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engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
4/8/21 11:46 a.m.

Yet another what car thread! I've found similar threads searching but wanted to get hive opinion on the latest offerings on the used market.

Current Car:

2008 Pathfinder V8 - Bought from a GRM member, will be selling on GRM soon.

This has served nicely, but I'm now spoiled after driving too many newer vehicles.  Looking to replace that vehicle, it's used for camping, soft-roading (MI offroading is all soft!), light towing (3k max), and hwy miles to get to the trails or vacation spots.  Not daily driven, so MPG is not much of a concern, reliability is a big concern.

Wants:

Comfy on highway and E36 M3ty MI roads

  • Offroad capable (not rock crawling, but fairly standard trails in midwest, ground clearance is the biggest concern)
  • Reliable, I don't want to wrench on this ever, only for maintenance items
  • Decent aftermarket support (I mean wheel options, suspension upgrades at most)
  • Not a full-size truck. I don't care at all for 1/2 ton truck ride quality when they're unloaded.

Potential Cars (Budget $25,000-30,000):

2012+ GX460 - Same price as 4Runners, V8 powah, luxury!  I think this is the one, but I wanted to be sure I'm not making a mistake here.  I don't mind the newer facelift looks.  Are these worth upgrading for light offroading, or keep it stock and with the air suspension? Seems like a perfect vehicle for long hwy drives and then blasting down dirt roads.

FN FX Pro or TRD Pro Wheels for 285/70s | IH8MUD Forum

 

2000+ LandCruiser/LX570 - The ultimate luxobarge #overland vehicle! Pricey but worth it.

2012 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 - Picture 63385

2017+ Armada - 4x4 ONLY! Refresh model is actually quite similar to the overseas Nissan Patrol I believe. Bargain Landcruiser.

Comparison - Nissan Patrol Y62 Ti-L 2017 - vs - Nissan Armada Platinum 2017  | SUV Drive

2012+ Porsche Cayenne - Wild Card! 7700lb towing capacity! I really want the Porsche driving experience, but not with the cost of ownership, so that likely takes this off the list.  Super wild card: Diesel Cayenne gets 700mi range, I would strongly consider this but only with Porsche CPO Warranty (Which is only 2 years...) and that quickly increases the price out of my budget.

The second-gen Porsche Cayenne turbodiesel makes an excellent off-roader

2014+ 4Runner - Was on the top of my list, but ride quality and ridiculous price have moved it way down my list. Just not worth it, the pathfinder drives better than a 4Runner already.

Am I missing any other options? Enlighten me!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/8/21 11:59 a.m.

Hands up everyone who immediately thought of a lifted Panther. It actually does tick the boxes pretty well :)

Wally (Forum Supporter)
Wally (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/8/21 12:10 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Guilty.

As for the three choices I'd go with the Lexus. It's comfortable and as reliable as gravity.  

m4ff3w
m4ff3w GRM+ Memberand UberDork
4/8/21 12:18 p.m.

What about early LX 570?

 

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/8/21 12:38 p.m.

Under $30k will get you a 2017 Nissan Armada (Patrol) in the low spec SV trim and then outfit it from there.  

If you want to stay with Nissan 5.6L  Sample:

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
4/8/21 12:40 p.m.
m4ff3w said:

What about early LX 570?

 

 

Good call, I was looking at those too. Unfortunately that kind of falls in the area where an LX570 that is under 100k miles (I know that's "just broken in" for a Lexus, but mileage is mileage) ends up costing close to $20k for a nearly 20 year old vehicle.  I'd like to stay with something less than 10years old if at all possible.

If I can open that up, older than 10 years, that opens a lot of options: 3rd Gen Montero, Toyota Sequoia, etc.  

The other way I look at it, an early 2000s-2010 LX570 isn't that different of a vehicle than the '08 Pathfinder. So why not just keep that?  

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
4/8/21 12:41 p.m.
John Welsh said:

Under $30k will get you a 2017 Nissan Armada (Patrol) in the low spec SV trim and then outfit it from there.  

If you want to stay with Nissan 5.6L  Sample:

Another good option! I forgot about those.  I really need to get out and drive the top3 on the list, I don't want to be all stuck on a decision before stepping foot into any vehicle.

As for the crown vic, strangely it does tick all of the boxes but I don't think the wifey would be too keen on that crying

dps214
dps214 HalfDork
4/8/21 12:45 p.m.

FWIW the cayenne diesel engine is a common VW TDI unit not some weird porsche custom thing. I know people who have both the cayenne and touareg diesels as tow vehicles and neither have had any issues with them.

Vajingo
Vajingo HalfDork
4/8/21 12:45 p.m.

I came here to recommend the Lexus LS series lifted.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/8/21 12:51 p.m.

I'd be checking out the Sequoia. 

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
4/8/21 12:54 p.m.

Unabashed fanboi here but you really owe it to yourself to test drive both an GX460 and an LX570 before making the decision.


In my opinion the buy-in on the 570 is 100% worth it.  They maintain their value better, are much roomier with minimal hits to the MPG (it sucks no matter what) and has a proper pedigree.  The AHC on them is also the bees knees.  Very very comfy around town and can be lifted for off-road.  Also dead nuts reliable.  

 

Keep in mind the LX570s in the years you are looking at were damn near 80k new wheras a Sequoia was around $50k and a GX460 was $55-60k.  That extra 20k went somewhere...

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/8/21 12:54 p.m.

When shopping, just know that not all Armadas are 4wd.  Many of the low prices will be 2wd.  

The Armada version of this chassis came out in 2017 but the Infiniti version came out as the QX56 in 2013 and then later renamed the QX80.  An old, but low mile Infiniti may be cheaper than a Nissan.  

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/8/21 1:01 p.m.

GX460/470, LX570 or Land Cruiser..

These are the droids you're looking for.

I started following the GX Off Road GXOR community a few years back, before the community really started to gain traction..

since then.. no less than 5 of my friends have gone down that path and been pleased with their decision.

My parents "bread loaf" RX450h has only made me want one of these luxobarge offroaders even more.. but I don't actually have any need for one right now.. so until I need a tow vehicle.. I'll be watching from the sidelines.

 

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
4/8/21 1:49 p.m.

LandCruiser and Armada added to the list.

I'm kind of looking for my "forever truck" (Even though I know it really won't be forever). I'm tired of swapping around for compromises. So the 'Yota trucks fit that bill.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
4/8/21 2:01 p.m.
Vajingo said:

I came here to recommend the Lexus LS series lifted.

That was what I thought of too.

pimpm3 (Forum Supporter)
pimpm3 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/8/21 2:11 p.m.

I can highly recommend the Armada.  I bought my wife a base model 4x4 2018 SV model 2 years ago.  It has had no issues and rides great.

Even an SV comes with power heated seats, a power tailgate, proximity key, navi etc...  I had a local company install leather seats for $1200.00

I bought mine from enterprise with 36k miles on it.  I paid $25,000 for it in Feb of 2019.  It is actually probably worth more than that now in today's jacked up used car market.

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
4/8/21 9:31 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Hands up everyone who immediately thought of a lifted Panther. It actually does tick the boxes pretty well :)

My first thought, as well. And then, 'cause I had it on my mind, I read/saw : Current Car - 2008 PANTHER V8... Our minds are amazing things (even when being dense!)

grover
grover GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/8/21 10:07 p.m.

We have a 2010 sequoia limited and a 2103 gx460. 
The 460 is technically more luxurious- but the sequoia is quieter and rides much much better. We both prefer to drive the sequoia. Our 460 has 130k and the sequoia is up to 203k. We just drove 5 hours on a trip and we took....the sequoia. 

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
4/8/21 10:10 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:
Vajingo said:

I came here to recommend the Lexus LS series lifted.

That was what I thought of too.

Rally Lexus or GTFO. 

80sFast
80sFast Reader
4/9/21 5:54 a.m.

I am a Yota fanboi, and any well taken care of Toyota/Lexus will treat you right. I think being honest with yourself about off-road and tow/haul needs will help narrow down your choices. What kind of trails do you run and how much stuff do you carry?

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
4/9/21 6:02 a.m.
Appleseed said:
MadScientistMatt said:
Vajingo said:

I came here to recommend the Lexus LS series lifted.

That was what I thought of too.

Rally Lexus or GTFO. 

GRM hive mind has spoken!  I'm finding it pretty hard to argue against this option.
 

 

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
4/9/21 6:08 a.m.
80sFast said:

I am a Yota fanboi, and any well taken care of Toyota/Lexus will treat you right. I think being honest with yourself about off-road and tow/haul needs will help narrow down your choices. What kind of trails do you run and how much stuff do you carry?

Good point!  Towing is regularly 2500lb jet ski trailer which nearly any car can handle.  I will be starting to trailer for RallyCross in the near future (NA miata or Eagle Talon), which would be around 5k-6k with a decent size trailer.

The towing req. is what pushes this over the edge in most cases, but I do see a trailer in the future for certain.  I'm done driving cars to events and having to worry about limping home for the 2.5hr drive.

For trails, mostly will be doing MI "ORV Routes" and fire roads.  The ORV routes can vary in difficulty, most are widely cut and a mix of sand gravel and rocks with some hills if you can find them.  All of the routes I've done before are no problem in a stock Xterra, or our 1985 Montero w/ 235/75r15 tires, so I imagine any vehicle with decent ground clearance and 4x4 will be fine.  So in that respect, probably any stock subaru with decent tires could do 95% of all trails in Michigan, but can it do it comfortably and in luxury style?

This is the most "hardcore" trail in Michigan on Drummond Island, we did it all except for these rock steps on tiny 15" tires.  No problem at all on the island, but the 6hr drive to get there was not exactly fun in the flying brick.

Drummond Island ORV and ATV Trails

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
4/9/21 6:51 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Hands up everyone who immediately thought of a lifted Panther. It actually does tick the boxes pretty well :)

Here I thought you were going to recommend a Miata with a lift kit laugh

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo SuperDork
4/9/21 12:38 p.m.

A Sequioa is going to tow much better than a Land Cruiser/LX570 or 4 Runner/GX460 as they are a full 10 to 12 inches longer and length makes all the difference in tow vehicle happiness.  

80sFast
80sFast Reader
4/9/21 12:45 p.m.

I'd say a 200 series or equivalent Lexus would be your best choice. I believe they can tow 8k so it would give a little wiggle room pulling 6. A sequoia will pull better for sure, but for trails the extra length would be a pain. A 200 series with good tires will do everything you need and some. 
 

.....and as much as it pains me to say it a Grand Cherokee Trailhawk would too. Worth a look if you're in to the "Heep thing"

 

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