Ratings: Lexus RX300 F Sport in Malaysia - Makes air suspension feel overrated

Sanjay · Jul 31, 2021 08:00 AM

Ratings: Lexus RX300 F Sport in Malaysia - Makes air suspension feel overrated 01

This week's WapCar Ratings sees us put the Lexus RX300 F Sport through our instrumented tests. Priced from RM 424,187, this fully-imported (CBU Japan) SUV goes against rivals like the BMW X5 xDrive45e and Volvo XC90 in Malaysia.

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Usual disclaimer applies: all materials were taken before MCO, and scores are relative to cars in the RX's segment and not the new-car market as a whole.

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Lexus RX300 F Sport: Driving Performance - 32/50, Silky smooth

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Lexus RX300 F Sport - Facts and Figures
Engine 2.0-litre, turbo 4-cylinder
Transmission 6-speed AT
Power 235 PS @ 4,800 - 5,600 rpm
Torque 350 Nm @ 1,650 - 4,000 Nm
Weight 2,070 kg
0-100 km/h 8.7 seconds
100-0 km/h 36.3 metres

Although there's the F Sport suffix, don't expect anything that'll light your pants on fire. In fact, the opposite holds true: the engine can feel a little bit cumbersome at times, especially with light throttle input and it sometimes stays in a certain rpm, almost akin to a CVT.

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Despite adequate low-end torque and a silky 6-speed automatic transmission, we feel that the RX could've benefitted from a bigger, better engine for added finesse and improved character.

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Data collected by our Racelogic VBox

Putting aside performance comments, the RX300 nets back some points with its 'Magic Ride & Handling', as Adrian puts it.

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One would expect this F Sport variant (with performance dampers and 20-inch wheels) to be a bit harsh but no, ride quality remains superb.

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Also, we'd suggest for you to spring for this range-topping variant - the performance touch lends to better handling and added confidence when tackling corners.

Lexus RX300 F Sport - Driving Performances Breakdown
Engine Acceleration 3 / 5
In-gear Acceleration 3 / 5
Throttle Response 3 / 5
Transmission Shift Logic 2 / 3
Smoothness 4 / 5
Sport/Manual Mode 3 / 3
Steering Accuracy 1.5 / 3
Response 1.5 / 3
Weight & Feel 2 / 3
Braking Distance 2 / 3
Feel 2 / 3
Handling Chassis Balance 1.5 / 3
Grip 1.5 / 3
Load Reaction 2 / 3
Total   32/50

Lexus RX300 F Sport: Ride Comfort - 41/50, Hard to believe it's not air suspension

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Tranquil would be the best word to describe how the RX300 rides. No matter how bad the roads are, at most what one would feel inside is a gentle nudge when going over abnormally-sized potholes.

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It's great that Lexus has managed to provide such levels of comfort on non-adaptive, standard dampers.

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Lexus RX300 F Sport - Cabin noise
0 km/h (AC off) 42 dB
0 km/h (AC on) 46 dB
60 km/h (AC on) 58 dB
90 km/h (AC on) 62 dB
110 km/h (AC on) 65 dB

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It's also one of the quietest cars we've ever tested, thanks to features like all-round double-glazed windows and generous soundproofing on body panels. 

Lexus RX300 F Sport - Ride Comfort Breakdown
Sound Proofing 9 / 10
Suspension 8 / 10
Passenger Comfort 8 / 10
Seat Support 4 / 5
Ergonomics 4 / 5
Engine Refinement 8 / 10
Total points 41 / 50 pts

Lexus RX300 F Sport: Quality and Features – 43/50, Japanese refinement at its best 

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From panel fitment to interior fit and finish, the RX300 scores well.

Lexus RX300 F Sport - Panel Gaps (mm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side Difference
Bonnet 3.5 2.5 1
Front Fender 3.5 2.5 1
Front to Rear Door 3.5 3.5 0
Rear Door to quarter panel 3.5 3.5 0
Tailgate 3.5 5.5 2

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Paint quality is right up there with the best, and our press car's White Nova Glass Flake colour looks great in the sun. If that's not your choice, Lexus Malaysia offers 5 other colours.

Lexus RX300 F Sport - Paint Thickness (µm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side
Front Bonnet 165
Front Fender 167 166
Front Door 158 176
Rear Door 138 174
Rear Quarter Panel 160 168
Tailgate 163
Roof 146
Average paint thickness: 162 µm ±8

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Lexus RX300 F Sport - Exterior Material Use
Bonnet Soundproofing Material Thin
Struts Gas
Front Fenders Soundproofing Material Yes
Doors Front Windows Double-glazed
Rear Windows Double-glazed
Construction One-piece
Boot Opening Powered

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The RX300 is an example of fine Japanese craftmanship, and the interior speaks for itself - we love how almost every touchpoint in the cabin is draped in soft-touch materials.

Lexus RX300 F Sport - Cabin Material Use
Seat Seat Cover Leather
Armrest Armrest Cover Leather
Dashboard Upper Section Leather
  Lower Section Hard Plastic
Front Doors Upper Section Soft Plastic
  Middle Section Leather
  Lower Section Leather

Nifty features in the interior include memory steering wheel and driver's seat, which is certainly a nice party trick. Driving position and visibility are spot-on as well.

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Key features in the RX's cabin is the cool semi-digital instrument cluster, a floating 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.

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As this is the F Sport variant, it gets some unique niceties as well. Highlights of these are the three-spoke, multi-function steering wheel, as well as 8-way power-adjustable sports front seats.

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In addition to 10 airbags, the RX300 comes with Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+), encapsulating these features:

  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control w/ Stop and Go (DRCC)
  • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
  • Pre-Collision Assist (PCA)
  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (BSM, RCTA)
  • Adaptive High Beam (AHB)

And these are not just limited to the priciest of the lot as well - kudos to Lexus Malaysia for extending the full suite of LSS+ to the entire RX range.

Lexus RX300 F Sport - Quality & Feature Breakdown
Exterior Paint Finish 3 / 4
Panel Gaps 2 / 4
Assembly Quality 2 / 2
Interior Build Quality 4.5 / 5
Materials Used 4.5 / 5
Features Safety 9 / 10
ADAS 5 / 5
Luxury 3 / 5
Convenience 5 / 5
Infotainment 5 / 5
Total   43 / 50 pts

Lexus RX300 F Sport: Interior space – 30.5/50, Spacious inside

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Comfort is a given, and the RX300 offers plenty of space for those at the back as well.

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These leather rear seats can be electronically reclined, and have heating function too!

Even as it is all-wheel drive (AWD), we appreciate how the floor is completely flat at the rear. This means that three-abreast sitting at the back is a relatively comfortable affair as the one sitting in the middle doesn't have to fight for foot space.

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There's plenty of space for your gubbins too, as the RX300 offers 8 cupholders and - get this - adjustable door storage bins, which can easily house big bottles of water.

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In terms of legroom, the RX300 affords about four tennis balls worth of space, and about 2 tennis balls of headroom.

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The handsfree, powered tailgate opens up to 453 litres of bootspace with the rear seats up, which unfortunately is smaller than most of its competition. Lying underneath the boot floor is a space-saver spare tyre.

Lexus RX300 F Sport - Interior Space Breakdown
Front Row 7 / 10
Middle/Back Row 8 / 10
Third Row 0 / 5
Boot Space 2 / 5
Practicality 3 / 5
Storage Space 3.5 / 5
Visibility 3.5 / 5
Storage Flexibility 3 / 5
Total 30 / 50 pts

Lexus RX300 F Sport: Fuel consumption – 13.5/20, Good despite the power

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After driving 90.3 kilometres split equally between highways and urban roads, the RX300 yields a fuel efficiency figure of 11 litres/100 km. For the record, the RX300 comes with a 72-litre fuel tank.

Lexus RX300 F Sport - Fuel Consumption Test Breakdown
Fuel Consumption 9 / 15
Eco Mode 2 / 2
Indicator Accuracy 2.5  / 3
Total points 13.5 / 20 pts

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Lexus RX300 F Sport: Purchase and cost – 19.5/30, In-between European rivals

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The 2020 Lexus RX300 F Sport is priced from RM RM 424,187 (on-the-road, with 50% SST exemption valid until 31-Dec 2021) in Malaysia, putting it somewhere around the middle of the price spectrum against similar competitors.

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It's slightly cheaper than the BMW X5 xDrive45e (RM 441k), but pricier than the Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription+, which starts from RM 392k. Both of these hybrid rivals are locally-assembled (CKD).

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Lexus RX300 F Sport - Purchase & Cost
Purchase Car Price 11 / 15
Warranty 4 / 5
Cost Maintenance 3  / 5
Fuel Cost 3 / 5
Total   21 / 30 pts

Lexus RX300 F Sport: Conclusion – 180.5/250 pts overall

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For the money it's a complete package - sharp looks, top-notch build quality, and a complete ADAS suite.

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Badge snobs might try to talk you out of it, but know that the 2020 Lexus RX300 F Sport earns a resounding yes by our team if you're looking for a luxury SUV that offers absolute comfort and serenity.

Full Ratings list: https://www.wapcar.my/car-ranking

Also read: In Brief: 2019 Lexus RX 300 - Who needs air suspension?

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Sanjay

Writer

With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.

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