Cars Worth Noting - 2004 Lexus RX 330
2004 Lexus RX 330
I donít like the Lexus RX 330 as much for what it is as what itís going to be. This Luxury Utility Vehicle (do you think the acronym LUV was created on purpose?) is everything youíd expect from Lexus.
The interior is all done up in wood and leather with a cleanly-styled IP, plenty of places to plug in your gadgets and the obligatory analog clock. My 16-year-old entertained himself with the console storage bin. Push one button and it opens automatically. Push another button and it closes automatically. The styling serves to set the RX 330 apart from the competition, though my wife wasnít that impressed with the aggressive windshield rake. Attending a friendís wedding, she, short of stature, had to lift herself up into the vehicle and kept flattening her updo on the A-pillar.
The Lexus is a comfortable ride. Iím still wishing I had had the time to take it on a long trip to stretch its legs and test out the driverís seat. But while the comfortable ride is good on long trips, itís not the vehicles best asset around town.
It only takes one trip, hustling through the green left-turn arrow to remind you that youíre sitting well off the ground. While the RX seems pretty sure-footed itís still not a luxury sports sedan.
The 3.3L 230 hp V-6 comes on with a growl and does a more than adequate job of propelling this 4,000-pounder up to freeway speed.
But what impresses me most is that this vehicle will get a version of Toyotaís Hybrid Synergy Drive system later next year. Itís one thing to drive the technology in a small car that was specifically designed for such things. I canít wait to test it out in a full-size SUV.