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Older Pre-2016 Lexus RX Overview And How To Buy At The Best Price
In today's high-priced used car market, it's likely a good time to consider vehicles that are a little older in order to save some money. But this search would be best limited to those models with a strong reputation for built quality and dependability.
The Lexus RX is one of those vehicles and can be considered as a used car option much longer than many of its contemporaries. And in addition to its strong constuction, because of its "luxury" status, many were well maintained by owners and driven below average miles. There are many good ones still out there.
Lexus pioneered the "crossover" SUV with the RX 300 in 1999. And with genes like this, the further development of the RX over the years has continued to impress. In fact, this midsize luxury crossover SUV has been a consumer favorite from the beginning due to its plush ride, roomy cabin, popular high-tech features and impressive reliability record.
For shoppers who may buy a used Lexus RX, here's some information which may help you narrow down your choices.
The five-passenger RX 300 was produced for the 1999-2003 model years. And with its super-smooth powertrain, refined interior and appealing road manners, it had a lot to offer.
Under the hood was a competent 3.0 liter V6 that produced 220 horsepower and 222 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Standard features included full power accessories, power front seats, foglights,16-inch alloy wheels, "auto-down" windows, automatic climate control, a cassette player, front-seat side airbags and antilock brakes (ABS).
These RX 300 models can also be found with options such as navigation, leather upholstery, a power moonroof and a wood-rimmed steering wheel, HID headlights and chrome wheels.
The RX 330 was introduced for the 2004 model year. It added more features, more size and more power.
This generation, covering model years from 2004 to 2006, continued to be loosely based on the Lexus ES/Toyota Camry sedan platform. Overall length grew 5.9 inches with a 4-inch longer wheelbase, but it retained its 5-passenger status rather than cramping in a third row. The result was more passenger and cargo space.
The engine was enlarged to a 3.3 liter (hence the RX 330 name) V6 that produced 230 horsepower, an increase of 10 from the RX 300. The new engine was coupled with a new five-speed automatic transmission, replacing a four-speed. And as in the earlier model, there was a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (the AWD does not have low-range gearing and is not intended for challenging off-road use).
New standard features included larger 17-inch alloy wheels and a CD player. And new options included a adaptive cruise control, a DVD entertainment system, a back-up camera, an excellent Mark Levinson stereo system, an adjustable air suspension and adaptive headlights.
The RX 400h was Lexus' first hybrid, introduced in 2006, and produced 268 horsepower with a V6 engine and three battery-driven electric motors. It's mated with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), with its near infinite number of drive ratios. And like the Toyota Prius, no plug-in charging is required.
Standard on the 400h are luxury features such as 18 inch wheels, leather upholstery, steering-linked xenon headlamps, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and a voice-control navigation system with a rearview camera.
The Lexus RX 350 debuted for the 2007 model year and is essentially the same luxury SUV as the 2004-2006 RX 330, but with a slightly larger, although significantly more powerful, engine as well as more sound insulation. The 350's 3.5 liter V6 produces a robust 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque and is mated with a five-speed automatic transmission. Again, both front and all-wheel drive versions are available.
The 350 got a refresh in 2009 and this version was produced through 2015. There was also a somewhat more lively F Sport trim introduced in 2013 that included a new grille, upgraded wheels, sportier headlights and taillights, along with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Standard features on these 350 RXs include traction control, anti-skid control, a tire-pressure monitor, 17 inch wheels, one-touch windows, 10-way power seats, dual-zone climate control, a power liftgate, antilock 4-wheel disc brakes (ABS), front side airbags, curtain side airbags, a driver's knee airbag, and a 40/20/40 split rear seat with slide and recline adjustments.
Overall, we feel an older Lexus RX can still be a solid used SUV choice in today's market due to its strong build quality and reputation for reliability for those looking for a more upscale crossover. And we can make a number of suggestions to help you save when buying one.
Buy at wholesale?
So lastly, there are actually several different ways to buy a used RX at the lowest price, and even at wholesale.
In addition, you can also try the public car auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.