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Considering Trading My Ls400 For A Land Cruiser.. Am I A Fool? :)


90LS400Lexus
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I know that really sounds crazy now, especially with gas prices soaring to near $4.00 per gallon huh? My LS400 gets 22mpg and a 91-93 Land Cruiser gets what, about 13-14 mpg? The LS does use premium though, but I am not sure if the off-set difference is that much.

I wanted a Land Cruiser before I bought the LS, but I was having trouble finding one. Then I ran across my LS400 and really loved the car and bought it, now I have "the fever" for a 91-94 Land Cruiser again. I have posted a FEW ads in larger metro areas and some locally with a potential trade, but no bites. I thought with fuel prices soaring that this would be a easy trade and someone would chomp at the bit to trade their gas-hog LC for a gas-sipping LS. :D

I know that the LC will be a whole different ball game than the LS... they are big, heavy and slow (especially the 91-92 models), but that does not concern me that much. I may just keep the LS for a couple more years, give it to my mother, then try to find a nice 91-newer LC.

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Honestly, since I replaced my 95 LS for the 05' 4Runner, I have no complaints and don't miss the LS that much at all. But, a lot of that has to do with functionality differences between the two. But I must admit, I didn't think I was going to like the reduced smoothness/floatiness the LS spoiled me with, but I've actually grown to like it, quite a bit. In fact, I drive the 07 Mazda 3 now 95% of the time, and that little thing is like a go-cart, rides like one, handles like one, and takes bumps like one, yet I love it. Kind of reminds me that I'm driving, instead of being driven. LC's are notorious for racking up hundreds of thousands of miles, trouble free, like the LS's are. Plus, the cost difference in parts & labor from dropping the Lexus for Toyota, is quite noticable. But, like you said, mpg will suffer. However, some seafoam, new plugs, synthetic fluids and clean air intake, and a gentle foot, you'd be pretty impressed on the mpg for the car actually. Granted, the age and technology difference between a 91+ LC and the latest generation of the 4runner is pretty substantial, but my 4.7 V8 with perm 4x4 gets anywhere between 19-22mpg on the highway, and roughly 16/17 around town. Put your foot in it though, which is tough to not do with 270hp / 333 lb's torque, and it gets thirsty!

Not to sound arrogant here, but honestly amigo, the costs of cars of that age, really doesn't pin you down to badly, if you decide to switch back. The depreciation on them has run it's course, and you're really buying the vehicle only, which is great! In my opinion, if you wanted to pull the trigger and try a Land Cruiser, I say go for it! I actually considered them too prior to the 4runner, but my wife thought they were a little too big for her "which is crap". It was her way of saying "please don't buy another older car that you'll spend countless hours obsessing over". You'll never know unless you try. I don't know of any land cruiser forums though to snoop around in to do some research???

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Thanks NC. I did not know you sold your LS though. Sorry to hear that, but it sounds like you love your 4-Runner. One of my friends had a 06' 4-Runner, but when gas prices went up- she traded it in on a 07' Camry SE- which she actually had to take back to the dealer twice for a leaking sunroof and even demanded that the seats/carpeting be replaced... TWICE! :o

What had happened was the drain tubes came off. First time, they were supposed to put clamps on them to keep them in place, but they did not. Oh well- thats another story.

Yeah, there are several LC forums around and from what I have gathered, the LC's are just as reliable as a LS. I have seen some of them with well over 400K miles. Its strange that 6-cylinder uses so much fuel, but I guess its mostly where its so heavy. My 2000 Toyota Tundra was a 4wd V8 (4.7L) and I got 16mpg in town with it.

I have opted to stay away from new cars now, because the 80s and 90s Toyotas-Lexus and Hondas are still my top picks. The local Toyota dealership does have a really nice 1997 Toyota Tacoma SR5 4wd truck that I really like- its loaded to the max - even a sunroof that I have considered trading for. <_<

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A Land Cruiser is a Land Cruiser. A big difference from a nice smooth riding LS but it's something worth having even with gas prices this high! Depends if you really want/need the features and capabilities of a LC, then go for it! Price should be good for it right now cuz no one wants to buy a gas guzzler!

I've noticed that at the Mazda and Suzuki dealership im working at, they're selling those Mazda 3s and Suzuki SX4s like hotcakes! lol ;)

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Yeah, I wouldn't be thinking Landcruiser's or other large SUV's for awhile anyway. I mean with gas being what it is in price, it catches up to you quick!

We have 3 cars right now.(That are not project cars in the garage.) I have the IS350, it gets about 22 mpg, we have the Volvo S40, that gets about 28 mpg, ( Less if she keeps the turbo spooled alot), and I got a Nissan Sentra GXE as a beater car for when I do alot of work on one of our cars, we have a back up til it's ready for the road again. The Nissan gets 36 mpg. That car has been a god send! We drive that thing to the grocery store, and all over on errand day. People door ding it, and carts roll into it, we don't care. It only has a 10 gallon tank on it, so filling it up is cheap, and I do that maybe once a month. Best $1500 I've spent. And it keeps the wear and tear down on our nice cars. Insurance on it is cheap, and it really is a piece of mind. I leave for the shop before my wife goes to work during the week. She came out and the Volve had gotten a flat tire on the passenger side. She called me and said she had some important stuff to get done that morning, so she just jumped in the Nissan and went to work, when I got home I fixed the flat before she even got home that evening.

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I am not sure of the typical ride of a 91-93 Land Cruiser, because I have never ridden in one... guess I should though. As far as my LS goes, its not as "smooth riding" as I like. Maybe compared to a truck or something, so I would hopefully not be losing much ride quality. My rear suspension is quite soft and supple, as it should be, but the front suspension is not very absorbant and is harsh IMO, especially when compared to my older large American cars. I think some new front struts may be in order, but then maybe its normal? My old 90' LS was the same way, but then it too had about the same mileage on the original front struts. Typically when struts wear out, they allow a overly soft/floaty ride, but I have heard that they can also do the opposite.

I agree - I think it would be a good time to buy to get one cheap, but would have to suffer now because of the fuel prices. My LS is not a clunker and probably as nice as most 3-5 year old cars on the road now, no dents or dings, the interior is still excellent, but it is starting to need some maintainence items - such as engine/tranny mounts, front struts, ball-joints and/or tie-rod ends (has a little slack in the center steering and starting to get occasional clunks over some bumps), antenna mast growls and it needs a coolant level sensor. All small stuff to most people I know - the biggie has already been done - new timing belt/water pump 15K ago.

A Land Cruiser is a Land Cruiser. A big difference from a nice smooth riding LS but it's something worth having even with gas prices this high! Depends if you really want/need the features and capabilities of a LC, then go for it! Price should be good for it right now cuz no one wants to buy a gas guzzler!

I've noticed that at the Mazda and Suzuki dealership im working at, they're selling those Mazda 3s and Suzuki SX4s like hotcakes! lol ;)

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I agree with the others, I wouldn't buy a LC with these high gas prices unless you need to tow/haul something. Also, if I were getting a LC, I'd have to have a '98+ because they look so much better than the older ones, and they have a V8.

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Thanks. Well I looked at a 1991 Land Cruiser at a carlot today with 202K. Its in really good shape. Looks to have all options except leather, which is good (to me anyway).

Very true, my LS gets pretty good mileage - between 20-22 in town. I noticed that premium is up to $3.54 now here locally. :o :o Its going higher and higher. I am not sure if the lower fuel grade required for the LC would make a difference or not.

Like someone said, the LC may be cheaper to maintain overall than the LS. My LS is due for motor mounts, transmission mount and I personally think front struts/ball joints/tie-rod ends. This is probably about what- $1000 for parts/labor (if I had it repaired at a shop)? Mechanically, the car still works perfectly and its still in good shape inside and out.

I also went by the local Toyota dealer and browsed at the 1000 used cars they have. On all cars 75K or less, they offer a lifetime powertrain warranty. I do not know the details on that, but I am not really concerned with that. They have a 1998 Honda Accord EX 4dr V6/automatic that caught my eye. It has 73K miles, so it falls in that LT warranty. Maybe this is something more I should look into for now? Really wanting a Land Cruiser though.

BLAKE - they have a 1999 Land Cruiser thats amazing out there, but its way out of my price range. :(

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We should all stop and take a deep breath as gas prices appear to be getting ready to be a shocker. A land cruiser will become a dino, as in oil/gas sore or soar. Take care of immediate concerns, as in food/home for your families and rising costs for all basics. Chill for a year and see what happens. Best advice I have.

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Have you looked into a 1996-97 LX450? They have the same great looks as the early Land Cruiser, and, although more expensive, I would think one of those would be a very easy transition from your LS. I do not care for the way large SUVs drive, but if I had to have one, the LX would probably be my top pick for that reason.

I would stay away from that 1998 Accord though. Actually, I would run away. That vintage of Accord is notorious for transmission failures. Some family members of mine who were, and still are, loyal Honda owners, had a 2001 Accord with the same drivetrain as that 1998. Last year, the car was rear-ended and totalled.

At that time, it was on it's 3rd transmission.

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Take it from someone who's family has wasted so much money, but never on anything nice.... buy what you can afford and don't look back. If it makes you happy do it. Thats what life is about, the pursuit of happiness. If i were you, i would fix up those little probs, and keep that lex a cherry.

Land crusiers are super expensive. Mileage seems to have no effect on price. Also Can you imagine spending more than a quarter per mile driven on fuel?? (27 cents) If you dont drive alot, i guess it doesnt matter.

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Yeah, but all I have done is looked. lol. Out of my price range. I sold my Toyota Tundra because it was taking to much to pay on it, pay the gas for it, full-coverage insurance and the timing belt was due - so I sold it and bought my "much cheaper" LS400. Better MPG and less money overall.

Yeah, I have heard about those Accord transmissions - total disasters. The only thing that still kept me interested is the fact that it has a lifetime powertrain warranty. All of their cars under 75K miles qualify and this Accord has 73K. I am sure there is a catch though? <_< Guess even that, why would I want to put up with that torture? Oh, I also changed my mind when I found out they were still asking $10,995 for it!

Well, this sounds even crazier. Something happened and I decided I wanted a money pit 1992-95 Mercedes S-Class sedan. :o I love the styling of these cars, but they have troublespot and are costly to maintain. I found a 1994 S500 that someone is willing to "partial trade" for my Lexus, but I am scared. However, all of the "troublespots" have been addressed at the dealer. He said the wiring harness was replaced (under the hood where it was the issue), driveshaft, evaporator core, etc. If he wanted less difference, I would probably do it, but I do not think I will.

ANYWAY - I was contacted by a local guy with a 1991 Land Cruiser that wants to trade. It has higher miles - 236K, but runs like a top. My only reason for hesitation is that ONLY the driverside front window works. He said none of the others even make a noise. He said he thought it was the contacts on the switches, but I am betting its the window motors? :huh: He was asking $3400 for it, which is about what I owe on my Lexus.

Also a carlot has a 1991 Land Cruiser- with 202K - less miles, in VGC, but they want $4995 for it. I called and he said they take trade-ins and for me to bring it by for evaluations, but I bet they will offer me next to nothing for my car. :( I would trade even, or MAYBE pay like a $500-1000 difference, but thats it. With gas prices like they are now, I am sure they would come closer to selling my LS400 (21mpg) before they would the Land Cruiser (13mpg ?).

OR, I could just keep the LS (like OMAR said) a little longer and get the motor and transmission mounts replaced on it. Actually, no, I do not drive this car that much, nor would I drive the LC that much. I normally drive my grandmothers old 73' Pontiac to work, (huge car, with a 455 V8) which gets a dreadful 8 mpg!!!! :( I drive about 120 miles per week back and forth to work and it takes about 15 gallons to do so. I have someone that I know offering me a 1991 Lincoln Town Car for only $1000 to use as a work car. It gets 19 mpg, which is substantually better. I just do not know where to park all of these cars.

I am really wanting a 1990-95 Toyota Celica to drive to work. Hard to find around here though... especially automatics.

They are not perfect, but neither is my LS400... here are photos of the both of them. Not the best of photos. The gray one is actually shiny, but it has dew on it in this photo...

This is the one I think I can trade "even" for.... its got about 26K more miles however... :(

91LandCruisersale.jpg

This one is at a lot - has 8K less miles and may have to pay a little difference.....

91landcruisersale2.jpg

Have you looked into a 1996-97 LX450? They have the same great looks as the early Land Cruiser, and, although more expensive, I would think one of those would be a very easy transition from your LS. I do not care for the way large SUVs drive, but if I had to have one, the LX would probably be my top pick for that reason.

I would stay away from that 1998 Accord though. Actually, I would run away. That vintage of Accord is notorious for transmission failures. Some family members of mine who were, and still are, loyal Honda owners, had a 2001 Accord with the same drivetrain as that 1998. Last year, the car was rear-ended and totalled.

At that time, it was on it's 3rd transmission.

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It's a 2000, with the 4 cylinder 1.9 turbo. The new T5 is 5 cylinder yeah? Didn't Mitsubishi and Volvo design the new one together?

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As gas is now around $3.79 to $3.99 here in illegal immigration land the thought of buying anything that gets under 20 miles per gallon just chills me. My truck already sucks that 14 mpg in town and wow does it suck to fill it for $100 or close to it. I would drive the LS and smile....

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