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1997 Lexus Lx450

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I am about to buy a 1997 LX450, but have never met anyone who has owned one. Are there any owners of 96-97 LX450s out there that would give me their ownership experience in the area of satisfaction with mechanical, quality issues, and maintenance service issues (cost at d-ship or if Toyota will maintenance the Lexus as well, for less) and/or any other comments relating to the above year models? Thanks

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Wow. Sort of an open ended question. I can tell you that I love mine. The wife loves hers as well.

Here's my take on some of the other stuff...

Mechanical quality is top-notch. Toyota/Lexus did a great job with the LX 450 (Land Cruiser). The only failing point with the '96/'97 models (this would include the '95s if you were looking at LCs too) is the head gasket. I know of some people who have had problems with it failing. I'm not sure what they were doing at the time (i.e. towing heavy loads) or if it was due to improper maintenance, but some have had problems. The only issue I've dealt with is the starter.

The transmissions are very solid. The overall build quality is superb, IMHO. Off-road, they're extremely capable.

With this rig being a full-time 4wd vehicle, some maintenance costs will be high. The cost to repack the front axle (and bearings) will run about $1000 at a Lexus dealership (about 300 less at a Toyota dealership). Front brake rotor replacement cost will be high because it usually involves a front bearing repack.

This thing will chew through brake pads fairly quickly. Good news is that replacing the pads is about a 10 minute job per brake set (i.e. per wheel) if you do it yourself. Having a shop do it will run about $200 to $300 per axle (front or rear).

Before purchasing the '97 LX 450 I have now, I owned a '94 Land Cruiser (pretty much the same rig). I've had "one of these" for the past 8 years...I'd say that I like 'em.

Any specific questions? If you're looking for more info on the web, try searching for Land Cruisers and/or 80 series (the model we have is the 80 series Land Cruiser).

Good luck.

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I agreed with DougJohn, the LC80 /LX450 made to be rock solid, everythings great

I personally owned the 97LX 450 for 7 yrs~ from 0 mileage until 163K now!

What can i say more ~ im one of the kind LX450 in the US land with all hard & rare

mods from overseas such as all around clear crystal lamps, front corner , front turn signal & rear tail lamp all clear... :D

Go get the LC 80 or LX450 dont hesitate built to be the last ~ with the timing chain!

not rubber <_<

G@@d Luck!~

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I have had a 1995 Landcruise, and 1996 Landcruiser, and 1997 LX450, and an '03 Landcriser so I'm pretty familiar with these cars. I would have to say everything in the post above in dead on. I'm having to repack my front axle very soon. Other than that, I have never had any problems with any other the vehicles. They do eat through break pads and to experience fading in long braking b/c the brakes get too hot. They do stop well in an emergency situation though. They are amazing off-road. They are extremely comfortable at high ways speeds.

They are, however, not the quickest cars on the road so don't expect too much off the line. Other than that, they have enough power. I would not say repair costs are cheap but these cars are very very reliable so there will not be many repair costs. They are very safe cars also, I was t-boned by a BMW745i going 45mph and wasn't hurt at all. I actually drove the car to the shop after the wreck. Transmissions are well built and shift smoothly.

The gas tank on these cars is about 22 gallons and I get about 270 miles on the highway and about 200 in the city. For a solid axle car, is rides nicely but still gives you a great feel for the road.

They do not have A/C in the back so it takes a little while for the back to get cooled down but is not bad. There is a heater for the back seats. I would recommend getting the windows tinted to cut down on the heat coming in. It makes a big difference. If you have any other questions feel free to e-mail me at SHarr5184@aol.com.


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I appreciate the info. I have been researching the 1995-7 LC for months and just decided 2 weeks ago to find the Lexus version instead, after seeing one up close. I found one with 60K miiles in the Cashmere Beige that is in superb (garaged) condition. My first post asking for info was primarily because I want the old body style and 97 was the last year (the new style looks too much like most of the SUVs on the road) and couldn't find anyone who owned or had owned one. I also preferred the I-6 (I like inline engines best...for example my 1985 Mercedes SD300 with the I-5 diesel which I have 250K miles and still going strong). Also, I just discovered the website sleeoffroad.com which has a lot of great tech info on the LCs including what to do with that odd slot in the dash (cupholder conversion). I have had a hard time finding one with the optional front and rear differential lock, but the one I found has the feature. I have had 2 Toyota 4wd pickups and enjoy 4 wheeling on some old, closed U.S. Forest service roads in the Blue Ridge mountains, and thought having the F & R lockers along with the Center would make it more interesting. Thanks for the replies.

One more thing. When I get this truck, will the maintenance schedule in the owners manual suggest when to get the wheel bearings/axle repacked? Or could one of you tell me how often I will need to do this?


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Good job finding one with lockers. Both of ours have oem diff locks. I think you'll be happy with the rig.

The manual suggests repack and 60k mile intervals. That said, unless you have proof that it was done, I'd suggest you repack (or have them repacked) asap. Not everyone does it when they're supposed to.

I suggest that you get the Factory Service Manual if you plan to work on the rig at all -- well even if you don't plan on working on it now. It's an invaluable source of informatin. The LC version of the manual will cover 99% of your needs (things like the CD changer will not be covered in the LC manual).


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I agree with chip, the new body style looks tooo “soccer mom-ish” sorry guys. The old body style just has a presence and a stance that is unequal.

With that said, If I had to do it over again (I own a 96 LX) I would by the Land Cruiser. The creature comforts and the soft suspension that Lexus put in the 450/470’s is alright if you’re cruising the pavement, but LC made their vehicle for serious off road travel. I owned a 93 LC and it’s a different animal.

The Lexus dealerships I’ve dealt with, (Milwaukee and Appleton WI) can be pampas, overpriced, blood suckers. $50.00 for an oil change, please, keep the warm cookies and the certificate (telling me the tech’s name that changed the oil), and bring the price down.

Labor doubles from that of your local Toyota dealer.

I did own a SC 400 and a LS 400, and that is Lexus’s forte…cars not trucks.

HEY…..you asked!


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Come on now...

Lexus's stock suspension pretty much sucks off road, but the stock LC suspension is not much better.

There are serveral differences when comparing the '98-'04 LCs vs LX 470s, but the '95-97 LC is virtually identical to the LX 450.

No one says that you have to take the LX 450 to Lexus for servicing. Most savy Toyota dealerships know that they're mechanically the same. Some are idiots, but not all of them. That said, there's no requirement to have your oil change done at the dealership anyhow.

I will agree with you though about Lexus's forte being cars. Their cars are phenomenal. The trucks/SUVs are basically borrowed from the Toyota line.

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I hear ya dude, but he ask for opinions.

Just to clarify, I do not take my 450 to the dealer for oil changes, or any work I can do myself, but I did take my LS/SC cars in once a year just to stay on their mailing/recall lists. I agree that the LC/450 are pretty much identical twins.

I don’t know if they do the warm cookie and “certificate” thing at your dealership, but they do in WI.

Hey, you want me to come in for service…..set a beer bar with some pretzels. 

Overall, you are buying (in my opinion) the best SUV on the face of the earth, whether it is the LC or 450/70


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I was starting to wonder about you dakrri after that first reply, sounded a little cynical, I guess those winters get to you. However, your second reply with the beer and pretzels sounded more like a LC/450 owner....and oh yeah, don't know if you are Packers fan, but I am hard core Carolina Panthers season ticket holder fan since their beginning (which is only been 9 years). I am very much looking forward to our Monday Night season opener against the Pack here in Charlotte.

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That’s the problem with email/forums, what you say, and what you meant to say, can sound cynical. All in all you can’t go wrong with either truck LX or LC.

How about a friendly wager on that Monday night game????? I've been to many Packer games with the Lexus and it’s great for tailgating.

If you signed up for season tickets for GB, you would be number 78,000 on the list. I have a friend who signed up when he turned 18, and he first got tickets last year. He is 45 years old


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