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Lexus RX 300



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Not in this lifetime.

    Both of my Jeeps were the older boxy style because we felt they had more room than the JGC and thus we were more comfortable.

    My 85 Jeep had CV joints all around and then we traded up to the 92. I busted my knuckles several times before realizing that the 92 had been downgraded to U-joints all around.

    My 85 had the GM V6, and the 92 has the L6, 190 HP and it never got over 17MPG. My 2001 RX has 220HP and consistently gets over 20MPG on the highway.

    Maybe my RX doesn't have the 4WD mechanical features of the JGC, but COMFORT is another story. I would NEVER suggest anyone purchase any Jeep unless true off road performance is required.

    Yes, they are priced about equally, but otherwise about as comparable as apples and oranges.

    My 92 Jeep is out on a ranch (turned out to pasture) in central Montana (Missouri breaks country) where it belongs.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    There is off-roading and then there is OFF-ROADING!

    mrgan78 lives in Canada...

    I have been in places in Canada, and Alaska, wherein what we here in the states would call "off-road" is the normal "road" conditions.

    For instance I wouldn't go anywhere, north of Kamloops say, in the wintertime except in something as "off-road" worthy as a Jeep.

    As a matter of fact Cut Bank Montana in the wintertime would also easily fit that criteria. Sorry, we don't have any simple answers for you.

    I will say that in the thirteen years I have driven Jeeps here in the Seattle area I always threw in a set of chains in the wintertime, and on three separate occasions, 87, 90, and 95, I actually needed chains on all four wheels to get where I needed to go on normal roadbeds. There was at least one occassion when the AWD mode of the Jeep wouldn't move me and I had to resort to its 4WD mode. I never used nor needed the low gear ranges.

    Now in truth I cannot say that the RX wouldn't "go" the same way in the same conditions, but from personal experience I do know that the Jeep would.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    wwest, Kamloops? LOL, I have been there in the winter months in my M-class. Handled just fine :-) I wouldn't do it again though!

    Tony, don't forget that the side impact tests are done using a 3500 lbs ram which is car height. Get smacked by a minivan, another SUV, a pickup truck, or anything larger and the results do not apply since you lose the height advantage (which is the only reason why SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks nearly all get 4 or 5 stars). This is where side impact airbags and a strong structure come in. The speed at which the NHTSA side impact test is conducted is also only 30 mph (I read somewhere that MB runs their internal side impact crash tests at speeds higher than that; 35-40 mph). When someone runs a red light, he/she usually speeding to beat it and as such, the speed can easily be 10-15 mph higher than that. A side impact collision at 40 mph is not pretty, even for a Volvo or Mercedes.

    Just food for thought :-)

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Reply to #1729 above, yes I installed myself. Had to experiment with location of sensors. Ending up fabricating two brackets of 1/8" x 1" aluminum flat and mounted those to my trailer hitch so that the sensors are about even with bottom of rear bumper and equally spaced. Ran wiring through an existing grommet near the spare tire cavity. Had to extend sensor wiring, furnished pigtails too short. Used standard RJ11 modular telephone plugs/jacks and cord. Works well.

  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    Calm down don't get your shorts in a bunch.
    "Not in this lifetime"
    Were you the bus boy at the last supper : )

    To many consumers these vehicles make their list along with other such as the BMW X5, MDX, Sante Fe (just kidding). All these are considered mid size SUVs but all offer something different to the buyer. With the question/criteria proposed I would personally agree with "gpvs". My point is simply that if you ask that question here these are the answers you get, ask on the Jeep forum and they'll tell you differently, and probably offer valid arguments in favor of their vehicle of choice.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    The thing that "bunches up my shorts" is that I'm willing to be objective (unlike the other religious fanatics on Edmunds) and say don't get the RX if it's not the right vehicle for your criteria. But folks post such simplistic questions/criteria that it becomes very annoying.

    On the other hand, people who buy new JGCLs are asking for an intimate relationship with their Chrysler service manager.
  • tristan2tristan2 Posts: 5
    I solved that middle or side issue by having another kid. Now, I have a toddler seat on the passenger side and an infant seat on the driver side. I tried putting the infant seat in the middle, but there was not enough place. It was hard to "click" the infant seat in the base.

    Before the second kid, I had the toddler seat in the middle, and attached the tether to both the left and right anchors.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Tristan, you just raised a very good point that dawned on me last night: If you have more than one child, you don't have a choice about putting someone near the door. Do you favor one child more than the other??? Who's more likely to get hurt, the infant in the car seat or an older child without one? What if you have two infants?

    So many questions...
  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    From my view point, having two children requires them to be on the left and right. I believe that for the most part, putting one in the middle and one on the side would result in them being too close, risking "clunking heads" in a side impact accident.

    I feel the infant in the car seat still risks more injury than an older child, as the muscles in the neck aren't strong enough to prevent the spine from extending beyond what it safely can. I think the spine can extend 1/4" without damage, but the muscles in an infant allows up to 3" or 4". I'm not exactly sure about the figures, but these are pretty close.

    An older child would have the muscles necessary to prevent this extension, although whiplash may still occur. But whiplash can heal over time.

    I heard that there is legislation going on that would require a child up to 10 years old be in a booster seat since seatbelts for the most part are designed around adults.

  • mvs1mvs1 Posts: 462
    People who post simplistic questions could quite often be in the beginning of their car buying process. And probably do less research than yourself. Answering questions (some of which are often time repetitive), offering objective statements, and opinions should never be annoying. Most folks do not visit this site every day. Humble yourself occasionally

    Now asking for an intimate relationship with Chyrsler service at this point is not feasible. And Lexus is well known for the way they treat their customers.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Of course, in some ways you are right (which isn't hard for me to say since my 3 year old is named Michael). I'll hold my tongue.
  • raddboy41raddboy41 Posts: 249
    Oh, but my 18 month old is SOOO much happier in the center position so he can see out the front!
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Goto, plug in you zip code, and configure the car you want. This will give you an idea of what vehicles are going for in your area. The information shown won't be an absolute, but'll be a good starting point for your price research.
  • raddboy41raddboy41 Posts: 249
    Depends on what part of the country you are looking. I picked up my 2001 RX FWD with Value Pkg Plus for $34,000 last week here in NC. Edmunds had it at $38,000+. Yes, Edmunds is pretty darn accurate and Lexus is dealing on RXs right now.
  • apollo8apollo8 Posts: 9
    I have been reading your posts here about the RX 300 and doing research about this and others. MDX, QX4, I am quite sure that I will be purchasing the RX300. Unfortunately, the HID lights are not available in Canada. Does anyone know if this is an option that a US dealer can install or is it a factory option that for some reason Toyota/Lexus Canada does not offer..Thanks!!!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    my 2000 Rx could not be upgraded to HID for less than about $4,000 according to the dealer. Apparently the WHOLE headlight assembly must be changed out.

    Why not buy in the US and "export"?

    RX300 pricing... Go to and search for USED (you'll still see new) throughout the county. I think I have seen 2001 FWD RX300's there for as little a $30,000 with 45 miles OD.
  • rparis2rparis2 Posts: 46
    Six months ago, dealers were not varying too much on lthe price of the RX, but the price is driven by supply and demand. They are dealing much more now. My personal opinio is $1500, more or less, over dealer cost is reasonable.
    It is a great vehicle.
  • mox1mox1 Posts: 24
    Just last week I bought the exact vehicle you are describing from Macon, GA for $ 34200. Edmunds is very correct. I have an earlier post with all the details of the dealer. Let me know if you need any more info. Good luck.
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Posts: 110
    I traded a '93 JGC Ltd. for a '99 model fully loaded, stickered at $38K. The vehicle was in and out of the dealer's service department a total of 14 times in the first 6 months. Lost the use for about 32 days total. Never was able to get the tranny or rear end problems fixed. Went to arbitration with DC and of course, lost. They wanted to continue to try to fix it. To make a long story short, we traded it for a '00 RX and could not be happier despite the bath I took on the trade. IMHO, the JGC could be a fantastic vehicle, but it is not reliable and the build quality sucks, but worst of all the dealers and DC just don't give a damn. If you don't need real off road capability, buy the RX!
  • mlevinedcmlevinedc Posts: 45
    I just took delivery of an RX AWD NAV Chrome Wheels and every available option except for the gold pkg and Nakamichi for 39877.80 (750 over invoice). 1500.00 over is way too much this time of year!

    New Hartford CT
  • dr_suvdr_suv Posts: 12
    Thanks to wwest and malhokc and tonychlr for the ifno on the tires. I had been looking in tirerack and settled on the

    AT Italia Riva with Michelin Cross Terrains.

     This discussion group is awsome. While the Mercedes group is complaing about how many "rattles" and problems their MLs have and the MDX group is talking about how much over sticker, forced options and months to wait before delivery we are praising our RXs and looking for ways to make em look sharper.

    I am kind of torn between upgrading my 2000 RX or

    Trading in for 2001. I would like the HID, VSC, Wood Steering and integrated thethers and Monotome of Silver Sport. I don't care to much for the rear lights or Black interior. So do I upgrade my 2000 or Trade-in. Anybodyknow the Trade-in value for 2000 w\ 6K ? What about the taxes will I have to pay on the 37K of the 2001 or just the difference ?

  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Very sharp, but I'm assuming with the 17 x 8 combo you'll need spacers?

    Funny, the AT Italia 5 Razze look just like the stock Rex wheels?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    My wheels and tires are to be installed today 17x8 RH(?) wheels, look much like the ati SPA with 30mm spacers and same tires.

    By all means trade up to the 2001 RX, I did, but try to avoid the Nav system. Now only is it flawed in a way that makes you not trust it, but the human engineering of the method for displaying the other functions, Radio, HVAC, etc, just SUCKs, big time.

    Before you buy one with the Nav rent or borrow one, an RX with Nav, for a day or so.

    Had I not already painted the bottom of mine to match the top I would probably to trying to figure out some way to trade it out for a non-Nav one.
  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    I love the Nav. The non-Nav, IMO, have a really, REALLY silly looking LCD screen, with some rather large and ugly looking buttons on a ledge at the bottom.

    When my wife and I went to test drive one, the dealership only had a non-Nav demo. We drove it at night, and boy, the screen just looks plain dumb (again, IMO). They could have designed something that looks much more elegant.

    The Nav screen, even when off, looks much more in place in a vechile of this caliber. And the navigation itself, for me, works most of the time. It got me from my house in Ashland, MA to the Bay Tower Room (State street in Boston), even through all the "Big Dig" construction going on. Not too shabby.

    The resolution of the Nav screen (and colors) make the other functions much more pleasant to look at as well.

    As for usability. Within a few days of driving the car, I've mastered all the functions so that I can use it "safely" while driving.

    I would never buy an RX300 without the Nav option.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I have had no problem with the Nav inside a major city, it even knows that I can't turn left southbound on 164th and 85th here in Redmond (WA). All of my problems have been with out-lying areas or downtown in minor cites (Bellingham)wherein the system computed a route and then in mid-trip "discovered" that it had no road continuity between the two points.

    But my MAJOR complaint (I can certainly do without the Nav, if I know in advance not to rely on it) is the extremely poor human engineering of the other uses of the Nav display.

    The use of "soft" colors between background and text/icons degrades the contrast severely, and the actual size of the text and icons is needlessly too small. They never use more than about 1/5 of the screen for displaying these other functions, why not use up more of the otherwise blank screen.

    And when I'm not using the Nav (never do) why can't the entire information display, as in the non-Nav LCD, be continously displayed. Why do I have to "hit" a radio, HVAC, info button in order to see the current status of these functions?

    Look, "glance" at the clock display at night to get an idea of text and icon size as it should/might be (the LCD screen is actually smaller and has less resolution than the Nav screen) and that the outstanding contrast of the clock display allows you to glance and read it with lingering to decipher it.

    Now have a quick look at the OAT indication in the same manner....

    Oh, I forgot, you MUST adjust one of the HVAC functions in order to bring up that display... distracting isn't it? Why?

    Could you read the OAT indication as quickly and as easily as the clock?

    We don't need elegant, we need functional!
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    Being the Man of the House, I didn't need any dumb ol' electronic gee-haw in our new RX to tell ME where and when to get off the freeways....

    But my wife will never drive a vehicle again without it. Here's why:

    1. She doesn't have to call her husband and ask a dumb question (usually of the "Which way is home from where I am now?" variety).

    2. Her husband doesn't have to miss the Laker game to figure out an answer

    3. Her job takes her into unfamiliar areas of So. California. The Nav has reduced her fears about doing this on her own.

    I have no doubt that in certain cases, the RX Nav (or any other brand) won't do the job. In fact, the Lexus RX system seems to like one north-south freeway out where we live more than another -- to the point where it insists that we make a "legal U-turn" to find the one it favors....for about 2-3 miles, then it gives up and re-routes us correctly. Weird.

    But, on a lease, the actual expense after the residual is about $33/month. And if I deduct the cellphone calls I previously received, asking for directions, I'm probably ahead of the game.
  • apollo8apollo8 Posts: 9
    Thanks for the info on the HID wwest. Anyone know if there are any major changes coming for 2002. SHould I buy a 2001 or wait for new model year. 2001 have some decent deals being offered!!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If you tell it to minimize freeway use it does so in the extreme, boy!

    Discovered a few new back-country roads that way, some running exactly parallel to a freeway.

    I can't imagine and body or structual changes in the RX for the next few years, maybe 17' wheels and wider tires.

    "Software" changes are another story, they need'em.

    I think the widespread availibility of good RX deals is the result of the highlander availibility. If you don't want HID and/or Nav then you should look sriously at the HL.
  • finch3finch3 Posts: 113
    With or without HID or NV or those little things, the RX is a great car. Wonderful suspension and road holding. Great audio and seating arrangements. Terrific mileage. Excellent cargo space. It's a great vehicle! Put in a compass and a shorter turning radius and it would be perfect. I hope I don't have to take NV and HID when I trade my 2000. I don't need more stuff!
  • hwj39hwj39 Posts: 7
    Have about decided on the RX. However, I despise dealing for best price. Does anyone have experience with Houston dealers which were pleasant and straight forward? I'm going after fwd, no nav, but otherwise loaded. Would appreciate any information. I would not mind going as far as Dallas or Austin for the right kind of dealer.
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