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Lexus RX 330

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Comments

  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    "$1 says less than 25MPG city.
     

    If it actually arrives at all."

    The gas models get 20 MPG in the city (http://www.edmunds.com/future/2004/lexus/rx330/100154000/specs.h- tml?tid=edmunds.spotlight.landing.links..3.*).

    So if the improvement is less than 5 MPG, then the hybrid is not going to be that compelling.
  • rx330guyrx330guy Posts: 7
    I had been anxiously awaiting the release of the exciting new RX330 since October (notice my user ID). I was tired of "boxy" SUVs that lacked performance, handling, luxury and were just no fun to drive. It was time to move up. I listed my 2002 Ford Explorer for sale, submitted my application to LFS and took my place at the top of my local dealer's priority list. I COULDN'T WAIT!

    A salesperson called to let me know that they'd have an RX330 prototype on the lot in February. As soon as it arrived, I beat a path down there (in the rain) to check it out. I liked all the features, told myself the wider D pillar made it look a lot more masculine than the RX300, tried to warm up to the placement of the interior's aluminum trim and faux wood, and figured I could get by with the limited headroom (I'm 5'11).

    My girlfriend, brother and several co-workers tried to convince me that the redesigned 330 was still very feminine looking. I ignored the comments I heard on the showroom floor "What's so different about it?" I was still ready to buy. But, the car wasn't going to hit the dealerships until April. Good thing.

    In the meantime, I test drove a BMW X5, Acura MDX and Volvo XC90. I quickly narrowed it down to the RX and the X5. Then, I began to read the rave reviews of the Infiniti FX45. But, I discounted it because my initial impression of the pictures was that it was "odd" looking. Until I saw one in person. What a sharp looking vehicle! I think the thing that had initially turned me off, was now attractive to me. It was fresh and different. So, it became a contender.

    Then I found out that BMW would be changing the X5's design for 2005. So, it came down to the RX vs. the FX. I test-drove the FX. It was amazing! The performance and handling were unbelievable! Not to mention the Intelligent Key feature. Check out (all) the reviews.

    Then, I had the opportunity to drive an RX. It left me VERY disappointed. The suspension was definitely softer and it provided a more "luxurious" ride than the FX, but the RX's handling was "mushy" and there was a lot of body roll. It felt very underpowered. I guess it's not far to compare 315 HP to 230 HP, but pricing for the additional thoroughbreds is comparable to the RX. And you can get a (280 HP) V6 FX35 with Technology Package for the same cost as a fully loaded RX. So that's the way I decided to go. I've had the FX for a couple weeks now, and am having a blast!

    I think the thing that turned me off most to the RX was one of the reviews. It had a Lexus VP talking about the changes made to "accommodate a larger purse." That reaffirmed what I already knew. THIS IS STILL A SOCCER MOM'S CAR. That's the market the vehicle was designed for and that's who will continue to purchase the majority of RX330s.

    Don't get me wrong, the RX330 is a beautiful vehicle with some cool features. I think it's perfect for hauling the kids back and forth to school and soccer games. But, if you’re looking for performance and fun (and don't mind a lot of attention) there is NO comparison between the RX330 and the FX45/FX35. Do yourself a favor and keep looking.

    (Formerly) RX330Guy
  • superman5superman5 Posts: 154
    too bad don't get it, your loss, j/k
    have fun
  • jrynjryn Posts: 18
    wwest and wc081 - Most buyers of hybrids in the MD/VA/DC area could care less that the hybrid's city MPG bests the regular RX330's by "just" 5 mpg. Whatever the figure is, it's a bonus. Buyers here will shell out extra $ for hybrids because they will be permitted to drive solo in hybrids in HOV/Carpool lanes when restrictions are in effect for regular cars. Faster commutes without having to actually carpool is something people around here will gladly pay for.

    (former) RX330guy - Thank goodness you figured out that the RX330's target buyer is soccer moms. For someone who says (he) followed Lexus product development closely enough to have gotten on the RX waitlist last October, that seems to have taken awhile to sink in with you. Lexus press releases and public statements at auto shows certainly don't are quite upfront about that.

    No doubt about it - Your new preferred vehicles, the BMW X5 and the Infiniti FXs, aim at very different buyers.

    The new RX330 continues to offer comfort and luxury (a Lexus hallmark), sharply increased cargo capacity (@84.7 cu.ft.), and balanced performance/economy (0-60 in 7.8 seconds (auto); 18/24 MPG (AWD)). The X5 (3.0)/FX (35/45) are (allegedly) more performance & handling oriented. But they sacrifice luxury, cargo capacity (X5 - 54.4 cu.ft; FX45 - 60.4 cu.ft.) and fuel economy (X5 - 15/20; FX45 -15/19) to get there. And while you can't quantify "feel", it's certainly not clear that they offer better performance. I can't find a manufacturer's 0-60 time for the FX's, but it's interesting to note that the X5's listed 0-60 time (8.1 (manual); 8.6 seconds (auto)) lags behind the the RX330's. Quality and reliability doubtless also figure in to many buyers' decisions, with history suggesting that Lexus is the leader there, too.

    Still, it sounds like image matters to you. Perhaps your relatives' criticism of the RX's "feminine" styling got to you. And it's good you read before you bought that one design goal for Lexus in the new RX330 was to accomodate "a larger purse" for female drivers BETWEEN the front seat passengers. (Frankly, I think that's pretty sensible, since in most cars the options are throw it in the rear seat or throw it under the front seat passenger's feet.) I'm sure you don't have anything to be insecure about, but it's surely better that what you said you already knew -- that the RX is targeted at soccer moms -- became clearer to you before you wrote your check and drove home in an RX330. I hope the FX works out for you.

    I'd be surprised if many people are cross shopping the RX330 and the FX. And to the extent that there is cross shopping between the RX330 and the X5, I'll bet the deciding factor is space v. "handling". I would not be surprised, though, if buyers agonize more in picking among the RX330, Acura MDX, Volvo X5 and MB 350. Gotta go with what works for you. (I'm just glad we have all these choices, 'cause it means that dealers are going to have a lot of trouble demanding full MSRP with the constant new product introductions and updates.)
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    ...glad you found The Best SUV Ever (For Former).

    I just have one question - I'm 6'2" and have a RX300 (with moonroof); I fit just fine in the driver's seat, even with the seat in it's max "lift" position. I sat in a new RX330 at the Auto Show and it had more headroom than our 2001.

    You're 5'11" and have no headroom? Wow, must be a pair of really short legs in there somewhere. You know the driver's seat bottom adjusts up and down, right?

    Oh - one more item. I'm an ex-Infiniti owner - start preparing for the fact that six months from now, the FXers will be going out the door $100 under invoice and first year's depreciation will be hitting the proverbial 25% fan.

    Of course, that's just a guess...based on every model Infiniti has ever sold. I'm sure your mileage will vary.
  • adb3adb3 Posts: 112
    Well, it looks like the "mine is better than yours" is starting to heat up, LOL. I guess we all believe our personal choice is the best.

    After initial hesitation, really glad we went with the Black-on-Black on my VP/NAV 330. Both the outside and inside trimming really shows well on the black. I know, darker colors show dirt more easily, but IMO it's worth it to get the overall sharp effect. Couple of other points about the look. The clear tail lights, a couple of reviewers have criticized, again work quite well with the black and the back and rear tailgate is distinctive and quite different from the 300. It works for me. Overall, IMO the 330 will continue to appeal to women, but now with its new rakish looks, boost in performance, and better handling more guys will feel quite comfortable tooling around town and on the highway with this SUV.

    As expected, our 330 has been rock-solid. My wife loves it. I kiddingly asked her the other day if I should return it and she zinged back at me that if I did, I might as well not come back home.

    However, I do believe I discovered a design flaw. While driving on the highway I noticed an annoying tapping noise coming from the rear. It would get worse with increased speed. I went through the normal process of elimination (seats, moon roof, doors, cargo area) without resolution. Finally, I got in the back while my wife drove and discovered the noise was coming from outside of the vehicle. Upon inspection, I found that the cross rails have metal rollers upon which they can be moved (positioned) on the roof rails. However, in position they are not very stable so when the wind hits them, they start tapping against the roof rails. I then went to my dealer and the service guy confirmed the flaw. He checked other 330s and stated they all had the same problem and undoubtedly was a design problem. I then requested the cross rails be removed since I probably would never use them anyway. That was done and now no more noise. The service guy stated that this would be provided to Lexus and a TSB would likely follow. A rubber grommet around the metal roller would probably do the trick.

    Anybody else discover this problem?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You may have noticed, the NSX hasn't been a really big success in the marketplace.

    But, 400HP, 25% of that delivered to the front wheels via embedded electrics, on demand. Batteries mounted in the front for weight balance.

    Did you notice who won the SRPII class at the 24 hours of Daytona, running a Lola chasis and a Nissan V6 engine?

    Pictures at teamseattle.com

    A 400HP T-top NSX, with room for a 6'2" driver (PLEASE...) at $100,000....a few buyers out there not very interested in MPG, I would guess.

    AND 25MPG !!!

    Just saying the RX330/e may be just as much about performance (see post 286 above) as fuel economy.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    the FX35/45 is one macho-looking machine. No doubt about it. Just look at the width and height of the hood, the massive 20" wheels, the size of the grill. Placed next to it, any SUV, with the exception of the Hummer, would look like a mommy-wagon.
  • tnguy1tnguy1 Posts: 20
    LGROSS,
    Please share with us the name of the dealers(and city) that have offered the discount. Thanks.
  • laterldflaterldf Posts: 37
    We too test drove the FX 35 before deciding to buy our 330. It WAS fun but I thought it would not be a good highway vechicle for long trips (which we take frequently), not just because ofthe "harshness" of the ride but because of the smaller interior space(s). We've already taken a 500 mile trip in the 330. It performed as we'd hoped and was very comfortable, with a good feel of the road and was non-tiring (although I think the air/road noise is higher than it should be). We're quite pleased with it. later, ldf
  • boskoneboskone Posts: 3
    Part of the SUV search, which I am doing now, is making sure it will handle everything you want. (no car is going to be 100% so figure out what is important) Part of my search includes bring the dog along for a test drive since she needs to live in the back area when riding around. At this time I am test driving the RX330 and it is at the top of my list. Trying to negotiate 4 years of the maintenance telling them they need to match BMX and Infiniti but don't think they will go for it.

    I liked the FX35 and was ready to buy but watch out for the roof height in the rear cargo area. My dog won't go in since her back hits the roof and she needs to keep her head ducked and still growing. This car really looks great with the Liquid Copper paint job and the 20 inch wheels.

    The problem with the X5 is cargo area with the rear seats up, the rear seats do not fold fully flat, and the tailgate makes it a larger height off the ground then most for entry into the car. (Bad for a dog that does not jump)

    Also looked at the 4 runner but don't like the dash controls and the Highlander does not come with a NAV system which I want for the trips.
  • samangsamang Posts: 43
    The RX hybrid will have a slightly different electric system. One motor will run the back wheels, and another motor to suplement the front.

    In the EV industry, Toyota is talking about V8 torque with Toyota Echo MPG for the RX330e.

    wwest, thanks for the dollar. I will be collecting end of next year.

    JRYN, I did not know one could drive in the HOV if you are in an EV. I need to see if that is true in Texas. Cool info, Thanks!

    As for Acura, look for the next gen hybrid engine in future NSX and possibly RL models. My references to NSX is just merely to metion what is to come in the EV industry.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    As an engineer, it seems inappropriate to have an electrics "boost" at the front, when the front can be directly driven. Electrics at the rear and recip in the front seems an ideal way to implement an AWD hybrid, especially since T/L seems to be stuck in a FWD world.
  • lgrosslgross Posts: 55
    Two dealers were in Ohio, and two in the Northeast.

    I don't know what the LEXUS position is, but I know that MB destroyed a NJ dealer for giving discounts and I don't want to do anyone harm.
    My point was that discounts are available now, you just have to try. No dealer said no (all did initially). In the end, all said $1000 or more. The best being $2000. Just state your fair price and be willing to walk out if you can't arrive at an acceptable number. If you don't hear from the salesman within a week or two, you can always go in and buy for sticker.
  • My salesrep said he hasn't heard any discussions on the Sienna Ltd vs. RX330, yet.

    Both have the same engine, but the awd on the Sienna caught my eye. Currently have a 300 - like it, rolled the lease for a couple months until both these cars come out. So its time to make a choice. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts - there are some very interesting posts.

    Pricing: RX base is less than Ltd base, options push RX higher
    Engine: Same
    AWD: Same I think
    Trans: RX seemed sportier
    Acceleration: RX quicker
    Room: Sienna, by far
    Inside look: RX sharper
    Outside: Look similar (the 330 looks more like a minivan than the 300)
    Utility: Sienna
    Luxury Features: Similar (Most used feature, memory seat, left off Sienna (??)), Sienna may have a little more.
    Cup holders: Just kidding.

    The Sienna LTD is not a Lexus, but if you read some of the boards, its being called the Lexus minivan. I ususally take a couple trips to VT and MI from NJ - the 300 seems to be getting smaller (ok, recently had a boy, which can quickly fill up a vehicle).

    I'm very likely to be getting a 2'nd vehicle as well, and am leaning towards a GS or G35, which may take care of the performance wants.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Sienna only has a 4-speed tranny though, does it not? And the back end looks like a Buick Rendezvous'. I don't think the RX330 looks like a minivan (that title belongs to the Pilot), but it's styling doesn't your juices flowing either in the way that an X5, or more notably, an FX45 does. I find myself considering an RX more because of its feature/value and the Lexus brand rather than because it has knockout styling.
  • DOes the RX330 use regular or premium fuel?
    What octane do they suggest? What do the
    owners use?

    DB
  • The 04 Sienna does have a 5 speed auto like the RX330.
  • jofam1jofam1 Posts: 21
    Is the Navigation/ML in the RX330 packaged with Lexus link or can you get Navigation without Lexus Link in the RX330? Thank you.
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