Home » Here’s How The Lexus RX 300 Changed Cars Forever

Here’s How The Lexus RX 300 Changed Cars Forever

1999 Lexus Rx 300 Ts Copy
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Every so often, a car comes along that creates a new segment, but rarely are those segments massive, all-consuming juggernauts that alter the course of the entire industry. The 1999 to 2003 Lexus RX 300 changed cars forever, possibly more than most of us will ever know. In fact, it was even more disruptive than the original LS 400, because while that car forced established players to change their products, the original RX forced them to create new ones. All of them.

The BMW X5 showed that sports sedan brands could branch out into crossovers, and the Infiniti FX shook off all off-road pretenses for the better, the Lexus RX 300 came before both of them. It was the first luxury crossover to catch on, and it changed absolutely everything about the automotive landscape.

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Cast your mind back to the midsize luxury SUV scene in 1998. Land Rover had the body-on-frame Discovery, Jeep had the ZJ Grand Cherokee with a solid front axle, the LaForza still existed for some reason, and Mercedes-Benz launched the body-on-frame ML SUV. Notice anything in common here? These are all fairly truck-like vehicles, and Lexus was about to shake up that order.

1999 Lexus Rx

Based on the ES 300 sedan, the RX 300 shared that car’s three-liter 1MZ-FE quad-cam V6 engine, its four-speed automatic transmission, and its unibody platform with independent suspension at all four corners. It wasn’t an off-roader in the slightest, but it offered a raised seating position, plenty of cargo space, and an interior that feels far more modern than its 1998 introduction suggests.

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1999 Lexus Rx

For starters, the RX 300 got a screen displaying both information and entertainment. Alright, so it was really a combined display for the automatic climate control and sound system, but this screen was the centerpoint of the RX’s dashboard. Boiling it down to the basic concept, how modern is that? Oh, and that’s not the only touch you’d expect to find in a more recent car. A partial console incorporated a floor-mounted cubby for a laptop bag or purse, the second-row seats slid and reclined, and you could get auto-dimming exterior mirrors to cut headlight glare behind you. This is still a nice car in 2024, a testament to how hard Lexus went when creating a segment.

1999 Lexus Rx 300 10

The Lexus RX 300 isn’t normally considered a performance vehicle, but performance is relative. Keep in mind, the average SUV — even the average luxury SUV — of 1998 was an agricultural device by today’s standards. Even if the Lexus looked a bit like a Mercedes-Benz ML320, it was a whole lot quicker than that German-American ute, as Car And Driver found in a period review:

Working through a four-speed automatic of impeccable smoothness, [the 220-horsepower V6] hauled our four-wheel-drive, 4020-pound RX300 to 60 mph in just 8.2 seconds. In the inevitable Rodeo Drive stoplight drag, the 4443-pound Mercedes, at 9.8 seconds to 60 mph, doesn’t stand a chance. Nor do most other SUVs, for that matter. Only two sport util­ities we’ve tested—the Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited and the SOHC V-6 Ford Explorer Sport—are as quick or quicker.

Oh, but the RX 300 wasn’t just the third-quickest SUV that Car And Driver had tested at the time. It stopped better, turned better, and got better fuel economy than the Mercedes-Benz ML320 it was competing against. The on-road performance improvement over a typical body-on-frame SUV was so great, the magazine noted:

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This is typical performance for a car, not a truck. In fact, driving the RX300 feels a lot like driving any of a number of Toyota or Lexus sedans, if you overlook the increased ride height. At idle, the RX300’s 45-decibel murmur is as hushed as an Audi A6’s. At 70 mph, only 67 decibels of noise will impinge on All Things Considered. That’s luxury-car quiet.

If you’re looking for the holy grail of RX 300 options, option code LD ought to do the trick. It was a Torsen helical limited-slip rear differential that would let this sedan-based ute carve snow like nobody’s business. Thanks to a viscous coupling, the original RX could send power rearward smoothly and automatically, a stark contrast from many luxury SUVs of the time with part-time four-wheel-drive.

1999 Lexus Rx 300 06

Now, one could potentially argue the Land Rover Freelander is the real godfather of the luxury crossover. While it did beat the RX 300 to market, the RX 300 holds two distinctions over the Land Rover. Firstly, it’s based on a car platform that everyone knows. Secondly, it still feels luxurious inside. Thirdly, it sold like psilocybin at Burning Man. Over five model years on the market, Lexus sold more than 370,000 RX 300s, quickly becoming the biggest model in the range for sales. The people were hooked, and they’re still addicted to the luxury crossover recipe today.

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The RX 300 hasn’t seen massive enthusiast attention, but that just means clean examples of these incredible pieces of automotive history are going for reasonable money. Here’s an absolutely minty pearl white 2002 example with crystal-clear headlight lenses and a properly nice interior for sale in Pennsylvania for $6,990. Would you guess it’s a salt-belt car with 98,485 miles on the clock just by looking at the shiny side? I sure wouldn’t.

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Want one from a sunnier climate? This 2000 model hails from Seattle, Wash., sports a mere 88,593 miles on its odometer, and is likely one of the nicest in the country. Of course, outstanding examples command outstanding price tags, but even at $12,700, you could do a whole lot worse.

1999 Lexus Rx

An extraordinarily successful car spawns a segment with two or three other vehicles, like how the Mustang brought about the birth of the pony car. The RX 300 spawned one of the biggest segments in the world. From the Genesis GV80 to the BMW X5, every luxury CUV today needs to tip its hat to the RX 300, for this humble-looking crossover is automotive royalty for getting the entire party started.

1999 Lexus Rx 300 02

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What’s more, crossovers don’t show any signs of being a mere fad. It turns out that people love tall, liftgate-equipped vehicles that ride and handle closer to cars than to body-on-frame trucks because they’re genuinely pragmatic. Mark my words, the RX 300 will be collectible someday. It’s just waiting for the world to catch up to it.

(Photo credits: Lexus)

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Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
2 months ago

First time I’ve ever heard someone talk about Seattle being sunny. Rain in Seattle is nearly as common as a hot day in hell, but ok.

ES
ES
2 months ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

yeah, maybe salt-free would have been a more recognizable descriptor, but i’m pretty sure the stats are out there: Seattle gets more days/yr. with precipitation than the great lakes (and maybe New England, depending on where in PA his reference car came from), but also more hours of sunshine per annum too, particularly when comparing the regions for October to April. if you’re not from here, the only thing greyer than the slush is the winter sky.

Last edited 2 months ago by ES
Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
2 months ago
Reply to  ES

Quick Google search says Seattle has 71 sunny days per year, and Philadelphia has 93, Pittsburgh only 59. Those were all from the same site so some parts more, some parts less. Looks to be close enough to equal to me

Joe L
Joe L
2 months ago
Reply to  ES

Pennsylvania is many things, but part of New England is not one of them. New England is the US east and north of New York State.

Clueless_jalop
Clueless_jalop
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe L

I think Massachusetts would tend to disagree with that

Joe L
Joe L
2 months ago
Reply to  Clueless_jalop

Is there anyone in Massachusetts that thinks they’re not part of New England? That’s absurd – do they not root for the New England Patriots?

Last edited 2 months ago by Joe L
Clueless_jalop
Clueless_jalop
2 months ago
Reply to  Joe L

Oh my goodness, I’m a moron. I had it in my head that MA was south of NY. Wow.

Joe L
Joe L
2 months ago
Reply to  Clueless_jalop

Having a brain fart is a much happier result than it could be. I was afraid a real argument about this was a real thing that people actually had! 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by Joe L
Rapgomi
Rapgomi
2 months ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

Seattle is sunny and stunning in the summer and early fall. Then a day comes in October when it clouds over and starts to drizzle… and it will keep drizzling for the next 5 months.

Reasonable Pushrod
Reasonable Pushrod
2 months ago

My uncle had one of these for a long time. My only memorable moment with it was on a Pheasant hunting trip. He swore up and down that it was a very capable off-road vehicle, even better than my dad’s GMT800 Z71 Suburban. Naturally he got it stuck on a mud road.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
2 months ago

Ugh. I get that other people like to sit up high because of some strange reason. But I would take an equal-condition ES or Avalon over this all day, any day.

Duane Cannon
Duane Cannon
2 months ago

Don’t overlook the earlier Acura MDX if you’re looking for a similar SUV. I’ve had two, and they are great cars. Quiet comfort, roomy inside, and very well built. Seating for seven, decent towing capacity. And, Honda.

Shinynugget
Shinynugget
2 months ago
Reply to  Duane Cannon

My wife bought a 2018 MDX last year with 10k on the odometer. We taken it on many road trips since then. I didn’t understand the appeal of the luxury SUC before but now I get it.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
2 months ago

I’m old enough to remember the Infiniti QX4. For some reason I found that insanely desirable when it came out. By the time the RX300 came out I was already in the anti-SUV camp, but it certainly had an impact.
It’s also a car that will gain you entry anywhere; the valet won’t sneer at you and you will look normal in a school parking lot or on the wrong side of the tracks. Is it today’s Volvo 240? If so, I am sad by how far we’ve fallen.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

I had a strange love for the facelifted QX4 when it came out. I normally favored Honda but I guess I was on a bit of a Nissan kick at the time in general.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
2 months ago

…back in the days when Nissan was good…

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago

Just early enough that they weren’t in danger of bankruptcy any more and they had some good product updates, but before le cost cutting had fully taken hold…

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
2 months ago

Exactly.

Sam I AM
Sam I AM
2 months ago

I used to work at a Lexus dealer when these came out. Nobody knew what kind of hit the RX would be. Literally right out of the gate it started selling with a waitlist. It crushed sales of the ES300 at the time. Lexus didn’t even think it would do as well as it did. One of the weirdest cost cutting moves I ever saw was on the 1st year RX heated seat switches, it was one switch for both seats, if you wanted
The passenger side seat on the driver side had to be on also. I believe they changed it quick for the 2nd year. At the time Mercedes wasn’t soo sure the ML320 would do too well either, so they cheaper out on things like the flimsy plasticky interior and the grey bumpers and cladding.

Jay Maynard
Jay Maynard
2 months ago

I bought a 2001 RX300 new and drove it for 120,000 miles – and traded it in on a 2007 RX350. I’d have given serious consideration to the NX when I bought my latest luxury CUV if they hadn’t made the front end so damned ooooogley; instead, I bought a GLC300. (The NX today is the size of the RX300, just as the GLC is. Today’s RX won’t fit in my small garage.)

Lexus got the RX300 very, very right.

Brynjaminjones
Brynjaminjones
2 months ago

The 1st gen Land Rover Freelander was more of a RAV4 rival – not at all a luxury crossover!

The Dude
The Dude
2 months ago

I always thought it was funny how the 4th gen Camry wagon looks so similar to the RX.

I couldn’t find a good picture, but I’ve seen some with the same two-tone white/silver paint and they really look similar.

45971199982_459b07856f_b.jpg (1024×679) (staticflickr.com)

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
2 months ago

I wonder, if this the first SUV with part of the taillights on the tailgate?

It seems the shift from vertically-oriented taillights to horizontally-oriented taillights correlates with the shift from SUVs as rugged, functional /trucks/ to crossovers as road-oriented, functional /cars/.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim Cougar

I think you might be right? Most SUVs at that point had some form of drop down rear tailgate, swing out rear tailgate, swing out spare tire carrier, split rear doors…or some combo of those available on a single model, so a major element like taillights had to have a fixed place. License plate placement did move around (see: Pathfinder and 4Runner with an without the swing out spare tire), but that varied anyway between different markets globally.

Some minivans had some of the lights on the gate to that point, at the least reverse lights that were sometimes “blended” into the design, but it came to be pretty early on that a lifting rear tailgate was the way to go in that segment outside of a few couple models.

Come to think of it though, it seems relatively recent to that time that station wagons had taillights on the tailgate too.

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
2 months ago

There was more precedent for station wagons, though still not always common… Chrysler Town & Countrys through most of the ’70s, for example. The earliest example I can think of is the 1959 Chevrolet station wagons (…which also makes the 1959 El Camino the first pickup with taillights on the tailgate).

Ffoc01
Ffoc01
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim Cougar

I think the ’98 Navigator had them, but you’re right. Up to that point, tail/liftgates were pretty barren, save for the occasional spare tire or license plate.

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
2 months ago
Reply to  Ffoc01

You’re right! Definitely a step in the luxury direction, but the Navigator taillights are still truckishly vertical more than horizontal.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
2 months ago

The RX is a go to recommendation for me when people ask me about an affordable used car (well crossover, cause that’s what non-car people friends want when they ask for a recommendation) and they are ok with something older as long as it works well.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
2 months ago

I remember the RX300 distinctly. We bought a 1st gen highlander with the same basic underpinnings. It was okay, but the 1mz was known for oil issues (valve guides). It was also known as dropping HP pretty substantially during the Toyota/Lexus issue of re-rating their engines with the proper accessory load. I think it went from 220 to 190 or thereabouts.

If I remember, this drivetrain didn’t have a viscous coupling center, it had a viscous over open differential. So a mechanically linked open differential with a viscous friction adder for LSD effect. For anything but off-roading it was about as good as passive gets with the exception of a torsen center.

The Torsen rear was option on lots of Toyota’s then. My 96 RAV4 5-speed had it! It made a huge difference in the snow, but otherwise few would notice it.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
2 months ago

There was a house in my neighborhood that had three first gen RX300’s in use until very recently. I think they still have one there.

OnceInAMillenia
OnceInAMillenia
2 months ago

These used to be EVERYWHERE, but now I’m lucky to see one a month. Where did they all go?

Sklooner
Sklooner
2 months ago

25 years takes a wee bit of a toll on the automotive population

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
2 months ago

They went to a nearby ZIP code with a lower household income.

Dumb Shadetree
Dumb Shadetree
2 months ago

They’re in the WalMart parking lot now.

Brockstar
Brockstar
2 months ago

The transmission was the big weak point in this generation so I’m pretty sure bad transmissions thinned out the herd of what was otherwise a robust and simple-to-maintain vehicle. I always loved the weird greenish tint that the earlier models had. Honestly, I’d love to have one of every Lexus model from the early 2000’s.

Kyree
Kyree
2 months ago

What’s really interesting about the RX is how it did a complete about-face with its styling for the second generation, and that gen-2 styling has more or less remained and evolved through the subsequent three generations.

That means that someone who was uninformed wouldn’t necessarily realize the first RX is an RX at all. It’s a case of “One of these things is not like the others.” Autowriter Jack Baruth compared it to the “Early-Installment Weirdness” tv trope, wherein early episodes of a long-running show look very foreign to the rest, because the show hadn’t yet hit its stride and defining character when they were made.

I wonder how many other cars there are for which this is the case. I’d say the Prius is another. The first one was a rather dowdy-looking sedan. But it was the second generation that gave the Prius its characteristic liftback shape, split rear glass, and wedge-like profile. And though Toyota has made yet another big change for the current model of Prius, it’s still something of an evolution of the second-gen.

Joe L
Joe L
2 months ago
Reply to  Kyree

Agreed – this was much boxier. That said, all of Lexus seemed to have a styling break in the early 2000s, going from having lower cladding – often in a different color than the primary color – to not having the cladding. I think it really started with the second gen GS, then the LS and ES, and finally with the RX. The loss of that very horizontal design element anchoring the styling left a clear line between “90s Lexus,” which still had a whiff of JDM to it, to “00s Lexus,” which was kind of all over the place until mid-decade.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago

The odd thing is that the Toyota version of the RX – the Venza – has been a horrible failure.
(You thought I was going to say Highlander – didn’t you?)

And I’ve never heard Seattle described by anyone who has actually been there for more than a weekend as “sunny” in anything other than a momentary comment:

“Did you see how sunny it was this afternoon? You could even see Mt Rainer/the Olympics! I hope it happens again for Seafair…”

A friend from California was even passed over for a C Suite position at Starbucks because his personality profile said he’d be miserable and wouldn’t last long in rainy Seattle.

Last edited 2 months ago by Urban Runabout
Kyree
Kyree
2 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

You mean the Toyota Harrier. The first two generations of the RX shared their body shells with the JDM Harrier. It followed a trend of Lexus models being altered versions of premium JDM Toyotas. When Lexus launched in Japan, the brand began to deploy its “L finesse” styling and became distinct from the Harrier, growing in size for the third, fourth, and (current) fifth generations.

Meanwhile, our North American version of the latest Harrier—still close to the size of the original Harrier and RX—is the current Venza, more or less unaltered from the Japanese version. That said, 2024 is the final year for the Venza here, as Toyota Notth America plans to replace it with the Crown Signia.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago
Reply to  Kyree

Well, with the exception of the ES250 those JDM Toyotas (Soarer, Celsior, Windom, Aristo, Harrier, etc) were actually just rebadged Lexuses, because they were designed primarily for Lexus.

Toyota had many outlets (Toyota, Toyopet, Toyota Corolla (formerly Toyota Publica) and Netz (Formerly Toyota Vista, formerly Toyota Auto) with no Lexus brand in Japan at the time.

Toyota only introduced the Lexus brand in Japan in 2005.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Eh, I don’t think Toyota ever sought big volumes for the Venza this time around, and looking back on it now the Crown Signia’s arrival makes it seem like it was always intended to be a stopgap. The RAV4 is already the best-selling non-pickup in the US, the Highlander was the best-selling 3 row crossover and sales only slipped once the Grand Highlander showed up. Any Venza sales were probably just gravy, retaining buyers that wanted something nicer or not as big as the other two. Kind of like how the Avalon which, while nicer, wasn’t always appreciably bigger than the Camry in the last couple generations.

Kyree
Kyree
2 months ago

This is true. I briefly owned a new Venza. It was alright, though not a particularly functional SUV.

https://www.curbsideclassic.com/cars-of-a-lifetime/coal-2021-toyota-venza-limited-style-over-substance/

It’s really interesting that the Crown Signia is a successor to the original Venza, which was a lifted wagon.

Last edited 2 months ago by Kyree
GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
2 months ago
Reply to  Kyree

I have appreciated the current Venza for going for the comfort side of things, even though on paper it seemed like a less useful RAV4. But it is pricey and I tend to wonder if it will make the most sense as a used buy should they end up depreciating more than a comparable higher-demand RAV4. Which is something it does have in common with the original Venza actually, it always seemed like the people that bought the first Venza, particularly toward the end or used, went in with the expectation of buying a RAV4 but didn’t like the swing out rear door, or the way it rode.

(Also I’ve always enjoyed reading your comments or pieces wherever you’ve popped up so I appreciate you sending your write-up!)

Kyree
Kyree
2 months ago

Aww, shucks! 🙂

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
2 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

I definitely was shocked by the Seattle and sunny climate comment. I’ve seen about 3 minutes of sun today.

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
2 months ago

Be nice – Some LaForzas still exist, for good reasons.

Kyree
Kyree
2 months ago
Reply to  Rapgomi

I should like to hear what those reasons are

Last edited 2 months ago by Kyree
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
2 months ago
Reply to  Kyree

Some things are better left unsaid.

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
2 months ago
Reply to  Kyree

The interiors are lovely and comfortable, the body structure and chassis are insanely overbuilt, and the size and rarity make it a hit at any car event 🙂

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
2 months ago

Too bad we never got the RX220 sold in other markets. It came with the 5S-FE 2.2L I4.

While Toyota makes awesome cars, supposedly the RX300 is even more difficult to work on than the equivalent V6 Camry/ES300 with the same engine 🙁

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
2 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

So, the RX300 is more difficult than the ES300 and V6 Camry, but it isn’t a great deal harder than many of its competitors like the MDX, XC90, or the really annoying to work on FX35/45. I’m sure the 5S-FE would be much easier, but the 1MZ-FE is a nice, smooth, and reliable engine.

Hopefully David doesn’t yell at me since I used the word “reliable” in reference to a motor with a timing belt…

Last edited 2 months ago by Squirrelmaster
Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
2 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

well to be fair, the 1MZ is non-interference, so even it does snap, you just need a new TB 🙂

And also, with the 5S-FE, it would be easier to swap in a 3S-GTE, or even put the GTE shit on the 5S head and make a 5S-GTE 😀

Clueless_jalop
Clueless_jalop
2 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

I’ll happily take a well thought out timing belt over a definitely-not-for-life timing chain that you can’t replace without tearing down the engine.

Jay Maynard
Jay Maynard
2 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Meh. The RX300 was an OK performer; it would have been a dog with the 2.2.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
2 months ago
Reply to  Jay Maynard

The 2.2 is just fine in daily driving 🙂

If you still want more, you can swap in a 3S-GTE 😉

AssMatt
AssMatt
2 months ago

Sunnier climate…Seattle, WA…[kaboom]

Taxi maniac
Taxi maniac
2 months ago
Reply to  AssMatt

I was thinking the same thing.

As someone who grew up an hour from Harrisburg I think Harrisburg is sunnier then Seattle.

Crappier too. But sunnier

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
2 months ago
Reply to  ADDvanced

Ew

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
2 months ago

I know and agree that they are great cars. I also know that I despise them with every fiber of my being and would only drive one as a last resort. I hate just about everything about them, especially the interiors. Something about the Lexus/Toyota painted leather and cheap fake wood always revolted me. I hated it in our Sienna and it only offends me more in Lexi. Literally the only cars of the brand I haven’t hated are the SC300/400s and the LFA. It’s irrational but so deeply ingrained (unlike their leather). I won’t start on the grills.

I did drive an RX300 once. One word perfectly sums up that driving experience: Anodyne

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
2 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

the RX300 has real wood. Lexus only started using fake wood recently.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
2 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

It looked fake.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Sorry – The Lexus SC and LS do NOT have painted leather and fake wood.

That’s Toyota
And Mercedes-Benz*
(*unless you order the upgraded leather package, if available at all.)

Kyree
Kyree
2 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Mercedes-Benz ought to be ashamed. I’m picking up a ‘15 S 550 Coupe this weekend, and I had to search high and low to find one with the Designo package that comes with the upgraded leather. The base leather is shameful, especially on the dashboard.

I can’t believe that, on a car costing $120K or more in ten-years-ago dollars, Mercedes-Benz still found a way to be cheap. Up until recently, that was part of the draw of Lexus: you got the nice materials standard and didn’t have to pony up for thousands or tens of thousands in options packages for them.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago
Reply to  Kyree

Oh, how right you are.
The leather in my A209 CLK is of horrible quality – I have color coming off the steering wheel and seats when I dare clean too hard. I even have bits of color coming off the non-leather parts of the steering wheel!

At least my wood isnt fading – like earlier years of the W209 & W211 era.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
2 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Have you tried some leather moisturizer? It might help with the flaking.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
2 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Same reply. It looked and felt painted and the wood looked fake.

Remember, I already admitted and declared my hatred is entirely irrational.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
2 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

I just remembered, I didn’t totally hate the original LS400 either. I didn’t love it like many, but no hatred either. It was a revelation, that’s for sure. Just not my cup.

Sam I AM
Sam I AM
2 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

What? Fake wood. The first Lexus with fake wood was the LX450 in the late 90s. And I believe that has been the only. Painted leather? What?

The driving experience anodyne? The ML320 was similar also. The first gen ML320 also had a horribly cheap interior and economy car like grey plastic cladding outside.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
2 months ago
Reply to  Sam I AM

Indeed about the ML320! We had one but wisely got rid of it after just a couple of years. It started throwing fuel system codes after just 10k miles. I knew it was always going to be a problem child so I’m glad we got rid of it.

However, my hatred of RX300s is such that if I had to choose between owning either the Lexus or the Mercedes for the rest of my life, I’d still probably choose the Merc. It’s utterly insane.

BoneStock
BoneStock
2 months ago

These still stand out due to the striking difference in color between the front and rear glass

Data
Data
2 months ago

Ahhh, the days before the predator grill and angry angles became a design trend.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
2 months ago

They are great! They did dramatically change a segment of the car market.

Collectible some day?

Color me skeptical…

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
2 months ago

For a second there, I thought you were going to tell us how a Lexus RX 300 changed David Tracy forever.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

David would do better to live in an RX300 for a month.

Jay Maynard
Jay Maynard
2 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Remember, he’s already done Lexus…

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