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Lexus RX 330



  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    If "fun to drive" is an important criteria to you, why would you buy a model that doesn't meet your expectations? This is one element that you can easily judge from a single test drive.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    It's nearly impossible for a single SUV to meet everyone's expectations. Probably the one weak spot for the RX330 is in the "fun to drive" category. However, I still believe it performs reasonably well in that department when compared with many other SUVs, especially when equipped with the 18" rims.

    If one is willing to sacrifice some luxury, reliability, customer service, comfort, cargo space, and/or expense (initial cost and/or resale value) in order to have an SUV that is more fun to drive, there are other good choices. The FX45/35, X5, Cayenne, and Touareg come to mind. If utility isn't really needed, there are plenty of sedans that provide more smiles for the buck. The trend in our family these past few years is to have one sport sedan for the "smiles", and one quality SUV for all the other reasons. The RX330 fits the bill very nicely.
  • ctk1ctk1 Posts: 79
    steptronic and sport package. The 3.0 litter in line six is economy & fun enough. Want higher octane! get the 4.4 or even the new 4.8IS.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Yep, I completely agree with that. Want even more fun? I think the test drivers at both Car&Driver and Edmunds have said the 540i station wagon sport is more fun to drive than the X5 4.4i. They also claim the wagon provides more cargo space. (I haven't driven both, so I can't speak from experience.)

    Of course, there are some disadvantages of jumping to an X5. Although the driving experience is more fun, jumping from the RX330 to the X5 typically provides an increase in purchase price, less cargo space, lower fuel economy, a less compliant ride, and statistically worse reliability.
  • mb280mb280 Posts: 27
    Probably should have looked at the 540i but I don't think that has all or 4 wheel drive. The FX is fine except that that ride (if you want their nav package) is like a rock with the sport suspension. I can't understand Infiniti's marketing department in that regard.
  • serenoaserenoa Posts: 21
    I have had my RX330 about 6 weeks and am generally happy with it, but have one annoying problem. The cruising range aspect of the trip computer is so inaccurate as to be completely useless and all I get from the dealer so far is that you can't expect any more. I am getting 21.6 MPG on the computer and 20.2 by actual measurement. It only goes to slightly over 300 miles when I refuel and never increases as the fuel mileage increases. On the last refuel, it went to 303 miles. I traveled 321 miles to where the warning light on the gas guage came on. I refueled at once and it took only 15.8 gallons even tho' I really milked it. The range read 12 when the warning light came on, so the computer is even at odds with the guage, since apparently there were over 3 gallons left in the 19.2 gallon tank so that I could have gone about 380 miles.
       I will admit that I hate it when components just don't work especially when they are touted during the sales process. I have had 6 computers in various cars and altho' computing MPG is usually inaccurate (always high, never low), the range has always been reasonably accurate.
        I have not seen any posts on this subject. Does this mean that others are better than mine or does everyone grin and bear it or not pay any attention to it?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    believe it's the RX computer and not the one within the station fuel pump??

    The next time you refuel when the 19 gallon tank is supposedly empty and refueling is substantially less then drive around the block three times and then fuel again. You'll need about three more gallons....
  • So I'm not the only one with this problem. ... Cruising range is definately way off. Couple of weekends ago I left Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod for a return to Boston, about 112 miles away. Cruising range says 31 miles. It's late and I don't find an open gas station, am contemplating a call for roadside assistance when I finally find an open station at about 25 miles. It took 14 gallons.

    And I am suspicious of mileage but haven't cross checked it yet. Is there a way to check mileage if you don't trust the odometer? Haven't seen a "measured mile" around here.

  • rx4merx4me Posts: 58
    Anyone know why there is no functional lighter? Alot of people, including myself, would've found a functional lighter quite useful even though we may/are non-smokers. The lighter didn't have to be used only for lighting cigarettes. For example, during an emergency, it could be used to light a torch or something (don't know if it'd really work, though).
  • I have also noticed the same problems with my trip computer. And I have also had surprises when filling up. Based on mileage and the gas gauge I am always expecting to pump more fuel into the RX than I actually do.

    I'm not too concerned about this. To me, the computer is making an error on the side of caution. This is a good thing in my mind.... it forces my forgetful husband to put in gas a bit sooner. He would let the tank run dry if he knew the computer was wrong (hence I haven't mentioned it to him). And, if I really want to know exact mileage, I will calculate it manually by comparing actual miles traveled to total gallons pumped.
  • My wife has been complaining about this on the RX. She's been driving it for the last few weeks. I'll post more specifics later, but thought now was an appropriate time to add fuel to the fire.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Regarding the cruising range, our trip computer also errors on the side of caution. Haven't really taken the time to pay close attention, but such an error doesn't surprise me. According to my Acura service advisor, the MDX is set by default to count down to 0 miles when the gas tank has at least 20 more miles of cruising range. I had him adjust our MDX computer to remove the extra 20 mile bias. If my memory serves me correctly, he was able to adjust it via a specific pattern of trip computer and climate control button pushes. Don't know if the Lexus trip computer can be adjusted or not.
  • Anyone know where the sensor/probe is located on the RX 330 for the outside air temperature? Probably a dumb question, but hey, that's me! Turned 500 miles today and so far so good-no problems or real complaints. The only gripe I have is the lack of a detent or little gap above the sun visors - hard to pull them down-they get a lot of use here in sunny Las Vegas!
  • mb280mb280 Posts: 27
    I suppose it is better that errs on the side of caution, but I too have noticed that it is giving me a 3 to 4 gallon reserve.

    By the way which grade of gas are people using. My dealer said I could use regular and have not noticed any pinging or loss of power. At least that is one advantage over the ML.
  • My dealer also said to use regular which I do. No pinging.
  • rx4merx4me Posts: 58
    My dealer said to use super, but I've been putting regular. No pinging.
  • To buffnbou:
    The outside temperature sensor is located under the front bumper in the center on a vertical steel member. Look there and it's very visible. Now that you have found it you can you can forget about it and agree with my previous postings."This thing is worthless". It takes about 15 minutes after starting the vehicle to start and indicate an approximate temperature reading. Then for another half hour it may indicate any temperature that "it" wants. Never the correct reading. I pass an outside thermometer/clock sign on a bank that for many years has been "right on" with the time and temperature. My BMW's are within 1-2 degrees consistently. The RX330 is about 5 -10 degrees higher or lower, never the same. Even after driving for an hour!!! Another engineering marvel from the Japanese!!! They are so good at copying that you would think that they would have "blueprinted" the BMW's computer system and gotten it right. I would not have 4 gallons of fuel with 30 miles range indicated left!! They also should have copied the sliding/tilt moon roof controls and the memory seat functions with individual operator's keys. What about the overide for the left hand mirror that tilts??? How about the overpowering running lights?? Useless!! Oh yes, we must live with the rain sensor wipers that can not be turned off!! What about the "automatic" climate control that doesn't work unless you operated it manually?? Hey, I could go on complaining about this great vehicle with all of it's "minor" quirks, but I'm stuck with this vehicle for awhile. Just as mb280 indicated. Or maybe I can find someone to "unload" this uneventful very "soft" ride on. I'm still waiting for someone to let me know if they have pinched there finger in the outside door handle. Open the doors with your right hand and see what happens. Oh yes, The brake pads are great. I haven't had to clean the wheels. You see, I can praise the car!!! I give credit where credit is due. Love and Kisses, BMWbob
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I wonder...

    I have always thought the OAT needed some DSP.

    A direct input from the outside air temperature sensor to the HVAC ECU causes a malfunction.

    So IMMHO it would help if the vehicle had to be driven some minimum distance above a minimum speed before the OAT were considered valid.

    But still, I don't understand, the driver OAT indication could still be direct reading while the signal is digitally processed for validation for the ecu.
  • I was told that the computer remembers what the OAT (I assume that is "outside ambient temperature"?) was when the car was last shut off. It resumes operation at the remembered OAT until it has traveled enough distance (don't know what that distance is) to sense the new OAT and adjust. Explains some of my experience when my rx starts blowing cold air before it changes its mind and begins throwing heat or visa versa.
  • wwest indicates that after a fill up, if you drive around the block a few times then fill up again, you should be able to get another 3 gallons or so. If this is true, I believe it would indicate that there is no reserve for those folks that wait to fill up at the last minute.
    I'm only bringing this up because I'd hate to see someone get stuck somewhere thinking they had plenty of reserve.
  • To Katherine6:
    The OAT has no basis on the climate control system that regulates the interior comfort level. It is a "read only" indicator that doesn't work properly. The interior of the vehicle has a sensor that relays the information to the "automatic" climate control system. The climate control system is so faulty that is not possible to set a temperature level (72+ -) and maintain it. The operator has to regulate the temperature manually. This is why you are experiencing the cold air blowing in your face. As I have stated previously, "It is a failure and a complete engineering blunder".
    Now go open the door with your right hand and tell me if you had pinched you little finger?? Love and Kisses, BMWBob
  • serenoaserenoa Posts: 21
    I would think that the theory proposed by wwest in #1839 does not apply because the regular fuel guage works perfectly. I have tested it 3 times now by refueling as soon as the warning light comes on and have gotten between 3.1 and 3.4 gallons remaining in the tank. Using this assumption you can estimate your range very accurately the old-fashioned way. You just have to ignore the computer.
       If your idea applies, then the computer would be more accurate, but the gas guage would be way off. The fact is that the computer and the gas guage each tell a different story and are at odds with each other by about 50 miles.
       However, I will try your experiment at the next fill up.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

    The OAT sensor output signal has ALWAYS, 90 LS, been one of the parametric inputs to the Lexus automatic climater control systems. MY 92 LS still has a switch so that I can modify the signal (at 55F OAT the ECU "sees" a sub-freezing OAT) during the colder months so the A/C compressor NEVER cycles.

    And for ALL the Lexus vehicles in our "family", I ALWAYS rewire and relocate the OAT sensor so it cannot be influenced by the radiant heat for the nearby radiator and A/C condensor.

    The LS sensor fits nicely into the right front fascia under the bumper with several holes drilled for airflow. The RX sensor gets moved to below the bumper on the driver's side.

    On the hottest day of summer if you put the sensor (still connected to the system) in an ice bath the system will start up trying to heat the car.

    On a cold day it causes the system output to be warmer at startup and remain in the warming mode for a much longer period.

    Before I relocated the sensor away from the radiant heat sources and with the "sub-zero" switched on the A/C would still sometimes cycle briefly due to radiant heat in slow traffic or while stopped.
  • Yes. I have pinched my fingers in the door handle several times while entering the car. I find that if I start the car and hold my hand in front of my face, the blast of cold air from the vent reduces swelling of the injury by promoting vasoconstriction of the blood vessels of that area (see page 887 of the expanded RX manual).
  • Those excellent brakes really come in handy if you get the optional navigation system which forces you to come to a stop each time you need to use the navigation system.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I have heard that the government is now requiring that all new cellular phones have a built in GPS reciever/locator. Maybe they can/will also use it to determine that the phone user is in motion and force pulling to the side of the road.

    One can hope.
  • Great idea "wwest"! Let's use the GPS to disable the radio while the car is moving as well. And of course we must install smoke detectors to prohibit smoking (fiddling with such a detector in your car should be a felony...).

    A recent AAA study (reported by CNN and others) has it this way (ranking driver distraction):
    #1: Reaching, leaning, etc
    #2: Manipulating music/audio controls
    #3: Eating, drinking, etc.
    #4: Conversing
    #5: Grooming
    #6: Dealing with Passengers
    #7: Reading or writing
    #8: Using cell phone
    #9: Smoking

    So let's see, we also have to detect when people are talking and eliminate passengers. The latter should be easy. Just build cars with one seat.

    Even studies that put cell phone use as a high risk, also put radios high. So using the studies to ban cell phone use would require banning radio use as well.

    There is probably a better place to discuss this (certainly not in the RX forum). But I could not let the mindless suggestion of "wwest" go unchecked.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    I just use the rear power hatch to climb thru the vehicle to the driver's seat, bypassing the Killer Door Handles (KDHs).

    Pretty simple. Of course, it's important to not park too close to walls, trees, or other vehicles that would block the hatch from opening and require a trip to the ER after using the KDHs.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Gee, I don't know. It's not very often that I feel the need to defend Mr. West, especially when he writes about his Tim "the Toolman" exploits regarding rewiring sensors and climate control functions on brand new $50K vehicles, but this time I agree with him. I think damormino was a little too quick to jump on the ol' soapbox. ONE study doesn't provide conclusive evidence.

    How was this study performed? Was it representative of ALL drivers? How many drivers (in terms of %) use cell phones? In general, there is a higher percentage of people who eat, reach, and converse in their cars than talk on cell phones. I don't know for certain, but I'm guessing that is why cell phone usage was ranked lower in this study. It has a smaller offender representation. Same for smoking.

    These types of study are sometimes useful, but I have to go by my own experiences and my own eyes. I've seen too many vehicles with poor driving practices while the driver is chatting on his/her phone: such as unsafe lane changes, cutting people off, and driving aimlessly slow in the fast lane.

    I've also seen other studies by AAA that were real laughers, which is another reason why I am suspicious...
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Glad to see you are back! In my opinion, your humor is most welcome!

    I've got a better solution for the KDH syndrome. I think we need to start a recall campaign against Lexus to incorporate a robotic door opening function via the remote. Instead of merely unlocking the driver's door, a push on the "UNLOCK" button also OPENS the driver's door. Such a convenience might eventually lead to more car-jackings, but at least a car-jacking won't be as dangerous as them door handles.
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