1999 Lexus RX 300 from North America


I would never buy another one


Transmission is not shifting properly when cold, and the engine is dripping oil.

General Comments:

I purchased a 1999 Lexus RX300 based on the Consumer Reports recommendation for best used cars between 8 and 9K.

Two weeks after I purchased it, the transmission would not shift from 3rd to 4th gear until I had driven the car for about a mile. I tried to trade it yesterday for a new vehicle and was told that the 1999 RX300 also had a problem with the engine not cooling the oil properly, causing the block to crack and the engine to seize.

This morning, I noticed oil on the garage floor. So much for Lexus and Consumer Reports.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th December, 2009

15th Dec 2009, 11:40

The not shifting from 3rd to 4th is actually so the RX300 will warm up quicker. The vehicle is designed that way. I would think you might actually check with a Lexus dealer before making the assumption that something is wrong with your RX300.

As for what you were told by the dealer where you were trying to trade your Lexus in. I am guessing that they were referring to the "sludge" problem with this engine. I also imagine that they were bringing it up to try to get your RX for less.

Why don't you just drive & ENJOY your RX300, as they are fine vehicles.

(If your oil leak is bothersome, you can always get it repaired)

15th Dec 2009, 14:06

Is this last comment from a Lexus dealer? I had a transmission specialist tell me that this was a problem.

16th Dec 2009, 06:42


No not a Lexus dealer - a former RX300 owner. We owned a 1999 model (over 130,000 miles). Do a little research online or better yet ASK a Lexus dealer. Was your "transmission specialist" trained and knowledgeable about these transmissions?

23rd May 2010, 17:49

99 RX300's did not shift into high gear until engine temps reached a specified range. This is normal. They changed this on the 2000 model and eliminated it. I had a '99 RX that did the same exact thing.

Also never had any transmission issues with it, and traded it in at 134,000 miles.

Only issue I had was knock sensor. Dealer wanted $1200 for parts/labor because the intake manifold has to be removed to access the knock sensor. I had a mechanic I know do it for $450. Other than that, it was an incredible vehicle and I loved it.

1999 Lexus RX 300 3.0 V6 from North America


Lexus and Toyota are worth every penny!


O2 sensor went out around 120k miles.

General Comments:

I have a 99 Lexus RX300, which I bought as a CPO in 2000 with 18k miles on it. It now has 140k miles on it and has only had to have one repair (O2 sensor). It's been one of the best cars I've owned as far as reliability.

My wife got the car as a hand me down when we sold our 1994 Infiniti J30, which was also an excellent car. I don't know why so many people are having issues with the tranny in these RXs, but you can't beat it like a sports car. I've even done a lot of towing a dual jet ski trailer around with my RX and still no signs that transmission needs any work.

We are sadly planning to let it go soon to another lucky family after it's given us almost 10 years of faithful service. We are planning to get either a GX or LX Lexus next. I just thought I'd share my 2 cents about the RX.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th October, 2009

1999 Lexus RX 300 AWD 6 cylinder gas from North America


This car is trash..


Owned the car for a week. Started to blow black smoke out the tail pipe really bad. Runs terrible!! Engine light on. Has no power. Burning fuel to no end..

ABS light on.. ABS braking started to stick on.. and even stops the car. THIS SUCKS...

Took it to Toyota, they say the catalytic converter needs replaced along with the oxygen sensors (air fuel sensors).. $2200 in parts before labour.. arg!! Now could this be the knock sensors???

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th September, 2009

21st Sep 2009, 13:40

I'm sorry that you are having trouble with your Lexus, but you did buy a ten year old model with high mileage. Any vehicle could have done the same at that age.