2000 Lexus RX 300 4WD 3.0 from North America
Quality that is almost as good as the Hyundai I owned in university
The RX has been fairly reliable. The problems I have had are mainly due to the extremely low quality of Lexus dealership service in Canada. From day one it has had intermitent quality issues such as a squeeky dash and glove box, noisy brakes, exhaust leaks, light bulbs blowing out constantly etc.
15km : Squeeky dash. Three different dealerships looked at it and each only sprayed the noisy area with lubricant. Turns out it is a common problem that requires replacement of some dash clips that have been redesigned. Non of the dealerships I took it too would repair the issue. The vehicle is now out of warranty and they are now offering to fix it for $1000.00.
The dealers are Performance Lexus of St. Catherine's, Don Valley North Lexus in Markham and Oakville Lexus in Oakville Ontario. Stay away from these guys at all costs. Great sales people, but they do not stand behind their products at all.
10,000 KM: Grinding noise on compression of front struts under certain curcumstances and at certain temperatures. Same deal from the dealerships. They sprayed the problem with lubricant and the issue re-appeared in a few days. There is no fix for it, but I have heard the front struts were changed mid 2000 production year.
15,000 KM: Brakes rattleing over small bumps and squeeking when braking. This is just bad engineering. There are different qualties of brake pads. Unfortunatley Lexus's are typically manufactured with the inexpensive ones. Some dealers change them on Prep depending on the customer. If you wine enough I have heard that some dealerships may put the proper ones on, but this is not the norm. When I complained about this at Performance Lexus in St Catherines Ontario they added brake glue to my brake pads and charged me for it.
20,000 KM: Exhaust leak on acceleration. This is very slight and you can only really hear it with the window open and slowly accelerating a from a stop. Again, same response from the dealerships. I guess CO2 poisoning of there customers is not seen as a big deal.
25,000 KM: Uneven tire wear and vibration at highway speeds. This is typical on Lexus 4X4's for some reason. I rotate the tires on every oil change, but it doesn't help. I have even had the dealer balance them and perform alignments, but this hasn't helped. The solution was to take it to a local good year shop and pay to have the tires balanced on every rotation. Pricey and definitely a hassle, but the truck rides amazingly smooth if I keep doing it every 5000 Km. If I wait to every second oil change the truck starts to vibrate slightly on the highway again.
80,000 KM : Replaced the Brake Pads for the first time. The dealer admitted that this was amazingly good brake wear fro a Lexus RX 300. He recommended changing the rotors as well even though they had never been turned. He felt this might help with the vibration problem on the highways. Result is it still didn't help, but he was good enough to put on the proper brake pads. Finally no more brake squeaks.
90,000 KM : Dash lights are starting to blow. The lights are cheap, but it costs $300 to replace them at the dealerships as the dash has to be partially disassembled. If one go's do yourself a favor and replace them all with quality ones. Do not use the cheap ones that Lexus uses during production.
100,000 KM : Outside temperature gage is intermittently reading wrong. It go's from double dashes (--) to -21 through to 19 degrees. Not covered even under extended warranty.
Very nice truck, but the poor quality of components shows through after time.
The dealers have been very poor to solve any issues. Specifically Don Valley North Lexus Toyota and Performance Lexus in St. Catherine's in Ontario Canada. Absolutely negligent and they do not know the meaning of being proactive. Its possible that Lexus warranty services is holding them back as this seems to be consistent among all the Lexus dealerships I have visited.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 6th June, 2003
Save your self $40,000 and buy a SUZUKI XL-7, auto-climate control, 6 disc in dash CD, heated mirrors, it's loaded.
Furthermore the dealers are excellent, free loaner cars and a free wash and vacuum with all service, even warranty claims!
After reading the details of ownership of this particular RX300, it reinforces my question of Used or New? After three decades of buying used, I find that problems have for the most part been resolved by the original owner. I buy cars in the + 40,000 mile range, and recently I purchased a 1999 RX300. It runs smooth and fast. It has very little road noise. It brakes well. With the advent of WD-40, everyone wants to use it first for squeaks including me.
Certainly a good garage and mechanic is most desirable, but sometime hard to find. Since the Lexus is a Toyota family member, good dealerships are not hard to find in my area.
Most of my cars have had some form of road/wind noise and I've been careful to be certain that I have tires that are quiet, yet functional for weather conditions; and I've checked and maintained door seals to be certain they are closing tightly.
My dashboard is quiet, but I did have a car with a noisy dash. I sort of located the area of the noise, and then shimmed it to tighten it, and did the job.
Thanks for your comments and insight.