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Discussion Starter #1
Here's how a "former" Lexus RX 330 (yes, the just released RX 330) owner compared his Pilot to the RX 330 he bought, that the dealer bought back from him because of vibration problems.

Here he describes the MDX he bought to replace the RX 330:

"Figured it this way . . . . I already own a Honda Pilot, which I keep in Vancouver. Rather spartan . . . but rides/drives flawlessly. Better riding than the RX . . . and the best front seats in the industry, IMO. The MDX, with 20 more horsepower . . and torque, and better fittings . . . and a better warranty, seems right. I'll have a tough time with the faux wood though. Peter"

See the entire thread at http://www.clublexus.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=82461

and the original thread discussing his vibration problems at:

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=81180

--Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Different Tune 9 months later

Well, I'm whistling a different tune 9 months later, as the proud (former Pilot Owner) of a new RX 330. I figured I'd use this thread to post some real life comparison stuff, as I developed a pretty intimate layman's knowledge of the Pilot, the '01 Highlander I had before it, and am now learning about the RX330.

Rather than one long, rambling, boring post, I'll post quick hit comparisons, and add a subject line to each post to make it hopefully easier to read what you might be interested in.

Here we go.:p
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Owner Link Website Comparison

I'm now registered at both the Honda Owner link site, and the Lexus Owner link site. Honda's is pretty lame, by any stretch. The Lexus site is not much better, but for one feature - a searchable online Owner's Manual.

Of course, thanks to the great efforts of kemosabe and bkwon in scanning/posting and hosting the '03 manual (and soon to come '04 manual), we've had that capability here.

I was suitably pleased to see that Lexus has provided a similar capability.:p
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Recommended Oil

Pilot - 5W20, 5.1 quarts

RX330 - 5W30, 5 quarts

(still can't find the grease fittings on either vehicle :p)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Actual Gas Mileage

Pilot - 4400 pounds, 87 octane, 240 HP, 3.5 liter V6, 17/22 EPA rating, my last "city mileage" was 16 and change. Never better than 20.5 highway.

RX 330 - 4065 pounds, 87 octane ( higher recommended for better performance), 230 HP, 3.3 liter, 18/24 EPA rating, first fill up was 18.5.

Advantage RX.:p Interesting though that the trip computer average mpg in the RX was half a mile higher (it read 19, actual was 18.5); the trip computer in my Highlander was consistently half a mile higher.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Overall Fit and Finish

Pilot - I bought it in the summer time, and shortly after buying it went through it with a fine tooth comb, as the saying goes. I was very impressed, as was everyone I showed the vehicle too.

RX 330 - I haven't had the exact same opportunity to go over the RX 300 with a fine tooth comb, but do agree with the professional reviewers that the fit and finish is excellent.

The Pilot and the RX both originated in Canada. Both exhibit excellent fit and finish, and the RX, as expected for the MSRP increase, has higher quality "material."

Final judgement - equal, all things considered.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Buying Experience

Buying the RX 330 was the most pleasant car-buying experience I've ever had. The salesman was a complete professional, and played everything straight up. No games, no hide the keys, no good cop bad cop. And the finance process was easy as well. I told them what I could get from my credit union, they couldn't touch it through Lexus Financial Services, but did beat my rate credit union rate today by .65 percent through a third party. And no run through the attractive lady with the low neckline dress pushing the paint sealant, rustproofing, window etching, Scotchguard, pinstripes, and mud guards.:p
 

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Thanks for the info, jay. This is what really counts, the real life comparisons from someone who'll have had a chance to drive two cars extensively. This beats any car magazine reviews.
 

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More?

Still waiting for the most important info - $$$ comparison!!!

:bling:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: More?

Pairallel said:
Still waiting for the most important info - $$$ comparison!!!

:bling:
The RX 330 won an Intellichoice award for best overall value, as discussed here. The Pilot LX won as well. :p
 

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:D I'm having my IS300 for service and hope that they give me the RX330 to (abuse!) use and also give a comparison test.:2:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Gas Tank Slosh

The first time I ever experienced that thump from the gas tank sloshing was in an '01 Highlander. When I heard it in my Pilot, I knew exactly what I was hearing, and never gave it a second thought. I can't even remember the last time I remember hearing it in the Pilot.

The RX 330 has not exhibited any gas tank noises whatsoever. I can't tell if it's baffles in the tank, or sound deadening in the floor that's preventing me from hearing a peep. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Caliper Slap

That brake noise referred to as "caliper slap" seems to be common to Hondas. Once I knew what it was, after experiencing it the first time in a '98 Accord, I got used to it. I even commented to my dealer that I didn't hear it in the Pilot, at first. Soon, it was a daily occurrence.

No such sound that I recall in any other vehicle, including the RX.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Exhaust System Cooling noises

Every car I've ever owned, except Hondas, would pop and ping and generally make a racket for 2 to 30 minutes after being shut off, from the metal in the exhaust system cooling and contracting.

The RX is the only other vehicle besides the Hondas that doesn't pop and ping for a while after it's shut off. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Saggy Leather Seats

The saggy leather seats on the Pilot never really bothered me. I did feel like the leather was not as nice as what was in my Highlander, and the fuzzies through the perforations bothered me a bit.

The RX has a high quality non-perforated leather, and they take a different approach to the stitching. What I call turning a bug into a feature. The leather is stitched in such a way that it bunches, purposely. It looks great, IMHO. Marketing at its best. Here's the seat bottom of the passenger seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Lumbar Support

The manual lumbar support on the Pilot is a joke, as it was in my '98 Accord. I immediately put the lever in the "full support position," and never moved it in 20 months.

The RX, like the '01 Highlander, has a power lumbar support, and you know it's there. On long drives, the ability to adjust that bladder :p with the touch of a button comes in handy.
 

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Re: Saggy Leather Seats

jay said:
The saggy leather seats on the Pilot never really bothered me. I did feel like the leather was not as nice as what was in my Highlander, and the fuzzies through the perforations bothered me a bit.

The RX has a high quality non-perforated leather, and they take a different approach to the stitching. What I call turning a bug into a feature. The leather is stitched in such a way that it bunches, purposely. It looks great, IMHO. Marketing at its best. Here's the seat bottom of the passenger seat.
I'm pretty much a (high-quality) cloth seat person, but I must admit I really like the looks of the RX's leather seats with the nonperforated leather and gathered seams. It would be nice if the Pilot similarly improves its leather upholstery one of these model years.
 

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Re: Caliper Slap

jay said:
That brake noise referred to as "caliper slap" seems to be common to Hondas. Once I knew what it was, after experiencing it the first time in a '98 Accord, I got used to it. I even commented to my dealer that I didn't hear it in the Pilot, at first. Soon, it was a daily occurrence.

No such sound that I recall in any other vehicle, including the RX.
Hmmm, I haven't noticed any particular braking noise in the Pilot....or in my Civic, after 16,500 and 88,000 miles, respectively.
 

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Re: Exhaust System Cooling noises

jay said:
Every car I've ever owned, except Hondas, would pop and ping and generally make a racket for 2 to 30 minutes after being shut off, from the metal in the exhaust system cooling and contracting.

The RX is the only other vehicle besides the Hondas that doesn't pop and ping for a while after it's shut off. :p
I had to smile when I read your description of the racket made by exhaust systems after shutoff. Brought back fond (?) memories of how my brand new (at the time) '88 Toyota Corolla would "sound off" during the first couple months or so.

But the worst offender I ever had in this regard was my '79 Honda Accord CVCC. As you said, jay, for as long as 30 minutes after the ignition was turned off, the listener would be serenaded by a wide assortment of pops, pings, and other metallic noises emanating from the exhaust pipe. Plus, the burning smell (which I was told was normal) coming from the exhaust pipe was most unpleasant. Thankfully, most of this abated with time.
 
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