2013 Lexus RX 350 Review
Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2013 Lexus RX 350.
The popular Lexus RX 350 range starts at $77,400 for what’s called the Luxury model and tops at $93,900 for the Sports Luxury.
Sitting right in the middle of the three grade line-up is the F Sport, which is priced from $85,400.
On first impression the RX range is starting to look a little dated. This is the third generation of the RX and despite some minor external tweaks it’s essentially the same on the outside as the second generation which dates back to 2003.
Despite this it’s a reasonably nice, generally non-offensive design that has attracted many buyers over the years.
You can certainly see on close inspection that the Japanese built Lexus is a nicely put together vehicle. Consistent panel gaps, a quality feel on external surfaces and a solid and well-built feeling is evident in the door handles, doors etc.
This quality feel continues into the cabin which, like the outside, is starting to look dated but is none the less still attractive.
One of the big highlights in the cabin is the seats which offer generously sized bases, plenty of support and a nice soft and comfortable feel.
The rear 60/40 split seat also folds down almost completely flat, giving plenty of space for long items.
Speaking of space, despite the F Sport boasting a sunroof as standard, headroom is generous.
The Lexus RX 350 is also quiet an easy vehicle to get into with large doors that open to a generous angle.
Overall the switches, controls and contact surfaces are all top-notch.
From the driver’s seat you have plenty of visibility with large wing-mirrors assisting with rear vision. The gauges are attractive and clear and the large centre display screen is easy to navigate around via the centre console mounted mouse.
Speaking of that centre console it sits up nice and high and this allows for a handy storage spot underneath.
Legroom front and back in the Lexus is quite good and generally the cabin storage areas are generously sized.
The Lexus RX 350 F Sport also comes with a long list of standard features including adaptive cruise control, satellite navigation, reversing camera, electric tail-gate, key-less ignition and front DVD player.
A premium Mark Levinson Sound System is available for an extra $2500.
Under the bonnet the RX 350 range comes with just the one engine type – a 3.5L V6 petrol that delivers 204kW and 346Nm. With the standard six-speed sports automatic transmission the RX boasts excellent low speed acceleration and plenty of low down grunt as well.
The RX also allows you to switch between normal and sports modes and as you would expect the Lexus really gets along nicely when you move the transmission selector over to S.
The performance delivered by the big V6 does however come at the cost of fuel consumption with the official combined figure being 10.8L/100. I averaged about 12L/100 in the city and 8.5L/100 on the highway.
With 4×4 on demand the RX 350 boasts plenty of grip, though with a fair bit of body roll (from suspension tuned towards comfort) there is a tendency to under-steer in the corners, particularly in the wet.
Lexus vehicles generally always deliver excellent steering characteristics and the RX is no different.
The 55 series tyres on the 19” alloys on the F Sport do however make a negative impact on the ride with bumps and imperfections felt much more harshly than you might expect in a premium SUV like this.
The Lexus RX 350 is yet to be ANCAP tested but it does boast an extensive list of active and passive safety systems.
Summing it up, well there’s no doubt that Lexus knows how to make a quality vehicle and the RX 350 F Sport is another example of this.
It boasts plenty of standard features too.
Though in saying that the slightly dated styling, thirsty V6 engine and premium price tag do seriously let the Lexus RX 350 down.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 3.5 litre V6 petrol delivering 204kW and 346Nm
Transmission: Six-speed auto
Safety: Not tested
Price: From $77,045