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Gx For Travel?


GDixon
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I would like your opinion about purchasing a newer (2013, 2014) GX model exclusively for travel. Off-roading is not a factor and neither is snow.

Preface: Currently, my wife and I own a 2008 RX350, bought new, now with about 60K miles. Most of the miles were accumulated by commuting before we retired and on long driving trips/vacations. Most travel is 2000-3000 miles, over a week period, and two or three times per year. That equates to several hundred miles in the vehicle per day...as much as 10 hours. We would like more room for storage on the trips. Golf clubs and equipment eat up the storage. Golfer.gif At times, we would like to tow a 14' fishing boat or small trailer that are currently towed by a 5.7L Tundra truck.

Questions:

1, Is the GX comfortable and suitable for long trips and long days in the car? Old folks like us appreciate long-term comfort. A short test drive at the dealer doesn't give a clue...except that it is a very nice vehicle for a 10 minute experience. We discovered this issue after taking the Tundra on a long trip.

2. Is storage area significantly increased when the second row seats are folded? Some photos show the second seat row folds up and forward (blocking access to the cargo area from the front seat) while others show the second row folds flat. Apparently, the second row can be completely removed with taking out just four bolts. confused.gif More information and experience is requested.

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Well I have never folded the 2nd row seats up. But if you use the 3rd row seats...you have no storage. We have driven our GX460 from MD to FL and we are about to do it next week too. It is a comfortable ride and with two young kids and my wife and I packed for 9-10 days I have no complaints. It is about a 2400 mile trip that we have planned and I sure couldn't fit all of this in my Range Rover Sport! I love our GX460 and it has good storage and space but any car will get a little uncomfortable after that many miles IMHO.

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Well I have never folded the 2nd row seats up. But if you use the 3rd row seats...you have no storage. We have driven our GX460 from MD to FL and we are about to do it next week too. It is a comfortable ride and with two young kids and my wife and I packed for 9-10 days I have no complaints. It is about a 2400 mile trip that we have planned and I sure couldn't fit all of this in my Range Rover Sport! I love our GX460 and it has good storage and space but any car will get a little uncomfortable after that many miles IMHO.

Very true about sitting in one place for a long time. Good to hear about the general long-term comfort.

Does the GX have truck-like harsh reactions to road imperfections since it is built on a truck frame? Most of the miles will be on the main major highways but the minor roads can be brutal. Sometimes (well often) my driving speeds do not coincide with posted limits. ^_^

So the second row seats do fold up rather than flat? Only the two of us travel we so don't need them at all.

These are all good points for when a dealer is visited this week.

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I have no idea about the 2nd row as I said I have never folded those. Kids car seats are there.

No it is absolutely not a RX by any means. But to be honest I prefer the ride of the GX and wouldn't look at another car based SUV like the RX when it comes time to replace the GX after having one. I honestly think we will look at another GX.

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I have no idea about the 2nd row as I said I have never folded those. Kids car seats are there.

No it is absolutely not a RX by any means. But to be honest I prefer the ride of the GX and wouldn't look at another car based SUV like the RX when it comes time to replace the GX after having one. I honestly think we will look at another GX.

Good to hear this opinion. It will heavily influence our decision. Maybe in a couple of months my signature area will get to be modified!

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Well guys, I'm out of the GX market. It is more truck than I need. Plus, the swinging rear door won't clear our boat trailer structure.

A test drive found it large and cumbersome. Many of the features would never be used. The cargo space and folding seats (2nd row) were below expectation.

Make no doubt about it, the GX is a fine truck but we were looking for something like a larger RX. It turns out that mini-vans from Nissan and Honda fit the bill quite nicely.

It took some convincing for my wife to leave the Lexus brand but the test drive sealed it.

Thanks to all!

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"Large and cumbersome" is what I think of the GX. It is not that it is all that large - it just seems larger than it really is.

I was going to suggest a Toyota Sienna AWD but the term "minivan" seems to disgust many people. The Sienna is certainly not "mini" - it is a large vehicle.

The top Sienna Limited is like the Lexus of vans. Being a Toyota, almost all the controls will seem familiar from your Lexus. The Sienna Limited is available with HID headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control and Pre-Collision System with a price not much different than a GX.

We are on the waiting list for a 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited with Adaptive Cruise and PCS. The dealer says it is going to have HID but can't show me any documentation that confirms that it does. HID (or LED) headlights are a must - not going back to halogen headlights after all these years. My wife wants to get another hybrid (she drives a Prius v wagon) but I would rather have a fully loaded all-wheel drive Sienna.

The only problem with the Sienna for us is that it is LONG - would just barely fit in our garage. But I sure like them - rented one a few years back for vacation use and loved it's comfort and capacity. It drove nicely too - very car like and handled well.

I also like the Honda Odyssey Touring models (HID is available on them and I think they handle a little better) but I would rather stick with Toyota reliability ... we had lots of Hondas before our Toyota/Lexus cars and don't have fond memories of those Honda days although I know Honda has gotten a lot more reliable. If I was still launching boats from a boat ramp, I would want an all wheel drive vehicle.

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The Sienna Limited was our top choice in mini-vans and would likely have been purchased if the 2nd row seats could have folded flat or have been easily removed. Those 2nd row seats were really in the way - even all the way forward. For those with more than two in the family that feature would not be a factor.

We too rented a Sienna in Alaska on a trip there. That is what convinced us that a mini-van is an excellent traveler. A Lexus would have been preferred if they would have had something in the category.

The Honda Odyssey's 2nd row seat can be removed entirely. A 4x8 sheet of plywood would fit in the back. Of course, we have a Tundra as our plywood/work truck hauler. But that just gives an idea of the roominess.

Anyway, the Honda EX-L was purchased today at an excellent price. Just over $31K. No other dealer came close. Add about 10% for fees, license, tax (!!!!!), and whatever.

All of the input has been appreciated.

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The procedure for removing the 2nd row seats from a Sienna is almost identical to the one for an Odyssey except that the Sienna has a safety lock that must be opened by pulling a strap under the seat: Slide the seat forward/fold the seat back down/tip the entire seat forward/pull the release strap/lift the seat out. It can be done in maybe 30 seconds per seat. That the release strap has to be pulled is not obvious to someone not familiar with how it's done.

It looks like it is going to be a FWD Sienna Limited for us. I found out directly from Toyota that HID or LED headlights are not going to be available on the 2014 Highlander Hybrid Limited (the Toyota dealer was wrong ... no surprise) and that the Pre-Collision System (PCS) and adaptive cruise control is for some unexplained reason available on the FWD but not on the AWD Sienna Limited. My guess is that the reason is "price point". An AWD Sienna Limited with those features would likely push $60K. By juggling features, Toyota keeps the prices of the most expensive FWD and AWD Siennas just barely under $50K.

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The procedure for removing the 2nd row seats from a Sienna is almost identical to the one for an Odyssey except that the Sienna has a safety lock that must be opened by pulling a strap under the seat: Slide the seat forward/fold the seat back down/tip the entire seat forward/pull the release strap/lift the seat out. It can be done in maybe 30 seconds per seat. That the release strap has to be pulled is not obvious to someone not familiar with how it's done.

It looks like it is going to be a FWD Sienna Limited for us. I found out directly from Toyota that HID or LED headlights are not going to be available on the 2014 Highlander Hybrid Limited (the Toyota dealer was wrong ... no surprise) and that the Pre-Collision System (PCS) and adaptive cruise control is for some unexplained reason available on the FWD but not on the AWD Sienna Limited. My guess is that the reason is "price point". An AWD Sienna Limited with those features would likely push $60K. By juggling features, Toyota keeps the prices of the most expensive FWD and AWD Siennas just barely under $50K.

Wow, the seat removal in the Sienna was a specific question that I asked the dealer. I had the salesperson show me how the 2nd row seats adjusted and so forth. "No, the seats can't be removed" was the reply. Can they be folded flat..."No". Could a salesperson be wrong? Oh, yeah.

Apparently, there is wiring and such that complicates the matter on the Sienna. Surely there is a way to remove them if body work needs to be done. It can't be impossible.

The Odyssey 2nd row seats have four large clips and removal is just tilt the seat forward and lift them out (at 55 lbs. each). There is a video on Consumer Reports that demonstrates the procedure.

Thanks for the pricing information. It actually makes me feel better about the deal on the Odyssey. It was surprising that no other dealers were willing to match the price of the dealership that was chosen. That makes me think that it was a good price as well.

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