BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/15/20 11:34 a.m.

I remember when the Lexus RX came out and were an instant hit with the rich family soccer mom types. And that's all I know about them aside from a quick wiki/google.

Anyone know much about them, how they've held up mechanically over time?  I was thinking a comfy suv type thing could be a good answer for the days I don't want to drive the Neon racecar to work but mostly I'm just curious.  I'll probably be stuck with our Focus as a main commuter until it dies anyway.

It's hard to tell what's a good deal right now since the used car market is all sorts of weird. I know the "real" Lexus suvs can hold value pretty well but maybe the fwd based crossovers didn't?

What else is out there in this category that might be a bargain for comfy reliable transportation?

Avalon or a minivan is an easy answer but I like the idea of something smaller than a minivan with a hatch and awd.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
11/15/20 11:58 a.m.

If you go with an RX, I’d recommend an RX330 or newer model.  The 300 had Toyota’s sludging problem, and the four speed auto was a bit under built.  Still solid, but not really Toyota solid.  The RX is basically a luxurious short wheelbase Highlander.  The 330 is a timing belt engine, but it is non-interference.  The 350 uses a timing chain.

 

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
11/15/20 12:24 p.m.

Not what you asked for but I stumbled on this 2010 Ford Escape w/ manual just this morning.  This would be the 2.5L engine (which seems to be a great engine) but only fwd w/ the manual trans.  The asking price seems steep but the manual trans is going to reduce the number of shoppers to only "crazies" like us.  
I had a 2010 Escape as a company car in 2010.  At the time it arrived I was daily driving a Volvo 850 wagon and the Escape was a great successor to the 850 wagon.  

'06 Montero has all the 4wd capability you'll ever need.  Has a 3rd row seat too making it minvan-able too.  This one is the limited model (lux) so pretty good with features.  

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UltraDork
11/15/20 12:57 p.m.

What year Rx? 
 

loving ours. Went from mall crawler to off-roader 

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/first-free-car-thanks-to-pimpm3/176528/page1/

 

my FJCRUISER Trail Team has been sitting at home, since the RX has been doing all of its jobs more efficiently , comfortably - albeit without the street cred 

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
11/15/20 1:09 p.m.

Crossovers are such a hot part of the market right now.  Everyone wants one and prices can be high.  I will agree that the RX/Highlanders are very nice bu they may be expensive (yet reliable.)  

In other thoughts, in the past I wrote about 2010 & 2011 Mazda CX7...only as a good value.  The NA 2.5L iSport version is fwd only (much like the Escape above) but only auto trans.  Sample of CX7 but not particularly cheap.  

nutherjrfan
nutherjrfan UberDork
11/15/20 1:21 p.m.

Came across an African dude shipping one from a salvage auction this past spring.

I wonder if they're popular over thonder and will disappear hither.

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/15/20 1:48 p.m.

Interesting. I was curious if the older RXs might have fallen into a forgotten part of the market where people who want a luxury crossover are shopping new and the people who want something cheap aren’t shopping for a Lexus.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
11/15/20 1:56 p.m.

In reply to BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) :

i suspect the lack of carplay and touch screens makes the early ones fall completely out of the luxury market in spite of comfort and materials used. the cell phone market model has made the life cycle of a luxury vehicle 2-4 years. 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
11/15/20 2:22 p.m.

My wife had an early one for 170k miles. Yes, it was a reliable, comfy machine. Nothing went wrong but tranny started to go weak so unloaded it for $5k (with the issue stated obiously).

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/15/20 2:37 p.m.

RX resale value is pretty strong from what I've seen.

they're reliable and comfortable

I found a deal on a used RX450h last year for my parents and they really like it.

My mom doesn't like how it drives in snow, but it's more about how it just doesn't suit her driving.

she brakes later than she should and the lexus doesn't reward it. My dad had to get her to change her driving style before he was comfortable sending her out in the thing at all.

Their 2010 has a delay between the swap from the hybrid to real brakes in a hard braking situation and it's unnerving. if you leave lots of following distance... you'll never run into it..

but it caught me out when we first got it and I was driving it in DFW traffic.

My dad and I both love the thing, it cruises so comfortably and it just eats up miles.

I know our hybrid runs on premium. not sure if all the RX do though, but I would expect that they do.


 

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
11/15/20 2:53 p.m.
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

Interesting. I was curious if the older RXs might have fallen into a forgotten part of the market where people who want a luxury crossover are shopping new and the people who want something cheap aren’t shopping for a Lexus.

The desirability of crossovers is too strong to be offset by the undesirability of old lux marques.  Yes, that combination happens in old lux sedans (see Infiniti sedans) since most of the world does not want a sedan any longer.   With that said, there are some strong values in sedans.  

Another possibility.  Lincoln depreciation is legendary.  The Lincoln MKX was introduced to be generally a copy of the Lexus RX.  First offered in 2007, there may be some values to be had there.  A dream find would be a one owner, low mile example.  

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
11/15/20 3:30 p.m.
nutherjrfan said:

Came across an African dude shipping one from a salvage auction this past spring.

I wonder if they're popular over thonder and will disappear hither.

I read a ways back they are popular exports to both Africa and Russia.  I am kind of assuming that’s why I don’t see as many of them around me as I should, based on how well they sold new. Kind of like the Hummer H2.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
11/15/20 6:30 p.m.

How much utility do you need? M56s are comfortable rocketships that can be had below $15k 

SPG123
SPG123 HalfDork
11/17/20 12:16 p.m.

We bought a really well maintained RX330 from a friend. It does lack the more recent advancements. And that is every bad thing I can say about it. We always have too many projects at home to want to work on this one. And we never have to. Did a headlight polish last weekend which is the first time I have touched it in months. The back seat is miles better than even our Tahoe's and Suburban's have been. Really nice ride. Good music, climate control. Eats miles beautifully. Next one will be a 350 for the Blutooth and newer amenities. I don't think the better Wifey/ Family/ Highway cruiser exists for the money that you can get one for.       

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/17/20 1:05 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

How much utility do you need? M56s are comfortable rocketships that can be had below $15k 

As much as I love the idea of a big fast sedan; I’ve realized a hatch and decent folding rear seat is almost a necessity. Way better for carting around dogs, guitars, amps, and stuff. Which is 90% of what my car does when it’s not hauling me back and forth to work.

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/17/20 1:14 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) :

I always forget the Escapes could come with a manual. That can’t be very common.

HotNotch
HotNotch New Reader
11/17/20 1:55 p.m.

From my post in MR2S2000Elise's thread on the Gen 1 RX300:

Planetary gears are what goes out on the tranmissions.  There is an aftermarket component available that is more robust.  Same issues with the ES300 / Camry / Highlander

Sometimes if they make a whining noise and cease forward movement you can get lucky with a filter and fluid swap.  At least enough to get a few more miles out of it.

Rear cylinders tend to get egg shaped / use oil and cause catalytic deficiency codes.  This comes more with age however.

Lexus originally did valve cover replacements under a service campaign to alleviate sludging issues, but if you use a quality synthetic, you'll be fine.  Factory fill was conventional Pennzoil

Rear driveshaft u joints can go bad, and are not serviceable, at least to my knowledge.  Usually replace the entire assembly.

EVAP canisters like to go bad.  Sometimes you can get away with replacing just the vacuum solenoid (VSV)

Regular timing belts /water pump services.

Occasionally the VVTI (Oil control solenoids) will go bad, making an entire bank misfire.  Easy to replace

With age in the midwest, cv shaft tone rings will rust and split, leading to inconsistent application of ABS on braking.  Mostly the RR and LR axles

Rear diffs can sometimes get noisy, though this is rare.  My sister's car grenaded some pinion teeth.

Source: Dad is a veteran (15+ year) Lexus Tech, sister has driven one for years.  Dad upgraded to a RX400H

They are very comfy, especially the newer model 330's and 350's.  The 350's make more power, and can have bluetooth.  Things to watch out for on the RX350's are in the oil cooler pipe (crimped steel, likes to burst, needs replaced every ~100k, steering rack boot leaks, and timing cover leaks.  There was a TSB originally on resealing the timing covers.

 

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
11/18/20 7:06 a.m.

Maybe look for a Toyota Venza too.  A lesser know model that was slightly larger and more glamorous than the Rav4 but smaller than the Highlander. Generally a Camry/Avalon tall wagon. 

Also don't overlook the Rav4. With the V6, it was the fastest vehicle Toyota offered for a few years.  Also available with 4cyl for better economy. 

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/18/20 6:47 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) :

For the longest time I thought the Venza was some Canadian market car since they’re not very common locally and the only one I’d seen had Ontario plates. Ha.

Carbon (Forum Supporter)
Carbon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/19/20 11:17 p.m.

I had a 330 that I put 120k on, was faultless aside from radiator end tank seeping at the end. Good rig, no complaints. 

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/20/20 9:57 a.m.

Pretty sure all VVT-i Toyota V6 are interference.  My friend bought a new RX330 for his wife.  Sold it 5 years later with 100k miles on it for $4k less than new.  They hold their value very well.  

 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/20/20 10:10 a.m.

Not a yota fan, but if I was going luxo-crossover, second gen RDX would be the one I'd rock. Honda J35, newer trans without the issues, the newer SH-AWD etc.

Or ZDX. Lowered. With Turbo.

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