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Old 07-16-2019, 04:09 PM #1
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Maintenance Cost/Expensive of GX470 vs 4th gen 4Runner

Hey everyone,

I have been a long time fan of the GX. Currently my rig is a 3rd gen T4R.

I'd love to hear your opinions regarding the cost of maintenance and expensive of the GX470 vs the 4th gen T4R. I know there are more items to go wrong with a GX, but the GX does seem to provide a much nicer daily driver experience.

Are these expensive niceties worth the extra expensive over a V8, 4th gen T4R in your opinion?

Any insight into the reality of owning a GX470 is appreciated!
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Old 07-16-2019, 09:20 PM #2
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Do you work on it yourself? If so maintenance is exactly the same. If you go to the dealer or a sleazy mech who just sees $$ signs you might pay more. Most parts are interchangeable and cost the same. If you replace worn OEM air / shock valved suspension with the same you will pay significantly more than springs. 05+ gets you VVTI, 07+ gets you a nicer head unit display. I love mine although the GS will always be more fun to drive.
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Old 07-23-2019, 09:38 AM #3
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They are mechanically the same underneath as a V8 4Runner, the 4th gen Limited's even have the same rear air suspension. There's some different electronics in the cabin, but it's a Lexus so it's not like things are failing every other week.
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:21 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbtvt View Post
Do you work on it yourself? If so maintenance is exactly the same. If you go to the dealer or a sleazy mech who just sees $$ signs you might pay more. Most parts are interchangeable and cost the same. If you replace worn OEM air / shock valved suspension with the same you will pay significantly more than springs. 05+ gets you VVTI, 07+ gets you a nicer head unit display. I love mine although the GS will always be more fun to drive.
I do work on nearly everything myself. I also see that a lot of items such as the rear air suspension and secondary air system can be modded/ bypassed pretty easily.

Are there any other items that needed attention that were more expensive that you thought?
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:22 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanB View Post
They are mechanically the same underneath as a V8 4Runner, the 4th gen Limited's even have the same rear air suspension. There's some different electronics in the cabin, but it's a Lexus so it's not like things are failing every other week.
Yeah that is the beauty of the platform. I see that your signature has a 3rd gen 4runner, how was the step up to a GX? What were the main differences that you noticed?
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:16 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TejasRunner01 View Post
Yeah that is the beauty of the platform. I see that your signature has a 3rd gen 4runner, how was the step up to a GX? What were the main differences that you noticed?
3rd gen is much lighter, and about 20% smaller than a 4th gen, so it's a bigger vehicle and you can tell when driving it. The V8 power is great, fuel economy not so much. I don't feel like you really gain any cargo room aside from the additional height available, it seems narrow in the rear of the GX.

I do really like the GX platform, we've had ours for about 6 years now and it has 255K kms on it, I just put new UCA/LCA's and Dobinsons suspension under it, and had the front end replaced due to hitting a deer in the fall, it looks and drives great, and I'm planning on running it for years to come as a DD to commute to work, tow my snowmobile trailer, etc.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:32 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TejasRunner01 View Post
Yeah that is the beauty of the platform. I see that your signature has a 3rd gen 4runner, how was the step up to a GX? What were the main differences that you noticed?
If you are going to offroad it, there are a few differences:

1/ The GX comes with a nice suspension which makes replacing it a more complicated decision than on a 4R.

2/ There are limited skid plates and rock sliders options.

3/ The rear diff on a 5th gen 4R is stronger. Probably not so on a 4th.

The GX 470 is normally a bargain compared to a used 4R.

Maintenance wise, with the V8, you get to deal with the timing belt.
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:56 AM #8
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insurance is significantly more for the gx vs my 3rd or 4th gen.
Ontario, Canada ($1400 vs 1900/year)
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Old 07-26-2019, 12:47 PM #9
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There are a plethora of skid plate and slider options for the GX. Pretty much everything that fits a 4th Gen 4R also fits a GX470.
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Old 07-26-2019, 12:58 PM #10
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I've had mine for almost a year and we love it!. Bought it with 130k miles on it and it's been solid. I did 1 size up tires and wheels, that cost was a choice, and other than that normal maintenance of engine oil, trans fluid and diff oil, a battery and an alternator, and front rotors and pads is all I have had to do and she now sits at 150k miles. Timing belt is coming soon at 170k but that's a day job even for someone that hasn't done one before.

There is preventative measures you can take to make the fancy niceties last and prevent rellacememt cost issues, like lubing the steering column and wing mirror motors. It's a Toyota after all. When the airbags or adjustable suspension has issues, just swap it out for some Dobinsons suspension and you're good for another 150k miles.

I get 14mpg around town, 20 on flat highway trips, and 17 to 18 towing a small trailer in the mountains.




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Old 07-27-2019, 10:12 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAST4R View Post
If you are going to offroad it, there are a few differences:

1/ The GX comes with a nice suspension which makes replacing it a more complicated decision than on a 4R.

2/ There are limited skid plates and rock sliders options.

3/ The rear diff on a 5th gen 4R is stronger. Probably not so on a 4th.

The GX 470 is normally a bargain compared to a used 4R.

Maintenance wise, with the V8, you get to deal with the timing belt.
-For the suspension, at the first sign of issues with the rear air setup just scrap it and convert to coils, once the air is gone it's the same as a 4th gen 4Runner underneath

-there's plenty of skidplate and slider options these days, lots of 4th gen 4Runner models work, and there's lots made specifically for the GX's now, sliders need to be KDSS specific

-8" rear diff in the GX's, there have been failures from offroading, lots swap in the 8.2" rear diffs

There's been so much development of the GX platform for offroading over the last few years that there's very few things that would be a drawback for using this platform for offroading going forward.
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'15 4Runner Ltd - 1" front spacer, FJ Cruiser 8 holes w/ 255/75/17 Duratracs, XD HID low/9011 high beams, Sprint Booster, Husky liners, Canvasback cargo liner
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:01 AM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanB View Post
-For the suspension, at the first sign of issues with the rear air setup just scrap it and convert to coils, once the air is gone it's the same as a 4th gen 4Runner underneath

-there's plenty of skidplate and slider options these days, lots of 4th gen 4Runner models work, and there's lots made specifically for the GX's now, sliders need to be KDSS specific

-8" rear diff in the GX's, there have been failures from offroading, lots swap in the 8.2" rear diffs

There's been so much development of the GX platform for offroading over the last few years that there's very few things that would be a drawback for using this platform for offroading going forward.
I have a close friend with one. I think the 470 is a better buy than a used 4R. Just pointing out some differences. There are skid plate and slider options but not as many and sometimes not the material one wants. But I agree that things improved lately even in that department.
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Old 07-28-2019, 12:07 PM #13
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I just traded my Taco for an 06 GX470 with no NAV 2 weeks ago and I still have my 3rd gen.


I was actually looking for a 4th gen V8 but since the GX was cheaper I pulled the trigger.

If you consider the price of both vehicles brand new then you know you're getting a good vehicle in the GX.

Just waiting on the rear airbags to fail now.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:07 AM #14
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I owned a 1996 3rd gen for almost 9 years and updated to a 2007 GX470 4 months ago.
I liked my 3rd gen a lot, and I used it to tow my boat, but at #4500 it was really pushing it for the V6 (I upgraded to Tundra brakes at least)

Reasons I chose the GX over the 4th gen 4runner (or tacoma):
All have V8
All have a 3rd row
All have side curtain airbags
All have rear Air conditioning (from the roof down)
More head room
All have air bag suspension - many here don't like it, but I do. It makes towing much simpler when the car levels itself. (The 3rd gen would squat so I put in manual inflating air bags/coil helpers)
The other day I helped a friend move, I loaded the back up and then put on a hitch cargo carrier and loaded it with another 200lbs which were cantilevered out. I started the GX, and it leveled right out.
Most components of the air bag system are $60-200 to replace. The main exception being the compressor. Yes, go to the dealer and the air system is $1200-2800 to repair/replace. Dont go to the dealer!

What I liked better about the 4th gen 4runner
meaner looks
slightly simpler
rear door opens up instead of to the side which is nice in the rain.


The reasons I chose the GX over keeping the 3rd gen
Safety features - wife and 2 little kids are important to me!
Going to put money into maintaining an aging vehicle, might as well do it to the vehicle I will drive for the next 10 years
V8 for towing - the GX has roughly 90 more HP and 110 more torque.
3rd row - we have a vehicle that we can carry friends/kids friends in

Other benefits:
WAY more comfortable
WAY quieter - I dont have to yell to talk to passengers in the back seat
Better headlights
roomier (cargo may be slightly smaller especially with the 3rd row)
roll down the windows with the key fob on a hot day
bump the key to start (dont have to hold it and crank)
The 3.4 was pretty good, but the V8 is even smoother!

Downsides to GX vs 3rd gen:
fuel "economy" neither vehicle is good, my 96 4x4 got about 16-17mpg, the GX gets 15-17 usually tending on the low-mid part of that range.
"requires" premium fuel - really up to the owner. accelerates smoother on premium, but drives fine on regular
I care about the finish/interior now! - a far cry from the indestructible cloth, and the already faded/peeling 3rd gen.
Miss my 12" sub that tucked neatly over the rear wheel well. (still have it if anyone is interested!)
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