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Lexus RX 330



  • carboy84carboy84 Posts: 2
    Being one of the only RX 330 owners on this forum and a past owner of an M-Class I value your opinion quite a bit and have a few questions for you.

    Did you hesitate buying the first model year of the RX 330 after what had happened with the first year M-Class? I understand that they are two totally different brands, but did you have any concerns and if so, what convinced you to buy so early?

    I have also noticed that you have had a problem with the wind/road noise, how would you compare it to your M-Class? I too have a M-Class that I think has quite a bit of wind noise and I would hope that there is less in the RX.

    What do you think of the Mark Levinson sound system, and was it a big improvement from the system in your M-Class.

    I apologize for all the questions, however, I want to make sure that I am making the right decision in buying a: first year model, and buying something else than another ML 320.

    Any other thoughts/problems that you have experienced with the car would be greatly appreciated so that I feel that I am making the right decision.

    Thanks for your input
  • laterldflaterldf Posts: 37
    Carboy 84
    Yes, I did have some trepidation about buying a first year model, but IMHO Lexus has proved itself adept in maintaining their usual quality in these models. Plus, I see it as more of a refinement of the 300's rather than a newly designed one.

    I wanted a performance package with the nav but found out that at least initially, these limited models were not being offered in our region (midwest) and that it'd take at least 4 months to get one. That would push the date back to Aug/Sept. That's when the Ontario plant is supposed to come on line to build the 330's and I preferred to get one built in Japan. So I took the one of two not "presold" units coming in during March/April and because it'd be several more weeks before more unsold models would arrive at my dealers (not that I didn't trust my salesman but I asked to look at their allocation sheets).

    My 330 is a little noisier than the ML 430 I traded in. But another RX330 I test drove was quiter. But the 330 needs more sound insulation. Otherwise, it compares very favorably to ML 430, even in performance. The interior is definitely better and with the nav/backup camera, tilt down mirrors, and correct settings of the side mirrors, I don't believe there are any "blind spots" as some have reported. My wife says that the Mark Levinson is better than the Bose unit in the ML.

    The only problem so far (1000 miles)is the roof rack rail that keeps popping up at one end and the noise (which may not be "fixable", but I remember after the M-class came out, M-B retrofitted the early models with double door seals and more insulation).

    The roof racks are installed at the port and NOT part of the factory build. My door locks will have to be reprogrammed by the dealer because because when the driver's door is opened, the other doors remain locked unless you manually flip the unlock button or use the key feature. You can't reprogram it yourself (that I'm aware of).

    Overall, the RX330 is definitely a higher quality vehicle than my 2000 ML 430. By this time with it I had to take it back to the dealer several times to fix things. IMHO other M-B's have suffered the same poor quality and reliability as the M-class (according to JD Powers & Consumers Report, among other sources), even the E and S-classes. Hopefully, Lexus will maintain their stellar reputation. Another note, Lexus has treated us far better (we bought my wife's ES 300 from them a year ago)than did M-B. later, ldf
  • 243243 Posts: 6
    I am debating between buying the X5 3.0 and RX330. The reviews for the RX330 are great but I would rather hear from customers who have driven both. I am leaning towards the 330 especially since the price is $10000+ less for better features. Any comments.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    My guess is that you would truly need AWD at some point and while the RX330 is a beautiful expression of automotive art it will never stand up to the X5 for AWD capability.
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    I went to Lexus Event and drove both vehicles. X5:
    Plus: sporty handling, look?
    Minus: poor cargo space, small rear seat, lousy gas milage, heavy, very expansive

    Plus: Superb quality, quiet, faster, roomy, reasonable price, gas milage, and luxurious, rear look?.
    Minus: rear look?

    IMO, luxury is the only way to travel in the US freeway. Unless you bring your car to the race track, buy BMW X5.
  • samangsamang Posts: 43
    Keep in mind, the hybrid RX will have the new generation hybrid system that both honda and toyota are competing to commercialize.

    Prius/Insight power vs MPG will not compare to what the new hybrids will have. These earlier cars are basically to prove hybrids to be commercially feasible.

    Acura will have a 400HP V6 hybrid, I suspect for the new NSX. I expect a Toyota V6 hybrid to produce about 300-350 HP in the RX, and still have MPG equivalent to a 4 cylinder import. Yes, 4 cylinder.
  • samangsamang Posts: 43
    This guy wwest has been complaining about Lexus cars, engineering, etc, etc. Quit whining and buy a Hummer. No toxic gasses, super AWD with multiple settings, will even survive a nuclear blast. He should be happy in it.

    I realize this forum is not meant for personal attacks, but wwest insulted all users of nav first. Just because you don't have one/don't know how to use one/pants on too tight/whatever reason, doesn't mean he can call nav users idiots who can't read a map. Ever heard of spontaneous road trips with your loved one? How about a sales professional who drive all over the country on sales calls.

    With regard to not being a happy happy lexus forum. I agree, I want to hear about transmission issues, road noise, pricing, availability, etc. Who cares about front biased or rear biased AWD? Many of us are buying the 2wd. Even if we are interested, we dont need to hear it 15 million times. There must be an AWD transmission forum somewhere he can go to.

    I wish Lexus will build him an RX with no windows (so it can't fog up), no AC (so it can't kill him with toxic gasses, won't need one with no windows anyway); no transmission, just give him one forward, and one reverse, driving all for wheels equally; no suspension, just springs on his seats. Maybe then he will quit bitching. Any Lexus reps out there? Can this be done PLEEEEASE?

    Sorry. That's all. No more comments from me. I will use the down key from now on when I see WWEST posts.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    the $45k hasn't yet been paid nor the RX330 delivered yet...

    "DAMN...Double Damn! The new RX330's rear suspension clearance is if anything even tighter than the RX300!"

    Gonna be hard pressed to mount them 22" rims but, on the bright side, there's more room inside the RX330 for the new twin set of 18" woofers...

    Relax; this just gets funnier and funnier.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I have been very careful not to respond to derogatory posts in any way other than to address the core issues, and I certainly have NEVER called Nav users idiots, nor disparaged them in any way otherwise.

    I do have a nav system in my RX and I do know how to use it and none of the complaints I have made about the Nav have anything to do with its lack of "human interface" features or capabilities.

    And again, none of the nav problems I have related indicate that those problems relate to lack of operator capability or stupidity.

    Unlike some others I tend to think when a automotive function doesn't work as expected and/or as one's life's experienced has "taught", the fault lies with the manufacturer, not "operator error".
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    ----- Original Message -----
    To: Willard West
    Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 2:45 PM
    Subject: RX330 [Incident: 030303-000001]

    Recently you submitted a question to the Lexus Customer Satisfaction Department.

    We will assume your issue has been resolved if we do not hear from you within 120 hours.

    Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

    You may also update this question by replying to this message. Because your reply will be automatically processed, you MUST enter your reply in the space below. Text entered into any other part of this message will be discarded.
    [===> Please enter your reply below this line <===]
    Last night I visited Lexus of Bellevue to see the new RX330. When I checked the rear tire suspension clearance it appeared to me to be even tighter than the RX300.
    As you can see below you previously told me that the new RX330 "should" have enough clearance to permit the use of snowchains on the rear and on that basis I went ahead and had my salesman put me on the "list". Was your statement a mistake or is there a later mod coming that increases the clearance?
    Willard West

    [===> Please enter your reply above this line <===]

    If your issue remains unresolved, please update this question here.

     Discussion Thread
     Response (Denise Academia) 03/11/2003 02:45 PM
    Dear Mr. West:

    Thank you for contacting the Lexus Customer Satisfaction Department regarding the
    2004 RX 330.

    The vehicle will have front, center and rear differentials, without the use of a Limited Slip Differential (LSD), in the center differential. The vehicle will not require the viscous coupling because traction control and vehicle skid control will transmit power to the appropriate wheels upon detection of wheel slippage. Also, the RX 330 should have enough rear wheel suspension clearance for the use of snow chains.

    If you have any further concerns, you can also reach the Lexus Customer Satisfaction Department at 1-800-255-3987, Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time.

    Denise Academia
    Customer Satisfaction Representative
     Customer (Willard West) 03/06/2003 03:45 PM
    No answer yet ???
     Customer (Willard West) 03/03/2003 01:00 PM
    Dear Sir,

    The early press releases indicated the new RX330 eliminates the center viscous clutch in favor of a Sequoia-like brake modulation AWD torque apportioning system. I have already placed my order for the RX330 (to replace my wannabee AWD 01 RX300) based on the above information.

    Now I note that and are both indicating the viscous clutch is a holdover on the RX330.

    Which is the truth?

    Willard West

    PS: Will the RX330 have enough rear wheel suspension clearance such that I can use snowchains (rear only or all 4) without be threatened with loss of control?
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    ----- Original Message -----
    To: Willard West
    Sent: Friday, April 4, 2003, 11:50 AM
    Subject: RX330 [Incident: Z040403]

    Recently you submitted a question to our Customer Satisfaction Department.

    After due consideration and a review of the many similar pendantic communications you have sent in the past, here is our advice:



    Customer Service
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Burning fuel in a recip to charge batteries so they can be used later as "boost" is a lot less efficient than just burning enough fuel to provide the overall HP to begin with.

    There are two areas of mileage performance gain in a hybrid.

    1. Hybrid "boost" capability allows lower weight lower displacement engine which provides more economical operation when just cruising along.

    2. Recovery of waste energy using regenerative braking otherwise disappated as heat during braking.

    Producing 400HP in an NSX will not result in either of these savings. It is likely the standard 300 HP recip engine will still be used with a 100 HP battery "boost". Unless you're planning on doing a lot of slow stopping and soft starts in favor of just an occasional/rare WOT use regenerative braking will not be able to charge the batteries enough to yield substantial MPG increments thus you will be using the recip to charge those batteries.

    2+2 still equals 4.
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    "As you are aware, the RX330 is brand new to the market and as with any
    new model discounts are normally unavailable. However the Management of
    Lexus Kearny Mesa has made a decision to extend to our INTERNET
    CUSTOMERS ONLY a $1,000.00 DISCOUNT on any NEW RX330 if purchased by
    April 30, 2003!"

    Please do not take this as an endorsement. I posted this to show the the initial rush to be first on the block to have a new 330RX is over. Wait another month and the discounts should be greater.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    get a $1,500 discount.
  • samangsamang Posts: 43
    400 HP v6 hybrid. 42MPG.
    In case you really want details: Unlike hybrid vehicles where either the engine or the motor powers the vehicle, the V6 engine will power the rear wheels, while an electric motor will power the front wheels.

    Tell me you already have a 300HP V6 running the same MPG. And I will fork out $85k for it, and forget about future hybrids.

    Time will tell...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    $1 says less than 25MPG city.

    If it actually arrives at all.
  • lgrosslgross Posts: 55
    I would think that discounts are available now if you are willing to act in a firm and decisive manner. We are in the market for an RX 330. I called three dealers on March 28 and visited a fourth. One of the phone calls offered $1000 off, a second $1500 and the third said to call back in 30 days and he would probably be able to offer $1500. The latter one said the market is weak and they have lots of RX 330s to sell in the next few months. I negotiated the fourth dealer down $2000. All said it would be approximately the first of May before they had one available to sell at those prices.
  • samangsamang Posts: 43
    We had fun. The RX330 is by far more superior.

    The ML350 was loud (engine noise), but I was surprised at how fast it would go despite being the slowest of the cars (IMO). It was also very truck like and bumpy on the "estate" coarse.

    The MDX had a cheap feel to the interior (always been my complaint on Acura cars), it had all the luxury options, but just a bad presentation of them. Otherwise, faster than ML and a good package for value.

    The X5, even faster, I didn't like the heavy steering (even though it had speed sensitive steering). But the interior is surprisingly cramped, it was also pretty loud. Fun car to drive, not a whole lot of utility or comfort.

    I passed on the Volvo, they brougt the Light pressure Turbo. Not a big Volvo fan, except for the C70.

    RX330, more space, more comfort, and best looking interior IMO. Speed wise, I honestly felt the X5 was faster, but I realize "feel" is not always accurate. This drove more like the MDX, just better, quiter, smoother. Best ride on the estate course.

    It matches what we look for. performance and comfort. I did ask about the hybrid. Will be out end of 2004 as a 2005. Should be a couple grand more than current AWD.
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