matthewlswanson

Which generation of RX is the best offroad and why?

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My guess would be either the first gen rx300 or the most recent gen rx350 because they have the most ground clearance. Not sure how they all compare with locking diffs, gearing, wheel articulation, low end torque, etc since I only own the first gen. 

Second question: is the RX a lot worse off road than the LX and GX or are they close?

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The LX and GX are trucks, with a huge amount of ground clearance, low range transfer cases, and plenty of skid plates.  The RX is essentially a car platform with AWD, and no skid plates.  That said, you need to define what you mean by off-road.  If all you intend to do is drive on gravel roads, the RX will perform fine.  BUT, should you want to take your RX to Moab, UT and try some of the rocky trails, your RX may get seriously damaged.  Lots of BIG rocks, with no undercarriage protection.  That's both ends of the spectrum, but you get the idea.  

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Look on You-Tube for Lexus RX off-road.  You'll see what it can do, and where it gets stuck ...

And 2010 and up have springs in the rear which allow tire and wheel fitment options the Gen 2 chassis (w struts all around) does not.

Also note that the Gen ! vehicles were available with an optional posi-traction rear differential before the advent of traction control.

Next, the whole vehicle rides on four little contact patches.  So you have to select tires that will maximize the performance of the contact patch for the terrain you will be tackling ...  Winter snow tires wear quickly on dry pavement, but they make snow, mud and ice work much easier.  Fatter tires with some additional sidewall will allow airing down for sand work (a must).

Edited by Broc Luno
more info

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