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Looking for some advice on the search for a GX

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Old 02-01-16, 09:41 PM   #1
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Default Looking for some advice on the search for a GX

Hi there!

I am looking to replace my nearly 15 year old CRV because while I love it, it's just too small for what I need and I would love more off road capabilities. I started looking at the GX because the boyfriend and I just purchased a 2014 ES350, our first Lexus, and we love everything about it.

I'm really not knowledgeable about the GX that much so I have been doing some research, but I am still really not sure what gen/year I should be looking for for what I want, and potential problems to look out for. We live in the Southern CA mountains, and encounter a lot of steep and sometimes unpaved terrain. We get about a foot of snow at this elevation in an average winter. We also love taking vehicles off road on fire roads and access roads (no rock crawling or serious 4x4ing). We may also use our new SUV to pull a UTV.

The GX seems like the perfect vehicle for this because we have discovered that we LOVE the luxury aspect of the Lexus and it's just so comfortable and convenient. The drivetrain on the GX seems excellent, and it's seems like a good size vehicle. However, I noticed that the new ones (2014-2016) almost seem lowered, and the big front lip makes me nervous about potential damage if we were taking the vehicle off the pavement. I've also heard things about the 2010 (mushy brakes and steering?), and I haven't found much about the 2011-2013 that has helped me narrow my search. I'm also open to 1st gen GXs also, but my knowledge is kind of lacking in that gen.

I guess in short, with all the activites and conditions the GX would be driven in, can anyone recommend GXs that I should start actively looking at?

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Old 02-02-16, 05:07 AM   #2
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I am certainly no expert, having owned my GX for less than 2days, but think u need to narrow down based in your budget. If you can, my suggestion will be to buy new due to the crazy resale if you looking post 2014 models. You are absolutely right in the observation about the slightly lower front end, I don't think it's an issue unless u go serious off roading. The other known issue that I came across was the air suspension pump issue.
I could not find any other major prevalent issues during my research.
I was shopping for used but bought new, btw.
The B &B will tell u more here.
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Old 02-02-16, 06:57 PM   #3
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I just bought a 2014 CPO in December 2015 and really loving it. The 2014 has the last major refresh, so if you like the big spindle grill, then you would want 2014 or more current. If you don't care for it, then go 2013 and prior and you'll save lots of money.

I live in So Cal also and have taken the truck up to Mammoth twice since New Years and the thing handled the snow like a champ. Granted, I did slide in an unplowed parking lot but that was because it was essentially an ice rink! It doesn't matter if you have 8-wheel drive, the car/tires just has no traction on ice.

My only complaint is that fuel economy is not so great. I'd already knew this so I can live with it. Just know that there is no perfect car, so determine what characteristics are at the highest on your list and work from there.

You'd probably want at least the heated seats and as an option (which I haven't seem much of), there is also a heated steering wheel.
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Old 02-05-16, 08:50 PM   #4
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We had a 2012 GX, and I prefer that styling over the latest 2014 refresh.
I don't mind the new spindle grille, but it adds a few inches to the front overhang and is pure waste.

As far as ability to attach steep slopes... I'd say that whatever your CRV is able to handle, the GX will take like cakewalk. The GX platform is very capable off-road, and it comes standard with CRAWL control. If you're not familiar with it, look up some YouTube videos. The capability of that system is simply amazing. The 4.6L V8 is very smooth, and adequately powerful. However, I averaged only about 16mpg overall.
Brakes are mushy... but it's something you get used to. The actual braking power is fine, and the brakes don't fade. But the long and mushy pedal travel shines off-road, where you don't want touchy brakes. Same with steering... it's very light, and feels loose, but you appreciate it off-road, or even on dirt roads, as the rough pavement doesn't translate back the shimmy and vibrations.

Basically, the GX is an off-road truck platform, and every part of the vehicle designed with that in mind, so the on-road performance/feel suffers.
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