
"...shame they aren't building the 5th gens with V8s."

Toyota does. They're sold in Lexus dealerships as the GX460.

At $54k, the GX460 is pricy, but it's loaded with off-road goodies. KDSS is standard, as is a two speed transfer case. The Full time AWD has a Torsen center locking differential. The GX460 has the same electronic traction controls as the Land Cruiser: Crawl Control, A-TRAC, Hill start assist, Hill descent assist. Air suspension is optional.
 
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