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Lexus RX 330

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Comments

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Let's just end it at that.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Willard,

    I'm curious, did you read through the entire article? I'm afraid that article does not say that FWD or FWD-biased AWD is hazardous when driven properly. It does say that improper driving technique with FWD can be hazardous. But it promotes the learning of appropriate driving techniques to react to the different behavior of FWD in snow.

    Indeed, the author actually claims that FWD, properly driven, is better in snow and ice than RWD! That's the furthest thing from saying FWD is hazardous!

    And, once you hit the "edge" of adhesion, such as in snow and ice, FWD makes for a much more controllable car - But You Have To Know How To Drive It!

    Mind you, I don't necessarily agree with the author. And is he a credible source? All I could tell from his site is that he sells an additive to improve fuel mileage.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    FWD drive vehicles rely on ONLY the front tire's traction for both motive and directional forces. RWD distributes these forces over both the front, for directional control, and the rear, for motive forces.

    Given the above facts how anyone can think FWD isn't more hazardous, less safe, than RWD on a slippery roadbed surface is beyond me.

    Now, if you can dispute those facts then I'm willing to listen.
  • cbest1465cbest1465 Posts: 25
    I found this site http://pressroom.toyota.com/

    Click on Lexus Vehicles and highlight RX330.

    Click here 01/05/2003 2004 RX 330 Product Information - Preliminary

    It gives a list of options and option packages. No pricing thought.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "But you have to know how to drive it".

    How about, "you have to be trained to overcome human nature".

    In a panic, or surprise, strange, situation, what do our human instincts tell us to do?

    Hesitate, pull-back, think-it-over, etc.

    So our natural (untrained) instinct would be to lift the throttle, and maybe even apply the brakes. Not so bad in a RWD or RWD biased AWD, but FWD?

    Flying simulators are used to train pilots to react instinctively to most predictable, surprise, out of the ordinary, events, otherwise that natural instinct to think it over would result in not just a few deaths.

    So how many of today's drivers, overall, do you suppose have taken even a few seconds to prepare themselves for that moment of truth? If not, and they're driving a RWD they'll probably still survive.

    In a FWD, be prepared (trained), be quick, or be dead!

    That was the point I had hoped you would get from the link.
  • cbest1465cbest1465 Posts: 25
    I currently have the roof rack on my RX, In fact in my owners manual it states they shouldn't be used for hauling items.

    I am torn between the look of the rails on the new RX - not sure if I would prefer not having them.

    Don't they defeat the areo-dynamics and increase wind noise?

    Any thoughts?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The cross rails from the roof rack on my 01 AWD RX300 are laying silently in the corner of the garage where they will remain unless I need to haul something weighing less than 75 lbs on the roof.

    Quieter, yes.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    FWD drive vehicles rely on ONLY the front tire's traction for both motive and directional forces. RWD distributes these forces over both the front, for directional control, and the rear, for motive forces.

    Agreed.

    Given the above facts how anyone can think FWD isn't more hazardous, less safe, than RWD on a slippery roadbed surface is beyond me.

    Disagree. That's where one's subjective interpretation substitutes for hard evidence.

    Just because those forces are distributed does not make FWD "hazardous" as has been contended. That article cited, may I state again, says:

    And, once you hit the "edge" of adhesion, such as in snow and ice, FWD makes for a much more controllable car.

    That is one of the author's key points. That he thinks one is actually safer in a FWD vehicle in snow and ice than with RWD, so long as proper driving technique is employed. I actually don't agree with that specific statement, but it does counter the original assertion.

    Moreover, evidence from a credible source was requested. The source quoted may not even be credible, based on what is available on that site. It's from a salesman of mileage additives, what are his credentials?

    Regardless, the "evidence" presented actually refutes the entire original assertion with the above quote. Taking only the portions of it to support the argument is selective, and ignores the overall point of the cited article. Certainly not a logical path to debate, and not indicative of solid evidence. The bottom line of it is that the article (not me) says that FWD is better than RWD in snow and ice.

    In a panic, or surprise, strange, situation, what do our human instincts tell us to do?

    There's no doubt that human instincts can lead to negative situations. That applies to FWD, RWD, neutral AWD, etc. Yes, perhaps more so with some rather than the others, depending on the situations, but none are fundamentally hazardous as contended. Certainly not sufficient enough to apply the blanket assertion that FWD is hazardous.

    But that's the point of driver education and training. Is it effective? It's probably inadequate overall. For example, drivers are told to stomp down and hold with ABS in place. Many drivers don't. It's a tough thing for many to overcome, particularly older drivers, but over time people learn the behavior. But all that said, it does not make ABS "hazardous." Just like it does not make FWD fundamentally hazardous.

    Can you please provide credible, third-party statements that says that FWD/FWD-biased AWD is hazardous? Thank you.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    creditable?

    ABS vs "threshhold braking".

    I think you will agree that not many of us have enough practice or actual experience such that we can use threshold braking on ice and snow. ABS can, but cannot be fully optimized due to mechanical component delays. But even absent good optimiaztion, ABS has prevailed because unlike you and I, it can independently apply threshold braking on any of all four wheels.

    And that brings us to the subject of "threshold throttling". In order for the FWD slippery condition procedure to work the driver must have perfected his/her threshold throttling procedure.

    Okay, your seat of the pants "sensor" just told you that the front end has come unhinged, you don't have a clutch, and you aren't driving a FWD Cadillac (they added an over-running clutch between the transmission and the driven wheels for just this reason), now, just how quickly can you find that threshold throttle "sweet spot" wherein the engine is neither driving nor braking the front wheels (remember now that it is the front wheels that have just lost traction).

    Or you could simply slide the transmission lever into neutral.

    How does one prove the existence of nothing?

    The Iraqis would like a creditable answer to that one real quick.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Don't they defeat the areo-dynamics and increase wind noise?

    I think the effect on air drag will be entirely negligible. Noise is another matter, however.

    tidester, host
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Sigh, I requested credible, third-party evidence that FWD is hazardous, but the response, unfortunatey, contains more unsupported personal opinion and over-dramatized conclusions.

    In a FWD, be prepared (trained), be quick, or be dead!

    Sorry, but I think the allegedly hazardous nature of FWD and FWD-biased AWD has been grossly exaggerated. Credible, third-party evidence has been repeatedly requested, and none has been presented. Unfortunately.

    The only feedback offered is repeated, subjective interpretations of hypothetical scenarios. When taken out of context, they may seemingly support the argument, but then only based on subjective interpretation. When placed back into the correct context, they do not form an overall, hazardous conclusion. Frankly, one can make up any variety of scenarios that appear hazardous. That includes RWD.

    So much for post #34. In the interest of getting this lengthy, increasingly off-topic discussion moving or completed, I will have to disregard further posts on this subject that strictly contain the already-expressed personal interpretations without hard, third-party, supporting evidence. Those types of posts have already been responded to, no need to drag it out. Perhaps the hosts may want to move this to the AWD/4WD forum, or the Winter Driving discussion.

    Would it possible to provide a simple statement from an autojournalist or car company saying "FWD and FWD-biased AWD is hazardous?"

    I'll offer one information bit (and I have many, but the TownHall software prevents me from posting more than one link).

    E.g. take Tom & Ray, hosts of the radio program "Car Talk" and authors of a book or two:

    ... Front-wheel drive is much better than rear-wheel drive in the snow. ...

    For most people ... a front-wheel-drive car with four good snow tires should be good enough. But if you really HAVE to drive in snow frequently, your best bet is something with all-wheel drive.

    I will provide no subjective interpretation of the above. Safe to say, it is clear that they do not say that FWD or FWD-biased AWD is hazardous.

    http://cartalk.cars.com/Columns/Archive/2000/March/05.html

    Can you please provide credible, third-party statements that says that FWD/FWD-biased AWD is hazardous? Thank you.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Thanks for the link! I wonder how the regional Lexus dealers will bundle some of these together.

    It appears that HID headlamps can be acquired through more than one package, and as a standalone option? And it looks like the Power Liftgate isn't tied to a package, at least not yet.

    Air suspension requires the larger Performance Package but I guess it makes sense.

    Some will appreciate that 87 octane is still the fuel requirement. 91 recommended.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,128
    Taking the FWD/AWD thread to the 4WD & AWD systems explained discussion is an excellent idea.

    To quote Picard, "make it so."

    Steve, Host

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

  • cbest1465cbest1465 Posts: 25
    I have noticed with the dealerships in my area (DC), most RX's come in with certain packages.

    For instance, say you are looking for an RX with cloth seats - where would you find one? Would assume you would have to special order it.

    I am curious to see what will be coming in on the new RX's for 2004. I bet the power lift door will be a "standard" option. Not that I am complaining - just wonder how Lexus comes up with what vehicle goes to which region in the U.S.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I believe the regional assocations and the national company decide how to assemble the options and packages?

    Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult to special-order one. Some dealerships just won't do it.

    In my region, the Lexus dealerships always bundle in certain options, some of which I have no interest in.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    See something in the RX owners manual indicating that the location of the roof rack cross Bar is critical to keeping the wind noise low?

    And by the way, isn't wind noise an indication of drag?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I think the current discussion started because I asked if the new RX330 has actually dropped the VC in favor of the ML/Sequoia type AWD system.

    The early press indicated a switch to the ML type but the Lexus home pages state that the VC is a carry over to the RX330.

    But mostly the discussion has centered around FWD vs RWD, clearly not an appropriate thread to take up in 4WD/AWD.

    Since lots of folks have, and will continue to, purchase the RX series in FWD and given that the RX is being marketed as an SUV, I think this discussion is VERY appropriate to this very thread.

    And I agree with everything said by Tom & Ray (not to go so far as to call them creditable overall), FWD will be better able to handle adverse roadbed conditions. But what that doesn't address is the point I have tried to make again and again, once you enter the twilight zone, the "edge", a RWD is much more predictable and lends itself to the reactions dictated by our core human nature.

    If you haven't been "trained", don't know how to properly react at the instant a FWD reaches the "edge", then you're in for a very hazardous and frightening experience.

    I strongly suggest that anyone expecting to drive a FWD vehicle, or an AWD with front torque bias, in wintertime in adverse roadbed conditions, snow and ice, read and understand the implications of the links I provided regarding Safe operation of FWD vehicles.

    http://angelfire.com/biz/snwvlly/fwd.html
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Sent to the author of the above link.

    May I suggest a revision to your FWD safety desertation?

    Human nature dictates that when we come upon a strange, surprise, situation, we stop and think, hesitate, before we react.

    In this respect our human nature does us no real harm, is neutral, in a RWD vehicle. Human instinct would most often cause us to lift our foot from the gas pedal, not such a bad thing unless we happen to be driving a FWD vehicle or an AWD vehicle with torque bias predominantly to the front.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,128
    If you're having to let off the gas because of conditions, you probably were going too fast in the first place. After all, if you have to hit the throttle (maybe feather the parking brake too) to keep the back end behind you, at some point you're going to be trying to recover going 100 mph :-) You gotta slow down sometime.

    One test is counting the vehicles in the ditch after a snow/ice storm. Usually the 4WD/AWD SUVs outnumber the sedans (which by and large are FWD these days).

    Maybe we can get Shifty to reopen the Which is better? AWD, FWD or RWD? discussion - interesting stuff, but again, getting a bit off-topic in here with all this detail.

    Ah, here's one that's still active: AWD, FWD, RWD Wagons - Which is the Best?

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
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  • djocksdjocks Posts: 124
    getting into the SUV game here and have only driven my father's 2000 Lexus RX300. I am going to lease this for my wife. She puts on about 10K a year and because of work, half can be written off.

    Here is where I need help.
    The comparison includes:
    1. Mercedez ML320
    2. Lexus RX300
    3. Acura MDX
    4. Nissan Murano
    6. Infiniti FX35
    7. VW touregg
    8. BMW X5 3.0

    Here are the factors important for her:
    1. Easy to drive
    2. appeal (she loves the interior of the fx and the exterior of the Jeep GC)
    3. No need for a third seat, just a little extra storage
    4. leasing programs (residuals, price, maintenance)
    5. Safety (no need for off road capabilities)
    6. The standard 6 cyl. engines in all of these are plenty

    What should be my first move?
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I think the current discussion started because I asked if the new RX330 has actually dropped the VC in favor of the ML/Sequoia type AWD system.

    Please consider that a key aspect of productive debate is to focus on the original assertion, and not shift it to suit one's conveniences.

    The original point being debated is quite simple, and where my original post started.

    Infiniti obviously knows FWD or FWD torque bias is hazardous.

    Note in the above: "FWD or torque bias is hazardous." It does not qualify it to be "less safe" or "more hazardous" or what specific conditions exist.

    During this debate, I've stayed faithful to debating that original point. However, that has not been the case otherwise; the responses have varied from "is hazardous" to "less safe" to "more hazardous."

    I can invent any number of scenarios where FWD may prove hazardous. The same way where I can invent any number of scenarios where RWD is hazardous. I can also invent scenarios where any drive system is hazardous. The bottom line is, the original assertion just made the blanket statement that "FWD or FWD torque bias is hazardous." Something which credible autojournalists and manufacturers do not state.

    Saying that the system is "hazardous" without applying appropriate contextual qualification is, frankly, irresponsible. Certainly not credible.

    Trying to continue a debate by altering the original assertion and "making up" scenarios to suit those altered assertions is also not debate. Especially when credible, supporting third-party evidence has been repeatedly requested and none given. Certainly is a discredit to the debater. It provides the appearance that the debater, aware that the argument is a losing one, tries to alter the game and resorts to spilling useless rhetoric.

    At that point, a debate is no longer practical not desired. Never mind that there are countless sources that say that FWD is good for snow driving, and that RWD has some hazards in snow driving as well. Never mind that in Sweden, FWD vehicles predominate (e.g. Volvos, Saabs) and do quite well in the harsher climate there, thank you. Never mind that the marketplace is saturated with FWD and FWD-biased vehicles and yet there is not a tremendous revelation that they "are hazardous." And, please, never mind that there has been no credible, third-party supporting information provided, without the application of personal bias.

    Sadly, the debate was over a long time ago. I will not continue it in this forum. Thank you for your original one or two responses that were at least somewhat coherent.

    Steve:

    So "AWD, FWD, RWD Wagons - Which is the Best?" is the place to make it so? Thanks.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    This sorta comes under the heading of why not stay home and be warm and cosy by the fireplace if you suspect adverse roadbed conditions might arise.

    Roadbed conditions aren't always as predictable as one might wish. I might even point out that the performance of FWD (and 4WD/AWD)in adverse conditions often leads the driver to become over-confident.

    This is not really a "creditable" statement but I have come to believe that RWD is less hazardous because it "warns" you sooner about adverse roadbed conditions. It isn't as adverse roadbed "capable" and so you're less likely to drive it into the twilight zone.

    Then there is the mooretorque "rule".

    "The better your 4Wd/AWD is the deeper into the muddy woods you get before becoming stuck".

    I think the same rule applies to the FWD being better, more capable, than RWD.

    But, I would add that during our snowstorm of 12/18/90 it was predominantly FWD vehicles that I saw scattered all over SR520. Of course you could say that was because FWD is the predominant vehicle out there on the road today.

    My 85 Jeep did fine in part-time 4WD mode and with snowchains on all four.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,128
    There, or the 4WD/AWD one. Pretty dead horse in here, and no one has even started parsing the many different flavors of 4WD/AWD yet.

    And take Willard with you :-)

    Steve, Host

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

  • regnideirregnideir Posts: 12
    I've been reading the various SUV boards here for a while. Anytime there is a question about the drive train system WWEST pops up with the dangers of FWD bias AWD and then plugs the town and country. Stop beating your dead horse. I come to the RX330 board to read about the car not to be given an erroneous lesson in vehicle dynamics.

    Please Steve keep them on subject.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If some of you think I have been unduly championing the T&C then I'll try and correct that here.

    I thought my "plugging" of the T&C was strictly limited to the comparison of the T&C AWD system (which is quite SEVERELY FWD torque biased) and the RX/HL AWD system.

    At the top end price wise you might pay 35k for a T&C and unless you really, REALLY need stellar AWD performance it simply isn't worth that kind of money.

    Not to take undue credit, but have many of you now noticed that according to the early press releases the new RX330 will have a completely different AWD system, dropping the always "flaccid" Viscous clutch/coupling system in favor of an electronic AWD system which with proper design could react almost instantaneously to (ANY) wheel slippage, except for all four simultaneously, of course.
  • amontgomamontgom Posts: 12
    I just placed an order for a RX330 at my dealer in Northern Virginia, and the option packages are limited to six choices. (Special orders are available, but they take four months for delivery.) Since I wanted Nav, I was limited to only three. Here's what I ordered:

    PT - Premium Package Plus (leather, illumination entry, power tilt steering, moonroof)
    PL - Power Back Door
    HL - HIDs
    DC - 6-CD In-Dash Changer
    DR - Roof Rails/Rack
    WU - Wood and Leather Steering Wheel
    NV - Navigation System with Rear Camera
    HH - Two Level Heated Seats & Rain Sensing Wipers
    FT - 18" Alloy Wheels, Full Spare

    Price = Approximately $42k -- nothing firm yet, but less than a similarly equipped 2003 model

    This package accounts for 17% of their allocation (total NAV allocation is 25%, non-Nav is 75%).

    I noticed two interesting things with their allocation:

    1) The Performance Package is only available on the high end, with NAV.
    2) The Large Sunroof is only available on a non-Nav vehicle.

    There is no mention in any of the packages of the Dynamic Laser Cruise Control. My dealer isn't sure what to think about this, and I don't even know if I can order it separately.

    One more thing -- if you have not been invited, Lexus is having their annual Luxury Refined event this spring/summer. It is being held in many locations throughout the US, and will allow you to drive the RX330, GX470, LX470 and their near competitors. If you did not receive an invite, you can register for one at www.luxuryredefined.com. (I didn't have an invite, and I was able to register without a problem.)

    I'll keep everyone informed as I hear more.
    Andi
  • 330???????????? or FWD or "whatever".
  • cbest1465cbest1465 Posts: 25
    I got an invite via email. It sounds like a great event - they are having all 3 SUV's from Lexus and their competitors.

    You will get to drive them on-road and off-road. Would definitly recommend to anyone interested to sign up - these events are usually "first class" from Lexus.

    Thanks for the note on option packages amontgom. I would be curious to know how much the performance package is?
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