1999 Lexus RX 300 from North America


Good vehicle except for transmission


I have a 1999 Rx 300. we have had it only 6 months and the transmission has to turn about 3000 rpm when cold to shift from third gear to overdrive. after it warms up it changes OK. the transmission fluid was black when I had it changed at 72000 miles. I don't know if it had been changed before. does any one else have this problem.

north carolina.

General Comments:

Handles good and rides good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th December, 2005

27th Feb 2006, 11:54

I was told by my dealer that the tranny is designed for slower (or later) shifts when it is cold. Mine as acted like this since I bought the car with 72000km (45000 miles) on it, and I haven't noticed any change in behaviour since then (115000km currently)

25th Apr 2006, 22:37

That is normal. The rx300 is a low emission vehicle and is programmed that way so as to reach normal engine temperature quickly.

1st Jun 2006, 18:34

Same experience with my 99 RX300. I bought the car certified in 2003. In late 2005, at only 32000, my transmission was slipping and wouldn't go into gear. I had the warranty so I took the car in. The dealer replaced the transmission and said that it's a problem with most RX300s. My RX300 never got over 15mpg even on my trip from California to Texas. I had owned 2 Lexus in the past and had no problems. I decided to buy a RX330 cause I needed an SUV for work. I bought brand new this time. So far the car has been good. I only have 5000 on it because I've been driving my 99 LS400. I have faith in Lexus. I did learn to never buy a first model year.

3rd Jun 2006, 00:36

The RX is not a vehicle for long-term ownership, we found that out the hard way.

We quickly got rid of it as soon as the tranny problems crept up and purchased a used, but well maintained LX470.

Gas mileage is abysmal, but the quality is leaps and bounds beyond the RX series.

23rd Sep 2009, 00:55

The LX series is actually a much better (albeit more expensive) vehicle. It is based on the Toyota Land Cruiser, but with the Lexus name and features. Much more reliable, and they can go off-road too! (Not that you'd probably want to in a $60,000+ truck). Find a good used one if you can.

1999 Lexus RX 300 from North America


Formally happy Lexus owner


I bought my Lexus RX300 in December of 1998 and of course I was very excited. Right now I am far from it because of my predicament the past four months. I live in California and we have to pass the smog test every other year of registering your car. Last year my RX300 did not pass smog, at which time I took it to a Lexus dealership to find out what was going on. First of all I got a miss diagnosis on what was wrong with the car, but I just did some basic service work plus smog test to the tune of $500+ so I could get a waiver for the year on my smog. The diagnosed amount was for $800+. When I took the car in to fix the smog problem the diagnosis was wrong and I had to get another engine which cost me $5,500.

I was having some problems with my transmission then to and I asked the dealership to check what was wrong. I also found out that I needed another transmission. Now this is another $3,900 to the previous $5,500.

I agree about letting Lexus know about these issues and possible recall. I plan to call Lexus corporate about these issues. My car has 144,00 miles, but was maintained. Right now I am not a very happy camper at all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th December, 2005

7th Dec 2005, 00:31

I can agree with you on not being a happy camper. I own 3 Lexus, a 99 Rx being one of them, and am worried about the repairs that this vehicle might need in its later years. Right now it only has 30,000 miles cause its at my mountain house. One of my other Lexus, a 1992 Sc400, has 190,000 miles and has had no problems. My 2001 Ls430 is the same way, but only has 50,000. I'm planning on selling my 99 and getting an 06. I don't wanna deal with a engine that costs 6000.00 to replace. Lexus should cover half.