Lexus RX 330 Named IntelliChoice 'Best Value of the Year'


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CHICAGO, Feb. 5, 2004 -- IntelliChoice awarded the Lexus RX 330 "Best Value of the Year" for an SUV over $30,000 yesterday during the Chicago Auto Show. In addition, Lexus received more IntelliChoice awards than any other luxury nameplate with the LS 430, ES 330 and RX 330 each winning the coveted "Best Value" award for respective segments.

IntelliChoice Best Overall Value of the Year awards recognize cars, trucks and SUVs that will cost significantly less to own than would be expected of vehicles at their purchase prices.

"We are honored to be recognized by IntelliChoice with these awards. Lexus' top priority has always been to provide an exceptional customer experience for the duration of vehicle ownership, said Denny Clements, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "A full lineup of quality products and a sensational dealer organization enable us to keep that goal at the forefront."

The Lexus RX 330 was recognized with two awards, "Best Overall Value for an SUV" and "Best Value for an Intermediate SUV over $31,000." The all-new 2004 RX 330 introduces an elegant and sleek new design, as well as significant enhancements to luxury content, and performance and advanced safety features. Powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine, the RX 330 offers one of the quietest and smoothest rides of any luxury SUV. It also provides a host of high technology, safety and comfort features, including the available air suspension that is more commonly seen in the high-end SUV segment. In addition, the RX 330 is available with the innovative Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS), which helps illuminate a turn or curve as the driver steers into it, as well as a rear back-up camera, which enhances visibility when reversing.

"The cars, trucks and SUVs awarded with this distinction have proven their value and will cost less to own than their competitors," said David Wurster, Publisher of PRIMEDIA'S IntelliChoice. "It's not the purchase price that matters when trying to find the best values. It's how much the vehicle will cost you during the time you own it."

The Lexus LS 430 flagship sedan, restyled for 2004, received the IntelliChoice "Best Value in the Luxury Class." Under the restyled sheetmetal, Lexus introduced a new six-speed automatic transmission, additional safety features, suspension refinements, advanced technology and more luxury amenities. The LS 430 is powered by a 4.3-liter double overhead-cam V8 engine that is paired with a new six-speed sequential shift automatic transmission and has a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 5.9 seconds.

The Lexus ES 330, IntelliChoice's "Best Value in the Near Luxury Class," added a larger and more powerful 3.3-liter V6 engine in 2004. In addition, the ES 330 features larger side impact airbags (SRS), an improved optional satellite navigation system and an available premium Mark Levinson sound system. The larger-displacement engine endows the ES 330 with better performance and the increased torque in particular providing the kind of response the customer can feel and appreciate in everyday driving situations.

Founded in 1986, PRIMEDIA's IntelliChoice is the first and leading company that develops and distributes consumer automobile ownership data, ratings of vehicles based on their consumer value, leasing cost data and Certified Pre-Owned Program analysis. IntelliChoice's value calculation accounts for the price of a vehicle and the accumulated costs of depreciation, maintenance, repairs, fuel, fees, financing and insurance. The value measurement analyzes data compiled on more than 1,000 car, truck and SUV models and projects what these costs will be for the upcoming five-year ownership cycle.

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