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Article about the SUV + a mention of the Pilot in regards to third row seats.

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http://www.latimes.com/classified/automotive/highway1/la-hy-lexus22jan22,0,7167882.story?coll=la-headlines-highway1-manual

Here is the paragraph mentioning the Pilot:

Things Lexus won't change are a CD changer that takes up room in the glove box instead of being slotted nicely into the dash -- the optional navigation system takes up the dash space. And the cumbersome third-row seat storage system that requires owners to fold the seats down, then flip them up and fasten them to the sides of the cargo area. This is because the GX's steel frame doesn't leave enough room for rear seats that fold flat into the floor as they do on unibody vehicles such as the Lincoln Navigator and the Honda Pilot.
 

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The flat folding third row seats were one of the big selling points. The Sequoia also doesn't have a flat folding third row. Big disadvantage, in my opinion.
 

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Fold-flat 3rd row

This was a huge factor for us as well. The first time that I saw it was 5 years ago when we were looking for a family machine, van or wagon (got the wagon - see sig, below). We were looking at a 1st generation Odyssey and I asked the dealer where the third row was (in the dealership?) and how you put it in. He then proceeded to flip and flip again and there was the third row. Wow.

My parents bought a 2nd generation Odyssey and love the fold-ability of the 3rd row, in contrast to my inlaws Sillouette, with five independent fold in half seats.

So, the fold-flat 3rd row was a top-tier factor for us to buy the Pilot.

Load it to the gills, with the 3rd row down. Drive 500 miles to your destination. Unload Pilot. Drive with up to 8 passengers around town. Can't beat that.

Cheers,
Rob

p.s. I do like the look of the new GX 470 though, and the commercial with it drifting across the snow pack.
 

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The LA times is only partially right.

The GX470 is available without the NAV system. (Even with it, it takes up as much room as the MDX system does).

The third row seats are pretty silly. They can be totally removed from the vehicle permanently. The option price is a tad bit high also.

The GX470 drives fantastic. The transmission is very nice and the V8 eager. The interior height of the GX470 is similar to the Pilot, except the GX470 also includes a sunroof.

You really can't compare the GX470 to the Pilot, they are two different animals. The MDX is a bit more sporty than the GX470, but the Lexus is smoother and has more creature comforts.

I liked the 4Runner also, but it lacks the headroom of the GX470. Lexus aimed the GX470 after the highend of the market. It nailed that market.

I also really like the MDX, it's very nice for 2003.
 

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mrvincent said:
unibody vehicles such as the Lincoln Navigator
Eh? The Navigator has a unibody?

I thought the Explorer and the Expedition (hence the Navigator)were ladder frames with "porthole-in-frame?" This marketing term really means "we didn't engineer it well enough the first time, so we just cut holes in it. You don't mind holes in your frame, do you?"
 

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Re: Re: Lexus 2003 GX 470

Ferdball said:

Eh? The Navigator has a unibody?

I thought the Explorer and the Expedition (hence the Navigator)were ladder frames with "porthole-in-frame?" This marketing term really means "we didn't engineer it well enough the first time, so we just cut holes in it. You don't mind holes in your frame, do you?"
Searching on Google.com, I found the following clip for the 2003 Navigator (and a similar one for the Expedition):
www.buysell.com/supplement/bc/newcars2002/ editorial/frames/domestic.htm verview

The 2003 Lincoln Navigator boasts exterior refinements (yada yada). A fully boxed, hydroformed frame, (yada yada)

Body Type: 5-door SUV, ladder frame
Layout: Front engine, 4WD
Base Engine: 300 hp, 355 lb-ft torque, 5.4-L, 32-valve V8
Transmission: 4-spd auto
Brakes (front/rear): disc/disc, ABS
Curb Weight: 2,595 kg (5,721 lb) (est)

So, it looks like you were right about the ladder frame.
 
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