Among our top-rated SUVs of the time, the RX300 is comfortable and quiet. Handling is secure, though not agile and aided by standard stability control. The interior is modest-sized, but well finished and provides a little more cargo capacity than some similar station wagons. Overall payload capacity is modest, but fuel economy is very good for its class.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags standard. ESC standard from 2001. Head protection air bags standard from 2004.
Road Test

Among our top-rated SUVs of the time, the RX300 is comfortable and quiet. Handling is secure, though not agile and aided by standard stability control. The interior is modest-sized, but well finished and provides a little more cargo capacity than some similar station wagons. Overall payload capacity is modest, but fuel economy is very good for its class.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3-liter V6 (220 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2001 Lexus RX owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

"It failed"

Anonymous, VA (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)
Automatic climate control

"Climate control actuators malfunctioned, stopped working, and had to be replaced. Especially the actuator that directs air to the vents, floor and dash"

Carl B., TX (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"Climate control won't work properly. No matter what control is set on, even air conditioning, only hot air came out"

Anonymous, KS (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"servos the send air to either dash or floor in AC system failed at a cost of $500 each, so we have little air circulation when the AC is on other than to the floor"

Anonymous, TX (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"Electrical power of the"

Anonymous, SC (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"Air only comes out the front ac vents. There is no heat and if it does occasionally work, it only comes out center AC opening. Therefore, the defrost does not work and won't melt frost on windshield"

Robert P., NC (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)
Condenser

"It failed"

Anonymous, VA (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"Can't find and repair source of leak. Added refrigerant multiple times iver last few years"

Samuel P., FL (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Clock

"Unable to keep correct time. Every time car starts, time reverts to 1:00"

Anonymous, AZ (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)
Cruise control

"Cruise only works to set it at a speed. The resume does not function after a stop"

Anonymous, TX (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)
Gauges

"Gas guage is not accurate and cost of repair is extreme. Guage never shows full and then shows empty when there is 3/4 of tank of gas"

Anonymous, AZ (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"Key less entry does not function on all doors. Actuators does not work on 2 doors"

Anonymous, TX (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"Doors will not properly lock and unlock, especially rear passenger door. And window control on passenger window extremely intermittent, some times on driver window"

Carl B., TX (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"the remote lock/unlock system has stopped working on 2 doors"

Anonymous, TX (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"The keyless entry will only lock and/or unlock two doors. The others have to be manually locked or unlocked. The cost to repair this is way too much ($1,000) for an old car"

Anonymous, CO (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"It took almost a year to figure out that a stuck Air pressure release Valve on the gas tank was causing emissions sensor to go off on the car. This is part of the EVAP sensor system"

Anonymous, NC (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"one upstream senor thew a CEL P1130 Intermittent range. Had both upstream senors replaced"

Roger V., IL (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"Check Light - Code = Mass Air Flow problem, very intermittent"

Ron K., AR (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"Air fuel ratio sensor on bank 2 failed. It was replaced at a cost of $636.00"

W D., CA (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"sensors failed at gas tank fitting, toyota unable to diagnose, local autocheck able to determine it was leaky gasket to vapor recovery system, replaced seals and sensor fails stopped, as well as did minor gas smell"

Anonymous, TX (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine mounts

"Strange noise under the hood. Dealer found one engine mount gone"

Art G., NV (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"and it drips on hot surfaces and really is leaking from numerous places including engine. Mechanic says it would be extremely expensive to replace"

Robert P., NC (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"gasket leak"

Les G., OR (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Transmission was totally unresponsive to all settings. Replaced with a rebuilt one"

Anonymous, MI (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"transmission has gone a third time, after 2 rebuilds. We will not rebuild again. Looking to sell for parts"

Anonymous, NY (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"The Lexus RX transmission should have had a recall. There was talk of a class action suit. These transmissions seem to fail pretty consistently after 85K miles. We have had 3 rebuilds. There was a design problem that Lexus refused to acknowledge, and it affected a number of models. I believe that they have since resolved the problem, but have given no help to the people with failed units"

Carl S., NY (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Parked the lexus up for about a month in driveway, open to the elements. That vehicle's floor was soaked every time it rained heavily. grew mold,"

Anonymous, NY (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"Air conditioning, some clicking noise, not sure what it is, air conditioner still works ok"

Anonymous, TX (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Pipe started leaking that had the Catalytic convertor. Had to be replaced"

John C., MA (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Rotors

"See pulsation"

Anonymous, WA (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Rear hatch has a tendency to have the lock jam so that the hatch cannot be opened"

Carl S., NY (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Car seems to eat batteries. We are lucky to get 3 years"

Art G., NV (2001 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

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