My wife purchased this vehicle used with 82,000 miles on it. Amazingly well-kept. Very clean. Extremely tight (no squeaks or rattles). Both interior & exterior still look new, even though the vehicle is 7 years-old.
The interior is an absolute work of art. Very comfortable glove-soft leather that apparently wears like iron. The instruments are very logically laid out, and the stereo & climate controls are simple and fairly easy to use.
Some of the other controls (wipers etc) could have been laid out a bit more logically & made a bit easier to use, (as some require you to take your eyes off the road at times) but overall the controls are fairly user friendly, though not quite intuitive as I would like. In fairness to Lexus, I do not drive the vehicle every day, so I am more familiar with the control layouts in my Jeep (very simple) and in my Saab (very intuitive).
The heater/air conditioner is excellent!
Very comfortable & quiet. The ride is extremely smooth & refined. At highway speeds there is no engine nor wind noise. In fact the only thing you hear are the tires (or the fine stereo system - wonderful!), but even the tire noise is well muffled & not excessive. The RX 300 does not handle like a sports sedan, as there is a bit of lean in corners, but very stable & secure.
It also does not accelerate like a sports sedan, but acceleration is smooth & linear, automatic shifts smoothly. The RX300 does have ample power for freeway merging & passing, but is not a hot rod by any means. Braking is strong & predictible.
(Have not experienced a hint of transmission problems that other's have listed on this site. - Let's hope it stays that way!) We did purchase an extended warranty - just in case.
As with many cross-over SUV's, rear visibility is a bit reduced due to styling. It's not terrible, but it isn't as good as my wife's previous vehicle (a Jeep Cherokee Sport) or my Jeep Wrangler. But it isn't any worse than in my Saab 9-3 Convertible when the top is up. Rear parking sensors would be nice.
One thing that took some getting used to is that the RX 300 has a wider turning radius than our Jeeps or my Saab - which all have nice tight turning circles. Just something to keep in mind when attempting a U-turn & when parallel parking.
The Lexus is crafted with the attention to detail of a fine watch. Everything on this vehicle works just as it should. There has not been a hint of trouble thus-far. Fuel economy is very good for a vehicle of this type - averages 20 mpg in mixed driving.
This is a big improvement over the Cherokee (mid-teens) and much better than my Wrangler (a woeful 13mpg in mixed driving - with a 5 speed manual!)
The only real criticism I have for Lexus is that the remote key is a poor design - as the plastic separates from the key - usually requiring it to be held together with tape - or paying the big $$$ for a replacement. Virually every RX300 I've seen has the same key issue.
This RX300 is the AWD version, however I cannot comment on its winter traction yet, as we made the purchase in June. I imagine it will be fine. I'm not expecting mountain goat climbing ability in the snow like the Jeep's, but imagine it will certainly be sure-footed enough.
We are very pleased with the purchase and certainly hope that the vehicle remains to be trouble-free.