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Lexus RX 350

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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Back when the RX330 first came out I was seriously considering trading up so I purchased the Lexus shop/repair manuals.

    What I discovered was that while the advertising information indicated that the RX330 still used the viscous clutch across the center diff'l to "stiffen up" the otherwise flaccid coupling to the rear driveline in actually it did not, there was no VC in the RX330 series.

    When I contacted Lexus about the "disconnect" between marketing and engineering the information at Lexus .com was corrected.

    Now fast forward to the introduction of the RX350 series.

    The Lexus.com information for the RX350 indicated that the VC was back in use on the RX350, it still does today.

    I recently had reason to rejoin the techinfo.toyota.com information site and on something of a whim looked up the matter of the VC in use for the RX350.

    The '08 Lexus RX350 shop/repair manuals indicate there is NO VC in use for the '07 or '08 model year RX350.

    I contacted Lexus via the "chat" procedure and at the moment they tell me that they are looking into the matter.

    For those of you who have purchased an AWD RX350 thinking you had a more satisfactory F/AWD system than simple TC (Traction Control) "limited slip" (moderate braking of the slipping [front] wheels accompanied by simultaneous engine dethrottling) you may very well have a legitimate claim against Lexus for false advertising.

    I'll post when (or IF) Lexus gets back to me with an answer.
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    When we were in the market to buy car last year, we were looking to buy either ES350 or RX350. I was leaning towards RX but my wife wanted to go for ES. Since, it was for her, we bought ES. I would like to know if there are guys out there who are in the same situation as I was and what did they buy and for what reasons. My wife did not like the looks of the RX inside as well as outside. She thought it looked small from the outside and design outdated. She said that the ES looks more luxirours than the RX inside and outside. She liked the dash layout, ignition, more leg room in rear, steering wheel, etc of ES while the RX had cheap plastic for buttons. I thought both were equally good but went with ES hoping to buy redesigned RX in 2008 but I have to wait for one more year as the new RX will be available as 2010 model.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The online technical specifications and the sales brochures, dealer supplied and online e-brochure, for the RX350 continue to state that the AWD system is based on the VC, Viscous Clutch, across the center diff'l. The Lexus shop/repair manuals at techinfo.toyota.com indicate the VC is NOT used in the later models, the RX330 & RX350.

    The following was in my email archives....

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - ----------------------------------------

    ...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 Please enter your reply above this line http://lexus.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/lexus.cfg/php/enduser/acct_login.php?p_userid=- - west@strobedata.com&p_next_page=myq_upd.php&p_refno=041026-000006&p_created=1098- - 835191

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    Response (Richard Hollingsworth) - 10/27/2004 09:41 AM
    Dear Mr. West,

    Thank you for contacting Lexus Customer Satisfaction regarding the 2005 RX 330. We appreciate your interest in this vehicle.

    Per our technical department, the 2005 RX 330 does not have a viscous coupling LSD. The vehicle has adopted a full-time all-wheel drive system. We are sorry for the misinformation.

    If you would like to discuss your concerns further, 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.

    Sincerely,
    Richard Hollingsworth
    Lexus Customer Satisfaction

    Customer (Willard West) - 10/26/2004 04:59 PM
    The current 2005 RX330 e-brochure indicates that the 2005 AWD RX330 has the viscous coupling again.

    Is this actually true or is this a typo?

    Willard West
  • Praz, since the ES350 was a new generation model that came out last year, one can see where maybe the interior particularly may seem more updated compared to the interior of the RX350.
    I'm sure the next gen. RX350 will have some similar updated features such that the ES350 does.

    However, I think the current gen RX350 has a very nice-looking
    interior for a luxury SUV and I still like the exterior styling also.
    I chose the opposite when test-driving these two vehicles -- actually, I test-drove three Lexus vehicles; the IS250, ES350 and
    the RX350. I liked the RX the best and I'm still enjoying it a year-and-a-half later! Good luck and enjoy your Lexus!
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    People buy vehicles they like so you might have bought your RX for a reason as I did mine. Hope you are enjoying your RX and will not regret your decision taken year-and-a-half ago when 2010 RX is released at the New York auto show. Hey thanks, we are enjoying our ES and hope to keep it for at least 10 years. Are you planning to buy your RX after the end of your lease, year-and-a-half later or go for 2010 RX? Can't wait to see the re-design of the new RX, the bench mark of luxury SUV's. Will trade my Nissan for the 2010 RX (if better than Highlander or Venza, hopefully it will) when it will be released sometime next year. Good day to you!!!
  • jav08jav08 Posts: 3
    I just purchased a new RX350 and when I first start the engine in the morning, it sounds fine, but as soon as I put it into gear, the engine/transmission is extremely loud for the first minute or so until it warms. I took it for service, but they said this was normal??

    I have a Highlander and Pilot, but neither do this, they start with no noise when I put them in gear. I was expecting a notch better when I bought Lexus, but it seems strange that this would be normal? Does anyone else notice this symptom in AM? Thanks.
  • I bought my wife an ES330 back in 2005 to replace her ES300 which was 10 years old. I have ordered a RX350 that will be here in a week from another dealer (dealer swap). My wife rode in a similar RX350 that I am going to get an she has fallen in love with it and wants to trade me when it gets here. I was thinking that the RX was not a very "manly" SUV and was leaning toward a Highlander but after some serious and realistic thoughts, my days of running in the mud and up power lines in a FWD SUV are over. I do hunt and occasionally run into snow and mud but we are talking forest roads not the outback of Africa. The Highlander is just a RX with less luxury, less warranty and I would guess not the service that Lexus owners experience. The 2009 RX350 is unchanged from the 2008 except the same options will run you $1500 more. There is a Pebble Beach option that is not available in 2008.
  • Hi catdaddylong,

    What options cost more in the 2009 RX vs 2008? The option costs appear identical. The only change is the MSRP of of the vehicle, the price increased slightly. (For example, its only $100 higher for AWD).
  • rpacrpac Posts: 83
    Hello jav08. I read with interest your post on the noise you are experiencing upon first start up of the day. Now, let me tell you, I am a Lexus nut. They come out with a new color and I buy it. That's probably why I am always broke. But I would never drive another model car than the RX350. Every RX I have owned has done the same thing you speak of in the morning. Sometimes, I get in and start the car and let it sit for a few minutes while I go thru the days paper work I have to do. Then by the time it is warmed up I experience no unusual noises. Guess it''s normal as they say. One other thing the dealer told me. When I start the car in the morning do not shift gears until the RPM has dropped to at least 1000 RPM. Good luck and happy driving. Good post! :)
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    He is right, it is better when you let the rpm to drop to at least 1000rpm. Also, as the doors lock when the gear is changed from "P" you might hear unusual noise.
  • Ever since I got my '07 RX350 back from 15K service late last year, it developed a vibration at the steering wheel that felt terrible and at times unsafe when traveling at freeway speed. I can't recall having the vibration before 15K service.

    The dealer looked at the problem 4 times now. They re-balanced the tires twice, changed to a new set of 4 tires, checked suspension and brake but the vibration is still there. Above 55 mph, you can feel a slight vibration. When I get an incline or decline and over 70+mph, it gets unbearable. Of course, the last time, they claim they can't reproduce it even after my specific instruction. They only drove 5 miles for the entire service; doubt they try too hard.

    I am tired of not able to get to the root. I even think there might be a loose screw or some engine or transmission mounts or CV boots that are loose or something. But, dealer said they are all fine.

    Does anyone has any similar experience or suggestion?
  • Carlo, I picked the same options for a 2008 RX350 and a 2009 RX350 and I was going by the Edmunds True Market Value as to what the cost difference would be for my area. The 2009 model TMV is $41,027 and the 2008 is $39,402. Actually a $1625 difference. This is what the real world cost is when buying. I was just pointing out that there is no difference between the two model years and it makes more sense to get a 2008 model while you can, other wise expect to pay about $1500 more for the 2009 for the same options.
  • For those who have bought after market all weather floor mats and cargo mats to protect the carpet what brands did you buy. I have seen the Husky liners and the Weather Tech and have not made up my mind as to which one to go with. Are there some other brands that you have found to be better and if you bought one of the two fore mentioned mats were you aware of the other and what persuaded you to buy one over the other ?
  • rpacrpac Posts: 83
    Hello Catdaddylong - Interesting post. Maybe I can help. Forr years I have fooled around with cheap smelly plastic mats, until one day I discovered a company called Exact Mats in Katy, Texas. So far I have used them in a RX330 and two RX350's. They are very strong and do not smell and they hold their shape very well. The mats are made to each vehicles specifications. Some Lexus dealers are now selling them at a mark up of course. I live in L.A. and I have been up in the snow etc and the mats exceed their expectations. If you wish I can give you exact details on who to contact in Texas to get a good deal. They know me quite well as I have purchased many mats from them. And no, I do not get a comission from recomending them. If your local Lexus dealer carries them get the price and then compare with the factory prices. They ship right to your door. Good people I would say. Hope this helps. Happy driving! Incidentaly they are clear mats so the beauty of your Lexus mats are always visable. :)
  • Hi catdaddylong,

    Thanks for the claification, I thought you were talking about MSRP in your original post, not TMV.
  • erik_herik_h Posts: 77
    There are a couple of things to look at.

    1) Did you rotate your tires, try rotating them back.
    2) Did the dealer over torque the lug nuts ?
    3) Did you have your brakes worked on.
    4) Did you have any flats, especially on rear tires, your rim could get bent slightly.
    5) Does your dealer use a road force balancing machine like the Hunter 9700 ?

    I had a similiar issue with my RX and it went away after I replaced the brake rotors. I don't know if it #2 or #3 on the list but it got much better with new rotors.
  • Thanks for the info. PM on the way.
  • My RX350 does the same thing, jav08, and, yes, it's usually a little more pronounced on a colder morning, although I do live in
    Florida, so it wouldn't be as cold as it is up north. But I do have a
    little noise factor going on that goes away once the car has warmed up and then the car is super quiet. None of my other cars, i.e., Nissans that I've had in the past have done this. I think
    this is a trait in the 3.5 liter Toyota engines.
  • Praz, yes, I am considering buying my RX at the end of its lease.
    I still have a few more years left to go on the lease, but right now,
    although I am interested in some new vehicles out there, i.e., Mazda CX-9, or the Infiniti FX, these vehicles are still missing a few little extra accoutriments that I have on the RX, plus the Mazda has a shorter warranty and the RX does better on gas mileage than these vehicles.
    So right now there's not a vehicle out there that I would want to switch from the RX to yet. Of course, there is the Infiniti G37 Coupe, which I am in love with, but am a little too chicken about going back into a two-door car - a totally different car from a crossover SUV!! :blush:
  • jav08jav08 Posts: 3
    Hey rpac, Thanks for the feedback. Everything else about the car is great, so it was strange when they said that this was normal. As I said, I was not expecting this with a Lexus, but now that I know that I am not the only one, then it must be normal for these engines. I will keep an eye out on the 1K RPM too.

    I also heard that they have a new Matador Red color for '09 - maybe time for you to upgrade again?!?
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