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Lexus RX 330

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Comments

  • nyfl6nyfl6 Posts: 1
    I am interested in purchasing the RX330. However, there have been several posts, here and elsewhere, mentioning a potentially dangerous blind spot. Can someone be more specific about this, including where it is, when it could pose a problem and what I should look for when I test drive the RX330. Thanks.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Does the shifter for the sequential sport shift have a different shift gate pattern than the regular tranny?
  • adb3adb3 Posts: 112
    Thanks for the info on the wood steering wheel and shifter knob. I'll look into ordering them separately since I seriously doubt the parts dept will have them on hand at this early date. But to be clear, the WU option was NOT available for the Eastern Region performance package initial builds.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    Unless something has changed this year, you won't like what you hear from Lexus Parts on getting these items separately - if that's your intent.

    The good news is - they're available. The bad news - probably $300+ for the knob and $1000+ for the steering wheel. In fact, on the LS, the wheel is around $1400-1600.

    The good news is that you can install the knob yourself and the steering wheel should be a minimal, 1-hr labor charge at the dealer - even though it's easy to do, you might not want to play with the airbag module.

    Yup, they are just a $350-400 option when you special order with your RX330 vehicle. After the sale it's a different story.

    I changed from the factory leather wheel and knob on my LS400 to factory wood because I found the wheel as a take-off, cheap, in perfect shape.

    Before installing the wheel, I wondered why the seller sold it and went back to leather - now I know why; the leather is a lot more comfortable but the wood cosmetically looks a lot better.

    Style over practicality - your choice.
  • borg1of2borg1of2 Posts: 73
    Has anyone that has taken delivery on their RX330 done so through a lease. I am curious as to what residual % and money factor you got on it? Thanks for any insight.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Jeffmust2 cleared up what I was saying. The wood wheel and shift knob are $380 as an option on the car from the factory. Once delivered it's a different story.

    As for different options, I have a 2002 ES 300. I wanted the adaptive variable suspension to give the car a firmer ride. It was not available at all, in any car, in my region. So I ordered a car and three months later got a car with AVS. Anything can be had with a special order and three-month wait.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    For those looking at the RX 330 but maybe wanting something sportier, Lexus will be coming out with a new SUV based on the next generation GS. The SUV should be out either end of this year or early 2004.

    The concept version, called the HPX (for high-performance crossover), will be unveiled at the New York Auto Show on April 16. Who knows, this may be the actual vehicle since the previous RX and GS were "concepts" that turned out to be the real things.

    Lexus says the new SUV will "probe new automotive ground by combining sport sedan performance, maximum versatility and innovative luxury in a sleek package."
  • jrynjryn Posts: 18
    The artist's rendition of the Lexus HPX makes it look like the Murano or FX35. I'll be curious to see if that segment of the market really takes off.

    http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_library/display_photo.html?recn- um=004253

    If I weren't willing to trade a lot of performance for utility, I would stick with a car. I don't see the appeal in the new hybrids, esp. since these S(U)V's don't offer much more utility than you could get out of a sedan with fold-down rear seats. Makes me wonder if people just want the higher seating position.

    Anyway, soon we'll have real photos to look at and we can better judge the HPX then.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,767
    Just saw a Neptune blue mica RX300 in Boston yesterday. We both stopped at the light. I didn't pay much attention even with the daylight because of the color. Until I realized it was RX300, it spread away. The only thing I remember was seeing the shorty radio antenna on the roof near the rear liftgate and the clear tail light lens. Cool!
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Thanks for posting that drawing!
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Jeez, ANother SUV from Lexus!
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    I am not sure, but 12% to 16% sounds right. If you are from Evendale, we have a mutual RX300 friend who lives in Marblehead.
  • khanhvnkhanhvn Posts: 18
    Does anyone know if RX330 AWD is full-time (like Mercedes ML) or part-time (like XC90/MDX - i.e. it's mostly front drive in normal condition) ?
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    According to what I've read, the RX 330 - like the RX 300 - uses a center differential to split the engine power evenly (50-50) between the front and rear wheels under normal conditions, but the new VSC system is able to re-apportion power both front-to-rear and side-to-side if wheel slippage occurs. This has eliminated the need for a viscous coupling as was used on the RX 300. The VSC system is also able to control either front or rear wheel slide during cornering, and then apply either torque or braking intervention to individual wheels, in order to keep the vehicle pointed along its intended course. The new system is supposed to be lighter and mechanically simpler than before. And with the driveshaft elements situated in a straighter line, friction, driveline noise and vibration is supposed to be reduced.

    If its real-world performance is able to match all the hype, it does sound like a significant advancement over the previous model.
  • outriggeroutrigger Posts: 40
    Both the Mercedes ML and now the RX330 have an open center diff. To find the wheel or wheels that have grip, the traction control system must apply the brake to the first slipping wheel, which will make torque to go another wheel (usually the other back wheel), then brake it also, which will then send torque to the front axle. This can take a few seconds and makes it more likely you can get stuck. (I know from personal experience in an ML.)

    A viscous coupled center diff will send torque to BOTH the front & rear at virtually the same time, so you don't have to wait for the traction control system to brake both rears in order to get torque to the front.

    Yes, an open center diff is simpler & cheaper, but better? I don't think so!!!!
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    It's high-end audio but you're still in a noisy auto environment. Or do you really need a fancy ML system to listen to loud rock?

    Also, I'm surprised at how many people care about the Navigation Systems, which are a great boon to carmakers/dealers as high-priced, high-margin options but the utility of which to consumers is dubious.

    Any dates yet on when the hybrid version of the 330 will be available and what pricing will be? And what options packages you'll be forced to take?
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    1) Electric windows - First time you plunge into a lake, I'll bet they stop working and your windshield fogs up. Try buying a Lexus without 'em. Whatta rip.

    2) Stereo systems - again, try buying a Lexus without one; just another money waster. They distract the driver and all music after the 70's is junk and all the news is bad so why listen at all? - and, to top it off, the electricity they pull increases drag on the alternator belt/pully and ruins your mpg. Why, the Mark Lev system ALONE will have you pulling into a Shell every day you drive that RX. Hey, I read all about it someplace on the Web.

    3) ISO latch things - hey, if I wanted a Mommy Minivan - I'd buy one! 'Nuff said.

    Navigation a dubious option and rip-off? Maybe - but my wife won't buy/lease a vehicle that doesn't have it. Period.

    So I guess what's a dubious option and/or rip-off is in the eye of the beholder. IMO, of course.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    We also wanted the NAV system which this year is made even more practical with the rear back up camera. The Mark Levingson is not so important, as we figure the 130 watts and 8 speakers that come with the standard audio is enough, and the sound from the standard unit is as good as many upgraded systems in other vehicles. Like jeff says, each buyer has to make up his or her own mind as to what's important.

    What we decided to do is to place a special order to have the car configured the way we want it. Most important in this decision was that Lexus packaging in our area would not allow you to have both the Performance Pkg and the NAV. They are also building the Performance Pkg vehicles in just three colors - Black, Silver and Mica Gray, all with black interiors. We decided on a Breakwater Blue with Light Gray interior. We also ordered the wood steering wheel and shift knob, which is not normally available for Performance Pkg cars but we think adds a nice touch.

    We're not sure yet if Lexus will actually build the car to these exact specifications, but we're hoping they will, at least as respects the Performance Pkg/NAV combination. We could certainly live with the silver/black, for example, and if the Levingson must come with the NAV as a package, that would be OK too although we really don't want to have to pay that much extra for it. Our current car that we will be replacing ('98 A4) still runs like new, so we don't mind the extra wait in order to get a vehicle that's built to our specifications.
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    My point is, how often do people go to unfamiliar places that they need the NAV systems?

    When people are going to unfamiliar places, they usually get directions, which are probably better than any map. People will know which streets are one-way or prohibit left-turns or which have a lot of traffic. So the directions will often take those factors into account.

    Can maps or NAV systems impart this additional info?

    I'm surprised the NAV screens aren't the distractions that cell phones have proved to be. Or that LCD screens playing videos would be.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Even my little hand-held portable unit, a Garmin GPS V, will not route so that you'd be headed the wrong way on a one-way street. It also tells you in advance to get in the left lane, for example, so that you're prepared to take an exit. While I would agree that NAV systems CAN be a distraction if you allow them to be (just like anything else) I would say that if they are used correctly they can actually reduce the danger when you are driving in an area that you are not intimately familiar with, since they give you a "heads up" of what to expect in advance. It's much safer than trying to read a paper map while driving, IMO.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Don't yet know about the RX330 but as for GPS/Nav in the RX300:

    Worse than worthless, Lexus has designed it to be an intentional distraction. Many of the ancillary functions, radio, climate control, indications also use the Nav LCD, but are suppressed, cannot be continuously displayed, in favor of the stupid moving map display. You can suppress the moving map display, but you will still need to move an ancillary function's control in order to bring up the display for those functions. And it's not programmed like your typical screen-saver. On the Lexus when you use the control "knob" to reactivate the display functionality the control "knob" does its "thing", and then brings up the display.

    Stupid nuisance design.

    The Nav itself has so many firmware flaws it cannot be relied upon without first checking it against another source. And the DVD information is concentrated on the major US cities, if you wander into the suburbs of Seattle, or off to Bellingham, the DVD street information simply isn't available.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    The nav system on my 2002 ES 300 is outstanding. I drive to many small towns in the Midwest and the nav has never missed a beat. And you never need to look at a map because of the voice instructions.

    Another great feature is you always know how far you are from your destination, both in time and miles.

    I personally would highly recommend the nav.
  • m45guym45guy Posts: 42
    Well, it caught my eye, though I'm more than tired of seeing those Fast'n'Furious clear tail lamp housings...

    Anyway, now to hit the lotto, so I can surprise my wife for her B-day in October. ;-)

    Navigation systems, while a neat idea, just lack about another 4-7 years of work. I've been using a Garmin GPSIII+ for navigation, via motorcycle, for about 3-4 years now, and I'm about to start using it hooked up to a laptop which is running Street & Trips. I think the main thing is, people assume/think they can turn their brain off when using one of these nav systems, which just isn't so. Hopefully, it never will be, as then, we'll have auto-driving cars, and I *really* don't want those becoming common. I *like* to drive.

    Anyway, if you want a nav system which is at least upgradeable, get a GPS and a laptop. The combo will be cheaper than the built-in nav system, and you'll have a mobile computer to boot.

    However, I will admit to wanting the back up camera, yet don't want the nav system, which isn't available... Maybe some RX300's will be available, closeout....pfft, right.... <eye roll>
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    RX330 AWD.

    Last week I had the opportunity to talk with a Lexus factory represenative who was at the Malibu RX330 ride and drive event. According to the factory rep the AWD RX330, like the AWD RX300, will remain predominantly a FWD vehicle using the differing F/R final drive ratios to deliver the primary motive force to the front wheels. On a 4WD dynamometer the AWD RX300 tested out at about 90% engine torque to the front absent any wheel slip conditions.

    When I then tried to ask what this might mean for firmware implementation of a "virtual" front LSD the factory rep realized he needed to be someplace else, SUDDENLY.

    So here's is my guess as to the correct answer to the question.

    With 90% of the engine torque NORMALLY (good traction conditions) delivered to the front wheels it would clearly be the front wheels or wheel, MOSTLY, to first lose traction and incur wheelspin.

    If both front wheels happen to lose traction simulateously, no problem, just simply add braking to both front wheels and/or dethrottle the engine to limit the overall torque.

    Actually it is highly likely, IMMHO, that the VSC firmware will be designed to first dethrottle the engine and then add brake modulation only if the wheelspin persists. But in many cases these events might come about so close together as to be seemingly simultaneous.

    But what about the circumstance wherein only one from wheel loses traction and therefore one really needs a "virtual" front LSD (Limited Slip Differential).

    You will not find many SUVs, truly designed for off-road work, that include any type of front LSD arrangement because of the hazards involved in doing so.

    And LSD in the rear is oftentimes bad enough at interferring with the directional control of the vehicle. An LSD in the front could oftentimes prove to be dissestroyous. Have you even experienced really serious torque steer in a FWD vehicle? If not take an RX300 out for a drive and make a hard right turn at WOT.

    On an RX300 the left axle is the shortest, think about how much more serious things might get in that hard right turn at WOT with the torque steer forcing you even further right and now the right front wheel slips and the VSC applies right front braking to simulate LSD action.

    So I would suspect that the VSC "AWD" firmware will NOT have a front LSD function and therefore only engine dethrottling to compensate for front wheelspin.

    And yes, it could, and likely will, have firmware to support rear LSD functionality. But with 90% of the torque NORMALLY delivered to the front how often would you need a rear LSD?

    That's why I understand that the ML series has something other than a simple open center diff'l, the ML NORMALLY routes at least 50% of the torque to the rear.

    None of the above means the AWD RX330 does not offer good value for the money, while it will never be as capable an SUV as the ML series (excluding any issues of low range entirely) it does have some limited AWD capability and at least you can now use snowchains safely, unlike the RX300.
  • adb3adb3 Posts: 112
    Pretty strong statement, but alas it's your opinion. I'll let the 300 owners chime in if they want, but as a 330 owner I wouldn't go as far as the Master Card commercial and call it "priceless" but I rate it as pretty darn valuable. I've watch NAV technology improve over the years to the point that it is now not just a "toy" but actually lessens driving anxiety particularly if you find yourself traveling in an area that's unfamiliar. I've used them and they work, particularly when traveling in and through large cities.

    Lexus is offering 25% of their builds as NAVs. They probably would not be building that many if they didn't believe the demand wasn't there. However, after reading previous postings, I personally believe that demand will outstrip the current build plan. Folks no longer see NAVs as niceties but necessities, the same that has occurred with other technologies.

    Bottom line, the market place will determine the worth of a product. Sure NAVs are not for everyone, but increasingly more and more folks see them as essential elements for driving.
  • m45guym45guy Posts: 42
    Well, it caught my eye, though I'm more than tired of seeing those Fast'n'Furious clear tail lamp housings...

    Anyway, now to hit the lotto, so I can surprise my wife for her B-day in October. ;-)

    Navigation systems, while a neat idea, just lack about another 4-7 years of work. I've been using a Garmin GPSIII+ for navigation, via motorcycle, for about 3-4 years now, and I'm about to start using it hooked up to a laptop which is running Street & Trips. I think the main thing is, people assume/think they can turn their brain off when using one of these nav systems, which just isn't so. Hopefully, it never will be, as then, we'll have auto-driving cars, and I *really* don't want those becoming common. I *like* to drive.

    Anyway, if you want a nav system which is at least upgradeable, get a GPS and a laptop. The combo will be cheaper than the built-in nav system, and you'll have a mobile computer to boot.

    However, I will admit to wanting the back up camera, yet don't want the nav system, which isn't available... Maybe some RX300's will be available, closeout....pfft, right.... <eye roll>
  • m45guym45guy Posts: 42
    Well, it caught my eye, though I'm more than tired of seeing those Fast'n'Furious clear tail lamp housings...

    Anyway, now to hit the lotto, so I can surprise my wife for her B-day in October. ;-)

    Navigation systems, while a neat idea, just lack about another 4-7 years of work. I've been using a Garmin GPSIII+ for navigation, via motorcycle, for about 3-4 years now, and I'm about to start using it hooked up to a laptop which is running Street & Trips. I think the main thing is, people assume/think they can turn their brain off when using one of these nav systems, which just isn't so. Hopefully, it never will be, as then, we'll have auto-driving cars, and I *really* don't want those becoming common. I *like* to drive.

    Anyway, if you want a nav system which is at least upgradeable, get a GPS and a laptop. The combo will be cheaper than the built-in nav system, and you'll have a mobile computer to boot.

    However, I will admit to wanting the back up camera, yet don't want the nav system, which isn't available... Maybe some RX300's will be available, closeout....pfft, right.... <eye roll>
  • m45guym45guy Posts: 42
    Well, it caught my eye, though I'm more than tired of seeing those Fast'n'Furious clear tail lamp housings...

    Anyway, now to hit the lotto, so I can surprise my wife for her B-day in October. ;-)

    Navigation systems, while a neat idea, just lack about another 4-7 years of work. I've been using a Garmin GPSIII+ for navigation, via motorcycle, for about 3-4 years now, and I'm about to start using it hooked up to a laptop which is running Street & Trips. I think the main thing is, people assume/think they can turn their brain off when using one of these nav systems, which just isn't so. Hopefully, it never will be, as then, we'll have auto-driving cars, and I *really* don't want those becoming common. I *like* to drive.

    Anyway, if you want a nav system which is at least upgradeable, get a GPS and a laptop. The combo will be cheaper than the built-in nav system, and you'll have a mobile computer to boot.

    However, I will admit to wanting the back up camera, yet don't want the nav system, which isn't available... Maybe some RX300's will be available, closeout....pfft, right.... <eye roll>
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    ...of hearing how the RX330 AWD system isn't any good. Well, here's some advice:

    Don't buy it.

    While you're at it, don't buy the Nav system either since it doesn't work for you. While it does for 99.99% of other RX owners.

    And you've tried to establish that that the Denso HVAC system is deadly dangerous.

    I highly recommend you don't buy it either.

    And you obviously know that Denso builds a lot more electronic modules in the RX beyond the HVAC system.

    Don't buy them either.

    In fact, it's absolutely amazing to me as a fairly logical-thinking person that you're ready, hey, ANXIOUS, to shell out $45k for a ANOTHER RX330 with defective (in your mind) AWD, HVAC, and other electronic modules.

    Not to mention your constant and repeated harping about the lousy map light, the poision gases emitted inside because of low-volume fresh air intake, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.

    All in all, this is a Killer Car for you.

    And you're still gonna lay 45 large on the table.

    Interesting thought process, doncha think?
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 495
    "Don't buy it."

    Well nobody comes here necessarily looking for advice. A lot of people, like myself, come here looking for discussion, info. from experiences others have had, etc.

    Sometimes, the discussion goes in a direction where some aspects of the cars being discussed is not always going to be seen in a favorable light.

    Most people come here for ALL information, not just the positive views of a car. If that's what someone wants, they might as well just see the commercials or pick up the manufacturer's brochure and then write the check.
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