Debating taking my parents 2000 rx300 up to colorado so i can sell my current vehicle. How does the 4wd do in the snow? I do a lot of mountain driving, with a lot of snow and extremely cold temperatures (-10 frequently and can be as cold as -40). its a pretty brutal environment between the weather and the chemicals on the road. Id put snow tires on it obviously, but it can still get pretty hairy on some of these roads.
i have to say im wary of taking it over high mountain passes because it has such a high center of gravity and im not sure how good the traction control in relation to newer vehicles. plus the tires are 215 right, so the contact patch is relatively small.
anyone have any thoughts? it would be greatly helpful!!
The stock tire is 225/70-16. I have Firestone Winterforce tires and I would have no concerns driving it in deep snow covered mountain roads at all. I'm in NE Ohio and we get some pretty severe winter weather around here and the RX has been awesome.
Just adapt your driving style to the enviroment. You would have to do something completely idiotic to roll it over on the snow or ice. I live in Indy and have get the same weather that Carguy gets. Ive only had the Lexus for one winter. I was impressed with its capabilities of getting thru the heavy snow. Like most of us, I had to play around too. Thats when I learned to respect it. It was very "squirrely" when I put the pedal down. That is with the AWD model anyhow. I have new Michelline D/S 2 or something along those lines and as I said earlier, I had no problems. Bottom line is that nothing can stop fast on ice. Be smart and you do just fine.
With the proper tires, which you said you would get. It's a beast (actually even without proper tires, it's a beast) . It has 225's. You have to know the car's limit's and don't go beyond them.
I've put my RX300 through it's paces. I go to Michigan/Chicago once a month and that includes the winter. Michigan winter's are not a joke nor are Chicago's. The RX300 handles them like a champ. I've driven my RX300 through 2 1/2 feet of snow at one point. It did it, but at that point ground clearance was holding it back. Mind you, this is with all season tries. I've never bought snow tires, and don't plan on ever doing so.
Only quirk I've run into with the RX300 AWD, is when turning. If you take a turn to fast, the rear end will swing a little. Just like a RWD car, so to avoid that don't take a turn to fast. I haven't ever had it be an issue, but it's something to keep in mind when driving the RX300 in snow/ice. << But this could have just been my tires, which I just replaced. So, I'll know this year if that was due to the tires or if it's just the car's behavior.
If your going to be running the RX300 in those temperatures, I suggest running 0W-30 engine oil.
My 99 is the best vehicle I have ever driven in the snow. I live in the Utah mountains where most of the 2002 Winter Olympics took place. As we like to say, "We didn't get the Winter Olympics here for the beer!" With the traction control engaged, this car is amazing! Even with all-season tires. Just for fun, I like to try to get this thing to spin out, haven't succeeded yet!
We purchase our 1999 AWD RX300 in about 2 years ago. We live in NC so snow is not a big deal normally but it is nice to have the AWD when necessary. This past Christmas we took a trip up to Niagara Falls, NY. While we expected snow we did not expect what we eventually had to drive in. The RX300 performed beautifully. There were times we drove down roads that were not plowed so maybe 4 - 6 inches on the road and we went through it without problems. Most times it was that packed snow where two-wheel drive cars would have trouble climbing hills. We never did. I never altered anything; not the transmission selection or let air out of our tires. I will say this, we did have new all-weather tires on the vehicle and I know that helped a lot.
When we returned to NC, February brought one of the quickest snows I ever saw in our area. It caught the city by surprise. Again, most people in there two-wheel drive cars, front or rear drive, could not make it up the many hills. There were times I had to drive over the median to get by abandon cars left on the road. The RX300 performed superbly. I have had many 4x4s in my live and do not feel that AWD compare for off-road. But, this is my second AWD and I believe they perform perfectly for snowy weather, at least snow up to about 6 inches that I had to navigate through. So, if anyone does find an older RX300 AWD in nice shape, it will do great in snowy areas. (ours has about 135K at this time).