Last post on Oct 16, 2013 at 10:49 PM
You are in the Lexus RX 300/330/350
What is this discussion about?
Lexus RX 330, SUV
#1771 of 3942 Neptune Blue Mica
Oct 01, 2003 (3:52 pm)
I am considering purchasing a 2004 RX 330 and am interested in the Neptune Blue Mica color. I was told by the dealer it is a fairly unusual color and they do not have any in stock. I am concerned it may have a "purple" tint to it in certain light. I cannot tell by looking at the Lexus website or by the color chip in the brochure. The dealer said he thought it was a navy color and would not have the purple tint to it. Does anyone have this color or have they seen this color? Thanks for your help.
Oct 01, 2003 (4:33 pm)
The RX seems to turn faster than the MDX. The steering is "lighter". It feels more "nimble". Maybe the MDX's "clumsiness" in this area is due to the fact that it is taller, wider and longer (the driver sits noticeably higher as well). Still, if I go 50mph and change lanes and back very quickly, the RX remains composed and quickly enters and exits each lane. The MDX is less comforting. It seems to stay in the lanes longer. If I slow the MDX to between 40 and 45mph, it feels more like the RX did at 50mph. Maybe this is due, in part, to the fact the the MDX is taller, wider and longer than the RX. The driver also sits higher. All this makes it feel less "nimble".
Having said all this, the MDX's steering is better weighted and provides more feel and control during normal driving (within the vehicles limits). So while a Ford Focus might travel faster down a twisting mountain road, a 5-series BMW will feel better.
I guess it would be more fair to compare cars that are more similar - a Focus is much smaller than a 5-series and the RX is noticeably smaller than the MDX. Still, I think the RX's "nimbleness" is more impressive than the MDX - even if the road feel is slightly worse.
Oct 01, 2003 (4:35 pm)
more for JBaumgart:
....And your right. The brakes are more responsive in the RX. The RX stops much more confidently and I rarely overshoot the threshold of the intersection like I do in the MDX.
Every few nights, I take my 2-year-old son on a ride so he will fall asleep. After stopping by bmwbob27's to trade stories about cold-air and counter-intuitive moonroof controls (not to mention the fact that we're the only RX owners in Sonoma County who are male), I cruise on the freeway a few exits then return home. Some nights I'll take the RX and others the MDX - I let my son choose. Both vehicles cruise so nicely that you often don't realize how fast you are going. I often fail to slow down enough for the freeway offramp and am forced to apply more brake pressure to come to a stop before the intersection. I often overshoot threshold in the MDX, but not in the RX. I have gone so far as to duplicate my exit "trajectory" in both vehicles and the RX always stops better. I realize that this test is less scientific than my other tests which involve stopwatches and real measurements. But I am confident that I am not lying when I purport that the RX out brakes the MDX in a noticeable way.
#1774 of 3942 Is Car and Driver lying?
Oct 01, 2003 (4:44 pm)
....As for Car and Driver, all I can say is that I never have been able to get anything close to their numbers - even with an automatic transmission. For that matter, I looked up 0-60 times on several websites. The only ones that are close to mine are on the website for a leading consumer magazine. They got 8.2 seconds for the MDX; I got 8.3. They got 8.8 seconds for the RX (AWD); I got 8.6 seconds for the RX (FWD). And here's the kicker. The consumer magazine was the only website that actually buys cars at the dealerships like you an me. All the other cars were supplied by the manufacturer. Many, before vehicles were available to the public. In fact, the Lexus brochure says they got there times with professional drivers and prototype vehicles. I used to think that I could use Car and Driver's numbers for relative comparisons - even if my times were slightly worse. I have learn that that is not the case. Car and Driver's numbers can be opposite of what you and I can do in the production vehicles (relatively speaking). That's why I dismiss them entirely. I must admit, though, that C&D's braking numbers look good. Bot C&D and the leading consumer magazine got about 12% shorter stops in the RX than they did with the MDX. Maybe it's harder to rig the breaks on those "prototype" vehicles - or maybe the manufacturers don't care as much about those numbers.
I really think that Lexus really wanted the RX to accelerate better (because that was on of the biggest complaints about the dated RX300) and Toyota just couldn't do it. So Lexus marketing just hyped and exaggerated a little more than companies usually do.
The RX is still a great car. It's just not the speed demon they want you to think it is. It's really more like the old RX300 in that respect.
#1775 of 3942 something just misses
Oct 01, 2003 (7:17 pm)
I've had my RX330 for almost three months. I love all the toys from the nav package to the power tailgate, but in terms of actually driving the car it just is not "fun". Comfortable--yes. Sure footedness--yes. Trouble-free--so far yes. BUT NOT FUN. Any comments?
#1776 of 3942 Not intended to be "fun"
Oct 01, 2003 (7:40 pm)
Despite the hype from the mfgs, an SUV is just about the last vehicle you should buy if "fun" is high on your "want-list". The "sport" part of SUV was originally rock-hopping and mud-bogging. You will get great utility and satisfaction from your RX, but "fun" it will never be.
Oct 01, 2003 (9:00 pm)
Point fairly well taken if we were talking about an Explorer or even the other two Lexus SUVs as they are all truck based. The RX is really not much more than a Camry or ES with more body armor and all wheel drive. It should have more life. Maybe it is just that Toyotas do not have "soul".
Oct 01, 2003 (9:07 pm)
I've been a C&D subsciber for many years and I do trust their numbers as being authentic. But as they often point out, any given individual car of a given model will be slower (or faster) than another of the exact same model. Not all engines will come off the assembly line exactly the same. And on any given day, conditions might be different too.
They also will tell you that they extract the best possible time for each model that they test. On automatic and AWD-equipped cars like the RX, this means employing a technique that you and I would never do to our own vehicles - giving it plenty of gas with our left foot on the brake, and then letting it go. On cars that develop too much wheelspin to hurt performance, this means less throttle. For this reason their 5-60 mph test is probably a better measure of real-world performance. You are already moving slightly and then mash the gas pedal. But the 0-60 and quarter mile times are achieved using the best possible technique on each car they test. I don't think Consumer Reports would ever do this, so in the reports that I've seen their times are always slower than those achieved by C&D. It's not the fact that C&D are given perfectly prepared, super-fast examples of cars, whereas Consumer Reports just buys them off the lot. If this were true, C&D wouldn't find much in the way of rattles and other manufacturing defects that they often do. And oftentimes they buy a car for a long-term evaluation, and the car is a little faster after 20,000 or 30,000 miles than it was when brand new (not too often, but this happens sometimes).
So I do not believe that they fudge the tests in any way. This is one magazine that is very critical of models that they don't care for, and even critical of certain features of models that they do care for. This and their often humerous writing style is mainly why I've liked it and have been a paid subscriber for so many years. Like anything else, you don't believe everything you read as if it were the Gospel, but it's about as consistently honest as I've found for printed car mags.
P.S. They are not big fans of SUV's generally, but I still bought an RX330 and a FX45, so I don't always follow their recommendations! <g>
#1779 of 3942 Camry/ES are also great cars.... But "fun"??
Oct 01, 2003 (10:16 pm)
If you want a "fun" Toyota, strap on an MR2 or any of their other "sporty" hardware.
#1780 of 3942 C&D and Consumer Reports
Oct 01, 2003 (11:25 pm)
I agree with JBaumgart on the testing method, and actually have read some of the magazine testers stories about how they test cars. Most often, the car will be in neutral (auto) and the gas up to the max torque level and slammed the gear into drive. For manuals, clutch is dumped at high RPM. Sometimes I wonder how long those clutches and transmissions last on the press cars.
I remember Road and Track testing Bugatti EB110 (AWD) by running the RPM upto 7000 and dumping the clutch, because the thing would not spin the tires at lower RPMs.
Consumer Reports on the other hand, seems to test the way average Joe would drive their cars. So I tend to rely on their numbers for more realistic data.