anything, Lexus has only enhanced its reputation for whisper-quiet
vehicles, with its RX 330 demi-truck. That undoubtedly was
an aim when the luxury division of Japan-based Toyota became
the self-proclaimed creator of the first entry-level luxury
sport utility some six years ago.
a major revamping a year ago, the larger, sleeker and more
powerful next generation RX 330, better known as a 5 Crossover,
takes refinement to a new level for 2005. That's a requisite
step in keeping the appeal level high among die-hard followers
who have repeatedly bolstered the Lexus claim of pure gratification
satisfaction in J. D. Power customer survey polls.
is tops in changes for '05, with the addition of roll sensing
side curtain airbags. The Adaptive Front lighting System
(AFS) that steers headlamp beams into a turning curve, now
is an option with high intensity lights.
Comfort and convenience cues include an eight-way power
seat for the front passenger. "One click" key
fob liftgate opening is now standard, as are wood and leather
trimmed steering wheel and shift knob in the luxurious interior
that seats five, max.
RX 330 also expands on the consumer technology front, with
the addition of Bluetooth wireless capability and voice
activation to its optional touch-screen DVD-based navigation
system with one-touch phone dialing. The navigation screen
displays three-dimensional images in some larger cities.
RX 330, powered by a responsive 230-HP, 3.3-liter V6, with
five-speed automatic in front or all-wheel drive configurations,
starts in the high 30s price range depending on model, before
options. With its reputation for quiet dependability intact,
we might call it fun-to-drive wearing a velvet glove.