Lexus RX 300 Fun Facts
- Want to know how the Lexus RX 300 crossover concept came to be? Well, it originated from the result of a market research study. The study found out that only a measly 7% of SUV owners utilized their vehicles for off-roading. This led Toyota to develop an on-road SUV, which would later turn out to be the RX 300, of course.
- In Japan, the Lexus RX 300 was known as the Toyota Harrier.
- During the RX series' earlier years, the Lexus RX 300 was the only Lexus that was constructed outside of Japan. Most variants of the RX 300 were built at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada plant in Cambridge, Ohio.
- Since it debuted in 1998 and until the Lexus RX 350 took its place after a few years, the Lexus RX 300 has been the United States' best-selling luxury SUV (it was also Lexus' best-selling model). That isn't surprising since it sold nearly 400,000 in its first five years in the market. In fact, the 330i's popularity pushed rival makes to launch crossovers of their own.
- The Lexus RX 300 was an award magnet, which wasn't really that surprising considering its impressive capabilities. Here are some of the notable accolades that it received: J.D. Power and Associates'
Most Appealing Luxury SUV (1998), Motor Trend's
Sports/Utility Vehicle of the year (1999), Money Magazine's
Best Deal on the Road in the SUV class (1999), and Kelley Blue Book's
Best to Hold Value awardee (1999 to 2001).
- In 2002, Lexus introduced a limited Coach Edition RX 300 (which was of course inspired by Coach, the American luxury leather goods manufacturer). Naturally, this special edition featured lots of fine perforated leather in the interior. On top of that, it also had a unique honeycomb grille, Coach badges in both interior and the exterior, and a bonus set of Coach luggage. Sweet.
- Because of its widespread popularity, it's pretty much impossible for the Lexus RX 300 to not find itself appearing in movies and television shows. Some of its small screen and big screen sightings include South Park, Frasier, Bra Boys, Alaska State Troopers, The Beast, The Starter Wife, Everwood, Anna's Eve, The Firm, Tiger & Bunny, Stick It, Gone, Wildfire, 25th Hour, Freaky Firday, Parks and Recreation, GCB, and Franklin & Bash. Whew.
Lexus RX 300 Problems
The Lexus RX 300 is one of the very first crossovers in the market. The RX 300 is a trailblazer to an extent, as its success pushed rival makes to launch their very own crossovers. While it's recognized as one of the best luxury SUVs in the market for its reliability and consistent performance, the RX 300 wasn't without problems. Below were some of its most common ills.
Some Lexus RX 300 owners reported automatic transmission fluid leaks within the transmission system. Also, transmission failures were somewhat a common occurrence. What's worse is when that happens, the torque converter will stop working as well.
Poor Fuel Efficiency
Since fuel efficiency is a big thing for most automotive owners, the Lexus RX 300's rather poor mileage didn't sit well with some owners. The RX 300 rated at around 17 mpg. Its considerable weight (which was almost 2 tons) significantly affected the RX 300 in this category.
Headlights and Taillights
The headlights and taillights often bugged Lexus RX 300 owners. When the headlight switch was set to
AUTO, both the headlight and the taillight wouldn't always illuminate automatically when subjected in conditions where there's low ambient light. This led to momentary (at least until drivers manually switch on the headlights and the taillights) road vision impairment.
Rear-view Mirror and Side-view Mirrors
The Lexus RX 300's rear-view mirror and side-view mirrors did not meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards. And because of that, they tend to create excessive glare for drivers, thus impairing road vision when driving at night. Needless to say, this issue could be particularly dangerous.
The Lexus RX 300 occasionally made unnecessary and annoying noises. Suspension noise, squealing brakes, and rackety sounds from the moon roof (which was a result of the awkward placement of the luggage rack's cross bars) often plagued the RX 300. The last one can be easily solved by modifying the cross bars though.
The Temperature and Trip Display
Although this is a very minor issue, many owners didn't appreciate the unnecessarily large temperature and trip display in the Lexus RX 300's center console. They found it distracting and a waste of space.
Lexus RX300: Keeping the Exterior Neat and Rust-free
With the Lexus RX300, you get a velvet-smooth ride instead of a stiff one, which is common to some SUVs. Its powertrain operates smoothly. Handling is sweet as well. It's great to know that this luxury SUV isn't gas-hungry, giving you decent fuel economy for a crossover. It has a well-groomed interior that matches a sleek armor on the outside, which adds up to the overall driving pleasure. It would be a shame if the Lexus' exterior would be tainted by dirt and stains and ruined by rust and scuffs. To keep that paintjob neat and the rest of the exterior in great shape, here are some car care tips to keep in mind:
- Wash the car thoroughly and frequently.
Washing your SUV regularly and waxing it from time to time can be the difference between taking a frequent trip to an auto body shop and keeping the exterior in neat condition even after your Lexus has seen years of all-season driving. The trick is to not let bird droppings, mud, acid rain, and dead bugs scratch the paint or ruin the shiny finish. Use car shampoo or cleaner to not only get rid of surface dirt, stains, and contaminants but to also maintain the luster of the finish. Have every crevice of the vehicle covered, even removing grime and debris underneath the wiper blades and cowl panel. Wiping it clean with a microfiber cloth will be the easiest and best way to dry the car since this fabric is able to absorb dust and dirt residue and remove water spots while also preventing surface scratches.
- Maintain the car's shine and protect it against rust buildup.
To maintain the Lexus' sleek exterior, it needs more than just a regular wash. You also have to wax it from time to time—some products can stay on for several months or may be applied twice a year or re-applied more frequently for outstanding shine. A high-quality wax won't only preserve the car's shiny finish but will also protect the paint, hiding some minor scratches and chips. Car paint sealant or polish can provide a better layer of protection for the paint's surface and can be applied just several times in a year before waxing. Before rust or corrosion chip the paint or eat away the protective coat, you may apply some protectant on the auto body panels to keep road salt from ruining the finish even of alloy wheels. Rust-proofing will be a good treatment for the vehicle. Also don't forget to keep a well-polished tires using tire shine and to make sure that the windshield and windows are spotless with a special glass cleaner.
- Fix scratches and chips right away, no matter how small they are.
Dings and scratches should be repaired even before the metal begins to rust and spread. Minor scuffs can be treated easily using touch-up or spray paint, which should match the vehicle's color/trim code that's specified in the manufacturer label. After touching up the cuts and scores, apply some clear coat. Minor scratches can be fixed using a polishing compound and some buffing with a wax. Stains and other hideous marks may need some wet sanding before polishing them or touching up the scraped portion.
Lexus RX300: A Perfect Mix of Luxury and Reliability
In 1998, Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota, released a midsize crossover SUV in the form of the RX300. The Lexus RX300 is a luxury vehicle that was released a few months after the RX series was released. The RX300 became one of the first crossover luxury SUVs in the Lexus lineup, and it didn’t fail expectations—it quickly turned into a reliable truck-based SUV that didn’t have the side effects of poor fuel economy and a stiff ride.
1998: The birth of a sport luxury vehicle
The RX line of vehicles developed by Lexus came from a concept sport utility vehicle called a Sport Luxury Vehicle, or an SLV. It was previewed as a model in 1997 and combined the characteristics of an SUV, a wagon, and a sedan. It featured high ground clearance and an elevated seating position and was designed to be suitable for suburban driving. The Lexus RX300 debuted in the US in March 1998 and included an engine and drivetrain combination that consisted of a 3.0-liter 1MZ-FE V6 and either a front or four wheel drive. Its interior included leather seats, a center console with storage drawers, and reclining and sliding rear seats.
2000-2003: A few renovations
Two years later, the RX 300 was revamped with new headlights and taillights, with the optional high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and DVD-based navigation system. Among the features that it retained were a unibody chassis, a front triangular quarter-windows, door-mounted side mirrors, and a rear liftgate with top-mounted spoiler—design features that were not typical of existing four-door vehicles at the time. Nevertheless, sales of the Lexus RX went over 370,000 units in just five years. It became the best-selling Lexus model shortly after its introduction.
2004-present: Sticking to the formula
The five-passenger RX 300 we see today is based on the single-generation model that ran from 1998-2003. There are almost no changes to its features, and it still had a 220 horsepower V6 engine paired to a four-speed automatic transmission. It has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, and sports a standard 240-watt, 7-speaker Pioneer sound system. The concept of the RX 300 is intended to shift SUV qualities to an on-road vehicle, a move that is based on research that stated only 7 percent of SUV owners drove off-road. The RX 300 interior maintained its leather trim, a rear cargo area that can be hidden beneath a tonneau cover, and two rows of seating. More modern improvements include a center dashboard that has an LCD screen displaying audio, climate, and performance information.