2004 Lexus RX 330 Expert Reviews at carmax.com

24 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2004 Lexus RX 330 Expert Reviews at carmax.com

With the RX 300, Lexus has had the luxury SUV in not only America but the But the RX 300 was introduced in 1998 and, a growing number of challengers, can’t afford to stand (No one can.) Therefore, the RX 300 has been by the all-new 2004 Lexus RX 330.

calls the RX 330 a luxury utility and is bold enough to dub it an LUV. The RX 330 into that category of SUV is based on a unit-body car platform than a truck frame, and it be called a crossover vehicle. As the RX 330 gives up some off-road but will do what most SUV want: provide more room than a sedan conferring an over-the-traffic view and a of security from its elevated position.

The 2004 RX 330 is longer and than the model it replaces. It with a leather interior feels soft and warm and with splashes of real trim. The front seats are off the floor at a comfortable chair and are snug and supportive and the back are roomy and comfortable.


RX 330 2WD ($35,025); RX 330 4WD ($36,425)


Lexus RX 330 joins the trend of styling on crossover SUVs, the new Infiniti FX45. RX 330 is much than the RX 300, making the model look really Unlike the RX 300, which had a C-pillar, the D-pillar is emphasized on the RX and is more steeply raked.

There’s more rake to the as well, and the front facia and are reminiscent of the Lexus ES 300 sedan.

there are definite car cues to the new Lexus designers have included meatier elements, as the beefy front bumper and fender flares. Well-designed handles are of the reach-through type are more hand-friendly than the variety, less chance of long fingernails.

A novel something not seen on the U.S. since the 1949 Tucker, is the Front Lighting System This system swivels the and right headlamp as determined by an processor that calculates the angle to provide the best allowing drivers to see around better. It’s available as part of the Performance Package.

A view of the RX 330 reveals a visor the top edge of the rear window, a radio antenna at the right corner of the roof (promising reception in marginal areas the imbedded-in-glass type), and clear-lensed The latter are trendy with the compact kids; we think should stay there, as don’t seem to be as visible, in bright sunlight, as the old-fogy red

The Lexus RX 330 competes with the XC90 ($33,350), Acura MDX Mercedes-Benz M-Class ($37,670), BMW X5 and Infiniti FX45 ($44,225), others. The RX 330 utilizes a modified of the platform used by the Lexus sedan, Toyota Camry, and Highlander sport-utility.


It doesn’t take than a glance inside to the Lexus RX 330 is aimed at the luxury SUV Leather on the seats (on most is soft and slightly bunched, and are splashes of real wood on the doors and center console. The panel has three large gauges trimmed in silver.

The dash area, or stack, is in metal-looking plastic.

Climate are located high on the center and to either side of an LCD screen to control ventilation, audio, computer, outside temperature and (with alarm). The radio has a for volume and tuning, much to use than the typical German that has tuning buttons default to a seek mode.

The is also used for the optional system as well as the rear-view that comes with it. The works automatically when the is shifted into reverse. We it very useful to check for or obstacles before backing up you don’t watch the screen you’ve started backing

Big outside mirrors afford a view rearward.

A novelty the RX 300 was introduced, the shifter for the automatic is still located on the center Rather than the popular for sportier rides, the RX 330’s has a zig-zag pattern for shifting gears. We found it made between reverse, drive and gears ponderous, particularly in a hurry.

The front seats are off the floor at a comfortable chair and are snug and supportive. Foldable on both front seats additional comfort on longer The center console slides and back, allowing room for a or whatever on the floor between the seats.

The back seats are roomy and The rear seat is contoured for though it has belts for three. a folding center armrest cupholders, storage and its own wood

The rear seats fold 40-20-40, the center section forward for longer items as skis, shovels, and fly rods, still allowing four to ride in comfort. This is comfortable than typical folding seats, which one of four passengers to travel in the center-rear seat when aforementioned long items. the rear seats down is easy, though we found struggling to reach to the far side of the seat to release it.

RX 330 bucks a trend by having no third-row Lexus says buyers more passenger space can buy one of the two ( and more expensive) Lexus

RX 330 is rated to carry 84.7 feet of stuff. That’s cargo space than a Aviator (77.1) or Infiniti (64.5) and certainly more a BMW X5 (54.4) has to offer. But the RX 330’s seats don’t fold for a flat cargo floor. We loading and unloading a mountain easier in a Mercury Mountaineer. The RX 330 two hidden compartments under the floor for additional storage.

The cover has an automatic retract which could be useful your arms are full and you want to put things down on wet

In addition to the usual steering and passenger multi-stage frontal the RX 330 has a knee bag for the driver. The side-impact standard, are large, protecting the abdomen and hips.

Lexus is an optional system that aid, using satellite and phone technology, at the touch of a or automatically with airbag Based on GM’s OnStar Lexus Link can also vehicle location for roadside or in case of theft. Operators can use the to unlock the doors should you the keys inside.


Truck-based SUVs have popular for their perceived added ride height and to go anywhere at any time. However, of them ride like get poor gas mileage, and are tall and This has led to the popularity of models on car platforms, of which the original RX 300 was the pioneer.

The new Lexus RX 330 is an advance in mien. It’s notable for its ride even over potholed pavement. Like the RX 300, the RX 330 should be good on and gravel roads as well, we haven’t tried this.

We the RX 330 poised in corners, the steering and accurate. Its fully independent keeps the tires in contact the pavement for lots of grip.

The V6 zips the RX 330 to speed (from 0 to 60 mph in 7.8 according to Lexus). Larger last year’s engine, the V6 a healthy 230 horsepower and 242 pounds-feet of Torque is the twist that acceleration, and the RX 330’s torque comes at a relatively low 3600

This means that Lexus can accelerate around without having to rev into the ranges, reducing cabin and eliminating the frantic feel engines needing high often have.

The RX 330 benefits a five-speed automatic transmission, has a lower low gear and a higher gear than the old RX 300’s automatic. The lower first allows quicker dig off the line, when having to merge traffic from a standing The higher fifth gear lower revs at cruise, translates into quieter with less engine plus better gas mileage and engine life because the doesn’t go around as many

At times, the transmission seemed to downshift, however.

The RX 330 is free road noise and wind even when equipped a roof rack. Lexus took the time to aerodynamically the roof rack to reduce

The brakes, large discs and rear, are smooth and have feel. The RX 330 comes with the in braking technology: A four-sensor/four-channel brake system helps the maintain control of the steering hard braking. Electronic force distribution balances forces for shorter stops.

Assist senses when the is in a panic braking situation and ensure full force is applied.

Rather than a true four-wheel-drive system locking center differentials or couplings, the RX 330 uses the antilock system to prevent wheel thereby sending torque to the that still have It’s a good setup for pavement, light snow, or All RX 330 models come equipped the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), which helps a skid.

We also drove an RX 330 with the air suspension. This system has driver-selectable height settings for and convenience. The air suspension lowers the RX 330 by 0.3 at speeds over 62 mph for reduced air for better handling and fuel

Drivers can select a mode lowers the car by 0.6 inches for better and a more sedan-like ride. and unpaved roads that greater ground clearance can be by selecting the High position, puts an additional 1.2 inches the RX 330 at speeds up to 30 mph.

An Access which lowers the RX 330 for easier and exit, can be selected with the in Park, or it can be programmed go to this automatically when the ignition is off. It’s available as of the Performance Package.

Lexus the RX 330 an LUV for luxury utility vehicle. call it an SUV for suburban utility In many ways, a minivan has utility, more room more seats, and even, as in the new Toyota Sienna, four-wheel

But the RX 330 has more panache than any which may be perceived as too suburban.

said, the RX 330 offers a good a plush, innovative interior, power with an 18/24 mpg EPA mileage rating (4×4), and the that all-wheel drive in winter driving, all with room and, to some more elan than a sedan. Add Lexus quality and and that all-important see-over-the-traffic height and it’s your LUV.

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