Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Lexus RX 300



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    has CV-joint/drive shaft entering the center of each rear wheel, quick look will confirm.

    Center diff'l is also quite visible.
  • baydogbaydog Posts: 15
    Same prices here in PA. The advertise CPOs at $30-31K, and come down about $2,000. There seems to be a premium of $3-4K for the certified used vs. non-certified from a dealer (even larger difference if you buy directly from a private party). I am leaning towards buying a non-certified one that still has at least 1 yr and 12,000 miles on the original 4-yr/50,000 warranty. Since it's a Lexus, I don't forsee $4,000 in covered warranty problems in years 2 and 3. What are your thoughts about the merits of spending more for this insurance?
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    I agree, given Lexus build quality, probably not worth the premium. Interesting note: after returning from the dealer (recall they had the CPO 2000 listed at $30.9K and came down with no negotiation to $28.7K), I got on their website. They had the same vehicle listed w/o the CPO designation at $29.2. That tells me that once they determined it qualified for CPO status, they jacked the price up $1.7K. The other attraction Saturday was 1.9% financing but that ended May 31st.

    My local dealer has at least a dozen used RX300s. They've got so many, 4 or 5 are parked out back, not even on display yet. I assume most of them are lease turn-ins although the sales guy claims they buy a lot from Lexus auctions. They only had one new RX330.

    We went straight from the Lexus dealer to the Nissan dealer to drive a Murano. We had been very impressed when we drove one a month ago. Wasn't quite so impressive after driving the Lexus. Still a nice vehicle with very catchy styling but the deep dash and thick rear piller didn't go over big. Also, the ride didn't compare well to the Lexus (we drove the same route.) Luckily (for my wallet) my wife is content with her 1996 Explorer so we won't be doing anything soon.
  • ficklefickle Posts: 98
    I currently own a Camry and test drove a 03 RX300, my dream car. However, I was very surprised to find that the engine noise was noticeable in the cabin; whereas, in my Camry, I can barely hear it. I even turned the engine on in another RX300 to compare and it sounded the same. :(
    My questions are:

    1)Is it "normal" to hear the engine in an SUV?
    2)Is the 330's engine quieter than the 300? (I suppose I could go back down to the dealership but thought I'd ask you all first.)

    I was quite disappointed to be able to hear the engine "rumbling".
  • adb3adb3 Posts: 112
    You WILL hear engine noise in 300/330 vice Toyota/Lexus cars. But remember you are comparing cars to SUVs. It's almost like comparing apples to oranges. To be fair, you should compare 300/330 engine noise to other SUVs. In that comparison, IMO, 300/330 engines are quite refined.
  • baydogbaydog Posts: 15
    I've run a handful of carfax reports on 2000 RX300's. All were bought by various local dealers at auction. Mileage is average or below (<40,000 miles for a car that is 3.5 yrs old). Over half of them were originally registered as commercial vehicles. This surprises me. Some of the possibilities I've thought of, but I'm not sure what the deal is:

    1-really used for commercial purposes, probably as a fleet vehicle (but how many RX300s are sitting at your local Hertz, and how would the mileage be so low if they were rented often?)

    2-registered as a "truck" which automatically triggers a commercial flag on carfax (is this the case?)

    3-registered through a person's private business but really driven as a private vehicles (perhaps to make the lease pmts tax-deductible).

    Can anyone shed some light on this?

  • jrdowneyjrdowney Posts: 96
    Just purchased a used 2003 RX. What are a couple of web sites where you can purchase parts (mats, etc.) at discount prices. I know of good ones for Honda but not Lexus.

  • squacksquack Posts: 27
    Consider the possibility that these commercial vehicles were originally used as loaners at Lexus dealerships.
  • squacksquack Posts: 27
    Take a look at and
  • pdswaypdsway Posts: 14
    I have a 2k RX300 w/ gray leather and IT ROCKS! Why they discontinued it I have no clue. Its one of the reasons I never traded up for a newer RX. But now the RX330 has gray so...

    It's a medium gray and does not show dirt. And best of all looks fantastic. If it werent for the usual cracks, mine would be perfect.

  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Anybody had the green drive indicator lamp burn out? My 99 RX had this replaced at about 30K under warranty and it was a very labor intensive job as I recall. It's now out again at 58K and of course no longer under warranty. In all honesty, this is the ONLY repair issue I've had with this vehicle! Any suggestions? Thanks.

  • mooretorquemooretorque Posts: 241
    pshciffe, Wifey's 99 also has the same indicator light out, tho we've never replaced it. Seems like I've read over on CL of similar complaints, all on 99 models. No solutions other than replacement, though.

    SHE's not complaining, so I've not explored options; ignoring it may not be the worst thing if Lexus wants a boatload of money in labor charges..........
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Very favorable, informative review in the July 2003 issue. Aficiandos and owners, check it out.

    One point I found very interesting: the RX330 AWD and Sienna LE 8 passenger weigh within 50lbs of each other, and all acceleration testing shows that they perform almost EXACTLY the same, with the more aerodynamic Sienna holding a slight advantage as speeds climb.

  • danrxdanrx Posts: 13
    Hello all,
    My 2000 RX is due for 30,000 (2.8 yrs old) service,according to the Owner's manual the Coolant and Brake Fluids should be changed at this time. BUT the Edmunds maintenance schedule does not mention replacement of these. I take my RX to Toyota for service so the cost would be less anyway BUT should I replace these fluids at this time ?
  • mooretorquemooretorque Posts: 241
    danrx, I'd follow the Owner's Manual recommendations simply because IF an issue arose in the cooling or braking system while still under warranty (for which you would presumably use your Lexus dealer), you might be up a creek without a shear pin trying to obtain service under aforementioned warranty...........
  • borg1of2borg1of2 Posts: 83
    My light went out around 55K. I lived with it for a while and then replaced it. I don't remember how much, but I agree it was a little on the high side. About 2 weeks after replacing it, it went out again. The dealership fixed it again, no cost to me. I then started noticing that after the car is shut off over night, my clock resets itself back to midnight. The dealership said it was my battery going dead. Well, that was about a year ago and I still have to reset my clock, but I haven't replaced the battery yet. I will be interested to see when I finally replace the battery if the clock remains on time. My gut tells me they did something with the circuit when replacing the D bulb. But that comes from a lack of confidence in car shops.

    Good Luck with yours.

    PS Mine is a 99 RX as well.
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    I guess I should feel lucky. 79,000 on my '99 and no problem with the bulb.
  • lmacmillmacmil Posts: 1,758
    Two years or 30K miles is about right for most anti-freeze. Never heard of a scheduled brake fluid change but it's a good idea since brake fluid absorbs water over time.
  • Thank you to all of you for all of the great information. After several months of research I just purchased my 2000 RX300. I am a 50K mile per year road warrior so I really needed to make the right decision. I have put 250-300K miles on a series of new Hondas and decided to step up to a nice used luxury car this time around. I was also considering a new Highlander, but the difference in ride with the RX300 was amazing.

    I found a 2000 model with 46K miles on it at a "secondary lot" specializing in off lease luxury cars. I negotiated a $22k drive out price if it checked out at the dealership. It passed the 27 point inspection with flying colors, but thanks to the information from this forum, I paid the extra $50 to get the valve cover pulled to check for the sludging problem. Sure enough, it was caked! I took it back to the lot and was resigned to start looking again. The lot called the dealer and arranged for a brand new top end on the engine under warranty. Even though I was not buying from the Lexus dealer, I was very impressed at how quickly and efficiently they took care of the warranty repairs. They even checked it out for me when the Carfax report I pulled showed two minor accidents. I now own a car that is as good as new and a bargain compared to the new cars that I could have purchased for the same money.

    I would like to know if any of you are at 100K or more miles yet, and any advice for getting 300K or more out of mine.
  • dougb10dougb10 Burlington, Ontario, CanadaPosts: 185
    We are looking to buy a low mileage 2001-2003 RX 300. Is there any significant difference between these years that I should be aware of? They all really look alike to me. My daughter has a 2000 model and my wife and I were really impressed when we borrowed it for three days during a visit to Vancouver.
    We would get the AWD version...not interested in Nav. This car would be a long term keeper, so any information would be greatly appreciated.
  • dougb10dougb10 Burlington, Ontario, CanadaPosts: 185
    Thank you for the feedback. It substantiates my impression that there were very few changes on those '01-'03 years.

  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    Congratulations on the purchase of your RX300. I am glad you found the oil gel when you were still in a strong position to negotiate with the dealer.

    I only drive 30K per year, so I am not up to your 50K standard. I assume those are highway miles, so 300K may be practical. My disclaimer is that Mrs. Rogers has not purchased a RX yet, so this discussion is not from any Lexus experience. It is good that Lexus replaced the upper half of your engine. Did they replace your oil pump? I purchased a 76 Pontiac Grand Prix "as is" one time with oil gel, and I ended up replacing the oil pump. I feel Lexus owes you a new pump. I suggest you change oil every 7,500 miles with Mobil1 synthetic oil. I would replace the transmission fluid with Mobil1 synthetic fluid. I would change antifreeze every two years. Each time you replace the front brake pads, I would drain out all the brake fluid, replace it with fresh fluid, and bleed the brakes. I would polish the car once or twice a year. I recommend Michelin tires as I find they have fewer out of roundness issues and require less re-balancing than other brands. I would replace the belts and radiator hoses every 75K miles. I would change the battery every two years. This schedule may seem like overkill, but you seem to have already discovered that depreciation is a bigger expense than maintenance, and it is cheaper to maintain a car than trade in frequently.
  • bentwrenchbentwrench Posts: 27
    Just Curious- What is the rationale for semiannual battery changes as part of a preventive maintenance program? Is it a cold climate thing(of which I have had no experience)?
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Personally, changing a battery every 2 years is a waste of money. Typically a battery will last at least 4 to 5 years with no problems. Every 2 years is a total waste of $$$.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    None, just dealer money grubbing!

    Same goes for ANY scheduled maintenance involving any fluids/lubricants/coolants other than engine oil prior to 100k miles, and doubtful even then.

    Modern day vehicles, especially Lexus, have become so reliable that dealer service departments, especially (single marque = low volume) Lexus dealers, cannot survive on just required maintenance and repairs.

    Anyone who advises you otherwise is most likely "shilling" for some dealer.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    When I a young man, six volt batteries used to give you some warning when they were starting to go. These twelve sealed batteries are like a light bulb. One day they are fine, then the next day they will not start your car. When I started driving 30,000 miles a year, I did not like this happening three hundred miles from home when I had a customer waiting for me. Maybe you could go two and a half years. I usually look for a sale on batteries, so the expense over the life of the car is not that much more.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    Years ago Road and Track magazine did an article on an owner of a Jaguar XKE. His advice was, "Beware of the so-called dealer!" My 2001 car has 75,000 miles, and has not been back to the dealer yet. I am not "shilling" for some dealer.

    I will admit that I have not kept up with the issues involved with servicing ABS brakes, and when my wife's car needed rotors and pads, it went to a dealer I have known for years.
  • jrdowneyjrdowney Posts: 96
      On my 2003 RX I am hearing a soft sound coming from the driver's side dash area. Almost sounds like a vacuum line or something that keeps "recharging." There is a quiet, but noticeable hiss for a few seconds and then it fades out. Returns pretty regularly in maybe 30 second intervals (haven't timed it exactly). Can't really hear it when radio is on but otherwise you certainly can. Any ideas?

    Jim d.
Sign In or Register to comment.