Used 2000 Lexus RX 300

2000 Lexus RX 300
List price
2000 Lexus RX 300


  • Well-appointed interior, perfect road manners, unique styling.


  • Allergic to major off-highway work, no V8 available.
Lexus RX 300 years

Used 2000 Lexus RX 300 for Sale

Lexus RX 300 2000 4dr SUV AWD
122,252 miles
Used 2000
Lexus RX 300
Prize Auto
42.2 mi away
Est.Loan: $110/mo
Fair Deal!
Fair Deal!
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Dealer Notes
<span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';><span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';> <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>&gt;&gt;&gt;7 DAYS &lsquo;NO QUESTIONS ASKED&rsquo; EXCHANGE POLICY&lt;&lt;&lt; <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';> <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>***12 MONTHS/7,500 MILES ENGINE, TRANSMISSION, DIFFERENTIALS WARRANTY*** <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>&nbsp; <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* GUARANTEED FINANCING * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* MARYLAND STATE INSPECTION * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* CLEAN IN AND OUT * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* 3.0L V6* <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* WELL MAINTAINED * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* GREAT CONDITION* <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* SUNROOF/MOONROOF * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* ICE COLD A/C * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* AM/FM RADIO * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* NO ACCIDENT * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* LEATHER SEATS * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* HEATED SEATS * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* LUGGAGE RACK * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* FOG LIGHTS * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* POWER WINDOWS * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* POWER MIRROR * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>* POWER DOOR LOCK * <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-family:'Courier New';>&nbsp; <span lang=EN-US style=font-size:12.0pt;font-f
Lexus RX 300 2000 4dr SUV
140,961 miles
Used 2000
Lexus RX 300
Nationwide Nissan
54 mi away
ListNot Listed
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Edmunds' Expert Review

Looks like an SUV (sort of). Drives like a car. That's why this is Lexus' best-selling vehicle.

vehicle overview

Lexus, like many manufacturers these days, has jumped on the sedan/sport-utility hybrid bandwagon with the RX 300. Touted as a "new breed of SUV," the RX 300 is supposed to offer the style, versatility, and poor-weather traction of an all-wheel-drive SUV without negatively affecting ride, fuel economy, or ease of entry/exit.

Rather than a conventional body-on-frame design, the RX 300 is built on a unibody platform. It is a mid-sized SUV, with dimensions similar to those of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Powering the RX 300 is a 3.0-liter V6 producing 220 horsepower and 222 foot-pounds of torque. A continuously variable valve timing (VVT-i) system allows the Lexus engine to generate more low-end torque for more pulling power and standing-start response. Eighty percent of peak torque is available as low as 1,600 rpm.

Now in its second year of production, the RX 300 can be had in front-wheel drive, which improves both performance and gas mileage. To add to the front-wheel-drive model's capability in less than perfect weather, electronic traction control is optional. Full-time four-wheel drive is also available with a viscous center coupling that directs torque to the wheels with the most traction whenever slippage occurs.

The RX 300 tackles urban pavement quite well. Body roll isn't excessive and the brakes are strong. City driving is made easy thanks to a smooth four-speed automatic transmission. The RX 300 gets a bit chicken when it comes to the serious stuff, however. It lacks a low-range transfer case, and maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds, which is 3,000 pounds less than a 4x4 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8's maximum towing capacity.

Sitting inside the RX 300 is like sitting in a sedan with excellent road visibility. It's spacious and comfortable in the front seats or the rear bench. The optional leather package includes leather trim on the seating surfaces and headrests, and the surfaces actually feel like leather instead of vinyl. The seats, both front and back, offer plenty of thigh support for a variety of leg sizes. Dashboard material and instruments feel substantial, though the center-console display screen can wash out in sunlight.

With its long list of luxury and safety features (side airbags are standard in the RX 300) Lexus is able to offer a lot of car (in the guise of a truck) for not a lot of money. While we wouldn't recommend the RX to anyone with serious off-road aspirations, it fulfills its intended mission of giving semi-affluent buyers an SUV that won't offend the other country club members.

2000 Highlights

The RX 300 remains mechanically unchanged. A Mineral Green Opalescent paint replaces Desert Bronze Metallic on the order sheet.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2000 Lexus RX 300.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Have driven it like a sports car for 17 years!
Bought it new in May '99. Since then have put 213,000 miles on it. Have had a few repairs along the way. At 66K miles, I replaced the battery, otherwise the first major service (besides routine) was at 72K miles; a check engine light required a $170 meter. Had all the struts replaced at 96K miles. I switched to synthetic oil at 97K miles. At 100K, the engine dying while trying to start required a $270 IAC valve and a $265 something called "Assy, Idle Spe." At 123K, needed new rear brakes. At 135K miles, spent $900, because it needed a new timing belt, all (3) engine drive belts, water pump and 3 light bulb (some of the bulbs can be replaced by anyone and a few are hard to access). At 141K, had to replace the air fuel sensor replace battery at that time also). At 147K, a passenger side CV joint was noted to be damaged. At 166K, the right front door lock actuator was replaced. At 180K, another 90K service was done and in addition an exhaust system gasket leak was repaired, a transmission pan gasket was leaking and replaced, and the power steering rack & pinion unit was leaking and was replaced (I spent over $2,000 dollars that day). Again at 200K, a front right inner CV boot and the transmission pan gasket were leaking (these were fixed, both front CV boots were replaced). Replaced the air-fuel sensor again at 201K miles. The high beams became inoperative requiring a surprising amount of diagnostic work-up; in the end it was just a bulb that was out. At some point, the radio antenna gear strip broke (antenna would not lower), but I found out how to repair that myself from the internet and it only cost about $25. Finally, about a week ago I ended up paying for a $1400 repair because the ignition switch locked up (requiring a ride back to civilization aboard a flat-bed wrecker). I would say the majority of my service is just tire rotations and oil changes. Every once and a while a sensor goes out (especially the air-fuel sensor), A few gasket and CV leaks (but despite ruptured CV covers, the CV joints were fine). If you were to see the vehicle, it appears new inside and out. I still like it. For a sports utility vehicle, it is very quiet, smooth, handles well, has lots of storage and more than enough power.
Love the car, hate the transmission!!!
I purchased this car with 130,000 mi. on it. The car still drives like a new car, minor wear on front leather driver seat & basically still looks new. I was aware of the transmission troubles with this model, but hoped it wouldn't happen to me, but it did! At around 160,000 mi., it went. I had a transmission put in & I am now at 180,000 mi. I drive around 100 miles daily, so it is a work horse for sure! I will be satisfied if it will take me to 300,000 with no major issues. I will then feel that I got my money's worth!
The good, bad and ugly
2000 AWD, purchased used in 2011 w 110K. The good-smooth drivetrain, ride, reasonably comfortable seats. Only replaced 1 O2 sensor in first 40K miles. The bad-$$$ to fix: $1200 for timing belt/H2O pump. At 152K, knock sensor and sub harness, air fuel ratio sensor, valve cover gaskets: $2100. At 156K, front 2 catalysts: $900. The ugly: TERRIBLE MPG: Avg 16-17 around town, rarely more than 20 all highway. The big culprit seems to be the gearing - very short geared - about 2900 RPM at 70MPH. Extra weight for AWD does not help, nor do the side mirrors, the size of small flat screen TVs. No compass. Radio and HVAC controls look the same. Too expensive to own-would not buy another.
Good vehicle
Gregory J Strzelecki,10/07/2015
We have owned this vehicle for a few years but after it got to 150,000 things started breaking. The major problems I have experienced is replacing the knock sensors, and the check engine light will not go out. There are to many sensors on this vehicle so your check engine light will come back on once you have fixed the problem. other then that it is a nice vehicle to own. The ride is smooth it is quiet and the straight road handling is great. The worst steering problem is that you can not make tight turns. By Gregory J. Strzelecki
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Features & Specs

16 city / 21 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
220 hp @ 5800 rpm
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
220 hp @ 5800 rpm
See all Used 2000 Lexus RX 300 features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2000 Lexus RX 300
More About This Model

The Lexus RX 300. Many drove it. Some deemed it an "utter and absolute disappointment." Some liked it better than they thought they would. Others loved it. Divergent opinions from different editors — all of them valid to some degree. What we all agreed upon, however, was that Lexus' midsize SUV looked distinctly…egg-like.

It does recall a fabricated egg. Not that it's anything that the Romanovs would approve. It's more garish, with lots of chrome, and recalled the odd collector's egg from Franklin Mint ("Each month, you'll have the excitement of another new egg…Plus, if you call right now, you'll receive the 13th egg absolutely free!") featuring scenes from various Shelley Winters' movies.

The egg shape is quite appropriate, actually. The RX 300, introduced in 1998 as a 1999 model, hatched a brand-new niche — that of the car-based luxury SUV. It has sparked the growing legions of pavement-biased SUVs, attracting the well-to-do to a segment that was, at one time, populated by more plebian consumers.

Now, the cadre of luxury manufacturers, upon discovering that there's a vast, previously unmolested populace (and their pocketbooks) panting to jump aboard the SUV extravaganza, are furiously expanding the sport luxury vehicle segment (quelle horreur — the Porsche Cayenne!). Why not? Every sale of a luxury car yields a big, fat average profit of $15,000, and sometimes more, for the carmaker. Can the RX 300 still float in this cashmere-drenched world?

In 1999, Lexus was the best-selling luxury brand in America, surpassing the old vanguard of Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz. The 2000 model year has seen a bit of a decline, with Lexus in the third place position. Actually, Lexus should regain its title next year with the release of the excellent IS 300 and the redesigned LS 430. Its ace-in-the-hole, however, is its midsize SUV, the RX 300, the best-selling vehicle of the Lexus lineup, which comprises half of all Lexus sales.

What is it about this vehicle that attracts legions of devotees, as per the discussions in our Town Hall, but also raises the ire of so many? This seemingly innocuous vehicle, based on the ES 300's sedate sedan platform, which in turn is based upon the more humble Toyota Camry platform (call them second cousins) evoked love-it or hate-it responses from our editors. Let's delve into the issue, shall we?

The RX 300 is replete with thoughtful Lexus details, with refined touches like the subtle beep beep of the security alarm system to considerate accommodations like a one-touch opener not only for the driver's side window but for all four windows and the sunroof, just by pressing the unlock button.

Getting into the vehicle posed no problem for any of our staffers, thanks to its low doorsill lip that greatly facilitated ingress/egress. The seats were exceedingly comfortable, with an effective lumbar control, articulating headrests and fold-down armrests. There was good side bolstering, but a few editors would have appreciated a longer seat bottom for improved thigh support.

The interior received mixed reviews from different drivers. One editor faulted the RX 300's commonality with a minivan: "I own a Sienna and recently drive it 1,000 miles round trip to my brother's house in Arizona. The seating position and the view out the RX 300's windshield are very mommymobile-like, and the front three-quarter windows that remind me of the old Ford Aerostar minivan don't help matters in the image department. Even the passenger compartment floor is flat, like a van."

He continued: "If the RX 300 didn't have a center console glued to the floor, you could wriggle between the seats and access the rear bench. The center stack is poorly designed, from the phallic positioning of the gear shifter to the silly three-sectioned LCD screen to the squashed radio and climate controls. The seats front and rear are uncomfortable, with small bottom cushions. The rear bench is mounted too low to the floor to provide adequate thigh support."

Meanwhile, another editor praised interior comfort, with a rear seat with headrests for all three passengers and plenty of toe and knee room. The 60/40 split seat allows each seatback to recline for optimal comfort, and the fold-down armrest was at a comfortable height. As the truck possesses svelte proportions, shoulder space was a bit tight for three adults. Plus the seat was positioned a bit low to provide adequate thigh support, not to mention the fact that the middle passenger has only a lap belt. In short, you'd be driving a much happier crowd with two rear passengers than three.

It should be noted that the rear bench slides 4.7 inches fore and aft on tracks. This allows your long-limbed passengers more legroom when pushed back. Slide the seat forward and gain 9.4 cubic feet of extra space for cargo. With the seat folded, the RX 300 provides 75 cubic feet of space, although it's a rather compact package at 180.1 inches in length.

The shifter location with its odd angle and placement (on the lower center console) also had its detractors and fans. This driver found it easy to grow accustomed to it and the space available between the front seats where the shifter should have been, and grew increasingly attached to the nice place to put your purse (or man-purse, but only if it's European) so that it will be within reach but not in plain view. The center console, with its two sliding drawers, was deemed doofy by some and ingenious by others.

The display screen was universally bashed, however. Taking up an inordinate amount of space, it did little aside from lending a vacuous air to the center stack with little to justify its existence. On a blue screen with white letters (uh, am I supposed to set the time on my VCR here?), it displays a multitude of information that could be shown elsewhere.

The trip computer displays the driving time, the average vehicle speed and fuel consumption which is updated every 10 seconds, and momentary fuel consumption updated every 2 seconds so that you can rest assured that your SUV is burning up that expensive premium unleaded just as fast as it can (we averaged a thirsty 17.2 mpg during highway and city driving). Because it's imperative for you to know that every 2 seconds, isn't it?

It also displays the information for the climate control (but no dual-zone function, a low-down dirty shame), the outside temperature and the time. All that room, but no compass? Or worse, a compass that's available only as part of a $6,870 navigation package that'll be available only for the 2001 model year? Dude…

The auburn wood trim of the dash won praises from one editor, while another was bowled over when he learned that it wasn't plood but, in fact, real walnut — it emitted a flimsy noise when tapped. Our test vehicle was equipped with the in-dash six-CD changer, a rather expensive but useful option. We were cheesed out by the switchgear, especially the cruise and power mirror controls, that is shared with the lower line Toyotas. The Optitron gauges were handsome and easy to read.

The RX 300 is composed of unibody construction to minimize creaking in the joints, and absorbs road irregularities as well as collisions better than a body-on-frame configuration. Add in a four-wheel independent suspension and an active engine mount to obliterate NVH, and you're in for a Lexus-typical smooth ride; of course the result is devoid of any road feel, save for the bump steer that gets transmitted to the driver via the light steering. The huge turning radius, coupled with the light, numb steering didn't help matters. Not only was it not fun to drive on road, it was a pain in the arse to park in a tight parking spot.

Braking performance fell short of the superb feel and distance we've come to expect from Lexus products. Stopping from 60 mph resulted in an average distance of 134 feet, and though the vented four-wheel disc ABS setup provided a decent performance, it lacked the linear and refined feel of Lexus sedans or even its full-size SUV, the LX 470.

The suspension, composed of MacPherson struts and an antiroll bar in front and Chapman struts and traverse links in the rear, is tuned to deliver a soft, cushioned ride, translating to terrific amounts of body roll, as well as obtrusive diving upon braking. As a result, even moderate cornering speeds reminded us that SUVs have the greatest instances of rollovers among any kind of vehicles.

Underhood, motivation is delivered to the front or all four wheels via Lexus' 3.0-liter, DOHC VVT-i V6 that makes 220 horsepower and 222 foot-pounds of torque, with 80 percent of twisting force available at a low 1,600 rpm; launch from a standstill is spunky and spirited. The transmission is exemplary, with upshifts and downshifts that seemingly read your mind. It held third gear going up a hill without having to use the overdrive-off button, and was confidence inspiring when merging and passing.

Lexus has its customers' numbers. In its omniscient wisdom, it has analyzed the fact that only 7 percent of SUV buyers will ever take their vehicles off-road. And if you're a Lexus buyer, that number would drop precipitously. Yet the company also took into consideration the nagging guilt that SUV owners feel when others ridicule them for owning trucks that aren't really trucks — "Ha ha, you can't even take that thing off-road," they chortle. "Shoot, you can't even take it into the snow. It's useless. USELESS!" But what's the point of installing a true low-range transfer case when it's rarely, if ever, going to be used?

The solution was to make an all-wheel-drive option, combining an integrated transfer case with a viscous coupling center differential and an optional limited-slip rear differential. It provides a 50/50 front-to-rear power split for even traction, and we surmise that this system, along with the transmission in the "Snow" mode that starts the RX 300 off in second gear for less slippage, will be useful for residents of colder climes.

Our so-equipped test vehicle was able to scamper up and down a moderately angled, gravel-strewn off-road path with no problem, save for the low-cut dry brush loudly scraping its undercarriage, no thanks to its meager 7.7-inch ground clearance. For light-duty off-roading and extra security in inclement weather conditions, we feel that this is a palatable alternative to a "real" 4WD system.

The Lexus RX 300 may have been the progenitor of the sport luxury ute segment, but in two short years, it has already fallen behind. Want better off-road capability? Get the Infiniti QX4, or better yet, the Nissan Pathfinder LE, which you'll find to have just as nice an interior, plus more cargo space. The trade-off is a slight decrease in ride quality on the pavement. The Mercedes M-Class has a wide array of engine choices and exterior styling that evokes sportiness rather than a henhouse. The BMW X5 is a superb on-road handler, but of course its ridiculous premium transcends any previous boundaries set by trucks.

In the final analysis, however, the RX 300's greatest competitor comes in the form of the new Acura MDX that sports a third row of seats, providing room for seven. It also has a larger, more powerful engine, yet gets better fuel mileage than the RX 300. It handles better, too.

An old Michael Jackson song goes a little something like this — "You're too high to go over, you're too low to get under; you're stuck in the middle, and the pain is thunder." While it helped create a brand-new niche, its competitors are leeching onto its formula, limpet-like. And it's suffering from growing pains.

You've got to break some eggs in order to make an omelet.

Stereo Evaluation

System Score: 7.75

Components. This is a nicely laid-out system. It starts with a pair of 6-inch full-range speakers in the rear doors. The front doors contain a similarly sized pair of drivers that are rolled off to a pair of tweeters above. Here's where it gets interesting. Instead of the usual tweeter placement in the top of the doors or even in a special enclosure between the dashboard and side mirrors, the Lexus engineers have elected to position the tweeters on top of the dash, adjacent to the A-pillars. Not only is this a genius placement, but they sound great. Other features include a six-disc CD changer tucked into the glove box, plus an AM/FM/cassette faceplate that interfaces with a video screen above. Tone controls include a nice touch: a "mid" adjustment, for added sonic flexibility. The radio is at a perfect elevation in the dash, but the features leave something to be desired. For instance: funky plastic buttons, bunched-together presets, and a very confusing arrangement for the changer controls, some of which work off the faceplate and others which work off the buttons beneath the video screen.

Performance. This one sounds great. The dash-mounted tweeters produce an excellent soundstage, while the door-mounted drivers give a surprisingly thumping performance. The system also has a warmth and smoothness you don't find that often — something hard to put into words but which we've heard in other Lexus vehicles. It's not the loudest system on the planet, and it does tend to get a little grainy and "dirty" when turned up too loud, but it has an overall sonic purity that will please most listeners.

Best Feature: Dash-mounted tweeters.

Worst Feature: Funky CD cartridge.

Conclusion. This system sounds excellent, but has some strange design cues. For example, the cartridge in the CD changer is one of the worst designs I've ever seen. Unlike most changers, which have slide-out drawers, these come completely out of the cartridge and fall into your hands. Bizarre. Also, for such a nice-sounding system, the radio controls feel very cheap. I marked off for the weird engineering, but there's no denying the sound quality of this system. — Scott Memmer

Used 2000 Lexus RX 300 Overview

The Used 2000 Lexus RX 300 is offered in the following submodels: RX 300 SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV AWD, and 4dr SUV.

What's a good price on a Used 2000 Lexus RX 300?

Price comparisons for Used 2000 Lexus RX 300 trim styles:

  • The Used 2000 Lexus RX 300 Base is priced between $5,382 and$5,382 with odometer readings between 122252 and122252 miles.

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Should I lease or buy a 2000 Lexus RX 300?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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