QOTD: Trucking Great Nineties Design in Asia?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

In today’s QOTD we conclude the discussion started a couple of weeks ago when we asked for the best-aged truck and SUV designs from the Nineties. First up were American brands, followed by Europe last week. Over 10,000 of you (probably) agreed with sample submission Discovery II last week; let’s see how well this week’s Asian selection sits.

Before we get to that, let’s review the rules of the game:

  1. All selections must be model years 1990 to 1999.
  2. Picks must be from an Asian manufacturer, even if sourced from an import (eg. Honda Crossroad).
  3. The only eligible body styles are trucks and SUVs.

Ready for some two-tone and/or gold badges action?

Ahh, there we are. For the 1998 model year Lexus replaced its O.G. large SUV offering, the LX 450 (headline image), with the LX 470 seen here. As before, the LX was a ruched leather and wood-toned version of the contemporary Land Cruiser. While the first generation (96-97) reeked of an afterthought compliance exercise, the 1998 version looked and felt more like a real Lexus. The LX was given the trapezoid grille and quad headlamp design shared by the GS and SC models. Inside, the interior featured upgraded materials over the Land Cruiser, and higher-end equipment like Nakamichi audio and satellite navigation.

The second generation lasted in its initial design through the 2002 model year. For 2003 visual upgrades coincided with additional electronic luxuries inside. Power also increased slightly, and the engine met ULEV-II emission standards. Refreshed once more for 2006, the horsepower figure of the LX increased from 235 to 268, and the four-speed automatic was swapped for a five-speed. In 2008 the LX 470 turned into the LX 570, as its basis moved to the 200 Series Land Cruiser.

While it might be argued that the LX with its more polarizing styling hasn’t aged as well as the more basic looking Land Cruiser, present day condition plays a part here. It’s easy to find late Nineties LX examples in clean, garaged condition with full service histories. Land Cruisers are more often taken off-road, abused, and generally modified by the snorkel and big tires crowd. LX wins on graceful aging metrics.

Let’s hear your selections from Asia.

[Images: Lexus]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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