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92 Rx300 Or 94 Rx330 Which To Buy


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Trying to decide between a 02' 300 or a 04' 330. Both have about 39k miles but the price difference is about $6k... the 92 has the 3.0 and obviously the 04' the 3.3... I'm not overly concerned about having and "old" card since I still drive my LS400 w/ 190k and don't see myself getting anything else until the wheels fall off. Just looking for quality and value. Any input is greatly appreaciated....

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both are AWD
Is the rx300 all wheel drive? or two wheel drive?

Without recommending an AWD RX3x0 to anyone under any circumstances the RX300 has a VC, Viscous clutch, across the center diff'l whereas the RX300 does not. The RX330 relies on brake TC, Traction Control, brake application to (re) apportion engine torque to the rear should the front wheel(s) develop wheelspin/slip.

If you feel you truly need AWD capability then look elsewhere.

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Some AWD rx300's have had serious transmission problems, while some have not. It's different from rx300 to rx300.

I've owned both the rx300 and rx330, and personally like the rx300 better (besides the transmission faulure-part). A new transmission for the rx300 goes for about $4400. That's less than the $6k difference you have b/t the rx300 and rx330.

If you like the rx300 better than the rx330, then go for it. Keep an eye on the transmission fluid, have it flushed every once and a while if it gets dark, and cross your fingers. There are quite a few rx300 owners out there with almost 200k miles and no problems. There are also a few rx300 owners (such as myself) who had a $4400 bill around 70k miles.

There don't seem to be any huge problems with the rx330, YET.

I would personally go with the rx300... only because in general, i think it's of higher quality, and of better materials (just my opinion).... I currently own an 07 rx350 and often opt to take my kid's rx300 to work instead.

Just be prepared for a huge bill if that transmission goes!

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Wow lexkid/630:

Good comments........you sure are a expert on RX's owning so many........

I like the comment you like the old RX300 over the 330 and 350........I too got a 330 for a rental and don't like the view in the rear window and noticed no advantage over the 300.........so i will keep my 300

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Trying to decide between a 02' 300 or a 04' 330. Both have about 39k miles but the price difference is about $6k... the 92 has the 3.0 and obviously the 04' the 3.3... I'm not overly concerned about having and "old" card since I still drive my LS400 w/ 190k and don't see myself getting anything else until the wheels fall off. Just looking for quality and value. Any input is greatly appreaciated....

While the transmission issues in the 300 seem to have been mostly solved by 2002, the 02' you're considering has exceptionally low miles and should still be under the Lexus powertrain warranty of 72 months or 70000 miles. With such low mileage, you have the opportunity to do the more recently recommended fluid ATF maintenance.

I have an early 1999 RX 300 and the tranny just failed at 77K miles. I drove a 2007 RX 350 as a loaner while the new tranny was installed. While I liked the slightly peppier engine and better cabin noise insulation, I much prefer the body style and more expansive windows (particularly in the rear) of the 300.

I leased my 300 in June, 1998 and liked it so much that I bought it when the lease expired. I've considered it the perfect car for me.

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I had an 02 RX300 and then traded it in for an 07 RX350. After driving the 07 for 3 month, I found I liked my 02 RX300 a lot better. Ended up finding a used 02 RX300 with only 37K miles so I ended up trading the 07 back in for the 02. Much happier now.

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I believe there's a member on this forum who had problems around 40,000mi? But there are other peope who have rx300's near 200k miles on it's first transmission! Some say it's because the owners never took care of it, yet some state they DID take care of it, and still had a problem.

You may be one of those lucky owners; you may not. Just choose whichever car you like best, and feel more comfortable in. For $6k difference, a LOT can break on the rx300 for you to still be ahead. And that may not happen for 5 years down the road...

Honestly, i'd go with the rx300.

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Wow......I feel good that these 350's are not much better then the 300. It seems that once 1999-01 came and went they started to be a good car.

One guy talks about Toyota not much better then GM and its the old idea never buy the first or second year of any car.

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Wow......I feel good that these 350's are not much better then the 300. It seems that once 1999-01 came and went they started to be a good car.

Definitely, it was the 99/00 RX's that seemed to have a much higher incidence of trans failure and then more so the 99 than the 2000, models. Form 01-03 I've seen very few (none that I can remember actually) comments regarding prematurely failed trans.

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The trans failures and the oil sludge alone would make the 330 worth the $6k premium, add to that the fact that the 330 is bigger, drives better, and is built better its a no brainer...get the 330.

Or even better, get an Infiniti FX ;)

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The trans failures and the oil sludge alone would make the 330 worth the $6k premium, add to that the fact that the 330 is bigger, drives better, and is built better its a no brainer...get the 330.

Or even better, get an Infiniti FX ;)

So you're kidding me in this post too eh? Oil sludging and trans problem solved by 01, both are non-sequiturs here, talking about an 02.

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The oil sludge was fixed for 02 and 03, but i'm not sure about the transmission problem... I had an 02 rx300 AWD and it was showing the same symptoms my 99 did right before the transmission went out. I got rid of it asap.

I actually think the rx300 drives "better" than the rx330/350. It's quieter and i, personally, feel more comfortable in it. The only reason i "would" like the rx330/350 more, is because it's "new". Plus the headlights and navi system is an upgrade... If they were still making the rx300's today, i'd have it instead of my 350.

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The oil sludge was fixed for 02 and 03, but i'm not sure about the transmission problem... I had an 02 rx300 AWD and it was showing the same symptoms my 99 did right before the transmission went out. I got rid of it asap.

Its certainly possible there are still problems after 01-03 but the number of reported failures is almost nil after 01 (talking about on this board and a few others), while there were quite a few failures in the 99/00 models. 01-03 models should have more than enough time/miles on them by now to hit that failure point but we don't see it happening. I know wwest has explained the technical elements of the changes in the trannys and my own suspicion is that Lexus had some parts/materials problem that they solved internally (and silently) to affect the stop in failures. Of course, on ANY vehicle there will be a small percentage of failures even in well built and engineered components, the level of 01-03 failures I've seen hasnt risen to a level that would elevate it past that stage yet.

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Found a 93 2WD with 39k white with grey leather today. I managed to find the original dealer through the vin and verified the 15k and 30k services were done at Lexus. I'm left to assume the oil was changed elsewhere (hopefully).

Anything I should know about the 2WD versions, we don't really need AWD and it's saves some bucks on the price and hopefully fuel mileage too.

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Found a 93 2WD with 39k white with grey leather today. I managed to find the original dealer through the vin and verified the 15k and 30k services were done at Lexus. I'm left to assume the oil was changed elsewhere (hopefully).

Anything I should know about the 2WD versions, we don't really need AWD and it's saves some bucks on the price and hopefully fuel mileage too.

There's no such thing as a 93 rx300, it's either a 99,00,01,02 or 03. If it has the grey interior, it's either a 99 or 00.

FWD should be fine as far as the transmission goes.

Are you sure you're talking about an rx300?

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On the forum poll, I saw several FWDs that had experienced transmission failures. I own a 1999 and 2000 RX300 and haven't had a hint of transmission or engine problems with either one. That's a bunch of crap about how Lexus fixed everything by 2003. The real problem is that most people don't maintain their RXs properly. I realize that there are always a few lemons in every bunch, but poor maintenance is the main cause of most mechanical failures. Check the fluids before you buy any car. I like both the RX300 and 330.

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Found a 93 2WD with 39k white with grey leather today. I managed to find the original dealer through the vin and verified the 15k and 30k services were done at Lexus. I'm left to assume the oil was changed elsewhere (hopefully).

Anything I should know about the 2WD versions, we don't really need AWD and it's saves some bucks on the price and hopefully fuel mileage too.

There's no such thing as a 93 rx300, it's either a 99,00,01,02 or 03. If it has the grey interior, it's either a 99 or 00.

FWD should be fine as far as the transmission goes.

Are you sure you're talking about an rx300?

I double checked here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexus_RX and also confirmed the tenth digit of the VIN is a 3 which means it is a 2003 RX 300. Another thing I found out was it doesn't have NAV or Heated seats as it was origianlly sold in Hollywood Florida...

:D

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Most FWD models come without a rear spoiler, xenon headlights or heated seats (because these are usually needed for winter). Nav is just an option, which is NOT contingent on whether or not it has heated seats etc. or not. I've seen FWD's with all the options, they're just VERY rare...

I've never understood the "performance packages" etc each car comes with; i just make sure everything i want is there, before i buy it!

The only "extra" options that are available for the 01-03 rx300 are: spoiler, heated seats, navi, xenon, towing package, and a wood steering wheel and shifter knob.

The tan and grey leather was only available for the 99-00 model rx300's. Black interior was introduced in 01, along with the "lighter" tan interior.

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On the forum poll, I saw several FWDs that had experienced transmission failures. I own a 1999 and 2000 RX300 and haven't had a hint of transmission or engine problems with either one. That's a bunch of crap about how Lexus fixed everything by 2003. The real problem is that most people don't maintain their RXs properly. I realize that there are always a few lemons in every bunch, but poor maintenance is the main cause of most mechanical failures. Check the fluids before you buy any car. I like both the RX300 and 330.

Actually it was by 2001 and you blow any and all credibility by making blanket statement without a shred of supporting evidence. So you think that from 2001-2003 all of a sudden everyone miraculously learned how to maintain their trannys, and thats why there are so few failures in those years compared with 99,00 ?????

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On the forum poll, I saw several FWDs that had experienced transmission failures. I own a 1999 and 2000 RX300 and haven't had a hint of transmission or engine problems with either one. That's a bunch of crap about how Lexus fixed everything by 2003. The real problem is that most people don't maintain their RXs properly. I realize that there are always a few lemons in every bunch, but poor maintenance is the main cause of most mechanical failures. Check the fluids before you buy any car. I like both the RX300 and 330.

Actually it was by 2001 and you blow any and all credibility by making blanket statement without a shred of supporting evidence. So you think that from 2001-2003 all of a sudden everyone miraculously learned how to maintain their trannys, and thats why there are so few failures in those years compared with 99,00 ?????

I agree, Lexus did and does have a problem on the 99 and 2000 lexus tranny. The failure rate is very high for such a high end vehicle and I repeat, Many of us did maintain our vehicles properly and still had the failure. The weak point in the transmission probably cant support heavy commute day in and out in hot weather. Blue stu acts like Monarch from the past that the failure is from poor maintenance..... Give me a break...

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