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Lexus RX 300



  • I had a minor fender bender last week(Couple of scratches on the bumper and the little red reflector cracked). Anyone know where I can get the little red reflector on the lower bumper. I have a great excuse to Monotone Paint my Rx now !!!

    FYI for potential buyers
    I have had my 2000 for over a year (Just 9500 miles on it, it is still the weekend baby) and I have to say that the ride and acceleration has improved greatly over time. It has stiffended up a bit and has a bit more kick. Anyone looking to buy an RX, it seems that it just takes some time to "get sporty".
  • I am considering seriously purchasing an RX sometime in April and do a lot of investigating now. CR says that the RX turning circle is pretty wide and they even emphasize that as a "con". Is that really a problem? Does it cause any inconveniences when parking or backing up? Any input would be appreciated!
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    I have 2000 RX300 FWD. I know it's turning circle is wider than my Maxima, however in most cases if I prepare a little early and carefully before I make a turn, I feel OK with it. My wife is driving it everyday and I haven't heard any complaint about its turning circle.
  • As to whether this is a problem, depends on your marriage.

    My wife has driven her 2001 RX since last December, has 14k miles on it, and, the last time I saw her, she started to make her first left turn.

    Of course, that was last December.
  • I have a Sienna and according to Edmunds it has a 40ft turning circle....the RX300 41.5. It is not a serious problem in my Sienna although I definately notice I often have to back up to manage a tight parking space. Is this a function of FWD or what? Seems like my old Expedition could turn shorter than my minivan.
  • Over at, there is an entry on 9/25 in the RX300 section concerning an owner who took his car to the dealer for an oil change. Supposedly he was told that they automatically add an MOC oil additive because of possible sludge problem that arises with repeated short trips when the engine doesn't heat up enough. Any comments?
  • I have had my 2000RX since May 2000 and the turning circle is noticeably wide. However, after a few weeks of driving it you learn to live with it. It does require a bit more maneuvering than I would like but as I said you can get used to it and learn to compensate for it by starting your turns a little earlier and or taking wider turns.
  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    The turning circle of the Rex is ludicrous, to say the least.

    What counts, is that my wife (who drives the Rex) explained to me that I just needed to adapt my driving style - or the moment I start to steer. It all has to do with complacency. She has no complaints about that at all, FWIW.

  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Jeff, saw your wife last week in NY, in the left turn lane by our house. She said everything is fine and sends her love.

    Once she hits the beach by our house she'll have to make another left and head back towards Cali. She should be home before Thanksgiving this time since she knows all the highways with left turn lanes.

    Hang in there buddy.
  • As I understand, this problem does not go unnoticed...Have to drive the RX one more time and see if I can live with this. I shouldn't tell my wife about this, she is already very suspicious about SUV's, and she will try to convince me to get a station vagon. But I have a very wide turning radius myself, so...It won't be easy to turn me around.
    The less a woman knows, the better, right?
    Anyway, thanks a lot for your responces.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    A tighter turning radius would probably increase the number of RX rollovers, so maybe wider IS better.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    The RX300 is a versatile vehicle and means different things to different people. Many have described it as a "jacked up Camry station wagon", so if that's the type of vehicle she's leaning for, then who are you to argue. Tell her what she wants to hear

    BTW, when we were SUV shopping, my wife wanted nothing to do with the RX300/Lexus. She said many things to me, "It's too expensive... it's too snooty... why pay all that extra money for a vehicle..."

    I sent her one day to go test drive it by herself while I was at work. I came home that night and the first words out of her mouth were: "We must have this vehicle."

    The rest is history as they say.
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    dubinonos, if your considering purchasing in April around that time a completely redesigned RX300 should be available (Although many on this board don't believe so) the turning radius which is definetly noticeable could be addressed. Almost all vehicles have quirks/design flaws (wwest would agree) although you learn to live with them. You won't be disappointed with this vehicle.

    Or in Jeff's case without (hey I saw her hanging out with Elvis last week, don't listen to Tony he's not a reliable source of info!!!)

    mooretorque-that one was terrible I'm surprised Drew hasn't kicked you off of the board for that one.

    Oh, and who's this grumpyrx guy with the sludge problem. Jeff could it be mmmmm.

    Gotta go (get it mooretorque!!)
  • psripsri Posts: 6
    I was considering getting a 2001 RX300 (next week) taking advantage of the model year discounts available now.
    Is it true that the 2003 model is exptected to be available in April 2002. If so it might be worth waiting for.
    Also could someone post what are some the significant features of the redesigned 2003 RX.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310

    They are still working on bringing the Canadian plant that will produce it fully on-line and up to speed.
  • gimpyrxgimpyrx Posts: 198
    NO customer service at all!
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310 makes sludge and fudge too? Cool! Where's my owner's manual, gotta show the kids!
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    The 2002 models are already at dealers and there are no changes.

    The redesign is just speculation on my part, due to the fact that the ES300/Camry platform which the RX300 is based is new and at dealers.

    Also, Tony the Canadian plant your referring to, is it the only plant that will be producing the RX300? Or simply one of a few. Many manufacturers have multiple facilities that produce the same model.

    About this gimpyrx guy, the fact that he owns a Mustang scares me!!!
  • Michael, I'm pretty sure that all North American Rex's will be produced at the new Canadian plant. Can't speak for the rest of the world, but you raise a good point. They'll probably keep the Japanese plant going for right-drive vehicles for the rest of the world.
  • psripsri Posts: 6
    I initially was looking at ML320 but was dicouraged because of the many reliability problems reported in Consumer reports and on the MB forums. I am leaning toward RX since it has been recommended to be a very reliable car with most luxury features (though it's not necessary an off-road vehicle).
    From this forum it seems like sludging is a serious problem with RX. Is a frequently reported problem. And if it shows up what is the fix. Thanks in advance for your advise.
  • I live in Richmond, Va. Whenever I try to enter an address and have to select a city, the only "Richmond, Va" city the nav system gives me is something called "Richmond (Wise), Va."

    Richmond, Va is nowhere near Wise, Va...about 350 miles apart. What's the deal with this?
  • I've been trying to decide what to buy, and I've been stand-offish from the RX because I kinda, sorta, need something a little bigger. Considering a Tahoe or Expedition. My wife has an '01 ES300. I hardly ever drive it but took it tonight to do a few chores (forgot why we bought it)...cranked up the stereo, opened the sunroof, and took a joy ride. "Joy" is the key word here. What a car! I wonder exactly what Lexus knows how to do that nobody else can touch? We've had 3 Mercedes, a couple of Volvos, 2 Cadillacs, and a BMW. None come close to the seamless combination of everything a car is supposed to be. It is quick enough to feel "fast", quiet like nothing I've ever driven, with a stereo that sounds good enough to the average guy to be perfect. I'm gonna go drive the RX tomorrow. If it comes close to its sibling, the ES300, I'm gonna buy one.
  • dardson1, be sure and take your checkbook. "Seamless" is a very good term that has accurately applied to the Lexus experience from day one, apparently (I missed the first couple of years, not having bought my first until 92). The RX is no exception.

    psri, obviously the sludging is a serious problem. What I am not sure of is the frequency with which it has been occuring. Lots of RXs and ESs out there (same motor, same floorpan), not too many reports of sludge with either. I agree it's a scary thought. Personal experience with a 99 RX with 37k and a 94 ES (wife's previous chariot, now owned by HER mother) with 85K: no problems.
  • "From this forum it seems like sludging is a serious problem with RX. Is a frequently reported problem."

    It's apparent you've done your homework and found the one RX300 reported in this forum from the close to a quarter-million that has been sold so far that has a sludged engine. That analysis alone speaks for itself. Run, don't walk, away from this vehicle!

    Have you heard about the Pontiac Aztek? You might want to take a test drive, make sure you wear sunglasses though to protect your eyes.

    Happy car shopping!
  • I agree with mooretorque that sludge is a serious problem, and we don't know how many RX300's have the problem. I still recommend RX300's to my friends.
    Some thoughts:
    If you want to use the 7,500 mile oil change interval, you may want to consider synthetic oil. If you want to use regular oil, 3,000 to 5,000 miles may be a better interval. There is an entry on the Edmunds Engine Sludge topic in the Maintenance and Repair section that says that some Toyota owners are taking their cars to the dealer for oil changes, paying for regular oil, and the dealer is putting in synthetic oil at the regular oil price.
    Save your oil change receipts.
    Irregardless of whether you have the dealer or an oil change place do the service, check your oil and check that there is a new filter before leaving the service center. Good luck!
  • Consumer Reports rates the RX300 as perhaps the most reliable of the SUVs in this category. They have a somewhat scientific approach to assessing reliability. Listening to a few people who post a lot about sludge problems (including one guy who is upset because he says he got sludge after not changing his oil for 25,000 miles) is not at all scientific.
  • I too have heard conflicting reports regarding the introduction date of the remodeled RX 300. Toyota has clearly announced an intention to build the RX in Canada but NOT as its sole production facility (as first time lexus build outside the US - they would never shift all production in one year anyway)

    Just had a second child and am in desperate need of more space/3rd row. Current lease up in January 2002 - just placed an order for an MDX. Would love to purchase another RX instead if wait isn't too much longer

    Any reputable information would be very much appreciated - I don't want to cross over to the Dark (Acura) side!!!
  • If you need a third row, I'd persoanlly get a ML320 instead of an Acura. I'm not knocking the MDX itself, but if you are use to Lexus customer service then the Acura "experience" will be a rude awakening.

    Good luck.
  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    To take this a step further the Camry/Sienna and I believe the Avalon also use the same engine which would mean that there's well over a quarter million vehicles (RX300) which use this engine, taking into account all the Toyota's which share this part (Even though the engine is tuned differently and other variables such as vehicle weight must be considered) The main point is that this engine has been around for awhile. I've also asked personally at 2 separate dealers and none know of this problem. Now common sense should take over a some point and tell you that if your vehicle is properly serviced (i.e. get your oil changed at recommended intervals, not every 25,000 miles) you should be O.K.

    And Tony what's the deal with the user name change I thought that the tc_i_am guy was an imposter, scary thought huh!!!
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