In 1997, Toyota introduced the SLV (Sport Luxury Vehicle) concept at the Chicago Motor Show, which opened a new line of crossovers - luxury mid-size SUVs. In 1998, the car was launched into production by Lexus for the American and European markets under the name Lexus RX300 (in the Japanese market, the model is called Toyota Harrier). The crossover is built on the platform of the Lexus ES 300 sedan, it has a supporting body and, unlike frame SUVs, demonstrates efficiency and high driving performance. Being an upscale SUV, the Lexus RX300 has a premium interior, offering high seating and roominess. Drive - front or permanent all-wheel drive.
The model 1998 model year’s equipment includes: halogen headlights, front fog lights, side mirrors and door handles in body color, roof rails, a telescoping steering column, a full-color LCD monitor and an on-board computer, an outside temperature sensor, front and rear dividing armrests rear, cruise control, climate control, radio and audio system with 7 speakers. Of the options: daytime running lights, chrome grille, electric sunroof, leather steering wheel and leather interior, heated and electric front seats, CD player, CD changer. After restyling in 2001, head optics, taillights, and grille were changed. The car received in the options xenon headlights, a navigation system with DVD, new upholstery materials and other changes.
Under the hood of the Lexus RX300 is a three-liter engine of the brand 1MZ-FE - a V-shaped, 6-cylinder 24-valve DOHC. This motor was installed on numerous Toyota / Lexus models of the middle class and, in particular, the Lexus ES 300 (a business sedan based on Toyota Camry). With proper care, the engine is extremely reliable and unpretentious. If in the European specification it gave out 201 hp, then for the American market - 220 hp at 5800 rpm and a torque of 301 Nm at 4400 rpm. Acceleration to 100 km / h with this Lexus RX engine will take 8.5-8.8 seconds. Fuel consumption in the combined cycle: 11.2-11.8 l / 100 km. The car is equipped with an automatic 4-speed gearbox.
The Lexus RX300 suspension is completely independent - McPherson struts front and rear. The chassis also has high reliability and survivability, and softness in behavior, but it is fair to note a slight tendency to roll in corners. In all-wheel drive versions of the Lexus RX300, the distribution of torque occurs evenly between the front and rear axles. The center differential is partially blocked by the viscous clutch and transfers traction to the wheels with better traction. Thanks to this, the car demonstrates confident behavior even on slippery roads. Front and rear disc brakes are installed (front ventilated), the steering is equipped with a hydraulic booster. Ground clearance - 200 mm. However, it should be remembered that the RX300 is not a real SUV - after all, it is created from a regular sedan.
The RX300 safety system includes: front airbags, side airbags, three-point belts with tensioners, door stiffeners, anti-lock brakes. The electronic stability control system and traction control system have become the standard since 2001, as well as the Brake Assist assistance system and child seat fastening. Thanks to the rigid body of increased strength, the car has high passive safety indicators, as evidenced by the results in crash tests and safety ratings in the United States and other countries. About Lexus RX300 we can say that this is one of the most successful models on the market. It has become a market hit since its inception, and even after changing several generations, interest in second-hand used cars is still high due to their reliability and survivability. The car is unpretentious and relatively inexpensive to maintain. American versions are not uncommon among used cars and mainly in trim levels above the base - this luxury crossover is hard to imagine without a leather interior, electric sunroof and other premium options.