Lexus RX 300



  • steve0729steve0729 Member Posts: 8
    Last Saturday a picked up my RX 300, judging from what is being said I got a great deal. My sticker price was 42,101 had everything but the nav system and upgraded audio system. My lease payment is $500 per month no cap cost reduction and was able to get the dealer to cut me a check of $1100.00 to pay off my old lease.
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Member Posts: 110
    Our RX300 is in for the 22.5K service. The only problem we are having is a rumbling or resonating noise at idle when the transmission is in gear such as sitting at a traffic light. Noise goes away if it is in neutral. Has anyone else experienced this? The dealer is having a problem diagnosing the cause? Thanks.
  • drich1drich1 Member Posts: 3
    Your deal seems like a steal. How long is your lease, how many miles, residual value (%), money factor, etc.? It sounds like you paid under cost.
  • hlcloudhlcloud Member Posts: 3
    I bought my 2000 Rx 300 from a dealer off this board last year and now I realize that it is to small for my family of 4. Loaded AWD, Burnish Gold, Gold Package, CD, Tow Package 17k Miles for 33,5. Located in Central California, [email protected] If any body wants a great Deal on a 2000 let me know.
  • hayabusahayabusa Member Posts: 26
    My mom has an early production RX 300 with some problems. I hope someone knows how to solve these problems. The car is not in the US, it was exported. That country has no Lexus or Toyota dealers or any other dealers (tiny country of about 350,000 people). The roads are really bad, small and short. The roads have all imaginable pothole sizes available. You can't drive faster than 40MPH(if you have a chance). A excellent place for car companies to test their vehicles for rattles and such.

    First of all, I know that I'll have to solve all the rattles myself, the glovebox door, center pod display, rear seatbelts.

    Second, the car makes a droning sound (DDRRRRRR) every now and then for a few seconds in neutral.

    Third, the car makes a slight rumbling sound. More like HUMHUMHUM. I mean you can hear it inside. It doesn't sound as if it is running smooth. That is when the car is not moving, neutral. Also, the car isn't as quiet as it used to be.

    Fourth, when the car is running(in drive or neutral) the inside lights (when on) aren't steady. They kinda flicker lightly but noticeable.

    Fifth, there is a sound under the car up front which looks as if something is loose, like the sound of a loose exhaust.

    Sixth, there is also a sound under the car in the back. When you go over a bump or pothole it looks like the car is hitting something, sounds like a thump.

    Seventh, the steering is not centered, the car pulls to the right.

    Seventh, the rear brakes squeal(squeak).

    Again, there are no Lexus or Toyota dealers or any other dealers in that country. I would really appreciate if someone could answer these questions. The dealer in Florida (JM Lexus) where the car was bought isn't any helpful either, although we bought the car at full MSRP (has all the options except the electro chromic mirrors and the mem. seats).

    That's about it. The RX drives amazingly good in those horrible conditions. It is still amazingly comfortable. More comfortable than a comparable 4Runner. And it also looks amazingly good. Glad we didn't go with the Mercedes ML. A word of caution though. I think I saw a little rust spot near the bottom (center) of the back window frame (the groove around the window). I think the rain that sits there could be a factor.

    Again, I would really appreciate if someone could answer these questions.

  • 00rxguy100rxguy1 Member Posts: 38
    I think the problem is not with your rx. you mentioned that the road conditions were really bad where you live. i think whoever drives on those kinds of road with any vehicle is bound to have problems.
  • swiftmswiftm Member Posts: 68
    For "one million bucks", name the "tiny" "pothole" country please. just kidding and curious. swiftm
  • avery1avery1 Member Posts: 373
    Sounds to me like the noises you are hearing when in neutral are the air conditioner kicking in.
  • mikez7mikez7 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone else noticed that the newer Rx-300's
    now have a oval emblem VSC on the front outside
    doors, basically advertising Lexus's -Vehicle
    Skid Control-. Looks nice, adds a little Pizazz
    to an otherwise ordinary door side. Wonder if it's
    available as an add-on for alder models.
  • ststephen0ststephen0 Member Posts: 37
    My 2001 w/NAV has the new emblem....wonder why Lexus did not do a similiar thing to show 4WD.
  • hayabusahayabusa Member Posts: 26
    00rxguy1, I think it's more of an early production RX 300 issue. I've heard about these problems before on those early production models but I don't know how to solve them. Actually I exagerated a little. But there really are a lot of potholes. And the potholes that have been patched up are not flat. They just throw some concrete (yes concrete!!!) or asphalt into it and don't really smoothen it. So the roads become kinda bubly. We also have an FJ80 Land Cruiser and that one drives worse, it can't smoothen those bumps that well. The RX doesn't drive bad at all in those conditions. It's just those other problems that bug us.

    swiftm, the tiny country is called Suriname, South America. An underdevelloped, unindustrialized country. No pollution at all. Lot's of trees, you could say about 90-95% of the country is a jungle. If you want adventure this is a paradise.

    avery1, I don't really know if it is the AC. It's not the sound that you hear when the compressor comes on. I've read about this one this board also. When the drone starts the steering and shifter vibrate heavily. It's a very strange DRONE, DDRRRRR...
  • lexusfanlexusfan Member Posts: 22
    You qualify. I also purchased an ES300 new in March 1998. When I went to sign papers for my '01 RX last month, the fleet manager casually said, "Oh, by the way, there is a $500 rebate from Lexus that I am applying to your final price." Made us feel good that he brought it up from his side. Good luck with your RX purchase.
  • robhaferrobhafer Member Posts: 13
    Spoke with Lexus of Fremont (CA) sales mgr who claimed that only 10% of RX's are being produced with the Navigation system and that based on demand the mix was going to be increased to a max? of 33% in the coming months. I imagine he was just talking about his region (lots of gadget freaks up here)

    Some folks here have mentioned their frustration over the safety feature which requires a full stop to enter a new destination in the Nav system. Is this needed only to access the on-screen keyboard or is the stop also needed when choosing a nearby POI (gas station for instance)? Any other Nav frustrations?
  • robhaferrobhafer Member Posts: 13
    Just another confirmation that northern califonia NAV buyers can quite easily save $2K+ by shopping in the LA area. Specifically, the same vehicle was $3000 over invoice here and $900 over from several dealers down south.

    The dealers I've spoken to in the SF area admit to this and just explain that the market is so tight up here (particularly for NAV) that they need to be responsible in managing their inventory.
  • robhaferrobhafer Member Posts: 13
    After comparing all the online services (driveoff, greenlight, carsdirect) it seems that faxing all the dealers individually and playing the best quote around got a better price (addl $400 off) at least when searching for the LA area.

    Seems that car dealers have a stranglehold on the delivery of new vehicles given the strong franchising laws in most states. Guess that online sales are not likely to bypass the dealers anytime soon.
  • robhaferrobhafer Member Posts: 13
    A few gotchas with the online dbs...
    - still has last year's color choices
    - is great but is missing the ACCESSORY CROSSBAR KIT Code: DR 183/113)
    - still doesn't reflex the $1500 value package change Lexus made in early Nov and fails to load on IE5 (use Netscape)
    - doesn't think you could have a 2wd configured with Limited Pkg, CD, and Nav (and someone posted that they purchased this config)

    None of the sites listed the region advertising fees which are a mandatory portion of the vehicle price ($4XX in CA).

    This discussion group has been especially useful in setting my expectations on realistic option combinations (ie. don't bother trying to get Nav without a sunroof). Thanks everyone!
  • robhaferrobhafer Member Posts: 13
    After skimming the RX discussion groups, I feel like I have a much better idea of what to expect (or at least look out for) in the RX I'm buying this month...

    - Wheel alignment problems (pulling left/right, requires realignment after tire rotation)
    - Vibration at Idle (failure of the active noise cancelling system?)
    - Buffeting airflow with the sunroof fully open (sounds like this is somewhat avoided with 80% open default position new for 2001?)
    - Shifter that sometimes slips out of position
    - Seatbelts that don't retract reliably
    - Rattle in the glove box interior wall (some vent insert is loose?)

    Any opinions on whether the problems above are common to most RX's or just a few units?

    BTW...Other design issues people have mentioned:
    - Suspension comfy but floats too much (firmer suspension for 2001 may help here)
    - Unrealistic EPA MPG estimates (heavy foot seems to be a big factor, so what else is new)
    - Small gas tank (fixed in 2001)
    - Inequal volume levels of Radio vs CD
    - Rear window prone to road dirt (unless you have the spoiler)
    - Roof rack can't handle much more weight than skis or bikes

    Thanks to this forum I will certainly be taking my time on the test drive and inspection of my new RX later this month.
  • paulsmileypaulsmiley Member Posts: 2
    I think that's a good summary of the relatively minor RX problems. Here's my take:

    - Pulling to right. This seems to occur more on FWD and/or RX's with Goodyear Integrity tires. Mine is 00 AWD w/ Bridgestone, at 16k miles and is still fine (knock on wood).

    - Limited Range (Due to low gas mileage and small fuel tank). This is my no. 1 complaint and 2001 has increased the fuel tank size, but only 2 gals, maybe giving you 40 more miles. I'd like to see a range closer to 400mi.

    - Sunroof. My dealer installed the sunroof deflector for about $70, I recommend it.

    - Vibration. I have noticed this, but so far it's very slight. Note my Camry also did this but much worse.

    - Roof rack. No surprise, almost all factory racks offer only minimal support. Fine for ski's or something light. Get the trailer hitch and a hitch style bike rack. The roof is too high for bikes anyway.

    - Stereo. I love it (I have Nak). The levels thing is a non-issue, tapes and CD's can be recorded at different levels so they will always vary.

    - Engine warm-up (one you forgot). The trans stays in 2nd gear until a decent warmup occurs. Not a prob for me, I always give my RX a little warm-up time, but others complain about this.

    - Other. The other things you mention are more or less valid, but much too minor for me to care about.

    It's a great vehicle!

  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Member Posts: 811
    We have a 2001 RX300 FWD and after about 1000 miles it's averaging 23mpg on the freeways and about 17 mpg off-freeways. Premium 91 octane.

    I wonder if the AWD's with the extra weight and so on get markedly worse mileage? I know this was true in our Mountaineer AWD V8 - a good day was 13 mpg overall. Our friend's same year Mountaineer, V8, with 2WD, got closer to 16 mpg.

    Also, I couldn't agree more on the crap Goodyear tires that came on our RX - why does Lexus put $60 passenger tires on a $40K SUV, even a lighweight SUV? I noticed that Acura on the new base MDX does the same thing. Dumb dumb dumb.

    I'm getting the new Michelin Cross-Terrain rubber installed next week. Should be interesting to see if the handling, noise, etc. changes.
  • 00rxguy100rxguy1 Member Posts: 38
    Hey Jeffmust2, let us know what the difference is on the new tires your installing.
  • rharris2rharris2 Member Posts: 2
    I think I was one of the first people on this topic (a very long time ago it seems) to switch to the Michelins. Again, it was a great decision.

    My 00 AWD pulls to the right, and has since about 1K miles (currently at 11,500). It has been re-aligned three times, but always returns to pulling.

    My car is out of alignment as to caster which is the fore/aft positioning of the wheel (as opposed to toe which is the front portion of the wheel which is paralell to the ground, or camber which is the top portion of the wheel leaning in towrard or out from the wheel wells). Unfortunately, there is no solution for this as the car has no caster adjustment.

    I am disgusted with Lexus. All of the rattles, the pulling, the junk tires... Inexcusable.

    To those of you who want your RX300's, install the Michelins. You will really enjoy the improvement!
  • finch3finch3 Member Posts: 113
    I have none of those problesm with my 2000 RX FWD. Now have 11,000 miles. True, the Integrity tires are cheapos, but I have replaced them with Michelin LTX. This is a great car and I recommend it to all, sans the NAV unless you're a traveling salesperson or whatever. It's a really expensive toy.
  • ststephen0ststephen0 Member Posts: 37
    A while back the topic of why the 2001 radio antenna would extend even when playing a CD. I believe I know the reason now. The radio has a feature to automatically goto a given radio station when a traffic update is announced. This will goto the station even if you are listening to a tape/CD. In order to monitor those stations it makes sense that the radio antenna must be extended. My previous year 2000 RX300 did not have the "Traffic" feature and the antenna stayed down when listening to CD's.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Member Posts: 811
    Like the poster above, I too thought the Nav system was just another expensive gadget that had limited potential.

    After just two weeks in our new 2001 RX FWD, I changed my mind completely. In a very short time, it's helped us out tremendously - to the point where I now debate taking my non-Nav LS400 on trips vs. the RX. In short - I will not buy another vehicle without this option.

    Sure, many people will not need it. Just like many people don't need cell phones. But once you try it and start to depend on it, watch out - you're a Nav-junkie.
  • luftigluftig Member Posts: 2
    I have had the vehicle for a little over 2 months. So far it has been great. It has a slight rattle that is almost imperceptible in the left front door, if the car were not so quite i would have never noticed it. With the radio on you can not hear it. Other minor gripes is wind noise at 65+ MPH and buffeting with rear windows open above 40mph. Would I recommend this vehicle ?
    YES !! These are great vehicles and very comfortable, perfect for my work commutes. I have owned other SUVs, sports cars, and luxury vehicles, and I consider this a great mix of luxury with SUV. Having driven the Mercedes, Land Rover, and BMW, I feel you get much more for your money with the Lexus. I have not driven the MDX, but I do not care for its non discript look.
    I am planning on buying a second RX for my wife.
  • robhaferrobhafer Member Posts: 13
    Are the LTX tires from Michelin the same as the Cross Terrain advertised on their website?

    If not, has anyone found an online retailer that sells the Cross Terrain?
  • robhaferrobhafer Member Posts: 13
    Glad to hear NAV is working out for you. These systems have always appealed to me (ever since seeing the old Blaupunkt inertial nav system 10 years ago) but I've held off because the user interface and database implementations were too lame.

    The RX300 and MDX implementations are the first to have solved all the problems I've seen in the past...both have great databases and user interfaces. The one striking difference is in pointing technology...I'd thought I'd prefer the MDX with it's joystick but after using both the touchscreen on the RX300 is faster and more intuitive.

    My wife and I have always loved the RX300 but held back because it was clear that someday they'd implement a NAV system in the console. We were impressed to see such a good implementation (including the matte buttons, dedicated clock, and updated dash plastics).

    Some people argue that people who have bought these systems in the past have been burned by rapid technological obsolescence. I'd agree but argue that until now, nobody has designed a system that meets people's expectations. Other than additional POI categories and internet access I can't see much room for improvement.
  • robhaferrobhafer Member Posts: 13
    Oh, forgot to ask...what functions in the Nav system are disabled until you to stop the car?

    I'd guess the keyboard screen, anything else?

    BTW...someone mentioned that the MDX doesn't have a safety lockout when in motion.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Member Posts: 811
    Michelin Cross-Terrains are a new SUV-focused tire with a very high wearability rating (I think 560 vs. the Goodyear's 420). They are not the older model LTX, which is a very good choice also (my son has these on his '96 Explorer Sport). You can get Cross-Terrains from any tire dealer handling Michelins or from an online dealer like - they quoted me $512 for a set of four with shipping to So.CA. from their Nevada warehouse.

    The RX Nav system is upgradable via DVD replacement; I think the cost is somewhere between $150-200 for the disk. There's an annual upgrade each year around October; it's up to you if you want it or not. More and more "remote" areas are included each year beyond the big cities.
  • downbucketdownbucket Member Posts: 3
    Our 01 FWD was equipped with 6 disc cd, moon roof, limited package, rear spoiler, cargo mat,roof rack, wheel locks and cargo net. Cost to me was $33,903 including delivery charge. In addition CA sales tax of $2,631 (God bless CA) and license fees of $545 (God bless CA again).

    As far as I can tell from the various internet sites the dealer invoice price for this vehicle was $33,419. This gave them a profit of $484 plus the hold back. They would not negotiate with me on the hold back.

    I worked with 3 dealers via the internet in the San Diego area and after going back and forth a few times settled on the above deal.

    On delivery, I put on Michelin LTX tires and they are a far better tire than the [non-permissible content removed] Goodyears that came on the car. The sidewalls especially on the Goodyears were very thin
    and flimsy. Overall a cheap tire.

    On a recent 2,200 mile trip at 65 to 75 mph averaged 24 mpg on 87 octane gas. Mileage around town is 16 to 17 mpg.

    No problems, it's a good vehicle.
  • bentwrenchbentwrench Member Posts: 27
    Has anyone had a problem with a pull left or right after switching to michelin tires?
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Member Posts: 110
    Is anyone else having or had a rumbling noise at idle when the transmission is in Drive or Reverse. Our '00 RX is having this problem. Dealer has installed a new muffler but noise is still there. Seems to be worse when the car is cold. Gets some better when it has been driven a while.

    Any chance it could be the engine mounts? Are they liquid filled? Any help or ideas would be appreciated. Dealer has been very cooperative but no luck in solvin the problem. Otherwise, we are very pleased with the vehicle.
  • newtosuvnewtosuv Member Posts: 9
    Please explain this to me...I know that there is a Rx-300 FWD model. I am confused at the difference between 4WD and AWD ...Are they the same model and do people use the terms interchangeably.....or are they 2 different models?

    Thanks for the clarification.....
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Member Posts: 110
    There are only two drivetrains: All Wheel Drive and Front Wheel Drive. Some folks refer to the RX300 as 4WD but it is really an all wheel drive because you cannot move it in and out of all four wheels acting as drive wheels, hence it is AWD. I believe it is a 50/50 split to the front and rear under normal conditions. Some AWD vehicles split it more to the front or more to the rear under normal conditions.

    The FWD model sells well in the southeast and in southern CA. Supposed to get slightly better mileage and is a tad quicker due to slightly less weight.

    Hope this helps.
  • jiaminjiamin Member Posts: 556
    I've been reading without writing for a long time.
    My 2000 RX300 FWD has Goodyear tires. So far the car has got only 3000 plus miles. It'll probably never go off road. Most of the first 2000 miles were on highway and the rest is mostly city drive only.
    So far I haven't found any pulling to either left or right side, no matter when I accelerate it or I apply brake, highway speed or whatsoever. I know it' got a soft ride compared to my Altima and Maxima, and it's good to me because I can switch in between sporty and more luxury feelings if I choose one to drive.
    As to the idling rumbling, when I set the gear in "Neutral" or "Park" and compare them to any other gear, "N" and "P" positions are very slightly quieter and less vibrating. I think it is the characteristics of the auto transmission, as the car tends to move when not in "P" or "N".
    Good design will reduce the difference but will probably not totally eliminate that. My Maxima has a little more vibration but not bad at all, I only feel it when I shift it between "N" and "D" to compare, and when at "D" it gives a bit sound like "wuuuuuu", just a little that is heard if I turn everything off, radio, fan... My RX300 has less that for sure.
  • edmeisteredmeister Member Posts: 1
    Anyone have any experience installing a K&N air filter into an RX300?

    I was thinking about doing this to improve gas mileage and hopefully add some more horsepower due to free breathing air intake from the K&N filter.

    Does adding the filter really make that much of a difference? Is it hard to install if I want to try it myself?

    Any suggestions or experience with this would really help me out.

  • goldbadgergoldbadger Member Posts: 2
    I'm in the Dallas area. Sat night I bought a 2001 AWD RX300 with Premium Plus Package, Heated Seats, High Intensity Headlights, and Wood Steering Wheel for $35.5K. I also got the dealer to throw in tinting for windows. Did I get a good deal? This is approximately $1500 over MSRP.
  • lhorn25lhorn25 Member Posts: 1
    Anyone know if the navigation system can be updated or even needs to be in the future? Trying to decide if I should option it for my new RX300.
    Looks very neat but not sure on it's long term reliability.
  • inkyinky Member Posts: 370
    Man that was good. What dealer. I am in Tulsa. No deals here. What was MSRP? Who was salesmand?
    Thanks! Did you have loyalty money?
  • ststephen0ststephen0 Member Posts: 37
    Yes from what I know there is an annual update DVD made for the system....I have the Nav system and can't say enough how much I like it....has to be one of, if not THE, Best car nav systems on the market. I don't think I will ever have another car without it. Just my opinion, but to lhorn25 : GET THE will not be disappointed !!
  • slpakcharslpakchar Member Posts: 1
    Is msrp -10%, at scottsdale lexus a no haggle dealership, your deal is good on a national basis but just average for most big cities. I got the same car you got plus the towing package for 36K.
  • hayabusahayabusa Member Posts: 26
    I just came upon another rim available on the Harrier (RX 300) in Japan. Any thoughts? I don't like 'm, they look kinda cheap. I don't know on what kinda Harrier (RX 300) model they come on though (maybe the cheap model).

    The "new" one...

    The one currently on all RX 300's...
  • bjacob1bjacob1 Member Posts: 7
    what's the difference between HID and xenon headlights? BMW has xenon, lexus has HID
  • mbadadmbadad Member Posts: 2
    Please provide detail (line itemized)description of pricing of your 01AWD RX300. I'm in the market for a SUV but have been unsure about purchasing RX300 vs. MDX. However, with what you paid, that decision is now moot. I look forward to hearing from you ASAP.

    P.S. This is my first time logging on. Thanks to all for significantly increasing my knowlegde about vehicles in general (pricing, technical data, etc.).
  • mbadadmbadad Member Posts: 2

    I forgot to mention. Would you also please provide the Lexus dealership, name and phone number of your salesman in the Dallas area who made the sale?

    Again, Thanks.
  • robert1100robert1100 Member Posts: 5

    Your post(#148) on the deal you got for a 01AWD appears to be the best deal sofar posted in this forum. Do you mean by $1500 over invoice or MRSP? Seems to me, the price you paid would have been about roughly the same as the invoice price w/o the $1500 rebate. Did you get the $500 loyalty? Looking forward to your respond. Thanks.
  • sybelesybele Member Posts: 42
    Ok guys, I need some serious advice. Yesterday night, about 2 inches of snow accumulated here in Cincinnati. My RX AWD was hydroplanning worst than my wife's front wheel drive Camry.

    At one point, I even hit a car that was parked on the side way; this was while driving at about 10 miles/hr!!!!

    Any thoughts?? Am I overreacting by stating that the RX's all-wheel drive system sucks, and I should have saved the money and get the FWD instead? How about any fixes? Tires??
  • melvinshmelvinsh Member Posts: 19
    Just went throught MDX's and ML's forums. I noticed that some said ML slid and fish-tailed, some aslo said that X5 did the same even with skid control functioning.
    What year is your RX and what tires and milage do you have on your RX? We just drove my girlfriend's RX to ski trip here in Lake Tahoe with Bridgestone tires. I don't trusted my RX's Goodyear tires because it has almost 35,000 miles and the tire-track woren out quite a bit to be safe to drive on snow. Snow tires will help you a lot.
  • armoaraarmoara Member Posts: 1
    Ok, well this is what I am thinking...
    The RX has a built in LCD monitor, and the navigation system is DVD based, so in theory, could I connect a mobile DVD player to the LCD screen and watch DVD movies? Or would I have to get a seperate LCD screen (which would look terrible! 2 LCDs!)

    Also, does anyone know how large the LCD is? 6-7"? somewhere in there? If it is possible to play DVDs, would the quality of the screen be good? The LX 470 (Landcruiser)has the DVD playback feature built in which is neat!

    I have found a mobile DVD player from Power Acoustik for less than $400, plays DVDs, CDs, VCDs, and MP3s which is pretty damn cool! :)

  • cjarvis1cjarvis1 Member Posts: 2
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