Actual dealers (most of the time) have some sort of integrity. I bought mine sight unseen from a BMW dealer 1200 miles away, and the truck was extremely well represented and the process was painless. Used car lots on the other hand are a joke.
And ask for inventory of parts replaced.. the jeep dealer I bought from printed off a copy of work done by them and also of work done by local LR dealer that they had to send it to for AC and other work.. overall they spent over $5k on it and delivered it 3 hours away to make me happy.. (at same agreed upon price) so dealer was great! They just happen to have a sketchy mechanic.
I'm reading through this in nearly the same situation. Terrible time to buy a car, but it was a great time to sell a car and now I sit in need of a something. Love the LR3/LR4. Looked at several 3's and have given up. They are either beat to death or just not cared for. LR4's are plentiful. All of them probably just got a quote for the timing chain and traded them in. All around 90-120k miles. All just under 20k. Found a perfect one and dealership is willing to let me take to my own shop for Timing Chain Job. Bring them a quote and they will take half the amount off the sale price. I got a quote from a very reputable LR repair shop for almost $5200. Parts going up. What else am I in for? I really want the truck but two people I called for repair wouldn't even quote and said run away as fast as possible. Is a 120k no incident LR4 worth the risk if starting with the timing chain behind me (for now). I have had Jeeps, old BMW's, older truck, etc. I am comfortable working on them - but would rather spend more time in it than under it. Thanks!!
For some reason, I've seen more and more online over the last few months that the LR4s are unreliable. I heartily disagree. I think the issue is that, as they get older, the fourth and fifth owners are buying them and getting ones that were not maintained.
If the timing chain job has been done, the other major engine maintenance is the front and rear coolant crossovers and water pump. Have that done the same time as your timing chain. You might also think about having the fuel injectors really looked at and cleaned or replaced.
The other big maintenance things have to do with the air suspension. Either an air strut or the air compressor. This is no different than a standard vehicle, though, whose struts need replaced at around 100k miles.
Change all the fluids right when you get it. This includes the transmission fluid.
Should be good to go after that, so long as the previous owner at least did the minimum maintenance.