2001 RX 300 New Car Test Drive
The success of the RX 300 seems to contradict many doomsayers that have predicted the demise of sport-utility vehicles. Back in 1999, the RX 300 ushered in a new era of luxury, car-based SUVs. Since then, many competing models such as the Acura MDX, BMW X5, and upcoming Buick Rendezvous have joined the fray. Still, the RX 300 remains one of the top contenders. It delivers a smooth on-road ride, fine handling, a quiet interior and a responsive V6 engine.
RX 300 can be equipped with either full-time four-wheel drive for poor weather driving conditions, or front-wheel drive. It's not built for optimal off-road adventures. If that's what you're looking for, however, you can try the similarly priced Land Rover Discovery.
Major changes for 2001 include safety features Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) and Brake Assist as standard equipment as well as freshened exterior styling. There's a larger fuel tank (19.8 gallons vs. 17.2 for 2000) to increase miles between fill-ups.
RX 300 comes as one trim level. Buyers have a choice of front-wheel drive ($33,905) or four-wheel drive ($35,655). We recommend the latter.
Four-wheel antilock disc brakes (ABS) are standard. Front and side airbags are standard along with shoulder belts with pretensioners and force limiters. Plus, all seating positions have three-point shoulder belts.
RX 300 can be fitted with an optional DVD-based navigation system with touch-screen technology. The system uses DVD-ROM discs for map data - one DVD can help you navigate around the entire United States, making cross-country drives a snap.