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2004 Lexus GX 470 Review - Long-Term Report

Posted in Vehicle Reviews on September 1, 2005
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A feeling of sadness engulfed our staff as the keys to our beloved GX 470 were forfeited to the transport company driver. We wanted nothing more than to spend another year with our favorite long-termer. However, that was out of the question---we had to let her go. Perhaps the memories we shared with her will suffice in keeping our emotions at bay. Or maybe not.

The rear bumper of the GX 470 provides a very handy step to access the factory roof rack.

Either way, each of our editors will probably reminisce fondly about the long road trips shared with the Lexus. I recall cruising through California's beautiful Lake Tahoe region during a busy Fourth of July weekend. Sunlight reflected only the deepest of blue near magnificent lakefront mansions. Our GX seemed to just fit in just perfectly with the area's upper-class atmosphere. Few, if any, of these aristocratic yuppie residents ever dare venture into the area's backwoods in a bone-stock SUV. That's probably the reason we got so many funny looks that morning on our way into Miller Lake on the back side of the Rubicon Trail. We don't understand why people assume a Lexus belongs on pavement. In fact, we wonder if anyone besides our staff understands just how capable these vehicles actually are. From polished burl-wood interior trim to the terrain-conforming Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), the GX 470 is all we could ask for in a stock SUV. Even an adolescent brown bear couldn't resist checking it out while a very nervous girlfriend lay awake, eager to roust one editor from within the Lexus's quiet confines. It was quickly realized: Molly-Mc-Butter and High-Sierra camping don't mix. One blast from the GX's horn, and the beast turned tail and scampered off into the night---yet another victory to add to the long list.

We're going to miss this ride. Perhaps we can convince contributing editor Ned Bacon to loan us Project TraiLex for a while, to help ease our withdrawal pains.

Previous reports: Feb. '05, Apr. '05
Base price: $45,375
Price as tested: $54,482
Four-wheel-drive system: Lever-shifted two-speed transfer case

Miles to date: 20,813
Miles since last report: 5,072
Report average (mpg): 12.1
Test best tank (mpg): 17.5
Test worst tank (mpg): 11.1

15,000-mile service, cost: $398.38

Hot: The Lexus handles anything we deem necessary. From hot dates to deep-woods exploration, this rig is the jack of all trades.
Not: The interior color (ivory) is very difficult to keep presentable. We'd suggest another color.

* "Brakes squeaky at 19K?"
* "Five adults fit nice, smooth power, nice growl."
* "Superior quality"

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