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Lexus RX 350

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

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


  • bwalbornbwalborn 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 Posts: 10,706
    I was told RX350 were on site but being held back to clear RX330 overstock.
  • 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 Posts: 4,956
    how overstocked is Lexus on these? I thought the RX was their best seller.
  • sfcharliesfcharlie 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?
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
  • It's really good see that this thread isn't dead!!!!!

    Killerpiece :shades:
  • denali1denali1 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 Posts: 4,956
    Does the 350 drive significantly different from the 330?
  • sfcharliesfcharlie 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?
  • Wondering what type of fuel the RX350 takes,87,89,91or93?
  • wwestwwest 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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!!

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