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Lexus RX 330



  • wco81wco81 Posts: 542
    On the AWD system, I wonder if the hybrid version will be more balanced. I recall reading that the hybrid will have electric motors at each wheel, delivering torque which will give it better acceleration than the normal version.

    Toyota/Lexus was boasting that the hybrid version will deliver better gas mileage while giving it V-8 performance.

    Of course, if they deliver on all this, the hybrid premium will probably put it closer to 55k than 45k. The hybrid models, assuming they're all AWD, will probably come only with certain packages.
  • johngreisjohngreis Posts: 70
    Any new 330 owners out there know how many RPM's the engine does at 70 MPH???

  • laterldflaterldf Posts: 37
    The nav system on the RX330 is very similar to the one on the ES 300, but with some minor improvements in how it's set up. This is our 3rd vehicle with the nav. Needless to say, we wouldn't buy a vehicle without one now. But, a word of caution, the "Early Production 2004 RX 330" model is based on NavTech's 2001 version and the 2002 version of the "Points of Interest". I think an upgraded DVD is supposed to be available "soon" but don't know if the early model 330's will get a free update. Hope so. later, ldf
  • m45guym45guy Posts: 42
    The local Lexus dealer had one one the lot, and I managed to avoid looking in it, but I did have to take a 'brouchure' with me. Amazing detail, and I'm glad to know what some of the colors actually are, as their names were of -0- help. "Breakwater" helps me not at all, other than it *might* be related to blue...maybe.

    I am a bit miffed to find I can't get the huge moonroof with the 18" wheel package, but so it goes.

    Now, to keep my wife's eyes from it....
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I suspect that what Toyota/Lexus really means is that the coming RX330/e will give V8 performance with better fuel economy than an actual V8.

    I bought an 03 Prius late last year and now have the complete shop manual set.


    The very bottom line is that the only gain from a MPG standpoint is from the energy recovery due to regenerative braking. When accelerating you get the extra "boost" of the electric motor, but the battery power for that motor comes from two "sources".

    Source #1, the primary, comes from the gasoline engine when you're cruising along not using the full capability of the recip and the battery needs to be charged then that charging is done parasitically off the recip.

    Source #2, likely a very minor one out on the highway "cruising", applying "braking" via regenerative charging of the batteries. This source is clearly more productive in city driving thus the unusual highway/city MPG ratings, city being better than highway.

    The only way I can see for the use of regenerative braking/charging is if the brake pedal pressure is "reasonably" light, and of course even if the pedal pressure is heavy the battery can be charged until I have come to a complete stop.

    I can foresee a time in the future wherein I will need to keep my foot lightly on the accelerator pedal unless I want regenerative braking to take effect.

    But the important thing to remember is that using the recip to charge the batteries results in an overall loss in MPG. The only real gain for this mode (not to say that is an altogether small one in the long term) is being able to use a lighter/smaller/more economical recip.

    So I suspect that what you will see in the RX330/e is about the same gas mileage as the RX330, or maybe a tad less with the additional battery and motor weight, but performance equal to the Porsche Cayenne (No, not the Turbo).

    I would also like to think it would be a much more capable AWD system, recip FWD, electric rear, but maybe that's too much to hope for at this time.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    ...afterall, this board is not entitled "Happy Happy RX300/330 Owners Club."

    But when one poster repeats over and over again what the cons are, that apparently only affect him for some reason, it gets to be kind of preposterous.

    No, strike that - kind of humorous.

    Especially when the same poster buys the SAME VEHICLE THREE (3) TIMES. That I find to be not humorous - but hilarious.

    And complains endlessly about an HVAC system, designed by the same Toyota & Lexus supplier, that he has now purchased FIVE TIMES.

    Not to belabor the point...of course.
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 542
    "I suspect that what Toyota/Lexus really means is that the coming RX330/e will give V8 performance with better fuel economy than an actual V8."

    No better fuel economy than the regular RX330 or for that matter, most SUVs. IIRC, they estimated 35 MPG city. That is roughly double the mileage that the AWD gets in the city (

    Don't know what the Prius gets but the Civic hybrid is suppose to get 53 MPG in the city.

    They also said or implied that the torque from the electric motors in each wheel would improve acceleration. Perhaps that is why they boasted of V8 performance from presumably the same 230 HP V-6 which is in the regular models.

    But with the premium they'll probably charge on the MSRP plus whatever extra the dealers will charge in places like California, this hybrid RX330 may price itself out of its class.
  • rx4merx4me Posts: 58
    When you went in for your 1k service, did the service person mention anything about needing to have your oil changed prior to your 5k (or 7500k) service/oil change?

    To clarify for this board, the reason I'm asking is because I've heard conflicting info. as to needing to get the break-in oil (if there is any in the rx330 engine upon delivery) out at 1k miles, as is the case with many toyotas. Is there, or is there not, a break-in oil in the rx330 upon delivery that needs to be changed at or around 1k miles?

  • kmhkmh Posts: 143
    Drove by Lexus of San Antonio and saw about 7-10 (at least) RX330s on the new car lot. Most were gold or white and I believe I saw one in black. Happy hunting!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The Prius electric motor generates 400 ft/lbs of torque below 1000 RPM, damn GOOD startup acceleration. The honda only has an 8HP electric motor, something closer to what can be gained, recovered, with regenerative braking, therefore a significantly better MPG rating.

    Unless T/L can remove a really significant level of weight and/or drag for an RX/e version I cannot buy into 35 MPG. Assuming it also retains a roadbed traction coefficient appropriate to an AWD SUV.

    Even if I "nursed" my RX on the highway, I don't think I could get better than 24 MPG.

    An RX with 35 MPG.......CITY(?)...

    Leap of faith, that is.

    And I'm going to surprised, or stunned actually, if the front wheels aren't driven directly from the recip.
  • laterldflaterldf Posts: 37
    RPM's of 2100 at a steady 70 mph. By the way, I haven't noticed any of the transmission problems evidenced in the ES 300's. Very smooth. later, ldf
  • johngreisjohngreis Posts: 70
    Thanks laterldf. Boy, thats quite a drop from my 2000. That turns at 2800 RPM at 70 MPH.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Not to disbelieve but Lexus says the final drive ratio increased, RX330 is closer to 4:1, RX300 was 2.92 and 3.12 (F/R--R/F??), to give RX330 more low end gumption. Unless overdrive ratio is REALLY serious then what have I missed?

    Wheel circumference is approx. 88 inches means tires must rotate 840 times/minute at 70MPH. 3:12 final drive ratio gives 2620 RPM. RX330 with a higher final drive ratio would mean higher engine RPM at equal speed.
  • laterldflaterldf Posts: 37
    I noticed that a 2003 RX I drove the other day was turning @ 3000 rpm while on cruise at 70 mph. There is a noticeable difference in the way the 2004's ride, drive, and handle IMHO. I think my RX 330 is noisy but the 2003 was worse. It had 3700 miles on it (and was a dealer loaner). laterldf
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Final drive ratios are not "ring and pinion" ratios but typically quoted relative to engine RPM as relates to driven wheel rotation. If I take the measured circumference of the tires on my 01 AWD RX300 and calculate the engine RPM at 70MPH it comes out within 5% of the actual tachometer reading.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The RX300 final drive ratios are 3.291 front (not 3.12 posted earlier) and 2.928 rear. Since the front recieves 90% of the engine torque I used the 3.291 front ratio to arrive at an RPM of 2860 at 70 MPH.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    Drove by a dealer two days ago and they have one at the lot and it was already sold. Took the brochure. Car manufacturers need to be more creative in ext. colors. Based on the color samples in the RX brochure, all the dark colors look the same and same goes the light colors. So the color choices for the new RX are - almost black and almost gold. Stopped by the Porsche dealer and drove the Cayenne and it was WOW!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    can be ordered in Wimbledon Green...
    As in:

    But winter's over, the X3 and the SRX are coming before the next snow flys.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    DAMN...Double Damn!

    The new RX330's rear suspension clearance is if anything even tighter than the RX300!

    Overall the vehicle is very much an engineering work of art, automotive artform anyway.
  • carboy84carboy84 Posts: 2
    Being one of the only RX 330 owners on this forum and a past owner of an M-Class I value your opinion quite a bit and have a few questions for you.

    Did you hesitate buying the first model year of the RX 330 after what had happened with the first year M-Class? I understand that they are two totally different brands, but did you have any concerns and if so, what convinced you to buy so early?

    I have also noticed that you have had a problem with the wind/road noise, how would you compare it to your M-Class? I too have a M-Class that I think has quite a bit of wind noise and I would hope that there is less in the RX.

    What do you think of the Mark Levinson sound system, and was it a big improvement from the system in your M-Class.

    I apologize for all the questions, however, I want to make sure that I am making the right decision in buying a: first year model, and buying something else than another ML 320.

    Any other thoughts/problems that you have experienced with the car would be greatly appreciated so that I feel that I am making the right decision.

    Thanks for your input
  • laterldflaterldf Posts: 37
    Carboy 84
    Yes, I did have some trepidation about buying a first year model, but IMHO Lexus has proved itself adept in maintaining their usual quality in these models. Plus, I see it as more of a refinement of the 300's rather than a newly designed one.

    I wanted a performance package with the nav but found out that at least initially, these limited models were not being offered in our region (midwest) and that it'd take at least 4 months to get one. That would push the date back to Aug/Sept. That's when the Ontario plant is supposed to come on line to build the 330's and I preferred to get one built in Japan. So I took the one of two not "presold" units coming in during March/April and because it'd be several more weeks before more unsold models would arrive at my dealers (not that I didn't trust my salesman but I asked to look at their allocation sheets).

    My 330 is a little noisier than the ML 430 I traded in. But another RX330 I test drove was quiter. But the 330 needs more sound insulation. Otherwise, it compares very favorably to ML 430, even in performance. The interior is definitely better and with the nav/backup camera, tilt down mirrors, and correct settings of the side mirrors, I don't believe there are any "blind spots" as some have reported. My wife says that the Mark Levinson is better than the Bose unit in the ML.

    The only problem so far (1000 miles)is the roof rack rail that keeps popping up at one end and the noise (which may not be "fixable", but I remember after the M-class came out, M-B retrofitted the early models with double door seals and more insulation).

    The roof racks are installed at the port and NOT part of the factory build. My door locks will have to be reprogrammed by the dealer because because when the driver's door is opened, the other doors remain locked unless you manually flip the unlock button or use the key feature. You can't reprogram it yourself (that I'm aware of).

    Overall, the RX330 is definitely a higher quality vehicle than my 2000 ML 430. By this time with it I had to take it back to the dealer several times to fix things. IMHO other M-B's have suffered the same poor quality and reliability as the M-class (according to JD Powers & Consumers Report, among other sources), even the E and S-classes. Hopefully, Lexus will maintain their stellar reputation. Another note, Lexus has treated us far better (we bought my wife's ES 300 from them a year ago)than did M-B. later, ldf
  • 243243 Posts: 6
    I am debating between buying the X5 3.0 and RX330. The reviews for the RX330 are great but I would rather hear from customers who have driven both. I am leaning towards the 330 especially since the price is $10000+ less for better features. Any comments.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    My guess is that you would truly need AWD at some point and while the RX330 is a beautiful expression of automotive art it will never stand up to the X5 for AWD capability.
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    I went to Lexus Event and drove both vehicles. X5:
    Plus: sporty handling, look?
    Minus: poor cargo space, small rear seat, lousy gas milage, heavy, very expansive

    Plus: Superb quality, quiet, faster, roomy, reasonable price, gas milage, and luxurious, rear look?.
    Minus: rear look?

    IMO, luxury is the only way to travel in the US freeway. Unless you bring your car to the race track, buy BMW X5.
  • samangsamang Posts: 43
    Keep in mind, the hybrid RX will have the new generation hybrid system that both honda and toyota are competing to commercialize.

    Prius/Insight power vs MPG will not compare to what the new hybrids will have. These earlier cars are basically to prove hybrids to be commercially feasible.

    Acura will have a 400HP V6 hybrid, I suspect for the new NSX. I expect a Toyota V6 hybrid to produce about 300-350 HP in the RX, and still have MPG equivalent to a 4 cylinder import. Yes, 4 cylinder.
  • samangsamang Posts: 43
    This guy wwest has been complaining about Lexus cars, engineering, etc, etc. Quit whining and buy a Hummer. No toxic gasses, super AWD with multiple settings, will even survive a nuclear blast. He should be happy in it.

    I realize this forum is not meant for personal attacks, but wwest insulted all users of nav first. Just because you don't have one/don't know how to use one/pants on too tight/whatever reason, doesn't mean he can call nav users idiots who can't read a map. Ever heard of spontaneous road trips with your loved one? How about a sales professional who drive all over the country on sales calls.

    With regard to not being a happy happy lexus forum. I agree, I want to hear about transmission issues, road noise, pricing, availability, etc. Who cares about front biased or rear biased AWD? Many of us are buying the 2wd. Even if we are interested, we dont need to hear it 15 million times. There must be an AWD transmission forum somewhere he can go to.

    I wish Lexus will build him an RX with no windows (so it can't fog up), no AC (so it can't kill him with toxic gasses, won't need one with no windows anyway); no transmission, just give him one forward, and one reverse, driving all for wheels equally; no suspension, just springs on his seats. Maybe then he will quit bitching. Any Lexus reps out there? Can this be done PLEEEEASE?

    Sorry. That's all. No more comments from me. I will use the down key from now on when I see WWEST posts.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    the $45k hasn't yet been paid nor the RX330 delivered yet...

    "DAMN...Double Damn! The new RX330's rear suspension clearance is if anything even tighter than the RX300!"

    Gonna be hard pressed to mount them 22" rims but, on the bright side, there's more room inside the RX330 for the new twin set of 18" woofers...

    Relax; this just gets funnier and funnier.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I have been very careful not to respond to derogatory posts in any way other than to address the core issues, and I certainly have NEVER called Nav users idiots, nor disparaged them in any way otherwise.

    I do have a nav system in my RX and I do know how to use it and none of the complaints I have made about the Nav have anything to do with its lack of "human interface" features or capabilities.

    And again, none of the nav problems I have related indicate that those problems relate to lack of operator capability or stupidity.

    Unlike some others I tend to think when a automotive function doesn't work as expected and/or as one's life's experienced has "taught", the fault lies with the manufacturer, not "operator error".
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    ----- Original Message -----
    To: Willard West
    Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2003 2:45 PM
    Subject: RX330 [Incident: 030303-000001]

    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 <===]
    Last night I visited Lexus of Bellevue to see the new RX330. When I checked the rear tire suspension clearance it appeared to me to be even tighter than the RX300.
    As you can see below you previously told me that the new RX330 "should" have enough clearance to permit the use of snowchains on the rear and on that basis I went ahead and had my salesman put me on the "list". Was your statement a mistake or is there a later mod coming that increases the clearance?
    Willard West

    [===> Please enter your reply above this line <===]

    If your issue remains unresolved, please update this question here.

     Discussion Thread
     Response (Denise Academia) 03/11/2003 02:45 PM
    Dear Mr. West:

    Thank you for contacting the Lexus Customer Satisfaction Department regarding the
    2004 RX 330.

    The vehicle will have front, center and rear differentials, without the use of a Limited Slip Differential (LSD), in the center differential. The vehicle will not require the viscous coupling because traction control and vehicle skid control will transmit power to the appropriate wheels upon detection of wheel slippage. Also, the RX 330 should have enough rear wheel suspension clearance for the use of snow chains.

    If you have any further concerns, 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.

    Denise Academia
    Customer Satisfaction Representative
     Customer (Willard West) 03/06/2003 03:45 PM
    No answer yet ???
     Customer (Willard West) 03/03/2003 01:00 PM
    Dear Sir,

    The early press releases indicated the new RX330 eliminates the center viscous clutch in favor of a Sequoia-like brake modulation AWD torque apportioning system. I have already placed my order for the RX330 (to replace my wannabee AWD 01 RX300) based on the above information.

    Now I note that and are both indicating the viscous clutch is a holdover on the RX330.

    Which is the truth?

    Willard West

    PS: Will the RX330 have enough rear wheel suspension clearance such that I can use snowchains (rear only or all 4) without be threatened with loss of control?
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