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End Of An Era.


acf
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My LS is our biggest car right now. We have one kid (1 yr old) and plan on another in the near future. There just isn't enough storage space on trips for 2 babies. Also, financially, I gotta get out of a car payment. So my plan is to sell the Lexus :(, get out of that payment and buy a used smaller SUV in the $10,000 range. I can get a loan from my 401k at work which I pay myself back monthly. So a couple questions:

1) Other than AutotraderOnline, any suggestions where to list the LS?

2) How much do you think I can get for an almost immaculate 1997 LS Coach Edition with 99K miles ;)?

3) I am initially looking for a '98-'99 RAV4. Any comments on that? I'll have to see if cargo space is sufficient but I like what I've read so far.

4) Any good Toyota forums out there that can come close to this one? :)

Thanks!

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From an LS to a Rav4. I don't know... I'm not a big fan of SUVs (I just recently junked my '94 Ford Explorer), but I'd say if you need the extra space and really don't want to end up missing the Lexus luxury-car quality, both in drivability and comfort, then you should look at the luxury SUVs, and maybe the bigger ones. I drove my friends '99 X5 for a few months last year while he was away and I must say it really drives just like a car. I was taking turns at 70 without even feeling any body sway. And if those are too big, the X3 just came out. I've driven the Rav4 also, and they are alright, but the comparison is just not even possible. For one they are small, but if you're a fan of solid driving machines, the Rav4 is not one. It bounces over bumps, and while it handles fairly well, it doesn't have that 'cooshy' ride I'm sure you're used to in your LS, and it's not designed to give you a sporty ride either, so you're stuck somewhere in between. Oh well, just my humble opinion...

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I'm working on a budget too, so I'm used to shopping for deals. You should check out the mid-90s 4Runners. They're infinitely nicer than the Rav4, and while a lot of the affordable ones are high mileage, I've seen some really nice ones go for less than $10k. This one's a bit expensive, but it's a beautiful truck, and it's got the Toyota reliability. Land Cruisers are nice too, but out of my price range. I don't know how you feel about Range Rovers, but I have a friend with a '95 and it's plush inside more than you would expect, with an optional third row (fairly roomy), heated seats in front and back. And his mom has a '94 Land Rover Discovery with a similar interior and TWO moonroofs. If you're pretty settled about the Rav4, sorry for all this talk, but there is one more thing you should check out which I think is far more appealing. I just talked to my friend online and his brother just got a '98 ML320 for about $9500. It has 115k miles. That's not such a bizarre price either because they are going on eBay for not too much. I've never driven one, but from what I hear, they beat the Rav4 hands down, and the comfort is a guaranteed improvement.

I realized too, a little slowly, that Rav4's can get upwards of 30-5 miles per gallon, which makes them a big plus, especially if you have a family to drive around, but Mercedes does sound a bit more appealing...

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Odd thing is that KBB has private party for the car at $14,460 but Edmunds has it apprasing at $18,500 private party. Very odd, almost as if KBB doesn't factor in the Coach factor while Edmunds does. :unsure:

There's no penalty for withdrawing from my 401k through my work (and Fidelity). I just have to pay back principal plus interest on that money to myself. The only draw back is I don't get the match that my company offers on the borrowed money.

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I'm working on a budget too, so I'm used to shopping for deals. You should check out the mid-90s 4Runners. They're infinitely nicer than the Rav4, and while a lot of the affordable ones are high mileage, I've seen some really nice ones go for less than $10k. This one's a bit expensive, but it's a beautiful truck, and it's got the Toyota reliability. Land Cruisers are nice too, but out of my price range. I don't know how you feel about Range Rovers, but I have a friend with a '95 and it's plush inside more than you would expect, with an optional third row (fairly roomy), heated seats in front and back. And his mom has a '94 Land Rover Discovery with a similar interior and TWO moonroofs. If you're pretty settled about the Rav4, sorry for all this talk, but there is one more thing you should check out which I think is far more appealing. I just talked to my friend online and his brother just got a '98 ML320 for about $9500. It has 115k miles. That's not such a bizarre price either because they are going on eBay for not too much. I've never driven one, but from what I hear, they beat the Rav4 hands down, and the comfort is a guaranteed improvement.

I realized too, a little slowly, that Rav4's can get upwards of 30-5 miles per gallon, which makes them a big plus, especially if you have a family to drive around, but Mercedes does sound a bit more appealing...

Thanks for that info. I'm definitelty not set on a RAV4. Its just got that Toyota reliabily. I'm also looking at a Honda CR-V, which most of the reviews I'm seeing are on par or better than the RAV4.

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My opinion? Refinance the LS and keep it for a couple reasons:

1. My fiance's cousin's husband (thats a mouthful lol) has a brand new Rav 4 and their frends have a CRV. We just spent a week with them in Virginia. The little trucklets are nice but they don't have a lot of room at all, I would say the LS has at least as much or more room, my ES has more. The Rav has a lot of room with the seats down or out but not much at all with the seats up.

2. The LS is much safer. Check out the crash test ratings on the year Rav 4 and CRV you'd be looking at. Your family is going to be much more comfortable and more secure in the LS.

3. The LS is longer lasting. 99k is just getting started for the LS, you can expect at least another 99k out of it. The Rav 4 has Toyota quality, but they're not as robust as the Lexuses and definately not as robust as the LS.

I went from an Explorer to the ES, and we have 4 ferrets (they ride in a cage that takes up 3/4 of the backseat, and they require more junk than two kids, trust me! (my fiance and I have had many fights about this). Basically what we've had to do is learn to pack better. I'm 99% sure if you try the LS a couple times with the kids and try to pack as well as you can it'll be more than enough space. The main problem with that generation LS is its little trunk.

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Odd thing is that KBB has private party for the car at $14,460 but Edmunds has it apprasing at $18,500 private party. Very odd, almost as if KBB doesn't factor in the Coach factor while Edmunds does. :unsure:

that's why when u buy car, u show KBB to seller, and when u sell car, u show Edmunds or NADD to buyer, then hope for the best.

I also found that, cars listed on local papers tempt to be 15~30% higher than KBB on avarage. so, u still want to do classified ad on papers. there are still lots of folks rather pay higher price to kick the tires with their own feet than going out-of-state or eBay.

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1) Other than AutotraderOnline, any suggestions where to list the LS?

http://siy.cars.com/beta/index.jhtml;jsess...nal&referer=hdr

And here is where to buy them:

http://www.cars.com/search/used/cc/standar..._search.jhtml.4

Researh:

http://www.cars.com/go/crp/index.jsp?logty...05&modelid=6748

I see that you are in that Mini Van kind of position; but, surely don't want to drive one (I won't neither). Thats why there are a lot more SUVs and competition for them are tough too. Steve (SW03ES) have made very good points about safety, that should be your first piority; some SUVs can flip over very easily (by seeing that one of my relatives ran over on to the grass on the Highway on her CR-V and it flipped over several times; but this can happen to a car too).

If you still want to sell the LS, you can find a lot of good SUVs today for $10k. The link I have provided have several RAV-4s and other great SUVs in your area.

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I'd get a 4 door, 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual RAV4 if you can find one. 30-34 MPG and good power. A well maintained Camry station wagon from the mid-1990's is another option (25-30 MPG). The Camry offers a substantially more comfortable and refined driving experience than the RAV4. Third option: A 4 cylinder, 5-speed manual 2 wheel drive 4-runner from the mid-late 90's. 23-25MPG.

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Another idea is to look for a 98 or so RX300 in good condition, gonna cost you a little more...

At the 10k number you're looking at a 96 (the first year) to a 98 Rav 4 or a 97 (first year) CR-V.

The 96-2000 Rav 4 rating Marginal (less than average) side rating poor (worst classification)

http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/98014.htm

The 97-2001 CR-V rating narginal, side rating poor.

//www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/98017.htm

And your 97 LS400 overall Good (highest rating) and is a best pick. Has not been side tested.

The LS is infinately a safer vehicle, your insurance may even go up after the swtch.

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acf: You should be able to sell the LS for $17k. I would say that put it up for $19k, because there aren't that many LSs in NC or at least in my area. Your LS is worth roughly just as much as typical 98 or 99 RX with 80-90k miles or even less.

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ACF: Am aware of the forum name; however, you might wish checking out a late model Outback, an awesome car,can be had at reasonable prices, and super in the winter;also good mpg. You would have to check the interior size. Assume you are looking at value/$.

And summer is the best time to look at these; daughter lives at Banner Elk[have 2 Outbacks] but had to make a deposit once one was received on trade-in, just to go see it at a dealer in Hickory. That is the demand in the winter.

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Wow, lots of great feedback! :cheers:

Just got back from a little car shopping and we are now also realizing that the CRV and Rav4 are too small and we actaully would be better off with the LS cargo wise.

The wife is leaning towards a Ford Expedition. I know its a Ford but most people I've talked to and read about seem very happy with theirs. And the wife is quite fond of the 3 rows of seats. Also, you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Realistically, I could problably go to around $15K. I thought about the RX300 but the oldest year seems to be the '99 and thats outta the budget.

Tansupplyman: I like the Outback but not quite enough room for what we're looking for. A coworker of mine just bought one.

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acf: You should be able to sell the LS for $17k. I would say that put it up for $19k, because there aren't that many LSs in NC or at least in my area. Your LS is worth roughly just as much as typical 98 or 99 RX with 80-90k miles or even less.

Yea, I did some checking around and it does seem I could list it around those numbers. I had been thinking around $18,500 and see what happens.

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The 96-98 4-Runner may be the best selection for what you are looking for. They are priced around $8000-$14000 here (96' typically around 8K-10K). They are not only have more room, but receive higher ratings on the IIHS off-set crash tests. http://www.hwysafety.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/96005.htm

I know that if a 96'-98' 4-Runner is still selling for $10000+, then a 99 RX will probably sell for a lot more than that. The Mercedes ML320 is also very safe, but not as reliable.

If you do not mind a minivan- the 98' Toyota Sienna, as well as the 99' Honda Odyssey are good, safe choices. Both earn excellent ratings in the tests.

Here are some good Toyota sites:

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/

http://www.camryclub.org/index1.htm

Here is a Honda site:

http://www.cordclub.com/forums/

I visited these sites often when I had my 93' Camry LE V6.

Good luck.

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I just have to put in my two cents about Ford, which I personally hate. Don't get me wrong, my first car (the same one I just got rid of) was a '94 Ford Explorer, and I grew up in it. While I would never go back to it from my LS, I do get that nostalgic feeling and miss it when passing other old explorers on the street. I've also driven a few Expeditions (a '98, a '99, and a '02). The Expedis and the Explos have a similar ride, with the big SUVs feeling like they have a little bit softer ride. What killed me though about the Explorer was the shoddy quality and construction of the vehicle and the constant repair costs. While I have had to fiz things on my Lex, they have been typical repairs for a car this age with hardly anything unexpected, and while they cost ridiculous amounts of money to repair if you go to the dealer (and a lot of the time even if you don't), there will usually not be too many surprises. With the Ford, it was pretty much the opposite. Everything was relatively cheap to fix, but wouldn't last at all. While the LS I have remains solid after 10+ years, the Explorer began falling apart nearly immediately. The seat controls stopped working quickly so I had to replace thema nd then replace them again. The door lock actuators broke several times and replaced them. My center console broke off (held on with plastic aside from one bolt, which was bolted through cheap plastic which deteriorates quickly. All the paneling is held on solely with cheap clips (which Lexus uses only occasionally throughout their cars) and once removed, it is impossible to get the fit perfect again. My interior and exterior door handles broke on several occasions and i replaced them. The cheap buttons broke a lot and I replaced those. Notice the trend - constant replcing of cheap component. That's my main beef with Ford. Luckily, my family won this car new from the Red Sox in '93. I would have been *BLEEP*ed if I had bought it, and now I know not to go with American worksmanship when shopping for cars. The quality really is second to the profit. Whenever corners could be cut, they were. Oh yeah, and the engine blew (I don't know what, I was pretty young then, and my mom drove it before me) after the first 20,000 miles. It was under warranty, and they put a new engine in, so it was alright, but the experience speaks for itself and the same thing happened to my friend's '98 Expedition after about 8,000. Also, I don't know if the 4WD feature in the newer Ford SUVs is switchable, but I don't recommend them if it is. While the fuel economy is much better with the 4WD off, the transmission switch that operates the 4WD feature broke on my Explo after five years and the estimated cost of repairing it (due to the difficult location of the components) at an indie shop was more than $1100. We decided to have the entire 4WD axle disengaged for the minor fee of $250, and my Explo spent the rest of it's life in 2WD mode with the axle sitting idly in my garage hoping for better times. Things kept breaking and so I could never get the money to put it back in. I also spent a lot of my time chasing annoying rattles and vibrations from driving or the subs I had in the back. After 200,000 miles, the Explorer felt like it was about to fall apart, like all the nuts and bolts were just going to separate from driving. As a matter of fact, it felt like that after 130,000 miles. The good thing about Fords is that there are so many of them in junkyards that it's easy to get any part you need cheap. Lol, I don't know if that's good or bad, but a lot of people are trashing these things. Though I did so much stuff to my car, I probably got 80% of the parts from junkyards and only went to the dealership a handful of times. When I first got this LS, I tried to get a couple things from the junkyards and the people I talked to just laughed at me. "You're trying to find an LS in the junkyard? Try coming back in another ten years!" Haha

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I thought we had a Toyota Forum attached to this forum. I'll have to look into that.

Since you're interested in selling your LS, you could put up ad add in the Buy and Sell Forum, see what happens.

Although I don't recommend SUVs, because they blow chunks, I'd say take a look at the New Scion Xb (Toyota Bibi). The vehicle is roomy and yes it looks like a box. One of my coworkers bought one and she's enjoying it. It costs around $13-17k, but it's worth it. Full Warranty, and it's a Toyota.

It's not a bad idea to refinance your existing loan with something with a lower interest. My bank's been trying to convince me to do so, especially since I have my own home.

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Honestly, before you sell the LS look into refinancing it. Its going to hold its value and last far longer than the other vehicles you're currently considering.

The Expeditions are okay, I just put my Explorer in the shop for $2600. Thats the real fear. Fords (not all) just don't have the dependability and consistent quality of the Japanese automakers. The Expedition has several areas of concern that are common, search around and look for some forums on them. My Explorer gets driven very little now and I have not had it in the shop for less than $500 in years. I'm not kidding, even oil changes aren't just oil changes anymore, comes back $750 or 1000 etc, always. its been this way since 70k when the tranny went at $2500. Its just a money hole, its a perfectly maintained 97 Limited. It still looks great but it feels on the road like its falling apart after 148,000 miles.

The Outback is a nice wagon, and since they just redesigned it you should be able to get a good deal on it. I'd look at it, I've been considering getting a new one to replace the Explorer...

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Fords of the 90s (not sure about the 2000+ models) have mixed quality. I had a 1998 Ford Taurus with 249K (yes, 249,000) miles on it when I sold it. :blink: It was highway miles of course, but the engine (3.0L V6) still ran flawlessly and did not use any oil, not did it have any leaks. The transmission was starting to get tired (harsh or slipping shifts at times) and it had a good amount of rattles from the interior, but the car was quite powerful. I have heard about the same for other Fords. They have some quirky problems, such as turn signal switch malfunctions, heat/AC mixing valve failures, as well as power steering pump growls/moans. As long as you buy one that was very well cared for, you should be OK. I really do not like the styling much on the Fords, but I think that the all-new 2004 F-150 truck is about the best looking truck I have ever seen. It should be nice, considering that a F-150 Lariat (top of the line) 4dr, 4WD, loaded with options can top $44,000 (surpassing the Lexus ES300?). Even the entry level F-150 XL 2WD, has a base price of $22,000, but even the "base" models now come very nicely equipped. Not to mention that this truck earned extremely high ratings in the IIHS crash tests we have been showing.

http://www.hwysafety.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/0328.htm

I am just waiting to see if the reliability has improved.......

Also, have you considered a Lexus LX450 or Toyota Land Cruiser? There was a 96 LX450 for sale here for $10000 a while back. Great price, I wish I had of bought it. The Land Cruiser is the same truck, but with less "luxury" features. 1991 was the first year for the body style that lasted thru the 1990s and basically still today. I am actually considering buying one (91-up Land Cruiser) myself before long.

Here is an example of a $10000 Land Cruiser. Also keep in mind that these have the 3rd seat and are 7 passenger models.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAP...2481916423&rd=1

Good luck in whatever you decide.

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All the Ford points well taken. We'll see what happens. :)

I do like what I see of the '98-'99 4-Runners and many of them are in my price range. Granted, with this vehicle I must be confident it can roll over to 6 digits and keep going.

Haven't looked at the Land Cruiser or bigger Lexus trucks yet as I knew I'd have to go back to the mid 90's to find one. But if its well serviced, its definitely an option.

The search continues... :cheers:

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