Purchased new with the redesign in 1998. And I can say it has been the best large SUV I have ever owned. To this day though it is a 98 model, I have kept it looking new and I cannot convince people the truck is 12 years old. Most people tend to think it is a 2005-06 year model. Lexus did a good job with a look that has stood the test of time. Has never left me stranded and the only time it has been to the dealership has been for routine maintenance…albeit very expensive maintenance. The 90k mile service was the most expensive. I had all major service done at that time and the price was 3k. So if you are buying used with close to the 90k miles or above, make sure it has been done.
Hydraulic height control with 4 corner auto-leveling. Adjustable shock dampening mode from "comfort" for a cushier ride, to "sport" for tighter steering and tighter ride if you want to take corners a little faster with less body roll. It is far from a sport car ride but helps for the trucks size.
Larger brake system as it is such a large truck the rotors warp after less than 10k miles and I must have them resurfaced or replaced often. Some people do not mind or even notice warped rotors. But I being a car nut can notice warped rotors more easily.
Bought this 1998 LX470 in Jan 2009. Has 141K miles, driven by car dealer for past 2 years. Had diagnostics by Lexus dealer. Per VIN number could see all previous service work. First trip to Lexus dealer - clean, first class hotel lobby-like (what a change from typical dealers). Service advisor very straight shooter, listed all (minor) service requires. Cost to get it "as good as new" $2000 -- none of it vital or urgent. Happy, although it fills the entire footprint in the garage compared to my former Toyota Sienna. Past owner of many TLCs, expecting this will be a long term daily driver.
I love this truck. We bought it about a year ago with only 38,000 miles on it. We have had only one problem with it. The dealer said that there was a problem with the 4 wheel drive fluid in the transmission so the fluid was replaced. The vehicle would shake and shimmer when making sharp turns. This was fixed for free by the dealer. Besides this, we have no complaints. Perfect vehicle for family of 6.
The LX is a phenomenal vehicle. It's a
sheer pleasure to drive especially on
long hauls. Servicing and parts are
expensive. My rear window motor went
out and the steering retracting motor
went out. One was replaced within
warranty, the latter wasn't.