When crossover vehicles began to appear on the market towards the end of the 1990s, their unique combination of the best of the sedan and SUV worlds provided buyers with a brand new class of family vehicle to replace either their station wagons or sport-utility trucks. They also offered a unique insight into the difference in mind state between Japanese car companies and their European and North American brethren. Domestic manufacturers largely ignored crossovers when they first bowed onto the scene, preferring instead to focus their development dollars on the very profitable truck-based SUVs that were pouring cash into their pockets. German car companies largely followed suit, with both Mercedes-Benz and BMW building big sport-utility vehicles that favored brawn over subtlety.
Japanese automakers largely chose to go in the opposite direction. As they had no successful full-size truck designs at the time that could easily be converted into luxury SUVs, companies such as Lexus and Acura instead plundered the sedan lineups of their parent corporations in order to discover which platform could be most readily adapted into a brand new crossover. For Lexus, the answer came in the form of a modified Camry chassis, which was able to donate enough of its smooth ride and road holding to create a very successful luxury crossover known as the Lexus RX.
Introduced a few years before the turn of the millennium, the Lexus RX heralded a new type of styling for crossovers, less egg-shaped than its Acura competitor and certainly not at all the same look as the minivans which crossovers were slowly starting to supplant. Not only did the Lexus RX feature an attractive appearance, but it also boasted the same reliability and exceptional comfort that was part and parcel of the entire Lexus experience. The RX also provided buyers with the option of all-wheel drive, and while the vehicle was certainly not intended to rough it out on a wilderness trail, it did offer excellent traction in snowy winter climates where the safety of passengers was of paramount importance.
The Lexus RX has undergone a significant number of upgrades since it was first released over ten years ago, and now in its second generation it still provides excellent value as a luxury crossover vehicle. This article positions the 2004 - 2007 Lexus RX as the best used crossover available from the premium car company, and discusses the many reasons why thousands of families have adopted it as their daily transportation.
2004 - 2007 Lexus RX
When Lexus chose to update the RX in 2004, they made sure that it didn't fall behind in the size war that had been raging amongst both SUVs and crossovers for a number of years. The 2004 - 2007 Lexus RX is both longer and wider than the previous generation of vehicle, helping it to maintain its stature as a competent family hauler without ballooning out to a degree that could turn off parking-conscious families. The RX's styling was also overhauled, adding a more angular edge that dovetailed nicely with the revamped Lexus sedans that were hitting the market at the time.
Of course, the 2004 - 2007 Lexus RX is more than just a pretty face. Lexus has worked hard to ensure that the RX remains competitive in terms of performance as well as exterior design. The base RX 330 is sold with a 230 horsepower, 3.3 liter V6 engine that is also capable of producing 242 lb-ft of torque. This model was replaced in 2006 by the RX 350, which is provided with a slightly larger 3.5-liter V-6 that makes a more potent 270 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque. Both vehicles use a 5-speed automatic transmission to send power to either the front or all four wheels when optional all-wheel drive is ordered.
When it comes to hauling, the 2004 - 2007 Lexus RX does not disappoint. Folding down the rear seats reveals a cargo capacity of 85 cubic feet, a number that shrinks to a still impressive 38 cubic feet when the vehicle is loaded up to is 5 passenger maximum. The vehicle's upscale trim reflects the moneyed demographic that Lexus went after, and while the RX certainly bears a practical design throughout its passenger compartment, comfort is also at the forefront of the vehicle's features list. The RX is available with a moonroof, HID headlights, air suspension and technological goodies like dynamic cruise control.
With attractive styling and a useful overall design, the 2004 - 2007 Lexus RX is one of the best values on the used crossover market for buyers interested in more than just the bare essentials provided by most minivans.