The Lexus RX 350 is one of, if not the most popular luxury vehicles sold in the United States today thanks to the vehicle’s deft packaging and the Lexus brand’s image of success. The LX line-up is popular, in part, due to its simple design and the brand’s reputation for quality.
The RX 350 AWD F Sport was pleasant, easy to drive, packed with technology and comfort and convenience features and spacious enough to carry family and/or friends in relative comfort. The RX 350 also is versatile is versatile enough to carry a fair amount of cargo or luggage when needed. The blend of practicality, versatility and image makes the RX 350 a vehicle well-adapted to life in upscale American suburbs.
It’s popular even as some symbols of status have not really changed much despite the political upheavals created around shifting demographics and altered attitudes towards consumption driven by growing concern about the physical environment. The RX 350, however, manages to keep rolling, navigating the changes and retaining its popularity, which is no small accomplishment.
The RX 350 comes with the distinctive Lexus grille, which is easy to recognize. The grille, trapezoidal head lamps and clever openings for the vents and fog lamps tends to draw attention away from the rest of vehicle’s exterior, which is too bad.
The front fascia is nicely integrated into the well-balanced design that includes a raked wind shield, sloped roof line and the nicely shaped window openings downs the side. Toyota is not the strongest company when it comes to handling exterior design, but its sheet metal is always well executed.
The rear lift gate design is simple and clean, featuring lights neatly tucked into the corners. The overall impression is the exterior design goes just far enough, thanks to the strong front fascia, to separate from the other vehicles in a rather crowded segment with only a small amount of genuine visual differentiation. The F Sport also comes with 20-inch wheels, badging and special texture on the grille.
The cabin of the RX 350 is its strong point. The interior is well laid out with access to controls and comfortable seats for the driver and passenger. The interior is bright, and the relatively high ceiling also gives it an airy feeling, making a long period in the vehicle seem less oppressive.
The interior is also nicely furnished with chrome accents and soft material in key spots such as the inner side of the doors. There also metal-capped pedals in keeping with the F Sport badges. The furnishings give the cabin the luxury ambience — part of experience required in a luxury vehicle with a price tag or more than $57,000.
There is also a leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel. The cabin is well lit during nighttime driving and the visibility of the road from the driver’s seat is excellent. From the very start more than 30 years ago, Lexus also has made a point of developing interiors that deliver a quiet ride, making a long trips less stressful for any driver and any passenger.
Lexus also always featured strong, smooth-running powertrains and the RX 350 follows the brand’s traditional formula. The RX 350 is powered by a V6 engine that produces 295 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque The V-6 is matched with an 8-speed transmission and all-wheel drive but in keeping with the F Sport badging the RX also is equipped with paddle shifters for manual shift selection.
The RX also comes with drive-mode settings. The all-wheel-drive system seems to exact a penalty since the RX 350 only qualifies for a 22 mile per gallon combined rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It gets 26 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city.
Safety and Technology
The RX 350 comes with a long list of safety and tech features, including 10 airbags for protection in frontal- and side-impact and rollover crashes as well as driver assistance feature such as lane-departure and blind-spot alerts as well as pedestrian warning.
It also has six USB ports, Bluetooth, wireless charging, satellite radio, an entertainment system, in-vehicle navigation as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The vehicle also comes with intelligent high beams that focus quickly, intermittent wipers and an optional head up display. There are also heated and cooled seats.
The Lexus RX 350 AWD F Sport delivers better driving dynamics than most midsized crossovers. Lexus always delivers solid chassis and brakes as well as crisp steering. The RX 350 AWD F Sport also has a suspension that been augmented with an adaptive feature that is very good at smooth over varied road surfaces.
With nearly 300 horsepower under the hood, it also has more than enough power to deliver a nice steady performance out on the highway or when tooling around on other kinds of roads. In fact, it’s something of a wolf in sheep’s clothing since there are a lot of motorists who want to treat it like a fancy Toyota. It’s not. It comes with its very own package of spirit as well as a well-crafted suspension that lifts it out of the humdrum.
2021 Lexus RX 350 Specifications:
|Dimension||L: 192.5 inches/W: 74.6 inches/H: 67.7 inches/Wheelbase: 109.8 inches|
|Powertrain||3.5-liter DOHC V-6; 8-speed automatic transmission|
|Fuel Economy||19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/223 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||295 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $48,650; As tested: $57,975 including $1,075 destination and delivery charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The RX 350 clearly started life as a vehicle for someone who wanted the prestige of luxury SUV but none of the fuss and bother that can accompany owning an expensive model. Lexus, since it was created by Toyota, comes with an excellent reputation for quality and durability as a given.
But it can also do a lot of different things and the F Sport features available on the model also make a vehicle that was not really designed for fun, rather engaging out on the road. If you are someone rather indifferent to new cars, but like the idea of showing off that you can afford one, the RX just might be the car for you.
2021 Lexus RX 350 — Frequently Asked Questions
Does Lexus make a hybrid version of the RX?
The Lexus RX line includes the RX 450h and the three-row 450hL. It features a combined output of 308 horsepower and gets 30 mpg combined. There is also an F Sport version of the 450h.
Is the Lexus RX 350 worth the money?
A vehicle’s “worth” is often determined by several factors that are less than concrete. However, if you want a stylish midsize sport-utility vehicle that offers performance, technology and quality, the RX 350 is a good place to start.
Is there a new Lexus RX coming out?
New? Not soon. The company’s 2021 line-up of the RX 350, 450h and 450hL, all with the F Sport package as an option, are considered the newest available models. However, Lexus isn’t known for making dramatic changes from year to year so the 2022 model may be almost indistinguishable from the 2021 vehicle.