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Lexus RX330 2004 Review

Lexus business manager Lana Kamleh and I had just decided that the crystal gold RX330 was definitely a feminine vehicle and we'd named her Yana because she's a class act.

She's got it all.

She a hi-tech comfort creature with more airbags than you could poke a stick at.

She purrs along the roads with the softest of engines and she talks you to your destination with gentle authority, using a very civilised English accent. One of my male passengers suggested he could marry that voice. Hmm. I think that's going a bit far.

However, the Lexus navigation system is the most pleasing I've yet encountered. It is touchscreen simplicity. And even when you defy her instructions, she will patiently keep rerouting you to keep you on track.

Her screen even tells you how many klicks to the destination and how many minutes it should take to get there.

Yana seemed to like nothing more than a trip out on the open road. She feels big in the city, but in the country she is queen of the road. One feels utterly in command, perched at a good all-wheel-drive height, yet not too high. Good light-sensitive rear-view mirror. Windscreen wipers which don't need to be told when it is raining. And an engine which, well, perhaps I should have told her that Willunga was a hill. She didn't notice.

When it comes to details, I think she is more interested in reversing. Not only do her wing mirrors automatically angle down to show the kerb lines when backing but also she has a wee camera tucked by the rear numberplate and it activates with reverse gear, revealing the world behind on the console screen in front. It's a highly parabolic view and I still checked behind for distances and idiot drivers when backing in the supermarket car park.

And now we get to the boot – the big hatch. Aah. This is a girl's favourite trick. OK, so I only had half a kilo of fish, but I could not resist opening the back of the car while still in the fishmonger's just because I could – at the press of a power button. It works from amazing distances, so one can have the back door opening when one is halfway across the supermarket car park with the trolley. Hands-free, no lifting open, no hauling shut. It does it all for you.

Yana pleased in all directions. The steering wheel, leather and wood, is a tactile delight. The airconditioning is absolutely brilliant. The sound system is ace. The seats adjust in all directions. Their leather comes from barbed-wire free fields, so it is flawless.

The steering wheel automatically retracts to allow one ease of getting in and out. The suspension is creamy. There's heaps of storage. There's bluetooth for phones.

Funnily enough, with all this perfection, the one thing I found awkward was the driver's cup holder, which was set a bit low so I had to look away from the road to find my water. But who needs water when one is driving champagne?

Pricing Guides

Based on 22 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

RX330 Sports 3.3L, ULP, 5 SP SEQ AUTO $5,800 – 9,950 2004 Lexus RX 2004 RX330 Sports Pricing and Specs
RX330 Sports Luxury 3.3L, ULP, 5 SP SEQ AUTO $4,999 – 11,999 2004 Lexus RX 2004 RX330 Sports Luxury Pricing and Specs