The car is an attempt to align the practical & fun nature of an off road with a luxury vehicle. The 2 don't mix well. Pleasant exterior lines. Engaging the 4 wheel drive is awkward and inefficient; only added cost to an already over priced product.
Get rid of 4 wheel drive gear box and transmission.
I was going to buy a V8 Toyota 4Runner, thinking it was a better value than the GX, with the same engine and build quality. Then I priced a 4Runner with the options that I wanted, then I realized the price difference between the 4Runner and better equipped GX (even in base form--no options) was very small (granted, I got my GX at the end of model year). Plus the GX has great resale value, so I thought I would make up the difference at resale. After I bought the GX, I was in heaven! It is so quiet, smooth, and refined in a high seating position that I feel like I'm flying through the sky in a silent glider (though I usually have the in-dash 6-CD player cranked up--the base system is great!).
Great stereo w/6 CD in-dash player; cassette slot great for plugging MP3 player. 2-prong electric plug. 5 suspension settings. Windows open/close remotely. Rain-sensing wipers. Steeringwheel moves out of way when in park. Dual temp controls. Mirrors turn down when in reverse. One-twist auto-start.
Needs 2nd row seats that fold into floor or move back/forth; service interval indicator; coin holder; trip computer that shows more than 1 thing at once (eg, MPG AND range); front seat should go further back; rear window should open (so I can stick things out); front pass. seat should tilt forward.
I had my GX for almost 2 years. If you are looking for the car with excellent reliability, this is the one. Also the fit and finish inside is great. The only problem I'm still having is a sun roof, that makes a rattling sound when passing an uneven pavement. It's not a horrible noise but you would expect not to have anything like that for this sticker price. They were not able to fix it so far. In general, this is a good headache free SUV. Go LEXUS.
NAV System, sound system, interior and exterior finish.
A quiet, luxurious, and smooth ride overall. Beautiful presence and the perfect size. Quality materials and dependable. Stock stereo (sound) is nothing to brag about (previously had Bose) and I would upgrade if I had it to do again. Lack of dome light button to light entire interior cabin annoying at best. Seats are a little short for someone with long legs, but all SUV's I've been in are the same. Auto tilt mirrors when backing up are great. Hard to manually operate lights/wipers/cruise at night because controls are not lighted and because everything generally runs great on automatic, in an instance you need to operate these manually, you are not familiar enough with.
Auto tilt mirrors when backing, LOVE the automatic lights and wipers, 6 disc CD changer in dash, luxurious ride, quality materials, quiet sunroof, handles great in bad weather (snow) and we get lots of it in Upstate NY. Rear wiper cleans full view.
Better stock stereo. Lighted controls and dome light button. Mute button on stereo for toll booths, telephone calls, etc.