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Lexus RX

Lexus RX

Lexus logo1 Apr 2003

By CHRIS HARRIS

AUSTRALIA didn’t see the first-generation (1998) RX, which was essentially a 1997-2002 Toyota Camry with extensive revisions to the front-wheel drive platform and a completely new body and interior.

The same applied to the Mk2 model that stormed Australia during 2003.

It quickly asserted itself as a segment leader, and became Lexus’ most popular vehicle.

Again Lexus pilfered the contemporary (’02-’06) Camry platform, but worked extremely hard to eliminate noise, vibration and harshness.

The result was one of the quietest and comfortable SUVs for any money, backed by a soft ride and opulent luxury levels in the higher-grade Sports Luxury model – which also included high-tech features such as a reverse camera, electric tailgate door and satellite navigation.

Yet even the entry-level Sport included stability control, an armada of airbags, anti-lock brakes, powered front seats and a sunroof.

But the RX 300 is no driver’s car, despite possessing a smooth and powerful 172kW/328Nm 3.3-litre VVTi double overhead cam 24-valve V6 powerplant paired to a silky five-speed sequential automatic gearbox.

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