2006 Lexus LX 470
2006 Lexus LX 470. Click image to enlarge

Manufacturer’s web site

Lexus Canada

By Chris Chase

Discuss this story in the forum at CarTalkCanada

Find this vehicle in Autos’s Classified Ads

Photo Gallery:
Lexus LX 470, 1998-2007

The second-generation Lexus LX SUV arrived for the 1998 model year. Like the short-lived original (sold in 1996 and 1997), the second-gen model was based on the Toyota Land Cruiser, making this large SUV luxurious and off-road-able.

Like most Lexus models, the LX 470 was named for its engine’s displacement – in this case, a 4.7-litre V8 shared with the Toyota Sequoia and Tundra. Power output was 230 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque; horsepower increased marginally to 235 in 2003 but a more meaningful increase to 275 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque happened in 2006.

Highs: Large and luxurious

Lows: Large and thirsty

In 2003, the LX470 got a few cosmetic changes, including a redesigned interior, new grille and wheels; up to 2003, all LXs used a four-speed automatic transmission, but this was upgraded to a five-speed in 2004.

Toyota engineers are renowned for creating fuel-efficient vehicles, but there’s little that can be done to make a big SUV truly easy on the wallet. To wit: a 2000 LX 470 had EnerGuide ratings of 17.5 L/100 (city) and 13.2 L/100 km (hwy), numbers that remained the same through 2007.

2006 Lexus LX 470
2006 Lexus LX 470. Click image to enlarge

According to Consumer Reports, reliability has been better than average. The basic mechanicals here are solid, with problem spots seemingly limited to the navigation/audio system and a height-adjustable suspension system.

According to comments I found in Lexus forums, the navigation bug manifests itself in the system refusing to read a perfectly good map DVD.

In the case of the suspension, a common problem appears to be a rear height sensor that goes kaput. This causes the rear end to settle in the high or low position, which, as you could imagine, creates some interesting ride and handling characteristics.

If an LX 470 has a rough ride, it could be a Active Height Control (AHC)glitch somewhere else in the system. Faulty accumulators could be the culprit, or a flush of the AHC system could be all that’s needed (this is supposed to be done every 100,000 km according to Lexus’ maintenance schedule).

2006 Lexus LX 470
2006 Lexus LX 470. Click image to enlarge

I saw a couple mentions too, of bad throttle bodies and throttle position sensors (the latter of which is part of the former) causing a loss of power/acceleration.

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested the LX 470 for crash safety.

Canadian Red Book used values for Lexus’ first full-size SUV range from $13,375 for a 1998 model to $67,975 for a 2007 version. That 2007 number represents about two-thirds of that model’s MSRP, and a 2005 model is worth less than half of its $100,400 price ($44,725) when new.

That, or the $36,275 that a 2004 model is worth, sounds like a pretty good deal for a vehicle that should be almost as capable off road as something like a Land Rover Range Rover, and with better reliability. A 5,000 pound (about 2,268 kg) towing capacity makes this a luxury SUV that’s not afraid to do some heavy lifting.

The Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade are natural competitors: they can be had for less money used, but neither offers reliability as solid as the LX 470’s.

A third-generation LX, the LX 570, debuted for 2008 with a more powerful 381-horsepower, 5.7-litre engine shared with the most recent Toyota Sequoia and Tundra.

Online resources

The Lexus Owners Club offers a good LX resource, as does ClubLexus.com. You might check out the Lexus section at ToyotaNation.com, but be warned that this forum is shared among all Lexus models, so finding LX-specific info will be a bit of a chore.

Manufacturer’s Website
  • Lexus Canada


    Transport Canada Recall Number: 1999071; Units affected: 88
    1998-1999: On certain vehicles, water could enter the housing of the trailer towing wire harness converter due to inadequate waterproofing performance and improper installation location of the unit. A short circuit could occur which can cause failure of the converter, and, if a trailer is being towed at the time, can also cause failure of the trailer lights. In some cases the converter housing could melt or electrical feedback could blow the fuse, disabling the vehicle’s rear lights. Driving without the vehicle tail and/or trailer lights will increase the possibility of a vehicle crash. Correction: A redesigned towing wire harness converter will be installed in a revised location.

    Crash test results
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

    Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.

    For information on recalls, see Transport Canada’s web-site, www.tc.gc.ca, or the U.S. National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA)web-site, www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

    For information on vehicle service bulletins issued by the manufacturer, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

    For information on consumer complaints about specific models, see www.lemonaidcars.com.

  • Connect with Autos.ca