Mall Crawler: 2004 Lexus LX470 – $16,400

by | Jun 2021 | Classifinds, Four-by-Friday

One of the emerging trends we are finding, particularly in this area of the country is that well-heeled soccer moms are beginning to part with their long-time, well-cared-for Lexus LX470s that have proven to be very reliable and luxurious SUVs. The fact is, they should be. Not only are they made by Toyota but they are rebranded Toyota Land Cruisers.  Another trend is how seasoned Overlanding Enthusiasts learn the harsh reality of using any Jeep vehicle as their weapon of choice: while they are very capable off-road, they are not very comfortable once you return to a paved trail.

Consequently, the two trends above are a marriage made in heaven, as this 2004 Lexus LX470 just listed here on Craigslist near Princeton, New Jersey with 135,200 original miles and an asking price of $16,400 is ready to move from traversing the wilds of Central New Jersey to actually take its driver and passengers on real adventures.  Essentially a tarted-up version of Toyota’s virtually indestructible Land Cruiser, that kind of mileage is just a warm-up for these vehicles.  Not yet on Hagerty Insurance’s radar, a check of the NADA Guides Classic Car Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his LX470 priced well above this guide’s  “High” retail value range of $9,825. However, one needs to look no further than Bring A Trailer to find out how much knowledgeable enthusiasts are paying for clean low mileage examples.

Shortly after the Lexus brand launched in the mid-1990s, Toyota realized they could capitalize on the growing luxury SUV market by offering a brand-engineered version of their capable Land Cruiser.  Rapidly developed in the mid-1990s as a result of threatening US trade sanctions on Japanese luxury cars, the first generation LX 450, little more than a badge-engineered Land Cruiser, started production in November 1995 and was released to the US in January 1996 as a 1996 model.  At that point, Lexus engineers began work on a  second-generation variant better differentiated from the Land Cruiser that debuted in December 1997 as the second generation LX 470 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.  This new second-generation version shared the floor plan and most body panels with the equivalent Land Cruiser, yet differed in its front appearance and had a more luxurious interior. Exterior design differences included a quad-headlamp forward fascia with a larger grille and different wheels. It was powered by an LEV-certified 4.7-liter V8 engine producing 268 horsepower and 328 foot-pounds of torque. It was rated to tow 6,500 pounds when equipped with the optional tow package.

While the front gained independent suspension, the optional electronic locking front and rear differentials of the previous generation were dropped. Suspension included Adjustable Height Control (AHC) hydraulic suspension and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS). The AHC could raise the vehicle for off-roading and return to a normal driving height reducing the center of gravity and wind resistance. The lowest setting for when the vehicle was stopped allowed for easier entry, exit, and loading. AVS alters shock absorber firmness in under 2.5 milliseconds at each wheel, individually selecting from a range of 64 settings depending on road conditions and driver input such as steering-wheel activity, braking, and acceleration. The AVS system used a switch for the driver’s preferences including “normal”, “comfort” and “sport” modes.  Unfortunately, this system proved to be the LX470’s Achilles Heel long term and consequently, a popular and relatively easy conversion is to replace the air ride with a conventional set up from a Toyota Land Cruiser.

Here’s a video review of the LX470 by a seasoned Overlander:

On the occasions we come across an LX470 of this vintage, they are typically in excess of 250,000 miles already.  This 135K mile, for sale by whom we assume, is the original owner is the holy grail for overland enthusiasts to pick up and enjoy as this LX470 is barely broken in. With 30 pages of Lexus service records combined with an extra set of rims and winter tires, we predict this LX470 will be scooped up quickly. If you are serious about buying this Lexus, you can start the conversation by emailing the seller. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Selling my 2004 Blue Vapor Metallic with Gray interior Lexus LX470 with 135,200 miles on it. The Interior is in great condition and comes with foldable 3rd row seats. Automatic height control (AHC) raises and lowers the vehicle with ease and works great. This truck has the upgraded Mark Levinson sound along with a rear entertainment system. This vehicle is primarily driven on the weekends and is garaged. The car has always been serviced at Lexus since new and included is almost 30 pages of service records from the Lexus dealership.

We haven’t been using it as much lately and would like to sell to someone who can appreciate and utilize this truck more than we are. Included with this vehicle is an extra set of OEM wheels with Toyo H/T tires that can be used for off-roading if desired. The set currently on are best rated tires for cruising and fuel economy! This is the more luxurious version of the legendary Toyota Landcruiser and are built to last over 500k!


-Like new Michelin tires all around
-Battery replaced 12/2020
-Second set of OEM Lexus wheels with H/T Toyo tires (~$800 value)
-2 keys along with long range remote start system
-Rear entertainment system
-Satellite Radio
-Preferred accessory package
-Tow Hitch
-Upgraded LED lights
-Books, Manuals, Window sticker etc.

This being a 16 year old vehicle, it does has some flaws. There are some scratches around the vehicle, a few minor rock chips on the hood from highway driving. A small ding on the upper gate near the wiper. Brakes were serviced ~15k miles ago, will likely need to be done in the coming months.

Asking $16400 and happy to answer any additional questions. The vehicle can be shown to serious buyers in/around the Princeton area. I don’t need help selling and not interested in trades. Serious buyers only.”

Overland or Mall Crawl: what would you do with this clean LX470?  Comment below and let us know!


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