Toyota Harrier (Lexus RX) 1998
The 1998 Toyota Harrier is a stylish JDM crossover SUV combining luxurious comfort, SUV practicality and 4WD traction. While originally only sold in the Japanese domestic market, it was available in other markets as the Lexus RX, which competed favorably with similar models from Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
My best friend in Tokyo had one of these for years and brought it with him when he left Japan. He could have afforded something much more expensive, but loved everything about this model including how well it accommodated his rather long legs and large athletic frame.
The cabin is spacious, comfortable and luxurious with plenty of headroom and legroom for up to five adults. Every detail is well crafted and high body rigidity contributes to a quiet, comfortable ride.
Standard features include plenty of power amenities, a 7-speaker audio system, dual SRS airbags, ABS and five headrests. Available options include a leather steering wheel and navigation system among others.
The handsome center console is framed by wood trim. Toyota mounted the shift lever within it to expand legroom and allow easy sliding from one seat to the other.
The rear seats are split 60:40 and independently slide. They also fold forward with a touch to enlarge the rather spacious rear luggage area, which features a removable tonneau cover.
The 1998 Toyota Harrier was available in front-wheel drive and 4WD versions with a 4-cylinder or V6 engine. This particular vehicle is equipped with the 4-cylinder engine and 4WD.
Its 2.2-liter inline-four DOHC engine (5S-FE) produces 103 kilowatts (138 hp, 140 PS) at 5,600 rpm and 19.5 kg-m (191 N⋅m, 141 lb⋅ft) of torque at 4,400 rpm for more than ample power. Quiet and smooth running thanks in part to balance shafts, it is especially powerful in the practical low-to-mid rpm range and offers good fuel economy as well as low emissions.
The engine is mated with an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted via buttons on the steering wheel and features a Snow mode for improved traction on slippery roads.
While the Harrier is clearly designed more for smooth streets than off-roading, its full-time 4WD system enhances traction and 16-inch wheels ensure ample ground clearance should you enter bumpy roads. The 4-wheel independent suspension delivers stable handling and smooth riding comfort pretty much wherever you go.
You really can’t go wrong with a JDM Toyota Harrier or any other Toyota luxury car, and Japan Car Direct can source one from used car auctions in Japan for a surprisingly low price. Contact us for more details.