Trying to decide on my next vehicle.

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TreXTerra

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Salt Lake City, Utah
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I'm probably still a ways out, but I know my trusty Xterra has taken a bashing over the years; it's also a little cramped and swings more to the "mobility" side of the "Trail Mobility" vs "Comfort in Camp" spectrum. I wouldn't mind something that has more towing, more payload, and just plain more space.

I figured the OB Hive Mind would be a good place to get some ideas - plus, who doesn't love a good campfire discussion about the merits of different platforms?

I like to take on challenging trails, so whatever replaces the Xterra will need to be capable. When I'm not doing overland touring, I enjoy hitting Moab and taking on some of the more difficult trails there; whatever I end up with will need to be able to handle those types of challenges. However, it will also be by daily driver (especially in bad weather when the motorcycle isn't practical). I don't have any need for a third row of seating, so if there is any way to find a vehicle without that - or to remove it to make more space/save weight, I'm all for it. Essentially, it needs to be a Swiss Army Knife - capable of daily driving to and from work, towing a motorcycle trailer to the track or another state, camping, overlanding, technical off road trails, going to IKEA or Home Depot - So yeah, I want it all, and a pony -- I mean, a Unicorn.

Truck vs Wagon body. I'm fine with either, I've always had wagons and they are handy, especially if you end up sleeping inside if the weather turns bad. I'd be open to a truck too, but that's new territory for me.

After market support. Ideally I'd like something with plenty of aftermarket options. Pickings are slim for the Nissan, which means things tend to be expensive or have to be custom-built. I'm not a fabricator, so anything I can buy off-the-rack is a bonus.

All this is leading me to think of Toyota. In an ideal world, I would get a brand-new 80-series turbo diesel - but since that's not happening, I'm left with a few options.

  • FJ100 Series Land Cruiser/Lexus LX470. Good towing, aftermarket support, comfortable, built to last. Down side: The 100 series ended production in 2008, so the newest version I can get is only two years newer than my Xterra, they are also expensive for anything that has less than 160,000 miles - so I would be spending considerable money to have a vehicle that will suffer from similar wear and age related issues.
  • Toyota Sequoia: A larger platform that shares parts with the Tundra and the Land Cruiser, making suspension parts easier to source. However, it doesn't seem like a common vehicle to mod, so sliders, bumpers, etc might be harder to find - certainly not as easy as a Tacoma. Down side: Very large on the trail, which may pose some mobility concerns. The newer ones I've sat in have horrible visibility out the front with fake hood scoops stacked on top of fake hood scoops. Certainly more to the "comfort" side of the Mobility-Comfort spectrum. Not sure if any models were made with proper 4WD and without third-row seats.
  • Lexus GX470/GX460: Kind of a middle ground between the Xterra and the Land Cruiser or Sequoia. It's smaller, has a V8, and is essentially a Toyota Prado. It can't be spec'd from the factory with a locking rear diff, so that would need to be added, and the third-row seats are wasted space for me. I think the visibility is the best of the three. Down side: It's a luxury vehicle, so you pay for that. I'm also less of a fan of the engine using a timing belt instead of a chain, like the LX460. The GX460 has the advantage of a real 4WD shift lever and removable 3rd row seats, but it's older and finding a low-miles example is getting hard - so I'm in the same boat as I would be with the FJ100, but with a smaller price tag.
Any other vehicles I should consider?
Are there any "deal breakers" in terms of durability, reliability, or known problems that I should be aware of?
If you have one of these (or another one that I should consider) - how has it been to modify?
 
Last edited:

Chadlyb

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I'm probably still a ways out, but I know my trusty Xterra has taken a bashing over the years; it's also a little cramped and swings more to the "mobility" side of the "Trail Mobility" vs "Comfort in Camp" spectrum. I wouldn't mind something that has more towing, more payload, and just plain more space.

I figured the OB Hive Mind would be a good place to get some ideas - plus, who doesn't love a good campfire discussion about the merits of different platforms?

I like to take on challenging trails, so whatever replaces the Xterra will need to be capable. When I'm not doing overland touring, I enjoy hitting Moab and taking on some of the more difficult trails there; whatever I end up with will need to be able to handle those types of challenges. However, it will also be by daily driver (especially in bad weather when the motorcycle isn't practical). I don't have any need for a third row of seating, so if there is any way to find a vehicle without that - or to remove it to make more space/save weight, I'm all for it. Essentially, it needs to be a Swiss Army Knife - capable of daily driving to and from work, towing a motorcycle trailer to the track or another state, camping, overlanding, technical off road trails, going to IKEA or Home Depot - So yeah, I want it all, and a pony -- I mean, a Unicorn.

Truck vs Wagon body. I'm fine with either, I've always had wagons and they are handy, especially if you end up sleeping inside if the weather turns bad. I'd be open to a truck too, but that's new territory for me.

After market support. Ideally I'd like something with plenty of aftermarket options. Pickings are slim for the Nissan, which means things tend to be expensive or have to be custom-built. I'm not a fabricator, so anything I can buy off-the-rack is a bonus.

All this is leading me to think of Toyota. In an ideal world, I would get a brand-new 80-series turbo diesel - but since that's not happening, I'm left with a few options.

  • FJ100 Series Land Cruiser/Lexus LX470. Good towing, aftermarket support, comfortable, built to last. Down side: The 100 series ended production in 2008, so the newest version I can get is only two years newer than my Xterra, they are also expensive for anything that has less than 160,000 miles - so I would be spending considerable money to have a vehicle that will suffer from similar wear and age related issues.
  • Toyota Sequoia: A larger platform that shares parts with the Tundra and the Land Cruiser, making suspension parts easier to source. However, it doesn't seem like a common vehicle to mod, so sliders, bumpers, etc might be harder to find - certainly not as easy as a Tacoma. Down side: Very large on the trail, which may pose some mobility concerns. The newer ones I've sat in have horrible visibility out the front with fake hood scoops stacked on top of fake hood scoops. Certainly more to the "comfort" side of the Mobility-Comfort spectrum. Not sure if any models were made with proper 4WD and without third-row seats.
  • Lexus GX470/GX460: Kind of a middle ground between the Xterra and the Land Cruiser or Sequoia. It's smaller, has a V8, and is essentially a Toyota Prado. It can't be spec'd from the factory with a locking rear diff, so that would need to be added, and the third-row seats are wasted space for me. I think the visibility is the best of the three. Down side: It's a luxury vehicle, so you pay for that. I'm also less of a fan of the engine using a timing belt instead of a chain, like the LX460. The GX460 has the advantage of a real 4WD shift lever and removable 3rd row seats, but it's older and finding a low-miles example is getting hard - so I'm in the same boat as I would be with the FJ100, but with a smaller price tag.
Any other vehicles I should consider?
Are there any "deal breakers" in terms of durability, reliability, or known problems that I should be aware of?
If you have one of these (or another one that I should consider) - how has it been to modify?
Well I'm a big fan of everything your considering. The Sequoia is apparently going to come out in TRD versions soon. Bonus there. You can't go wrong with even the older Toyota Landcruiser . Prices are high for new maybe leaving little budget for mods to make trail ready. Toyota Tundra 4dr with bed cap is another option. Nissan has the big Armada. Just some food for thought. Good luck on your next adventure rig.
 

TreXTerra

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The Armada doesn't have any aftermarket support and I'm not sold on independent suspension all around. Independent front is fine, I like it for comfort and stability on the highway.

I'm not looking at a new vehicle. I actually sat in the Sequoia TRD Pro at the local auto show and I hated the high hood with stacked faux air scoops (yes, it has two on top of each other). It has a 40 foot long blind spot ahead of the bumper.
 
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Chadlyb

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The Armada doesn't have any aftermarket support and I'm not sold on independent suspension all around. Independent front is fine, I like it for comfort and stability on the highway.

I'm not looking at a new vehicle. I actually sat in the Sequoia TRD Pro at the local auto show and I hated the high hood with stacked faux air scoops (yes, it has two on top of each other). It has a 40 foot long blind spot ahead of the bumper.
That's crazy....too bad on the Armada.
 

Welding Goats

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I'm probably still a ways out, but I know my trusty Xterra has taken a bashing over the years; it's also a little cramped and swings more to the "mobility" side of the "Trail Mobility" vs "Comfort in Camp" spectrum. I wouldn't mind something that has more towing, more payload, and just plain more space.

I figured the OB Hive Mind would be a good place to get some ideas - plus, who doesn't love a good campfire discussion about the merits of different platforms?

I like to take on challenging trails, so whatever replaces the Xterra will need to be capable. When I'm not doing overland touring, I enjoy hitting Moab and taking on some of the more difficult trails there; whatever I end up with will need to be able to handle those types of challenges. However, it will also be by daily driver (especially in bad weather when the motorcycle isn't practical). I don't have any need for a third row of seating, so if there is any way to find a vehicle without that - or to remove it to make more space/save weight, I'm all for it. Essentially, it needs to be a Swiss Army Knife - capable of daily driving to and from work, towing a motorcycle trailer to the track or another state, camping, overlanding, technical off road trails, going to IKEA or Home Depot - So yeah, I want it all, and a pony -- I mean, a Unicorn.

Truck vs Wagon body. I'm fine with either, I've always had wagons and they are handy, especially if you end up sleeping inside if the weather turns bad. I'd be open to a truck too, but that's new territory for me.

After market support. Ideally I'd like something with plenty of aftermarket options. Pickings are slim for the Nissan, which means things tend to be expensive or have to be custom-built. I'm not a fabricator, so anything I can buy off-the-rack is a bonus.

All this is leading me to think of Toyota. In an ideal world, I would get a brand-new 80-series turbo diesel - but since that's not happening, I'm left with a few options.

  • FJ100 Series Land Cruiser/Lexus LX470. Good towing, aftermarket support, comfortable, built to last. Down side: The 100 series ended production in 2008, so the newest version I can get is only two years newer than my Xterra, they are also expensive for anything that has less than 160,000 miles - so I would be spending considerable money to have a vehicle that will suffer from similar wear and age related issues.
  • Toyota Sequoia: A larger platform that shares parts with the Tundra and the Land Cruiser, making suspension parts easier to source. However, it doesn't seem like a common vehicle to mod, so sliders, bumpers, etc might be harder to find - certainly not as easy as a Tacoma. Down side: Very large on the trail, which may pose some mobility concerns. The newer ones I've sat in have horrible visibility out the front with fake hood scoops stacked on top of fake hood scoops. Certainly more to the "comfort" side of the Mobility-Comfort spectrum. Not sure if any models were made with proper 4WD and without third-row seats.
  • Lexus GX470/GX460: Kind of a middle ground between the Xterra and the Land Cruiser or Sequoia. It's smaller, has a V8, and is essentially a Toyota Prado. It can't be spec'd from the factory with a locking rear diff, so that would need to be added, and the third-row seats are wasted space for me. I think the visibility is the best of the three. Down side: It's a luxury vehicle, so you pay for that. I'm also less of a fan of the engine using a timing belt instead of a chain, like the LX460. The GX460 has the advantage of a real 4WD shift lever and removable 3rd row seats, but it's older and finding a low-miles example is getting hard - so I'm in the same boat as I would be with the FJ100, but with a smaller price tag.
Any other vehicles I should consider?
Are there any "deal breakers" in terms of durability, reliability, or known problems that I should be aware of?
If you have one of these (or another one that I should consider) - how has it been to modify?
What a well thought out and articulated post. I look forward to seeing where this post goes and the responses that come from the forum members.
 
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KonzaLander

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The Land Cruiser 100/LX470, the GX470 and first generation Sequoia/Tundra(00-09) use the same 2UZ-FE 4.7L engine that should have it's timing belt replaced every 90k miles.

I am partial to the 100 Series, but I truly believe it will suit your needs well. It is a bigger SUV, but it handles the trails like a smaller rig. Aftermarket support for the 100 is not super deep, but there are 1/2 a dozen vendors making parts that are most popular (bumpers, sliders, roof racks, drawer systems, lifts, etc). I am not familiar with the Nissan market to draw a fair comparison here.

The best thing you can do is get out there and test drive each one of your options. A 100 series that has been maintained will surprise you, even though it may be a bit older.
 
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CSG

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I don't wheel or run trails like you're talking about, TrexTerra, but I sure like my LX. It's very capable in stock form. I have no idea what you'd have to do to it to run difficult trails but it's an elegant SUV and built strong.
 

smritte

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I would take Toyota over the Lexus. The parts are the same but, if your going to do the same off-road your doing now, less things to remove (running boards, body cladding). Don't get me wrong, I love wood interior pieces but not if I have to be careful because they look horrible scratched. My opinion is based on the different Lexus I have seen that go off-road (mostly my friends).
I think the sequoia may be too big if you wanted the maneuverability as you stated.
I love to 100 series, just make sure you get the motor maintenance done as was mentioned. I've dropped quite a bit of money on my Cruiser to make it dependable. I love the aftermarket support for Toyota, I wish they weren't so expensive.

Scott