This is a great SUV. It has great off road ability and as such some of the on road ride/performance is sacrificed but if you take it off road or drive in weather you will appreciate it. If your primary use is on road and in clear road conditions, you may want to go with another option. But if you drive off road, in snow, heavy rain etc. this is a great choice. I also am evidently one of the few that like the swing out door. It makes loading heavy objects (luggage, mulch etc,) simpler because you don't have to reach over a lowered tailgate. I have encountered more issues with ceiling height (garage) interfering with flip up gates than the swing out. 30,000 miles, not one problem.
Ride height, off road prowess, reliability, luxury features, safety, all time 4 wheel drive (at the expense of fuel mileage, but I'll take it).
Don't lock out the nav controls when the vehicle is moving.
We purchased this car when my Sequoia died and I was left with an LS with RWD. I compromised with the GX thinking to replace it when the LS came out with AWD. Now, I'm not so sure. The GX is almost as good. I'm 6'2" and at 285 lbs, having done more than my share of weight lifting, I need comfort for my frame and plenty of space. The GX does it. It goes anywhere if you keep it shod with good tires, and never ever breaks down. I travel a lot and need absolute reliability and this vehicle delivers. It draws positive attention without being obnoxious. Fuel economy, at an average of 18.9 is actually outstanding for a vehicle of this size. Would I buy another--Yes.
This truck drives more like a luxury car. Yes, the LS is smoother, but the GX is better than most cars. Bluetooth works well and is a big advantage for those who must be on the phone when driving. The storage area is large and rear door which swings open sideways is actually easy to use.
The voice activation with the phone and Bluetooth needs to work better. The seats need to be ventilated for cooling. An integrated iPod option would be quite helpful. They should continue the cassette player. Kinetic Dynamic Stability Control should be standard.
Purchased my GX470 new in 2007. Very comfortable rise and fun to drive. Outstanding DVD and sound system. Multi-CD/DVD exchanger hard to reach. Arm rest on front seats are annoying as they keep locking in up positions. Poor gas MPG (18). Third row seating cramped. Worst complaint is depreciation value. Pd. $58,000+ new, 1 1/2 yrs later, trade in value is $27K - $31K. (27K - 31K lost in 1 1/2 yrs. Unbelievable!!)
Fun to drive and comfort of drive.
Third row seating. Heat controls for back seating.
Purchased it new in May 2007 with 4 miles on it (now has 4300+ miles). Traded in our Mercedes ML430 which was purchased new in June 1999. I drive my daughter everywhere in the Lexus & as a mom here are my 'annoyances': uncomfortable arm rest, not enough/poor center compartment design, unreachable CD-changer in glove compartment, shallow/poor location of front cup holder, inaccessible cup holders for rear seats when baby car seat is used in the center, rear seat A/C but not heat, swing open tailgate vs. lift-up, can only power on sound (not video) from front console for entertainment system - must use remote control to power on. No issues with technical & mechanical aspects whatsoever!
Comfortable ride, great handling, exterior appearance (wish it came std. with xenon headlights), fantastic sound system (except when I forget to turn down the volume when my 4-year old powers off the rear ent. system), plenty of head room (not that I needed - I'm only 5'), controls on steer. wheel.
More attention to interior cabin design re: luxury conveniences for practicality purposes. Change lift-up tailgate to at least stay dry while loading groceries on rainy days. Intuitive single button pull-down, push-up, slide-back/forth moonroof control. Hideaway push button key like the Benz.