2016 Lexus RX 350 road test and review.
The Lexus RX was an early entry into the field of luxury crossover/SUVs and it has remained one of the most successful Lexus models of all time.
Late last year Lexus unveiled the new generation model and my colleague, Joel Helmes, got along to the launch. You can check out his review here.
For 2016 though the Lexus RX 350 maintains that soft, yet sturdy feel that has made it such as sales success. The model impresses with its responsive engine and general comfort, but comes up short at offering exceptional driving experience and top of the range interior luxury.
The Lexus RX five-seat SUV comes in three configurations, including the new 2.0 litre turbo-petrol and V6 petrol/hybrid offering.
Trim levels are Luxury, Sports Luxury and F Sport, while the Luxury Enhancement Pack is also available. Standard features in the entry-level model include 19” alloy wheels, digital radio, tilt and reach steering adjust, sat-nav, heated front seats and a reverse camera.
On the road I found the RX 350 to be an easy vehicle to drive, the only real issue that came to mind was a distinct lack of steering feel. Beyond this, the 2016 RX 350 is best-suited for long drives on the freeway, rather than tight winding roads.
This is also backed up by the fuel consumption from the Lexus RX 350 V6 engine.
On the highway you can get down to an average around 8.5L/100km, though around town the Lexus SUV will drink upwards of 14.0L/100km.
A welcome feature inside the RX cabin is that backseat room is acceptable for taller adults and there is adequate legroom front and rear.
The RX 350 offers a large cargo area and nice touches include levers in the side of the cargo bay that fold flat the spring-tensioned 40/20/40 seats.
My test car came with features such as a blind spot monitoring system and a pre-collision system that includes adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning. A pre-brake system that cinches the seat belts and readies the brakes for stronger stopping power is also included in the package.
The good news for Lexus and RX buyers is that the new model just qualified for a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
The positives are what you’d want in a luxury car: It’s soft, quiet and really eats up the kilometres on the highway. It’s a relaxed and comfortable vehicle that offers a good list of standard features and enough space inside for most applications.
Perhaps though that the more frugal turbo and hybrid variants might be worth investigating, particularly if considering an RX for the city.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Lexus RX 350
Engine: 3.5 litre V6 petrol producing 204kW and 346Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Safety: Five stars
Price: from $73,110