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Need advice - LS owner looking at a GX470

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Old 02-26-12, 05:22 PM   #1
Rspencer55
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Default Need advice - LS owner looking at a GX470

I'm hoping that you can help me. I currently have an 04 LS430 and I'm thinking about trading it in for a GX470. I'm hoping that this will work because I am 6'5" 270 and many SUV's don't fit me (lacking shoulder room mostly). For those of you who have LS 430's, is the fit similar or is there more room in the 430?

I want to spend $23,000 or less and what I see is the following

2006 - 88,000 miles loaded with Navigation and Mark Levinson. On an LS430, this would probably be a CL or ML version. Don't know if the 470 has those designations. Asking 24,900 and a decent car fax.

2004 - Basically the same but with 86,000. Asking 20,900 and a decent car fax.

Another dealer has a 2004 premium (no Nav or upgraded stereo) but with 62,000 miles. They are asking 19,900 but car fax reports an accident in 2005.

I assume that these need the same 90k service as the LS - is there any other factors that I should consider? Is the air suspension reliable? These SUV's do not come with an extended warranty - is that really necessary.

Also, is the Nav and the Levinson package all that desirable and does it make a big difference. In LS land, many people see non-nav cars as less desirable/ Is that the same with the 470?

I would appreciate any and all advice. BTW, are these prices in the ballpark? Do you think with the recent spike in gas prices that they will come down to 23,000 or so?

Thanks again.
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Old 02-26-12, 05:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rspencer55 View Post
I'm hoping that this will work because I am 6'5" 270 and many SUV's don't fit me (lacking shoulder room mostly). For those of you who have LS 430's, is the fit similar or is there more room in the 430?
I don't have an LS but I am 6'1 and I find the Lexus very comfortable and roomy. My father is 6'4, we recently went on a long trip together in the GX and he commented on how comfortable it was. Considering how tall the vehicle is and the amount of legroom, I think you will be fine.

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2006 - 88,000 miles loaded with Navigation and Mark Levinson. On an LS430, this would probably be a CL or ML version. Don't know if the 470 has those designations. Asking 24,900 and a decent car fax.
The 2006's have the update engine (introduced in 2005) as well as bluetooth and a more recent version of the navigation system, but still not a particular modern looking navigation display at this point in time. The only trim level the GX comes with is Sport, I believe introduced mid-05 -- which many people believe are the most desirable w/ the KDSS suspension option. This car is coming up on the 90K service ,so if it has had the sevice done, it sounds like a decent deal but the newer you go the better the factory nav system becomes.

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2004 - Basically the same but with 86,000. Asking 20,900 and a decent car fax.
Not the same vehicle because of the engine and electronic differences noted above. The 04 navigation is extremely dated but still usable. I have a 2004, I think they are the best GX value on the market right now because they are slighly depressed because of the engine and features. However --20,900-- is WAY to much for this vehicle. I wouldn't pay more then $18 for that truck with those miles and only IF the 90k maintanence was done.

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Another dealer has a 2004 premium (no Nav or upgraded stereo) but with 62,000 miles. They are asking 19,900 but car fax reports an accident in 2005.
I would avoid any vehicle w/ poor carfax reports, they are just too difficult to resell or trade in. This sounds like a better price for a 2004 with lower miles, still plenty of distance to the 90K service. Many find the non-nav version mroe desirable, especially in the older GXs. Sounds like a decent option except for the car fax issue, which eliminates it for me.

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Also, is the Nav and the Levinson package all that desirable and does it make a big difference. In LS land, many people see non-nav cars as less desirable/ Is that the same with the 470?
IMO, the nav system, unless it is 2008 or newer, is actually an undesirable option. In the nav model, many car systems are intregated into the nav head unit (ie: climate control) making replacing the system with a more modern aftermarket solution almost impossible. For non-nav vehicles, you can stick an aftermarket head unit in the car and greatly improve both the SQ and features compared to ML nav.

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I would appreciate any and all advice.
I would try to find one with 70K miles (more or less) to give yourself a good year before the 90K service (same as LS). You will find alot for sale at 85k-95k miles because people ditch them instead of servicing them. You didnt mention colors of any of your choices, but color makes a big difference when pricing a GX. Lexus sold most light combinations, in partciular the ivory leather interior. Most prefer the dak combinations today, in particular the grey leather interior. Dark/Dark vehicles sell much quicker and for more money.

They are great vehicles, I love mine... but they will not drive like your LS and if you are expecting the 'LS' of SUVs you are better off looking at an X5 or Cayanne. This is a real body on frame truck, off road rated electric rear locker, a height adjustable rear air suspension and 6500 lb towing capacity. It's quiet and smooth, like any lexus, but it still drives, handles and corners like a big truck.

They have some more common problems, you can search for details, but here is a quick list; 90K timing belt/WP/cooling overhaul, cracked dashboards, driveshaft clunk, steering wheel vibrations, stuck brake calipers, interior squeaks, leaking rear air suspension, electronic gremlins .... Even still, I would not bother with a warrenty unless you step up to a new enough vehicle for Lexus CPO.


Good luck...
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Old 02-26-12, 06:04 PM   #3
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Thanks much for your reply - the 470's in question are black with beige and black with grey interiors. By the way, i did a search on Auto trader(3000 mile search) and it was really difficult to find ANYTHING under 20,000. Guess no one heard about those rising gas prices.
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Old 02-26-12, 06:17 PM   #4
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The GX is a mid-sized SUV and you can tell. I'm not a big dude at all, but if I were anywhere close to your size, I'd never consider the GX as the seats feel small even to me.

I'd either look at an LX (more $, ceteris paribus), or stick to the full size USA SUVs since they can be had for less than a GX. They're designed to fit American sized humans. Budget in the mid to high 20s for a clean one. Anything less, something is not quite right.

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Old 02-26-12, 06:27 PM   #5
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A 2006 Lexus GX470 front head room is reported at 40.2 inches

A 2007 Lexus LX470 front head room is reported at 40.0 inches

A 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe front head room is reported at 40.7 inches. A Escalade/Denali model costs as much as a GX.
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Old 02-26-12, 06:34 PM   #6
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If you want a more soft ride, have you considered an RX? You could easily get a low mileage RX, with your budget. But the RX is just a crossover, and doesn't offer the same off-road experience as the GX or LX.

The RX330 has 39.3 in. of head room. Pretty darn close to the GX and LX.
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Old 02-26-12, 07:07 PM   #7
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If you want a more soft ride, have you considered an RX? You could easily get a low mileage RX, with your budget. But the RX is just a crossover, and doesn't offer the same off-road experience as the GX or LX.

The RX330 has 39.3 in. of head room. Pretty darn close to the GX and LX.
Unfortunately, I don't fit in it. Sometimes the head room is the issue but more often than not, it is the shoulder room that gets me as my left arm/shoulder ends up against the glass or pillar and you start cramping up after about 5-10 minutes of driving.

You should see some of the pushy salespeople trying to make me fit in a car by pushing the back all the way back so I look like some kind of low rider.
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Old 02-26-12, 07:22 PM   #8
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You can also look up shoulder room estimates. The GX at 57.5in is very comprable to a same year LS at 58.5in. The LX is a bit wider at 61.3in. The double wide armrest upgrade is a nice touch on the GX because the stock armrest are useless for bigger guys.
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Old 02-26-12, 07:41 PM   #9
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gx470 will fit just fine, i have wide shoulders and i get by just fine... the 2004 62k looks like a deal only if it's a small cosmetic defect without any electrical frame involvement like the truck hit a bicycle or garage door type of accident... gl
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Old 02-26-12, 07:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by z0lt3c View Post
You can also look up shoulder room estimates. The GX at 57.5in is very comprable to a same year LS at 58.5in. The LX is a bit wider at 61.3in. The double wide armrest upgrade is a nice touch on the GX because the stock armrest are useless for bigger guys.
I've done that and that works some of the time depending on whether the car has power seats or how they place the center pillar in the car.

Car buying for me is complicated - experienced salesmen run and let the newbies deal with me when I go in the lot.
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Old 02-26-12, 07:56 PM   #11
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No used GX470 is worth more than 17k. It costs too much to fix. Get a 2010 tahoe.
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Old 02-26-12, 08:12 PM   #12
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No used GX470 is worth more than 17k. It costs too much to fix. Get a 2010 tahoe.
i agree with some of this...
for some reason gx470 retain values too well... that's why it literally took me 2 1/2 years to pick one up because i just could not find a low mileage one for a decent price and if anything the price seemed to have stayed the same in that time... anyway any luxuray car will be expensive to repair and just be glad this is a toyota product imported from japan... so that means it is a little more reliable for a luxury ride and also you have the option of taking it to a toyota dealership for repair vs a lexus dealership... so that being said i just find people who buy this car for a daily driver a very nonpractical decision (only if you're not super well-off)...
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Old 02-26-12, 08:24 PM   #13
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look in the classified section, a member with 04 50k miles gx470 clean, wanting $21k, you should inquire on that one if ur serious
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Old 02-26-12, 09:55 PM   #14
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look in the classified section, a member with 04 50k miles gx470 clean, wanting $21k, you should inquire on that one if ur serious
Unfortunately, that 470 is in California and I live near Chicago.
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Old 02-27-12, 06:09 AM   #15
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I own both currently, and I believe you need to be looking for LX or Land Cruisers. The GX IMO is nowhere near as comfortable or as roomy as my LS and the LS is still my vehicle of choice. I cant imagine youd find the GX to be a good fit.
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