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Lexus RX 330

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Comments

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    berg32, Oh yeah, prices are very high for used RX300's. If you can afford it, probably better to just spend a few extra grand and buy a brand new 2003 RX300.
  • berg32:


    I'm a Highlander owner who test drove an RX 300 once. The two have almost an identical ride, with the slight difference that the Highlander feels larger, more like a wagon, while the RX 300 has a more compact feel, more like a buggy. Even though both have the same size engine, because the Highlander is a little bigger, its engine has a slightly underpowered feel whereas this wasn't the case with the more compact RX 300. Thus I think it's good that the RX 330 will have a larger engine. The forgoing may give you a feel for what you may expect the difference in ride to be between the 300 and the 330.


    You'll have to go with your gut feel on this one. I don't think there are any extremely compelling reasons that would make the choice of either vehicle a bad one. Think of the RX 300 as a smaller version of the RX 330.


    Other random thoughts:


    1. My impression is that the RX 300 looks more feminine than the RX 330.


    2. You'll have to educate yourself on the specific features of the two vehicles to see if any of the new features of the RX 330 are critical to you.


    3. With time the RX 300 may become perceived as an older-style vehicle when compared with the newer, more current RX 330.


    4. Ask your wife to see which one she likes more.


    If it were me, I'd choose the RX 330, but that's only because I'm a guy and the RX 300 looks like something someone's wife should be driving.


    (For any Highlander die-hards out there, of whom I am one, even though I said the V6 engine has a slightly underpowered feel, I maintain non-the-less that the engine is more than gutsy enough for all but the most extreme of competitive driving conditions (like if you're trying to race a charger).)

  • I've seen that picture of the 2 or 3 large black louvered plates on the roof of the 330 -- I believe it was a picture of the Japanese version of the RX 330 (the "Harrier"), so not sure if it will be available in the U.S. version, and, no, I don't know what the heck they are either.
  • berg32berg32 Posts: 56
    Thank you, Landdriver, for your analysis of RX300 vs RX330 vs Highlander. I will probably wait for the intro of the RX330, then decide whether new car is for me or for my wife. If for my wife, I'll need to see if RX330 fits in our garage; also whether RX300's get discounted. She likes the RX300 looks (I'm sick of RX300; they are like cockroaches around here.) If RX330 has more rear headroom and lots better safety equipment, then I'll be the driver and it will live outdoors.
  • There are new photos of the RX330 out. These photos are of the RX300 that Europe will get. Other than engines, this is about the same as what North America will get.

    http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=584227&uid=467343

    Notice the photo of the large multipanel moonroof which will be available. The picture of the interior is of a model with the sport package which includes HID headlamps, aluminum interior, sport suspension, 18 inch wheels and headlights that turn in the direction of steer.
  • riri23riri23 Posts: 15
    That would interest me. They said it would be available before the middle of the decade so I guess it would be introduced in the middle/late of 2004?

    riri
  • From MSN's coverage of the NAIAS: "The 2004 RX 330 goes into production at its Kyushi, Japan, factory in February and will replace the 2003 RX 300 in showrooms shortly thereafter."

    My local dealer confirmed that they are expecting their first shipment (aprox. 3) of RX330s in early March 03. I'm on the list.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    The second to last paragraph of the Edmunds review states that the RX330 will be built in North America, not Japan. I have heard that they will be built in Canada. My fear is that the quality including the durability of the paint will suffer. The North American environmental protection laws are stricter than they are in Japan, and the paint is not as good. My Buick Regal is built in Canada, and the paint chips off with every little stone contact.
    The Edmunds comment about the driveability problems with the preproduction five speed automatic transmission is not encouraging as the 2002 and 2003 Lexus ES 300 has the five speed, and there are several posts on the Edmunds ES 300 website concerning transmission issues. I hope Lexus does not blame the owners the way they iniatially did when the oil gel issue came up.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The RX330 drops the inadequate, more expensive and uniquely T/L "flaccid" VC design, in favor of an ML type (brake, braking, implementation, via the VSC ecu) torque distribution and traction control system. As good as the Sequoia? Or too "soft" (non-aggressive) for the real world so as to accommodate the needs/desires of soccer Moms? We shall see.
  • superman5superman5 Posts: 154
    same post twice....cool
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    go wieck.com and type in Lexus under the search box. A lot of RX330 pics.

    Anyone else think that the pics of the new RX's interior is less posh than the current RX?
  • I like the article, but based on all of the different variations I think we will be left buying the base car or a fully loaded vehichle, basically the same way they are selling the GX. It will be interesting to see what packages they put together and how they start shipping them into dealers.

    I also agree with a comment above that they should continue making this overseas and not bring it here in the US.

    Time will tell.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    ...yet again.

    Perhaps the 2004 will be the charm, Willard, so go for it.

    Agree with the post above about the interior looking, from photos, less posh than our 2001. All that bright aluminum trim in place of the glossy wood. Time will tell.

    Also, Lexus appears to be going down the same Bad Road as Acura on their MDX - forcing Nav buyers to take unwanted, expensive other options as a package deal - in this case, the ML stereo.

    Just what my 90 lb Giant Schnauzer needs to hear. He can't stand the regular stereo in our 2001 at low volume unless I bring all the sound to the front speakers and keep it low.

    Of course, I could trade up to a new dog with less sensitive hearing but I don't know what the dealer will give me for the old one - 13 years old with lots of miles on him. Non-smoker and no accidents...
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    I believe not all RX330's will be built in Canada. THe first 6-months of production will be fully built in Japan. After 6-months, the Canada line is expected to start producing RX330's. But I believe, imports of RX330's from Japan will continue.

    BTW, I Think the new RX330 interior is marvelous! I do not like only one thing, the metallic trim around the center stack.
  • That aluminum trim is only for the sport package...so don't worry everyone.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    coolguy. Hope you're right!
  • honmdshonmds Posts: 3
    Does anyone have any idea what the pricing is going to be like for this vehicle? The article on Edmunds indicated a range of 35,000 to 45,000 fully loaded. Anyone have any other info????
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    When the MDX came out and started selling well, Lexus dropped their to-the-buyer 2001 pricing in December 2000 by several thousand bucks. Or I would now have an MDX in the garage, not the RX.

    Of course, they had an older design and needed to do something quick. Cutting prices is quick and effective.

    Now, two years later, there's tremendous competition in the midrange crossover SUV market. MDX sales have continued strong, the XC90 and Murano are getting sales, the new Infiniti FX35/45 looks interesting, several other manufacturers like VW, Mitsu, and BWM & Porsche on the high end are pulling buyers into showrooms. And MB is still very much in the game along with new domestic offerings.

    For example, while I haven't seen the new Infiniti FX35 yet, the specs are interesting and it appears to be at the same level of luxury as the 330. The "low-end" V6 has 280 hp, versus the 330's 230 hp. And, the base FWD model I would be interested in has a sticker several thousand less than the 330 which is probably at $36k with leather and w/o nav.

    In the early RX days, dealers got MSRP, or a bit over or a bit under. Those days might well be gone forever.
  • According to Denny Clements, Lexus group vice president and general manager "The 2004 RX 330 goes into production at its Kyushi, Japan, factory in February and will replace the 2003 RX 300 in showrooms shortly thereafter.

    But by September, production of the new RX also will be started at an assembly plant in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. It will mark the first time in history that a Lexus is built outside Japan."

    As far as the aluminum trim goes, it's growing on me. The interior is roomier with classier furnishings, better ergonomics and additional convenience and safety features. I'm glad Lexus decided to go after a greater male market share with the more aggressive exterior and interior styling, and less "soccer mom" look. That's why I've resisted an RX purchase, until now.

    I agree that the competition will set the price. But, the MDX is not in the same league as the RX. The MDX is based on the Honda Odyssey mini-van platform. No thanks.

    I also agree that there are some interesting entries in the 2003/2004 model year in the crossover SUV market. But, in my opinion, the RX330 leads the pack in styling, features and performance in its segment. Have you seen the Infiniti FX45? How about that Porsche Cayenne?

    There's a reason that the RX represents 22% of it's market. So far.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    ...in 1998 with the RX introduction and other vendors were slow in following them. Just like Chrysler has the biggest share of the minivan market 'cause they started that piece in the early 1980s. Now they have to struggle to overcome the Honda and Toyota entries at certain price points.

    We have enjoyed putting 33k miles on our '01 RX so far and it appears from the 330's specs that Lexus has addressed our two major concerns - terrible turning radius along with the "you-gotta-be-kidding" controls for the sound system semi-integrated within the nav screen.

    Nothing like taking your eyes off the road for rather unimportant tasks such as switching stations or adjusting sound parameters...

    And the auto climate system controls could use an upgrade as well; hopefully they got one.

    As far as the MDX not being in the RX' class - while you might prefer one over the other, I can't agree that both are not worthy competitors. I think that the RX interior is superior in materials and fit & finish, but the MDX handles well, is more powerful, holds quite a bit more, and, for a relative of ours that bought one the same month we took delivery on the RX, it's been driven more miles without a single problem. Pretty impressive for a first-year vehicle even though it shares quite a few bits with the Odyssey.

    As for it being derived from a minivan - true, but its an excellent minivan. That's like the old argument about the RX just being a "Camry on Stilts." So what? It's all about Parts Bin Engineering these days making vehicles cheaper to put together and reliable at the same time.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    They need all that HP to haul around 2.5 tons of antique technology

    No thanks.
  • Today Toyota showed a concept vehicle using a hybrid drivetrain based on the new RX 330.

    You have to really ask this question: is this a preview of a hybrid-drivetrain RX 330 that will be coming in two year's time? I'd buy one in a New York minute if it lives up to Toyota's promises. :)
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,896
    In order to consolidate all of the great discussion about this vehicle, let's continue in the topic, Lexus RX 300/330, which we're sharing with the SUVs board. Thanks!

    kirstie_h
    Roving Host & Future Vehicles Host

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
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