Last post on Jan 08, 2003 at 9:06 AM
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Lexus RX 330, Lexus RX 300, SUV
#171 of 178 The Competition Will Set the Price
Jan 06, 2003 (9:48 pm)
When the MDX came out and started selling well, Lexus dropped their to-the-buyer 2001 pricing in December 2000 by several thousand bucks. Or I would now have an MDX in the garage, not the RX.
Of course, they had an older design and needed to do something quick. Cutting prices is quick and effective.
Now, two years later, there's tremendous competition in the midrange crossover SUV market. MDX sales have continued strong, the XC90 and Murano are getting sales, the new Infiniti FX35/45 looks interesting, several other manufacturers like VW, Mitsu, and BWM & Porsche on the high end are pulling buyers into showrooms. And MB is still very much in the game along with new domestic offerings.
For example, while I haven't seen the new Infiniti FX35 yet, the specs are interesting and it appears to be at the same level of luxury as the 330. The "low-end" V6 has 280 hp, versus the 330's 230 hp. And, the base FWD model I would be interested in has a sticker several thousand less than the 330 which is probably at $36k with leather and w/o nav.
In the early RX days, dealers got MSRP, or a bit over or a bit under. Those days might well be gone forever.
#172 of 178 RX330 Production
Jan 06, 2003 (10:45 pm)
According to Denny Clements, Lexus group vice president and general manager "The 2004 RX 330 goes into production at its Kyushi, Japan, factory in February and will replace the 2003 RX 300 in showrooms shortly thereafter.
But by September, production of the new RX also will be started at an assembly plant in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. It will mark the first time in history that a Lexus is built outside Japan."
As far as the aluminum trim goes, it's growing on me. The interior is roomier with classier furnishings, better ergonomics and additional convenience and safety features. I'm glad Lexus decided to go after a greater male market share with the more aggressive exterior and interior styling, and less "soccer mom" look. That's why I've resisted an RX purchase, until now.
I agree that the competition will set the price. But, the MDX is not in the same league as the RX. The MDX is based on the Honda Odyssey mini-van platform. No thanks.
I also agree that there are some interesting entries in the 2003/2004 model year in the crossover SUV market. But, in my opinion, the RX330 leads the pack in styling, features and performance in its segment. Have you seen the Infiniti FX45? How about that Porsche Cayenne?
There's a reason that the RX represents 22% of it's market. So far.
#173 of 178 Sure - the reason is that Lexus got there first...
Jan 06, 2003 (11:46 pm)
...in 1998 with the RX introduction and other vendors were slow in following them. Just like Chrysler has the biggest share of the minivan market 'cause they started that piece in the early 1980s. Now they have to struggle to overcome the Honda and Toyota entries at certain price points.
We have enjoyed putting 33k miles on our '01 RX so far and it appears from the 330's specs that Lexus has addressed our two major concerns - terrible turning radius along with the "you-gotta-be-kidding" controls for the sound system semi-integrated within the nav screen.
Nothing like taking your eyes off the road for rather unimportant tasks such as switching stations or adjusting sound parameters...
And the auto climate system controls could use an upgrade as well; hopefully they got one.
As far as the MDX not being in the RX' class - while you might prefer one over the other, I can't agree that both are not worthy competitors. I think that the RX interior is superior in materials and fit & finish, but the MDX handles well, is more powerful, holds quite a bit more, and, for a relative of ours that bought one the same month we took delivery on the RX, it's been driven more miles without a single problem. Pretty impressive for a first-year vehicle even though it shares quite a few bits with the Odyssey.
As for it being derived from a minivan - true, but its an excellent minivan. That's like the old argument about the RX just being a "Camry on Stilts." So what? It's all about Parts Bin Engineering these days making vehicles cheaper to put together and reliable at the same time.
#174 of 178 Cayenne
Jan 07, 2003 (3:41 am)
They need all that HP to haul around 2.5 tons of antique technology
#177 of 178 RX 330 hybrid by 2005?
Jan 07, 2003 (8:04 pm)
Today Toyota showed a concept vehicle using a hybrid drivetrain based on the new RX 330.
You have to really ask this question: is this a preview of a hybrid-drivetrain RX 330 that will be coming in two year's time? I'd buy one in a New York minute if it lives up to Toyota's promises.
Jan 08, 2003 (9:06 am)
In order to consolidate all of the great discussion about this vehicle, let's continue in the topic, Lexus RX 300/330, which we're sharing with the SUVs board. Thanks!
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