2004 RX 330 New Car Test Drive
With the RX 300, Lexus has had the best-selling luxury SUV in not only America but the world. But the RX 300 was introduced in 1998 and, with a growing number of challengers, Lexus can't afford to stand still. (No one can.) Therefore, the RX 300 has been replaced by the all-new 2004 Lexus RX 330.
Lexus calls the RX 330 a luxury utility vehicle, and is bold enough to dub it an 'LUV.' The RX 330 falls into that category of SUV that is based on a unit-body car platform rather than a truck frame, and it could be called a crossover vehicle. As such, the RX 330 gives up some off-road ability but will do what most SUV buyers want: provide more cargo room than a sedan while conferring an over-the-traffic view and a sense of security from its elevated driving position.
The 2004 RX 330 is longer and wider than the model it replaces. It comes with a leather interior that feels soft and warm and inviting with splashes of real wood trim. The front seats are positioned off the floor at a comfortable chair height and are snug and supportive and the back seats are roomy and comfortable.
The Lexus RX 330 is available with two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. RX 330 2WD ($35,025) uses front-wheel drive. RX 330 4WD ($36,425) has an all-wheel drive system. Both come only with 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.
Rather than offering base and premium models, Lexus allows buyers to upgrade with freestanding options and option packages. The Premium Package ($2,145) includes leather, power tilt/telescope steering wheel, roof rack, and moonroof. The Premium Plus Package ($3,440) adds a power liftgate, HID headlamps and a wood and leather steering wheel.
The Performance Package ($5,455) includes all of the items in the Premium Package, plus 18-inch plated aluminum alloy wheels, air suspension, sequential shifting transmission, power rear door, HID headlamps with AFS (see Walkaround), and rain-sensing wipers. There's also a multi-panel moonroof available that's larger than the standard moonroof with other features bundled in for $4,220. An available navigation system includes a rear-view camera ($2,350). Dynamic cruise control ($600) and a rear-seat entertainment system ($1,840) are also available.