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Buying A Used Rx330


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Hi all,

I'm looking to return to the world of Lexus ownership after a few years away. Basically,

I'm looking for a mid-size SUV and had been focused on a 2008 Forester however I can get myself a 03/04 RX330 for about the same price.

My questions.... My budget sits at about $14k which will get me a 03-05 sports luxury model. They all have about 180k or so on them. Is this an issue for this car? Anything that I should be looking out for?

The only other concern I have is fuel consumption. The claimed figure is 12ish vs about 11 for the Forester, but what are real world figures like? I'm mainly doing city driving so what have people realistically been getting?

Looking forward to getting back involved here!

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I had a 2003 RX330 Sport Luxury (bought used with 42K on the odo) and I swapped it for the 2008 RX350 SL. No comparison, 350 is so much better. I didn't have my 330 long before I traded it, but some "issues" I had -

Rear quarter window (behind rear door) simply popped out and started flapping in the wind while driving. Lexus dealer said early 330's suffer that problem.

Water leaking in the rear boot area underneath the rear spoiler (apparently another problem for early models.

Not much else to report, other than the weight of the RX means you'll be replacing brake pads / tyres more frequently. Someone in this forum posted problems with wheel bearings - never, ever heard that before.

The 350 engine works so much nicer with the (exact same) transmission than the 330. The extra torque is just so much more noticeable. I'm not the best person to ask about fuel economy, as I work only 9km from home, in heavy stop start traffic, and traffic lights kill fuel economy - I get around 16L/100Km, this easily drops to 11L/100km if I can get some freeway running.

There's a near mint RX350 with 200k on the odo over at carsales for about 18K I think. Bargain. Looks in great condition too.

I've had more than a few current shape 350s and 450h's, and I'm still not found of them - the extra weight and physical size turns me off. I prefer the touch screen nav of my RX - the first Gen current model's "mouse drive" just plain sucked, the current update model is a little better.

Hope that helps....

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Cool thanks a lot for that.

That's actually what I wanted to hear regarding fuel consumption. I have a similar commute and even my Mazda 3 was getting poor economy so I just wanted to make sure the RX wasn't horrible. 16 is about what id hoped for.

The 350 is looking more appealing. I want factory bluetooth as well so it's making the early ones less appealing. I'm guessing the bluetooth doesn't have bluetooth music abilities? Any solutions to that? I found a device online for iPod connections (GTA something) but the company wasn't overly helpful. I asked about compatability with the nav models and got a "no".

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Search in the forum here. One of the members here installed an ipod / usb cable link to the factory head unit. And yes, that's another major advantage of a 350 SL v a 330 SL - no Bluetooth or voice dialling in the 330, unless you use an aftermarket system (eg, parrot).

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Search in the forum here. One of the members here installed an ipod / usb cable link to the factory head unit.

That would be me. :) It was a Vais Soundlinq. There is a thread on Club Lexus (US site) with instructions how to pull the stack apart to get the head unit out. Once you've done that the rest is pretty easy. Lexus of Perth quoted me $900 but I did it myself in an hour or so for around $250.

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  • 3 months later...

Appologies if tagging onto a post is not allowed, I'll create a new if it is.

Still within the current question, are there any pitfalls to look for in purchasing high Km cars? 150K is a big service, 200K also looks a big one .... what other 'gotchas' are there to be mindful of? Is a 2003 RX330 with 85K on the clock better than a 2005 with 110K for the same price?

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  • 1 month later...
  • 5 months later...

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