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Lexus RX 330

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  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Based on the Exterior Color Poll (not scientific) over at another forum, the Flint Mica, at about 23%, is the most popular color. Silver (16.5%) is running No. 2, with Black and Breakwater Blue tied for No. 3 at about 12% each. Only 2 of 91 owners on this forum say they have the green (Black Forest Pearl) color. Not surprisingly I guess, it's also the only one that I haven't seen in person.

    As far as interior colors are concerned, a separate poll shows the Black and the Light Gray essentially tied at about 39% and 37% respectively, with Ivory (24%) bringing up the rear.

    It's probably safe to assume, however, that visitors to this site tend to be "enthusiasts" so these results probably do not accurately reflect the tastes of RX330 buyers generally.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    My first choice would actually be silver with the grey interior. But both of our current cars are silver. So I figure one more silver car and the neighbors would think I have no imagination, or that I'm color-blind :) Hence my second choice of Flint Mica with the grey interior.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    We should have ordered the Black Forest Pearl instead of taking the Flint Mica the dealer had in stock. But $1400 off MSRP and full amount of KBB trade in was too hard to resist three months ago.
  • nv32nv32 Posts: 35
    The Lexus dealer in Plano TX told me yesterday that these packages/options are no longer available: Performance Package VP ($5455), which is the only way to get air suspension and cornering HID lights, Adaptive Cruise Control CL ($600), the only way to get that feature, and --- not sure if I misunderstood or misremember --- Navigation with rear camera NV ($2350).

    Apart from whether you think these are worthwhile or useful options, what is the reasoning and meaning behind these discontinuations?

    Does it mean problems ... hopefully being corrected? Is there some connection with the manufacturing switchover to Canada? Are the discontinuations permanent? The assistant sales manager didn't know, or wouldn't say.

    For me personally, the camera, cornering lights and adaptive cruise control were the three very features that made the 330 uniquely outstanding this year. I think they all three were given prominent mention in the catalog.

    Could/would any of you contact your local dealer and ask more about these features' status in your locality? (As I said, I'm not sure about whether the nav with camera was one of those now said to be "discontinued", but definitely the other two were.)

    What a revolting development!!!!
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    Go to the www.lexus.com website, enter your zip code and whether or not you want a FWD or AWD RX330, and it will show you what Lexus is delivering and building for your area of the country.

    These "allocated configurations" change every so often as Lexus marketing and the dealers figure out what is selling in their respective regions and what Lexus should build as standard options/packages. It's not like walking into a Dodge or Chevy dealership and picking options off a list and 6-8 weeks later you have the Vehicle of Your Dreams (or in my case, the Dodge Not-so-Grand Caravan and Chevy Impala Wagon with the Chevette Transmission That Nightmares are Made Of...).
  • I really like the RX 330 and may buy one this week. But the RX is not going to do 0-60 in 7.8 seconds unless I can get my hands on one of those units they give to the automotive press.
    My 2001 Acura MDX advertised 0-60 in 8.5 seconds. I could do it in 8.6.
    My 2003 Acura MDX advertises 0-60 in 8.0 seconds. I can do it in 8.2.
    The 2004 Lexus RX 330 AWD advertises 0-60 in 7.8 seconds. I can't do any better than 8.8.
    bmwbob27 is right on the mark when he describes the RX 330 as stepping on a sponge. The handling is fine for a vehicle in this class (BMW X5, Infiniti FX, Porsche Cayenne handle better at the expense of ride. Driving position is a little disappointing - even with the telescoping wheel it's not as good as the MDX. Braking is excellent. Very good choice. As usual, Lexus errors conservatively on the side of comfort over performance. But come on. 7.8 seconds!?! Let's be real. Any car magazine that gets under 8 seconds is just lying.
  • Pros and Cons:
    What are the pros and cons of FWD versus AWD on the RX 330. I don't need AWD, as I live in sunny California and our other vehicle AWD anyway. So I plan to go with FWD unless someone can convince me otherwise. Lexus say you lose 0.1 seconds (0-60) and 2 MPG with AWD. (How can believe their numbers anyway - see #1206 above). Is handling, noise or anything else affected?
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    You're quibbling over a few tenths of a second or at most a second on 0-60 times?

    Still seems pretty speedy for an SUV.

    Doesn't sunny California have a lot of traffic? Where do you need to or have the chance to acclerate from 0-60 like on a road test?

    BTW, I live in northern CA where 0-40 or 0-50 is more likely. And even then, no real need to floor it from a stop light.
  • marke2marke2 Posts: 8
    I checked the configurations for the Plano area and it still shows the performance package available for both FWD and AWD. You can get the nav package with the premimum plus (PT) package for FWD. It looks like the AWD packages bundle the NAV with the Mark Levinson. I guess it is possible the website may not have been updated yet to reflect new allocations.

    I do find it interesting that they would say that package wasn't available anymore. That package has most of the new features that are touted in the brochure and advertising.
  • marke2marke2 Posts: 8
    I kind of wonder about that myself. We test drove the RX330 and the MDX and the MDX "seemed" quicker. Part of this could be due to a more "aggressive" throttle on the MDX. But your measurements would seem to verify our impressions. I'm waiting for a comparo test from one of the magazines to see what they measure.
  • You quote the manufacturer published 0-60 times then tell us what you are capable of doing..... what are you a race car driver? :)

    Seriously, are you timing yourself while you put these cars through their paces? Or do you have a few friends with stop watches and radar guns? Since in the RX the passenger really can not see the guages in the instrument cluster, I don't guess there is someone sitting there with a Timex.

    Since you don't own a RX yet, is someone really letting you rag thiers out?

    I am not sure about the poor seating position - I'm 6'2" 185# and have no trouble. In fact I think it is quite comfortable. Why would you consider getting an RX after citing the poor performance, conservative "errors", and the poor seating position? You might prefer the MDX with the all familiar Honda components and faux wood trim everywhere.
  • Since my accident of 7/23, the body shop has informed me that some parts are on "national" back-order. I guess that's the downside to driving a new model. If only I hadn't been watching a DVD.....those darn BMW films!!
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Actually what I find interesting is that the Sienna and RX both have been tested by car mags at 7.8 seconds. The Sienna is bigger, heavier and less aerodynamic. Maybe the transmissions have different ratios? I figured they must have tested a ringer Sienna since it even out-accelerates the lighter and more powerful Odyssey.
  • I am sorry if I offended some by pointing out some shortcomings of the RX 330. My intent was to provide objective information and solicit clarification on a few issues.
    The RX 330 is a great vehicle - possible the best we've seen in this class. Just because there is room for improvement, doesn't mean we should pretend that it is perfect.
    Getting back the the point in question....the acceleration seems to be overstated - more so than some of the competition. Times from 0-60 are always a source of argument because nobody in just about any car is able to get the times the car magazines, let alone the manufacturers, supposedly achieve. The times are, however, often used to compare vehicles - even by those who refute the numbers. In this case, a comparison of the RX with the MDX would lead one to believe that the RX does 0-60 faster when, in fact, it is actually noticeable slower.
    I am not a race car driver. If I were, then maybe I could get the RX to go from 0-60 in 7.6 seconds like some magazines. My time (8.8) is over a full second slower. I don't think that is splitting hairs or talking about tenths of seconds. With the MDX I am closer, but still over what the car magazines get.
    The RX has the best fit and finish in the class and it handles well to - better than the MDX. I already own a 2003 MDX (for my wife) and am looking for a vehicle for me. It would be nice to have two vehicles that we both really like. However, for those who believe pointing out shortcomings of the RX means I think the vehicle is inferior over all: The RX will make a good second car.
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    Off course no car is perfect. IMO, LEXUS knows extremely well about the US market. Remember, Luxury is the only way to drive on US freeways. We still have speed limits.

    If you want fast, you'd buy FX35.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    We had an '01 MDX for almost 3 years. We sold it and purchased our RX 330 about one month ago.

    I agree that the RX 330 throttle seems a little more relaxed, but when pushed, I think it is slightly faster than our former MDX. I emphasize that it seems only "slightly" faster. I doubt this would be true against the new MDX. My test drive of the new '03 MDX (260hp) led me to believe it would probably out-acclerate the RX.

    I also look at manufacturer's 0-60 times as relative data for comparing the different vehicle's acceleration capabilities. (A standing 5mph start, which some magazines perform during their car reviews, seems to more accurately reflect real world capabilities.) If the new 260HP MDX is rated slower than 7.8 seconds, then I would agree Lexus might be more aggressive, and less realistic, then Acura.

    On the other hand, maybe the 7.8 second specification might be more realistic after the engine is fully broken in?

    Regarding FWD versus AWD, I was happy to save the money and weight on the FWD model. For sunny California, you shouldn't see much of any advantage with AWD, unless you plan to take it on dirt, or if you plan to drive aggressively and take some hard corners. I suspect the AWD model will provide a little better grip on turns? (It is a full-time AWD system, isn't it?) The RX leans a little bit more than the MDX, and so I don't know if any added grip from the AWD system will ultimately help matters that much.

    By the way, I find the seating position slightly better in the RX 330 than our previous MDX. I missed having a telescopic steering wheel (which has been a common feature in European automobiles for many years) when driving that MDX. Also, I thought the minimum seat height setting in the MDX was too high. There were times when I wanted to adjust the seat a little lower.

    From a safety perspective, the MDX is behind the curve, especially considering they haven't yet incorporated head-protection airbags.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Actually, based on my limited driving experience in the U.S, quick acceleration should be important because often you have to really gun it to merge from on-ramps. So if the RX is soft in this aspect, that may be cause for concern.
  • ctk1ctk1 Posts: 79
    or a Ferrari. I am sure you have no problem of merging into traffic.
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    I've driven an '88 Integra automatic for years. Probably over 10 seconds on 0-60. 118 horsepower.

    No problems merging. EDIT: Around here, at rush hour times, the on-ramps are metered anyways, so you don't have to go 0-60 in as short a time as possible.

    0-60 times under 9 seconds is fast by most standards. Not sports car fast but you're talking about a high center of gravity SUV which weighs more than sports cars or performance sedans.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    When I stated the RX has a relaxed throttle response, I meant that a soft push to the gas pedal doesn't provide the same level of push-you-back-into-your-seat acceleration that I noticed in such SUVs as the FX35. However, if you step on the accerelator with some authority, it will get up and go rather quickly! I think it accelerates quicker than our previous '01 MDX -- both from a stopped position as well as at highway speeds.

    Don't worry about on-ramps in the RX 330. It can quickly leave many other SUVs in its rear window.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    ...of vehicles...not bad after a demo drive....but then I walked down the automall a few blocks and saw a new Ferrari Enzo in the showroom - dude, it was like a no brainer!

    The Enzo was a LOT faster on the demo and it whooshed and zipped thru curves a LOT faster - who would want an RX? Hey, I know the payments are probably higher but you gotta be kidding me.

    As for AWD, I dunno about the RX 'cause I forgot to look but the Enzo had All Wheels-Dubs so it passes, right?!

    Next, I checked the most important feature - Navigation. I mean, if you get lost downtown when you're trying to find that Special Someone, if you catch my drift...well, that's gonna be one shaky shaky night at the ol' ER! So Nav be very important to me that's for sure. The RX had a decent system - but hey, the Enzo beat it hands down with NEW, voice-activated technology!

    Just push one little button labelled "Many Objects to Buy" (MOB) and this Italian guy comes on the speaker asking how many grams, how much cash you got - everything! Wow wow wow!

    I can't believe that anybody would buy an RX with that Enzo right next door - you gotta be kidding me.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Motor Trend tested the RX in its September issue at 8.5 sec. That seems consistent with what damormino and cotmc have been saying -- slower than the current MDX but probably on a par with the "old" MDX.

    BTW, Motor Trend was not complimentary in its assessment of the RX's handling. They said there was lots of body roll and pitching motions. And they were testing one with the sport suspension too.
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    You say the one with more HP is faster? Which gets better mileage?

    It'll be interesting to see if the hybrid performs like a V-8 while achieving V-6 or better fuel economy as Toyota claimed.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Probably the RX.

    I know it's no surprise that the MDX with 260 HP is quicker than the RX. But C & D had earlier tested the RX at 7.8 which seemed to defy the laws of physics. So I was just trying to say the Motor Trend results seem more logical.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    I tend to believe Car & Driver more than any individual's "seat of the pants" estimate, but I realize that individual samples will vary from car to car. Also in their acceleration tests, C&D does get the RPM's up a bit (while holding their foot on brake) before mashing the gas pedal, to extract maximum possible performance out of each run. Of course, most owners are not going to subject their own vehicles to this kind of abuse very often, and usually never. Also, if C&D's method results in excessive wheelspin (not a problem with either the MDX or RX) then they do another run and back off the pre-launch RPM's a little. In any case, their testing method is going to result in a better time than most owners are going to get in the "real world" but the important thing is that C&D is consistent in testing each and every car, so they are good for comparative purposes.

    Checking this month's issue, here are the results:

    ........'04 RX300..........'03 MDX............

    0-60.........7.8...............7.8..............
    1/4 mile...16.2..............16.1...............
    Top Speed.110 ..............119...............
    70-0........176 ..............200...............
    Skidpad...0.75 .............0.74...............
    EPA City...18 ...............17...............

    Pretty close, I'd say --

    Joel

    '04 RX330
    '03 FX45
  • bmwbob27bmwbob27 Posts: 35
    Right on "jeffmust2" What difference does it make with a few 1/10's of a second clicks on the clock?? Face it. All of the compared here SUV's are slugs. You haven't any idea what real horse power is. Aim it and stab a 650 hp vehicle and then you know power. Stop bickering over these vehicles' acceleration.
    Ok, I'm done.
    A note about a possible road noise. The cross bars on the roof rack (sorry multi-panel owners) can rattle. I found the rear most bar was not held tightly and could be shaken and then it makes a rattle. Solution is to remove them and cut down on the wind noise also.
    Now, I'm really tired of this quality vehicles "climate control" system. I've talked to 2 Lexus' service managers and received the same answers. Seems like Lexus has prompted the service departments with the explanation to the owners. Their instructions are to always leave the AC on and the system on Auto. Set the tempeture above 78 degrees and then there will be heat mixed with the cold AC air until it reaches your comfort level???? What the hell is wrong with all of my other vehicles system when you set the desired tempeture at 72 and if it's colder inside the vehicles the heater comes on and raises the tempeture. If hotter, then the AC cools down the interior. DuHa!!! Why do you want the AC constently running and pumping cold air into the vehicle with a very slowly entered warm air mixed in? If I want noticable heat I have to select "Hi" and them it runs you out of the car whith the fan running wide open. The reason stated that you have to leave the AC on is that the interior of the vehicle will "Fog up" unless you do. What a bunch of crap. This system sucks!!! As stated before,"the engineers are rethinking this one". Does the old 300's have the same system? How does it work? I'll be damned if I'll go down the highway with the AC on when the outside temp is 55 degrees with cold air and ice cubes spitting out of the regesters. Set it on 78!!! Bull Spit!! A word of caution to you future buyers: Take a long test ride and have the saleman demonstrate this disasterous climate control sysyem to you. Take your time and let me know if I'm wrong. I hope that someone can enlighten me because if I have to live with this "BS" then this RX330 is for sale with 1500 miles on it.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Wasn't wwest hammering on this exact same issue awhile back?
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    Ye know not what Pandora's Box ye just opened.

    Sigh.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Jeff, Bob, etc:

    Yes, the oozing sarcasm was quite funny, but I'll bet you a dozen rear-seat DVD systems there are MANY potential buyers who have an interest in reading what RX 330 owners think about the vehicle's on-road performance. Hey, some may even want to know how it compares to the competition. Most understand that the RX will not have any problems merging onto the shortest freeway onramp. I'm also thinking that most people understand it is not a BMW 330i, much less a Bugatti.

    Back in 1999 I made the mistake of purchasing a new ES300 for my wife (which we both drove from time to time). Edmunds and the magazines gave it reasonable 0-60 numbers, so what's the problem?? It had a 4-spd auto tranny, and 2nd was geared way too high, imo. That thing was a complete dog when turning out of intersections, or anytime we had to brake below 15mph. It resisted downshifting to 1st, and there was little low-end torque at 1400 rpm as it tried to pull its way through 2nd. The magazines never mentioned this, and we didn't catch it on the test drive. We traded it in less than a year later! Sorry for the rant, but this is one specific example of why people may have an interest in hearing performance feedback before making their decision between an RX 330, MDX, FX35, Murano, XC90, XC70, etc. On-road performance feedback may not be as important as an ergonomic design flaw with the climate control system, but it's still worth discussing, isn't it?
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