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Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
7/31/18 1:41 p.m.

So I am not enamored with the new to me 2000 Mitsubishi Montero I just bought. It's a well built car, and the mods make it really capable, but I was hoping to replace the 2006 Toyota Sienna we've had since 2007 with this Mitsubishi. It just doesn't match up in refinement to the mighty minivan. I guess what I'm saying is that as a middle-aged hard working dude, I want a more adult vehicle as my daily. I have the RX-7, Delica, REPU as the stupid cars, but I want a more refined car. Not to say the Sienna is anything fancy as it's low spec, but it is as reliable as gravity, and super smooth, and quiet. All the things the Montero is not.

 

Over the weekend I was perusing the local CL, and stumbled upon a 2003 Lexus GX470 with what I think is low miles. It has 105k on the clock. It's that typical Toyota Beige(I don't care), nee Sand Dollar Pearl. It is located on Cape Cod, and belongs to some snowbirds. FL plates.

 

Well today I was working local to the seller, and checked it out. It is really clean overall, but needs some detailing, and the alloy wheels are corroded. Timing belt was done at 91k miles in 2012. Tires are nearly new, and the ride was amazing for such an old car. I didn't play with the adjustable suspension stuff, but judging by the rest of the car it probably works. No trailer hitch, but I could add one. Felt every bit the same as my wife's 17 4Runner which I believe it is related to.  Frame looked clean with minor surface rust on welded parts like any New England car or truck would have almost instantly. Loads of maintenance receipts, and a single owner since new.

 

Any reason to stay away from these trucks? I'm not worried about the engine or drivetrain as I trust Toyota's, but how about the rest of the truck? Is $9k too much?

 

CL ad:

 

GX470

Thinkkker
Thinkkker UltraDork
7/31/18 2:16 p.m.

Look for a nice one.  They are readily available still.  No use in getting one that someone beat the snot out of and tore up.  Also, if its over 120k and you dont know when the timing belt was done, do that and get synthetic fluid for all the diffs and trans and swap them.

We had one for awhile and only got rid of it as we needed to expand with the twins we got.  I loved the thing and the wife says it is probably still her favorite vehicle.  You can keep the air bags and "trick" them to  get a cheap lift in the rear.  The fronts you can do a spacer setup and gain nearly 3".  I took ours out at the deer lease we had and drove up to dad's house in over a foot deep mud.  It was awesome.

Also, we pulled my Mustang on a freinds overbuilt open trailer and it did marvelously.  The bags in rear kept it level and it had enough power to go *we had an 08 with the extra 5 or 10hp.  WOOPEE!*

It will go anywhere and get you there in super comfort. 

 

**Edit**
One more, they tend to hold value too.  So even nice ones will tend to stay higher priced.

akylekoz
akylekoz Dork
7/31/18 2:19 p.m.

When I was shopping for one of those, I learned that at some point (2006 or 07?) the got variable cams along with more power and mileage.   The adjustable ride height shocks can wear out.  

That price is ok for a 2003 not great, how ever it is hard to find those with that low of miles and one owner.  Look for receipts for a timing belt and suspension work.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
7/31/18 2:19 p.m.

My dad test drove a 2009, which should be the same generation, with the intention of having it replace his/moms 2007 4Runner. He didn't like it at all--too tall, he didn't like the full-time AWD, and overall it just felt a lot more like a truck than the 4Runner. 


YMMV.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
7/31/18 2:56 p.m.

In reply to akylekoz :

Saw receipts for timing belt, and there is a dealer sticker showing it was done as well. They also did the water pump at the same time. The seller had loads of receipts from the Lexus, and Toyota dealers. It was a solid truck, and seemed well maintained. The fact that it is a one owner with low miles has me intrigued. Gonna do some sleuthing as to the value.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/31/18 3:00 p.m.

Been studying/looking at this for quite some time. 

I would say that given the miles, 1 owner, receipts and the condition in the pictures; its a very good deal. 

If it was here I would buy it on the spot. 

Jaynen
Jaynen UltraDork
7/31/18 3:27 p.m.

FWIW the Gen 3 Montero is MUCH NICER than the Gen 2.5. However a landcruiser/lexus version of it is an excellent vehicle.

my Gen 3 20th anniversary edition Monero had a nice stereo, nice leather seats, nice AC, surprisingly good brakes it was a good vehicle

Sonic
Sonic UltraDork
7/31/18 3:35 p.m.

It’s a nicer, taller, 4Runner. It will be nice to drive, reliable, and competent if nothing else.  

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
7/31/18 3:39 p.m.
Sonic said:

It’s a nicer, taller, 4Runner. It will be nice to drive, reliable, and competent if nothing else.  

How much taller? I ask because it felt pretty much the same as our 17 4runner  

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/31/18 3:48 p.m.

They aren't fancy 4Runners. They're a fancy Land Cruiser Prado. Not that that's a bad thing at all, I'm just feeling pedantic. They've just started to get noticed by the aftermarket if the mod bug bites.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/31/18 5:06 p.m.

The Lexus GX and The Gen3 Montero look pretty darn similar (says this owner of a Gen3 Montero.)  

 

 

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
7/31/18 5:14 p.m.
John Welsh said:

The Lexus GX and The Gen3 Montero look pretty darn similar (says this owner of a Gen3 Montero.)  

 

 

The gen 3 Montero is a lot better looking I think. The gen 2.5 I have now looks better than both of them, but it isn't nearly as good comfort wise. Probably more capable off road though. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/31/18 5:18 p.m.

Look at this.  Probably the slowest and likely least comfortable...but so cool.  

https://longisland.craigslist.org/cto/d/stickdiesel4x4-mitsubishi/6630291347.html 

java230
java230 UltraDork
7/31/18 5:29 p.m.

IIRC the GX is 3-4" taller roof line that the 4r of the same era.

They are solid trucks (I ahve an 03 4r), 9k seems like a good deal to me!

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
7/31/18 5:43 p.m.

In 2010, the first year the Lexus GX was offered in the US, all sales were temporarily halted due to roll-over concerns.  

Ultimately a recall was issued and changes were made to Vehicle Stability Control software.  Some blame also seemed to be put on the general heft of the vehicle equipped with lux options and an attempt at soft ride.  

MrChaos
MrChaos GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/31/18 5:45 p.m.

It will have the same drive train as the 100 series Land Cruisers, V8 4Runners. The drivetrain is solid and they are usually cheaper than the same year land cruiser with double the mileage.  

My 99 LC with the same drivetrain has 424k miles on it and I paid $6k for it.  Also expect to replace the starter somewhere between 190-230k miles.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/31/18 5:48 p.m.
John Welsh said:

In 2010, the first year the Lexus GX was offered in the US, all sales were temporarily halted due to roll-over concerns.  

I am pretty sure that was fixed via a software update.

Jaynen
Jaynen UltraDork
7/31/18 6:08 p.m.
Mazdax605 said:
John Welsh said:

The Lexus GX and The Gen3 Montero look pretty darn similar (says this owner of a Gen3 Montero.)  

 

 

The gen 3 Montero is a lot better looking I think. The gen 2.5 I have now looks better than both of them, but it isn't nearly as good comfort wise. Probably more capable off road though. 

This is a bit of a misnomer for most folks. The Gen 2.5 had the old straight axle/diff locks available but the traction control system and the indepent suspension on the gen 3 work very well. I highly doubt you will ever actually take a Gen 3 montero someplace it won't go. FYI the Gen 3 montero is the most winningnest chassis in the paris to dakar rally under the name Pajero IIRC

I took mine totally stock on all seasons on a NW overlanders trip outside Seattle and had no issues (besides brush scratching the sides) I think the most important thing to say tho is it was one of the most comfortable cars I have owned, second only to my current daily which is an E-350 mercedes. I also drove 3 adults and 3 kids in car seats using the 3rd row in the Snow to Leavenworth in Washington (mountain town that looks like old German and has cool Christmas stuff)

Super Select 4x4 climbs hill

 

3 of them at Hungry Valley gorman (loud music)

 

Russian diesel one through mud as deep as the door

 

I wanted a Landcruiser but I couldn't convince myself to pay almost double for one over the Montero however I was not disappointed. I only sold it because of gas mileage and a crappy commute when we were in California

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
7/31/18 7:15 p.m.

I've owned 1 and 2g Monteros, but not a 2.5 or 3. I think the achille's heel of the 3rd gen is its styling. It's aged worse than most things from the period while the previous versions are hard to fault unless you have a problem with the pragmatism of box shapes. 

I like all Monteros but I also wouldn't consider a Gen3 truly the equal of a GX in pretty much anything besides perhaps offroad ability. 

That GX for 9k looks really nice!!!

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
7/31/18 7:45 p.m.
John Welsh said:

In 2010, the first year the Lexus GX was offered in the US, all sales were temporarily halted due to roll-over concerns.  

Ultimately a recall was issued and changes were made to Vehicle Stability Control software.  Some blame also seemed to be put on the general heft of the vehicle equipped with lux options and an attempt at soft ride.  

2003 was the first year for the GX470 in the USA though. 

G_Body_Man
G_Body_Man UltraDork
7/31/18 7:59 p.m.

Reliable, comfortable, rugged and oozing with that "big dick energy" the internet's buzzing about these days. I've wanted a black one for a while now to match my G35. Lexus succeeded in making a luxury rig that's confident without being shouty.

TGMF
TGMF Reader
7/31/18 8:11 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

The recall/stopsale  was because the skid control allowed the vehicle to get substantially  sideways before it intervened.  As a result a roll over could be more likely. 

But you really had to do something stupid. Watch the YouTube videos of the testing . The speed  they are going when they throw the vehicle into what's effectively a 90 degree turn is startling. I'm still impressed one can do that in any truck and expect it NOT to roll.  A non-issue in my opinion. 

 

Be aware the rear height sensors corrode internally and fail. Usually the back end of the truck is abnormally high and rides like a pogo stick when they really fail. Continuing to drive in this condition blows the rear air shocks out. 

Other things of note....cracked exhaust manifolds, and a irritating thump from the driveshaft when coming to a final stop. (Because the shaft is telescoping.) Tech service bulletin our for the later. 

irish44j
irish44j UltimaDork
7/31/18 8:15 p.m.
akylekoz said:

When I was shopping for one of those, I learned that at some point (2006 or 07?) the got variable cams along with more power and mileage.   The adjustable ride height shocks can wear out.  

That price is ok for a 2003 not great, how ever it is hard to find those with that low of miles and one owner.  Look for receipts for a timing belt and suspension work.

Yep, I think it was the same year the Sequoia got the variable cams with more power in the same engine. For the Sequoia it was 2005.

Engine is pretty much bulletproof with scheduled timing belt done. Suspension has the usual 4Runner/Sequoia things like lower balljoint going bad (which was a recall for all of them, I believe). Likely would have been done long ago by now though.

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 UberDork
7/31/18 8:17 p.m.
G_Body_Man said:

Reliable, comfortable, rugged and oozing with that "big dick energy" the internet's buzzing about these days. I've wanted a black one for a while now to match my G35. Lexus succeeded in making a luxury rig that's confident without being shouty.

Big Dick Energy? Please explain....

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
7/31/18 8:21 p.m.

I dunno about the price, but otherwise, I'd say buy it.  The low miles and history are worth money on the value to me.  I'm real happy with my 98 LX470.

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