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.

Reliability

We expect the 2021 RX will be more reliable than the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2018, 2019 and 2020 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
00
01
02
03
04*
05
06
07
08
09
10*
11
12
13
14
15
16*
17
18
19
20
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
Engine Minor
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
Transmission Major
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
Drive System
NA
Fuel System
NA
Electric System
NA
Climate System
NA
Suspension
NA
Brakes
NA
Exhaust
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
Body Integrity
NA
Body Hardware
NA
Power Equipment
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 329,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2020 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2002 Lexus RX owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Auto transmission failure"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

"Slipping transmission prior to complete transmission failure."

Anonymous, VA (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

"transmission began to slip; had it diagnosed and was initlally told it was possibly solinoid, then was told the trans had to be rebuilt"

Anonymous, NC (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

"i HAD TO HAVE THE TRANSMISSION REPLACED BECAUSE IT WAS SLIPPING."

Ann Y., SD (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

"rebuild"

Anonymous, MI (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

"Full transmission rebuild @ 105K miles needed... After research, apparent it was a common design flaw, but not covered by warranty"

Anonymous, MD (2002 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 computer

"There is a computer that reads the type of gasoline and adjusts for octane type. It stopped working"

Richard H., IN (2002 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)
Oil leaks

"Head gasket leaking for four years Also had to replace two antennas and an oxygen sensor"

Anonymous, AR (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

"rear valve cover gasket"

Anonymous, SC (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

"Burning oil and minor leaks"

Anonymous, WA (2002 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

"The rear engine seal had to be replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2002 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

12V power plug

"Dead. Not a fuse issue. Just doesn't work."

Anonymous, WA (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Right turn blinker would randomly not go off even when I turn it to the off position. And at other times it would work fine."

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

"Rear tail light malfunctioned. For such a simple light replacement, it's very costly. The whole unit has to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)
Warning lights

"All warning lights come on for 1-2 weeks, then go away. Diagnosed as a sensor behind brake pedal after 2 trips to Lexus mechanic."

Richard S., HI (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

"VSC light comes on with check engine light. Had to have it disabled"

Richard H., IN (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Air conditioner just stopped working. Need to bring to mechanic to check it out."

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)
Automatic climate control

"Noises coming from climate control system."

Anonymous, NC (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"The fan doesn't blow on my feet"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Lexus RX 3.0-L V6)

"Heater blower does not work properly. I think it is probably the controls as the blower works fine when the air conditioner is on. I presume there is only one blower motor. I haven't gotten around to trying to fix the problem"

Robert D., VA (2002 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)
Evaporator

"This is 15 year old car with 235000 miles on it. A/C components are just going bad"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Transmission Minor

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

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"Shifting became spongy and soft would not stay in gear. Cable eventually broke leaving car stuck in park. Its not that it broke, its that its basically a toyota that cost three times as much to fix. I have had numerous issues with this car, I have owned Toyotas for years as well, but this is far less reliable and way more expensive to repair"

J J., OH (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"Noticed the transmission slipping sometimes - in middle of winter the just stopped moving forward going up a slight hill. Had it towed to transmission specialist - had a used transmission put in. Been working ok since then."

Anonymous, MA (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"Transmission fluid lines rusted out leaving me stranded on the highway"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Water pump

"Water pump leaked coolant slowly for some time, then completely failed. This required the vehicle to be inoperable to prevent overheating. The water pump had to be replaced and the independent shop also replaced the timing belt and associated pulleys and tensioners at the same time"

Anonymous, MN (2002 Lexus RX 3.0-L V6)

"Water pump leaking. Replacement included timing belt and pulley replacement Cost about $2,000"

Dexter B., CA (2002 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

Normal routine brake wear

"Normal front and rear break replacement pads."

Anonymous, VA (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

"Rotors and pads replaced together for first time on rear wheels."

Anonymous, MI (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Had to be replaced due to rust. Very expensive"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Lexus RX 300 3.0-L V6)
Exhaust leaks

"section of exhaust developed a hole and had to be replaced."

Anonymous, MI (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Front grill fasteners failed"

Michael K., ON (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)
Rust

"Undercarriage rust on various metal surfaces."

Anonymous, IN (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 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

Fuel gauge/sender

"fuel gauge is wrong. Stops at 1/4 tank when I have less in tank."

Anonymous, WA (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)
Fuel injection system

"Cylinders 1, 3, and 5 misfire"

Raphael P., FL (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 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

"Water leaked into the car from drain lines being plugged up and seams in the rear"

Anonymous, (2002 Lexus RX 3.0-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"The car would leak onto the floor which were apparently because of worn out seals"

Anonymous, TX (2002 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

Alternator

"Had to replace alternator at cost of $400, plus additional costs of having less competent mechanics examine the car without solving the problem"

Anonymous, AZ (2002 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.

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

"Timing belt replacement somehow caused more issues with the vehicle. Made it undriveable for several weeks while repairs were done"

J J., OH (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

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.

What Owners Say

Wheel bearings

"I heard road noise particularly on the freeway. I told Longo Lexus during a service, but they failed to find the problem. Two weeks later the noise got worse. I thought it may be the tires I bought at Discount Tires. It wasn't the tires. It was the wheel bearings on one wheel. Discount Tires replaced the hub. I had started hearing some road noise 6 months earlier."

Anonymous, SD (2002 Lexus RX 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

Doors or sliding doors

"Dented from minor accident."

Anonymous, IN (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

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.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Does not read gps cd"

Gilbert R., CA (2002 Lexus RX 300.0 3.0-L V6)

Drive System

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

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