Lexus RX 350

wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
Bad: It does not use the new DFI, direct fuel injection.

Good(?): The VC, Viscous clutch, is back.


  • bwalbornbwalborn Member Posts: 2
    About two weeks ago I heard from a local dealer that the 350s would be on the lot "any day". Still nothing here. Has anybody heard an actual release date?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    I was told RX350 were on site but being held back to clear RX330 overstock.
  • Firebird_EOUFirebird_EOU Member Posts: 250
    I'd like more info on this since Lexus mentioned it has much higher resolution. Any pictures would be appreciated and functional enhancements over RX330 nav.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    how overstocked is Lexus on these? I thought the RX was their best seller.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Member Posts: 402
    I was able to test drive an RX 350 at dealer in SF Bay Area on Saturday, March 11. I'm intending to buy one, but don't yet see units available with Performance Package (when I try to build one online, the PP option doesn't yet show as one I can pick). Anyone else drive one yet?
  • killerpiecekillerpiece Member Posts: 56
    Sorry, can't say I have. I had heard something about the Canada plant stopping production of RX's w/ the PP, but that could have been for the RX330, and I could have heard wrong, so don't get too worried. ;)

    On a separate note, did you experience any difference with the transmission? How about squeaks or rattles?

    Killerpiece :shades:
  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    The new viscous coupled center differential appears to be an improvement for off road capability. I read a note in a review on the RX330 about the braking system and traction control working in concert to avoid wheelspin, which I assume is retained in the 350.

    Are there any sources of information on how these systems work? Or opinions on how much capability this might add?

    This could put the RX back in the running against the Touareg for me (which has a locking center and rear diff).
  • dardson1dardson1 Member Posts: 696
    We lucked into our new 350. While negotiating for an 06, four 07's rolled onto the lot. One thing lead to another and we bought a 350 about 4 weeks ago. The 07 is a quantum leap from our 04 RX330. The new RX is officially a Lexus and no longer a buzzy, slightly rattle prone, and too loud rebadged Toyota sold by Lexus. Absolutely love the car. It does nothing wrong and it's a joy to drive. :):):)
  • la4meadla4mead Member Posts: 347
    Tell us, please, specifically which packages your new RX350 came with, what deal you were able to work out, and what region of the country you live in... We are nosey and are hoping you will share this good experience with us to help when we head to the dealer!

    Thanks for the report.
  • dardson1dardson1 Member Posts: 696
    What I did was negotiate an 06 that appeared to be $900+ over invoice. As I mentioned, I simply asked how much more the very same vehicle in the 07 version would be. When they offered it for $1400 more, it took me about 30 seconds to say "yes".
    My local dealer is Alderson Lexus/Cadillac/BMW, Lubbock Texas. This is my 3rd trade with them. These guys are nothing like anywhere I've ever traded. They are perfectly happy to allow me to find a buyer for my trade, buy the car from me when I've found one, and sell it to my buyer with no added charges. Therefore, my trade on this deal was all the money. They made "nada" on it. Interesting business practice, isn't it? It keeps me going back.
    Point is, there was no money left on the table so it was like a no-trade buy. Sticker on the car:
    2007 9420A RX 350 5-DR SUV $37400
    18" wheels $495
    Heated seats, rain sensing wipers, and headlamp washers $665
    Nav w/bluetooth and backup camera $2650
    Premium Plus Pkg $2960
    Tow Prep Pkg 160
    Cargo Mat $92
    Wheel Locks $66
    total $44,488
    freight $695
    grand total $45183
    Our deal sheet that showed our trade at what we sold it for (via their generous pass-through) listed the 07 @ $41,950. According to Edmunds, that's right close to $2500 over invoice. I considered that a do-able deal on a high resale vehicle with 18mo before the next model comes out.
    Good luck, all. The 07 is a winner! :)
  • la4meadla4mead Member Posts: 347
    Congrats on the great car with all the new improvements, and the great deal on such a newly improved model.

    I hope it will last you for many years.

    Thanks for sharing the info!
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Your base question remains a puzzle for me.. "how can the traction control system and the VC be made to work in concert?"

    In my 2001 AWD RX300 I'm quite sure the traction system kicks in immediately upon front wheelspin and applies braking to the slipping wheels and quickly dethrottles the engine.

    The VC requires a period of time, hundreds of milliseconds, of front to rear disparate driveline rotational rates in order to become operational, firm up the locking coefficient across the center differential.

    With the traction system kicking in so quickly it seems improbable that the VC ever comes into play. Since loss of traction at the front, primary drive wheels, can QUICKLY become hazardous it is completely understandable that the traction control is so quick to kick in and moderate the slippage. Obviously once the brakes are being used to moderate slippage the engine must be dethrottled to prevent brake rotor overheating and subsequent warping.

    It will be interesting, indeed, to see how Lexus resolves this "catch 22".

    Buy the Touareg....

    Or the X3...

    Or even the new Acura RDX.
  • killerpiecekillerpiece Member Posts: 56
    It's really good see that this thread isn't dead!!!!!

    Killerpiece :shades:
  • denali1denali1 Member Posts: 21
    My wife just took delivery on the RX 350 two days ago.
    She really likes it so far. She test drove it twice before signing the papers. I did most of the dealing thru email.
    The dealer initially received two 350's, but this week obtained 3 or 4 more. Interesting that they have just one 330 left. They offered it at $600 over invoice. With the improvements in the'07, and the fact the '06 is the older model now, we had an easy decision. And they took $2K off sticker....not great, but we were surprised they were dealing at all.
    Ride is smooth as butter. Flint gray on exterior, black inside.
    Let me know if you have any questions. :)
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    Does the 350 drive significantly different from the 330?
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Member Posts: 402
    Last month I drove an RX 350 shortly after they had arrived at dealer here in N. California. I have no comparison point, not having driven earlier models, but during the 1980s and 1990s I almost always owned and drove an SUV of one make or another. I had the RX fixed in my mind as one purchased, in large proportion, by women (actually, Lexus claims a 50/50 gender split among purchasers). I thought it was perfect for the various needs I have now, but wanted to drive one with Performance Package. The dealer called Friday and said: "We don't expect any in the foreseeable future. Also, you should know that we had a lot of negative reports from customers who had the 330 P Package. I'm somewhat reluctant to resign myself to total automatic driving and wonder if anyone has been driving the 330 with PP and/or has heard anything about when 350s with PPs might start arriving?
  • irisheyes44irisheyes44 Member Posts: 15
    Wondering what type of fuel the RX350 takes,87,89,91or93?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Gee, a car salesman denigrating something he doesn't have available to sell, strange, that.

    Just remember that the RX is not an SUV as you experienced back then, it is what it is. If you truly need SUV capability, not off-road, but for adverse roadbed conditions the new Acura RDX will undoubtedly be the best of the lot, and the BMW X3 second.

    Actually if the firmware "dynamics" are correctly or well done the RX400h might be a close second to the RDX's adverse roadbed capability.
  • la4meadla4mead Member Posts: 347
    I too, am very curious about others experiences with either the 330 or 350 with Performance Package. I had a few opportunities to drive a RX330's back to back with and without "PP", and was impressed with the slight difference.

    Later, when I looked around, I found there wasn't much inventory, perhaps previous owned. I'm curious about owners experiences good or bad.

    Off-road capability is/was not a factor for me. Mostly looking at how dependable/durable the system was and if you were happy with the improvement in handling.

    Did you normally leave the ride height in the lower setting rather than "auto"?

    Did you like the lower profile tires? (I don't mind a little harsher ride in such a soft vehicle)...
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Member Posts: 402
    Hello, wwest .... yes, I figure the salesman doesn't want me to take a wait and see attitude. Maybe I'll look around to see if there's a used 330 with PP so I can at least get a feel for how Lexus implements that technology.

    I don't need real SUV off-road capability, but I am intrigued with the forthcoming RDX anyway. What have you heard about it as competition for the RX? The only AWD moments I encounter are rain and the occasional short stretch of dirt road, so my needs are AWD-lite.

    Thanks for the conversation about this.
  • la4meadla4mead Member Posts: 347
    Please keep us posted if you find a 350 with PP to drive, and what you find out. I'm looking forward to know how it will be optioned (what other packages, equipment on it).

    Although a cut above other RX's, I don't expect the handling to be as sharp as the RDX, but the two are have different attributes. The RDX will be a new model, likely with a few bugs to sort out here and there. It has great technology in the areas Acura has developed (like traffic and surround sound).

    On the other hand, the RX is a redesigned model on a proven platform with the likelihood of a smooth ownership experience (kinks worked out), and the RX's technology emphasizes making the car interface with the driver easier on an daily and ongoing basis.

    I am really looking forward to the RDX and CX7 when the real cars are out!...
  • dardson1dardson1 Member Posts: 696
    I can only speak to my wife's x 04 330 and her new 07 350. Oddly, it is the same color inside and out. It looks identical except for the Nav screen in the new one. I always thought her 04 felt like a rebadged Toyota. Her 07 feels like a Lexus. . .amazingly quiet, surprisingly quick, and smooth as butta as it ought to be. They've nailed this car.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    So the 04 330 wasn't quiet, or quick, or smooth?

    Strange how an engine can make all the difference in the world...
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    I had pretty much settled on the RDX for my next SUV-lite (SUV-l....??) purchase but the "business" of the panel/dash was very off-putting. Additionally I have an inate reluctance to leave the Lexus "fold".

    So at the moment my purchase is on hold until I get to at least test drive the RDX and see what the 2007 RX400h has to offer.

    And now that the VC is "back" in the RX350 I'm very curious to see how the inherent conflict between full control of/by traction control and the use of a VC will be worked out.

    My 2001 AWD RX300 has both, traction control and a VC, but I'm pretty sure the functionality of its traction control is such that the VC can never self-heat to a level sufficient to bring it into functionality.
  • hbc75hbc75 Member Posts: 37
    I have to put my two cents in here. Two of my family members purchased '04 Lexi RX330, and haven driven both on opposite coasts, I can tell you this. The seacoast Oregon hills made the RX scream to get up them, and was not a good fit for towing. In fact, they traded it in a year later for the GXV8 version. The other RX resides in the hills of Connecticut and the shifting isn't as smooth as the '07. I drove the '07 two weeks ago, and was very highly impressed by the new engine. It's quicker off the mark, and the gears seem to shift at lower rpm's so that the engine doesn't buck as it does in the '04. Still, both are very nice, but the '07 also seemed so smooth in turning, did they do something different for the roll effect to not be so greatly pronounced as in the previous models? Just a thought, but if I can get as good of a deal on an '07 w/ nav and prem. plus pkg, I am going to go for it. I thought the Nav screen was much more clear than in the past version. I even drove a hybrid by the push of the salesman just for the "experience", and it was just that. If you get a chance to drive a Hybrid, I recommend it, it will freak you out when you are idling, you think the car has stalled, but it is just as quick as the '07 engine! I can't justify the extra 3k spend, but hey.... to each their own.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    May I suggest buying an RX400h but without the GPS/Nav to even the prices out and get a Garmin that you can use even in rental cars.
  • denali1denali1 Member Posts: 21
    We didn't drive the RX400h nor the 06 RX330 before purchasing the 350. I think if anyone wants the Hybrid, it makes some sense to skip the Navigation to save some money.
    I believe the 07 we saw with the Navigation pkg included the Bluetooth, voice activation, and the backup camera.
    Just didn't seem worth it to me.
    One of the car magazines is doing a comparison on the Honda and Toyota hybrid sedans. They claim one would have to drive the Camry hybrid over 100K miles to save enough fuel to pay for the extra price of the vehicle.
    Fuel savings isn't the only reason for going with a hybrid I guess, but I can't justify the extra expense for me.

    BTW, the RX350 is one of the quietest vehicles I have ever driven.
  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    yeah- but with the built in Nav system, you get the **backup camera.** I'd use that every day! -whereas the Nav system, only once in a while.
  • 46494649 Member Posts: 24
    I agree, I have the 04 RX330 and use the back-up camera everyday. You would be surprised how often you use the Nav system! I am thinking about upgrading to the 350 once I hear some more feedback on this forum!!

  • dardson1dardson1 Member Posts: 696
    the 04 was plenty quick, but NO, it was not exceptionally quiet and smooth in the stunning way that Lexus typically separates itself from a Toyota sibling. I'm saying the larger engine moves this car more quickly with less noise and more authority. IMHO they've done a ton of work to quiet this car to Lexus standards.
  • denali1denali1 Member Posts: 21
    Besides the 350 that my wife just bought, we have an 06 Toyota Avalon. It also is on the quiet side. At least all that have been passengers have commented on the quietness.
    Bought both vehicles from the same dealer. Dealer says both have the same engine. Was also told the windshield is a little thicker on the 350 than the previous model. I am sure there are other reasons for its quietness as well.
    In any event, dardson1 is correct. The 350 is very quiet.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Member Posts: 402
    According to this website, it is available there, perhaps because it would not be coming from the Canadian plant?
  • sfcharliesfcharlie Member Posts: 402
    I drove an ML 350 yesterday in the rain here in San Francisco, partly because I've gotten so used to the tiptronic shifter in my Passat and BMW that I had trouble not feeling like a passenger when test driving an RX 350 with a pure-automatic. It cornered fast on wet pavement with no hesitation or roll and took hills up and down smoothly and quickly with steering-wheel shifters.
  • plhawleyplhawley Member Posts: 2
    We are ready to purchase the new RX350--test drove it yesterday along with the Land Rover LR3, Benz ML350 and BMW X5. Nothing else seemed to compare for the money. My agony now is the color. I know I want black interior but having to pick an exterior color based on the small chips in the brochure is not easy! The only one they had in the showroom was silver which I do not want. We have our choices narrowed down to Black Onyx and Chrystal White Pearl. My husband is worried it is too much of a contrast which is why we are thinking of the black. I like the white as it won't show dirt or salt (during the winter). Has anyone seen the white with the black interior--if so, any opinions on how it looks? I know color is a personal choice but...
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    You didn't test drive the RX400h....SHAME.
  • morey000morey000 Member Posts: 384
    Nothing looks better than black.
    But... nothing is harder to maintain than Black either. Every water mark and wax swirl shows up on Black.
    But- if it's clean- it looks great.

    However- living in the desert southwest, black cars with black interiors just don't make sense around here. too hot.
  • hbc75hbc75 Member Posts: 37
    I have seen the white with black, it looks good, not much contrast at all. In fact the white on the lexus is so nice, I comment everytime I see one, and say, they have the best paint! I was even considering it for my purchase, but think I am going with the flint mica/grey interior combo. It will be best for me, I can keep the outside of a car cleaner than the inside for some odd reason.. and I've had black, and you see every mark on the seats. Good luck in deciding your color... and Happy driving, reply back and let us know how it went etc....
  • denali1denali1 Member Posts: 21
    Congratulations plhawley on your decision to purchase the RX350.
    My wife sure likes hers after a week. Her color is the flint mica that hbc75 is leaning towards. She really likes the color. Her interior is black.......very sharp,so far anyway. Hope we don't have marks showing inside down the road.
    The Lexus white is beautiful, as is the black. Our previous vehicle was black, and I echo others comments: Nice when clean, but watch out when anything gets on it.
  • plhawleyplhawley Member Posts: 2
    Well, I went with the Flint Mica with black interior. What a tough choice! Was all decided on the white with black, ordered it last night (was told it would be a 2 month wait as white is manufactured in Japan; others are manufactured in Cambridge, Canada). This morning, the sales guy called to ensure I did not have a change of heart, so I changed to Flint Mica and will get it in 2 weeks! I promised I would not change my mind again!!! For some reason, I found the white more "feminine," so thought Flint Mica was a better choice if I ever let my husband drive it.
  • denali1denali1 Member Posts: 21
    I know what you mean when you say "if I ever let my husband drive it". After a week, I still haven't driven my wifes new 350. Maybe this weekend.
    Congratulations on your decision. I bet you will love it regardless of color. It is quiet, beautiful, and comfortable. Such a smooth ride...... :)
  • Firebird_EOUFirebird_EOU Member Posts: 250
    Is RX350 the only Toyota/Lexus car that has it now?
  • ndende Member Posts: 1
    I am looking for a very quiet and smooth riding (don't care about sporting version and don't want to feel the bumps) car/suv. Since you have both the cars (Avalon XLE and RX 350)I am considering can you let me know which one fits the bill. Any other suggestions. Thank you.
  • denali1denali1 Member Posts: 21
    I suppose the Avalon is the quieter and smoothest riding of the two vehicles. That's not to take away anything from the RX 350 though.
    Avalon is roomier,and about a foot longer. I notice a little more road noise with the RX, but that could be the difference in tires too. The RX does let you feel a few more bumps than the Avy, but nothing significant.
    I would say the RX is nicer inside, as you might expect.

    I have the Limited in the Avalon, and it has the Smartkey, which I really like. The RX has the headlights that turn when the car turns, which is nice.The rear hatch door is electronic, which is helpful. I think the JBL sound system is better in the Avalon. Not sure what sound system the Lexus has, but it is not the high end Mark Levinson.
    The RX is built on the 2006 Camry platform I believe, so it does ride more like a car than other Suv's I have been in. If you opt for the navigation system in the RX,which we did not, you get a backup camera and Bluetooth.

    Both quality vehicles, which hopefully will be as reliable as advertised/hyped.
    Big price difference too. I paid $32,800 for the Avalon, and $41,900 for the RX 350. Overall, for the money, the Toyota is probably the better value, though its warranty is 3yrs/36K versus Lexus 4yr/50k.
    If I can get you any other info, let me know.
  • rlc001rlc001 Member Posts: 9
    I stopped by a dealer in central florida late today to pick up a brochure on the RX350 and ended up going home with an RX350 as well. The dealer had a dozen or so RX350 in stock but only had one in stock with navi and it was a fully loaded one with the rear dvd entertainment and Mark Levinson system. I think the only options not on this car were the laser cruise control, performance package, and the multi panel moonroof. Otherwise, it is fully loaded. List was $48403. I got it for $43000 +T&L. This would be about 88.8% of msrp and is about $900 over invoice. Deal was straight forward. No games and no hard sale on extras by the dealer. I was in and out in less than 2 hours. I thought this was a pretty good deal given the car is a 2007 car just released for sale. The color is crystal white with the ivory interior which is our first choice of color combo. I do like the black exterior as well, especially with the gold package but we already own a black car and it is true that black car is hard to keep clean and will show all dirt. But a clean black car is a real sharp car! We will take our new RX out tomorrow (Easter Sunday) for a drive and I'm sure we will enjoy it. Hope you all have a good deal as well. You can't go wrong with a Lexus!
  • denali1denali1 Member Posts: 21
    Congratulations on your purchase. Wow, you got a great deal. Ours doesn't have the navi, rear dvd and Levinson, but you paid only $1100 more than us. We paid 95% of msrp, which is about 7% over invoice. Let us know how you like it.
  • gumbydammitgumbydammit Member Posts: 1
    Anyone know whether accessories for the 330 also fit in the 350? (Car cover, cargo tray, mudguards, etc. . .)
  • nwtnwt Member Posts: 10's lease calculator does not have a residual value for the 350. Need that to know what my payments should be. Anyone know what Lexus is using for the residual for this vehicle?
  • moremoremoremoremoremore Member Posts: 11
    Can I ask you guys a dumb question...How do you know how much over invoice the car is? Is it relevant to the % of the MSRP you pay? Is "invoice" standard depending on the features you get? I'm knew to this...sorry! :blush:
  • denali1denali1 Member Posts: 21
    Not a dumb question at all.
    I review a number of websites for their invoice information, including Edmunds. If you have looked at a specific model at a dealer you can plug the cars features into Edmunds website, and you will get a breakdown on the total invoice. You will also get the MSRP.
    You can get a snapshot of how much over invoice the MSRP is, as that info is posted side by side.
    In negotiating, I start from the invoice and go up if necessary. In other words I might offer $300 over invoice.The dealer will generally want to work downwards from the MSRP.
    If you look at Edmunds, you can also see the dealer holdback, which is really a rebate of some of the invoice back to the dealer, after they sell the car.If you account for these holdback dollars, and add it to your amount you have offered over invoice, you get a pretty true picture of what the dealer will make.
    I've had dealers show me the invoice. It usually has matched up with Edmunds, with one exception. That exception is advertising fees. Some manufacturers, including Lexus/Toyota add this fee into the price they charge the dealers. It is posted right on their invoice.
    Different makes will have different markups over invoice.

    For instance, a 2006 Toyota Avalon that I bought had less markup over invoice than the 07 RX 350 we bought this month. The dealer sold me the Avalon at 4.5 % over invoice. But the RX cost me 7% over invoice. The Avalon was $2900 under MSRP when I closed the deal.This was about 92% of the MSRP).
    The RX was only $2000 under sticker(about 95% of the MSRP). It all depends on what margin they want to hit, and how bad they want/ or need to sell the vehicle.
    Hope this helps.
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