Lexus GX470 off road SUV is the best for the money
The two things that make a vehicle capable for off road use are ground clearance and traction. Most off road vehicles 6 to 8 inches is common for most sport utility vehicles that are offered today. Tire size is important to create enough contact with the ground. The most common size tire offered today is a 265/70R17 which is approximately 30 inches in diameter. The Lexus GX470 is a lot more capable then you would think!
Now what vehicle comes to mind when you think OFF ROAD capable?
Let me guess….
Thats what I was thinking too! To us, this is the one that makes the most sense. Yes the most commonly recognized off road vehicle is the Jeep Wrangler JK 2007-2018. With 8.3 inches of ground clearance and 30 inch round tires, the Jeep Wrangler is ready to tackle the trails. With 285 horsepower available since 2012, there is plenty of power. And for around $30,000 new and $15,000 used they aren’t a bad buy. In fact if you want to seat 5 passengers there is even a 4 door Wrangler available for about an additional $5000. What was that? You don’t want to spend that much to go off road. Okay then lets see what else is comparable to a Jeep Wrangler… (hint hint, not much)
Okay lets see what used Land Rover might be a good option. Hmmm. Looks like a used 2006-07 Land Rover LR3 is equipped with a V8 engine and 30 inch tires. Not bad. Ooh and 300HP is a slight upgrade over the Wrangler. But with only 7.3 inches of ground clearance you would have to sacrifice a little over the Jeeps 8.3 inches. Average price for a used 2007 Land Rover LR3 is around $9000 so at least its cheap enough.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Toyota 4Runner and my favorite being the 4th generation 2003-2009 with the optional 4.7L V8 engine. Plenty of ground clearance at 8.7 inches. A 30 inch standard tire size gives plenty of contact with the ground. Seats 5 passengers. Full frame which is a great platform for any off road vehicle. Price? Looks like the average price for a 2006 is around $11,000. Not bad. Cheaper than a Jeep Wrangler!
Lets see what Ford and Chevrolet have to compare. Hmmm. Nothing. Unfortunately neither makes a full frame mid-size SUV with four wheel drive except for a full size Chevrolet Tahoe. Not bad for trips to the mall, buy I think it is suited best on-road not off-road.
BMW has the X5 which has all wheel drive and unibody construction and available with a 4.4L V8 engine from 2004-2008. With 8.3 inches of ground clearance it surely is comparable to the Wrangler but with only 29 inch tire diameter and limited suspension travel I don’t think this would be a good option. But you can pick up a good used one for less than $10,000!
Lexus GX470 off road capable? Lets see….
There is an SUV that was built by Toyota from 2003-2007 under the Lexus name called the Lexus GX470 and it checks all the boxes and then some. The Lexus GX470 sits on a full frame (same as the Toyota 4Runner) which is what the drivetrain is mounted to thus isolating the passenger compartment from the suspension. The only engine option is a 263-270HP 8 cylinder with VVT-i. Ground clearance is 8.3 inches, the same as a Jeep Wrangler but the GX470 has an adjustable ride height control that adds an additional 2 inches of ground clearance in the rear. Leather upholstery is standard which is something you will not get on a stock wrangler. Optional 3rd row seats allow for 7 passengers to ride in your GX470 off-road expedition with you. But wait, theres more! You don’t need to rough it in a GX470 off road because they come standard with dual power front seat. Power moonroof. Rear heat vents. Power windows. Power locks. Many of the features that either are an option or not available on a Jeep Wrangler. The four wheel drive system is excellent in the fact that it is a Full Time All Wheel Drive that never needs to be shifted from 2WD. There is a LOW range and a hill descent control that aids in extreme conditions. There is even an electronic locking rear differential that can be engaged with a press of a button. There are many people that have discovered how great a Lexus GX470 off road capability is. There are are many aftermarket accessories available. Priced much less than a used Wrangler, you will find that about $12000 will get you a Lexus GX470 off road vehicle that will get you to the trail in comfort and perform very well once off road.
We Love Wranglers but this GX470 Off Road Might have It Beat
So what I am trying to say, is you get a lot more off road capabilities than you would think with the GX470. Your interior comforts on a Lexus is always going to be top notch, and the added upgrades makes that daily drive that much better. What other SUV can you find with the luxury and off road ability than the GX470 in an off road configuration. We build GX470 off road capable, so you can get the smooth ride, luxury insides and reliability all priced under 15k, which is a far cry from a 5 passenger Wrangler with decent miles in good shape. Thats the thing, we love wranglers, we really do, but you will never get the long term reliability that you will get with a Toyota motor in something like a wrangler. Also, the GX470 off road capable machine is something like a hidden secret, not many people know that these little beasts can be turned into a monster. Carrying seven passengers while cruising through the trail would be pretty crazy if you ask me, but with the GX470 its possible. I know the wrangler is the tested and true off road machine, but for the price there is no way the Lexus GX470 can be beat.