By on February 25, 2009

Euphemisms are our friends. If it weren’t for “calamari” my kids would have never tried squid. Similarly, the SUV became a more palatable version of the station wagon—although I am not sure how the wagon became an object of scorn by my generation. I have many happy memories slouched down in the third row, kissing girls. I suppose piloting one of those behemoths might have tempered my enthusiasm for the genre. The early SUVs were thinly disguised trucks and evolved to become more like tall wagons currently known as crossovers. If the designers over at BMW have their way, mutant ninja vehicles will soon replace the crossovers. In the meantime, we have the 2010 Lexus RX350.

The RX is the best selling Lexus model of all time. Clearly, understandably, the folks in Toyota City didn’t want to stray too far from a successful formula. (From baby Benz to proscription Benzos). Though appropriately soporific, the 2010 RX350 is not an improvement on gen 2, which had one or two good angles. The best I can say about the new RX’s exterior: the front looks slightly less goofy. The new exterior color choices are, however, goofier than Donald D.’s standing canine companion.  I haven’t seen a color like “Golden Almond Metallic” since I last changed my daughter’s diapers.

The RX350′s interior is a horse [power] of a different color: cool, modern, contemporary and uncluttered. It’s the best Lexus interior since the recently lamented SC400. The RX350′s seats are plush and inviting, made more so by the new perforated leather. They won’t hold you in place during frisky driving maneuvers, but then you won’t be making any. Mark this part of the report card “comfortably numb.”

The seats’ heating and cooling controls are inconveniently hidden beneath the front part of the center armrest, which slides rearward to reveal twin rotary dials. When I pressed the start button, the seat and steering wheel moved into driving position, a first for the RX (only the steering wheel presents itself in the outgoing model). I did miss the old RX’s handy, albeit somewhat flimsy compartment in the center console, which held all manner of cell phones, Kleenex boxes and my wife’s not insubstantial purse. Fortunately, the new glove box is a gaping maw which looks capable of swallowing a medium sized dog.

The RX 350′s Mark Levinson sound system remains an aural delight but it’s no longer head of the class. The gizmo count is impressive but breaks little original ground: heads up displays, XM real-time traffic and weather, dynamic radar cruise, intuitive parking assist—all new to the RX but not to the world of luxury automobiles.

Typically, Japanese luxury vehicles telegraph their pretense of technical sophistication by haphazardly scattering various subsystem controls all about the dash, counterintuitive to ergonomics. In the previous model, I always struggled to change the settings for the heat or figure out which radio station I was listening to. Not so the 2010 RX, which assembles the major controls into one iDrive like unit.

I know what you are thinking, here comes the rant (again). But the RX 350′s multimedia controller is transparent in its operation. There was hardly any learning curve (or leaning curve, but we’ll get to that): the device operates pretty much like a computer mouse with a selector button on the side. One of my biggest complaints about my current RX: I can’t operate the navigation system while in motion. As I fiddled around and checked to see if the new model had changed this, I ran a red light. Which illustrated exactly why they set things up this way.

The RX 350′s driving experience is somewhat improved, mostly attributable to the addition of a few hundred pounds of needed ballast. The old RX always felt too light and uncontrolled. The 2010 model feels more buttoned down and even a bit Germanic. The optional sport package may prove as transformational as it is on the LS, or it may not. Meanwhile, I sampled an RX 350 with the nineteen inch wheels. They ruined the ride quality without a concomitant contribution to the driving fun quotient.

The RX 350′s acceleration is crisp and creamy. The seemingly step-less six-speed is nearly as seamless as a CVT. Performance is mid-pack for the crossover competition. She’ll waft from 0 to 60 in a respectable 7.5 seconds, consuming 20 miles per gallon on average. More to the point, at least for the RX 350′s core clientele, the sound insulation is improved largely via reduced wind noise.

There is little doubt that this is best RX yet, although perhaps not the best looking. The RX 350 offers more luxury, more features, more conveniences, more . . . where was I? Oh, yes. The 2010 RX will be heading to my garage soon. It’s not a wagon, not really an SUV, and CUV seems somehow . . . forced. Let’s just call it “perfect.”

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55 Comments on “Review: 2010 Lexus RX350...”


  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    I think the Gen2 model has a more attractive exterior. And IMHO the dash in this new model is hideous, but then opinions are like…

  • avatar
    sean362880

    I have a bone to pick with the location of the automatic transmission shifter. In the RX350 and many others they keep drifting further and further up the dash, out of reach for the driver. That’s just wrong. This is a car, not a bus.

    I’m fine with the dash mounted automatic transmission if it’s a button (a la DB9), or on the steering column (like a truck), but this halfway-up-the-dash business is pointless.

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    “creamy” is seriously the grossest adjective

  • avatar
    NickR

    I have many happy memories slouched down in the third row, kissing girls. I suppose piloting one of those behemoths might have tempered my enthusiasm for the genre.

    Your memories are happy but you call them behemoths? Odd.

  • avatar
    jonboy0706

    So it’s a Ford Edge (with less cabin room and less towing) with 10 extra HP for +$8,000?

    How about some more stats?

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    @sean362880: it’s closer to the steering wheel than having a floor-mounted shifter. Think of whom this vehicle appeals to – people who want an comfortable uppity vehicle.

    Check out the shifter location in the Honda Odyssey or Chrysler minivans, they’re even closer to the steering wheel. They also appear to be crammed into whatever free space is left on the dash.

  • avatar
    racebeer

    I look at this and am beginning to think …. Venza. How do the dimensions/stats of the RX stack up to the Venza? This is beginning to remind me of the Camry/ES twin towers.

  • avatar

    The RX has been very successful for good reason, it’s refined, luxurious, has first class accommodations for 4 passengers, and is in the CUV style that too many people seem to like. However, no one will ever say it’s engaging to drive.

    Also, since when is adding a few hundred pounds of weight a good thing? I’m sure Lexus could have tied the RX down without resorting to added heft, and these oversized wheels, in the name of style, are ruining the Lexus ride. Lexus also seems hell bent, along with Acura, at removing their splendid touch screen navigation systems in favor of a mouse or selector knob. It’s not nearly as intuitive, but I understand it’s cheaper to produce.

    As a side note… the Veterinarian I work for on the weekends just bought a brand new previous generation RX to replace her Saab 9-3 wagon with a manual transmission. The RX may be the “snobbier” car, but the Saab was much more unique and enjoyable. Shame

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    So it’s a Ford Edge (with less cabin room and less towing) with 10 extra HP for +$8,000?

    I would never own either, but I’ve been in both and the RX is several cuts above the Edge in general “niceness”. The Edge isn’t bad, but it’s not in the same league, and buying a top-trim Edge when the RX is within spitting distance is madness.

    I think people who detract from this car, as well as the ES, fail to “get it”. They’re gussied-up Toyotas, true, but they’re very, very nice gussied-up Toyotas. They’re on the opposite end of the spectrum from, say, a Unimog, Ariel Atom or Corvette (let alone a 3-Series or ML-Class): instead of excelling at any one thing, they’re holistically excellent cars.

    If you don’t ever, ever think about what you’re driving, they’re the perfect vehicle. And that’s not a bad thing.

  • avatar
    marc1023

    I had a 2000 RX300 that I traded in for a RX400H. After 8 1/2 years of flawless use and 115,000 miles I got 25% of the original sales price as a trade. Few cars/suvs could match this value. The Lexus dealer experience is unsurpassed compared to the German Luxury dealers I have dealt with in the past. Many different elements go into choosing a vehicle.

  • avatar

    Much nicer interior than a Venza or an Edge. But “perfect?” I’m not seeing it, especially not from the guy who usually tests the high-end German machinery.

    As compromised as the Infiniti is, among similarly-priced crossovers I’d rather have an EX35 or, if more room is needed, an Acura MDX with the fancy shocks.

    TrueDelta will have pricing for the 2010 RX in our database soon. Until then, the 2009 is a suitable substitute for comparisons. The 2010 actually starts $900 lower, but I suspect that the standard features list is also a bit shorter.

    http://www.truedelta.com/models/RX.php

  • avatar
    jonboy0706

    I would never own either, but I’ve been in both and the RX is several cuts above the Edge in general “niceness”. The Edge isn’t bad, but it’s not in the same league, and buying a top-trim Edge when the RX is within spitting distance is madness.

    You can get a 2009 SEL AWD with leather for $32,000. This starts at $38,200 for the AWD http://www.egmcartech.com/2009/02/06/2010-lexus-rx-350-pricing-announced/ Which means one won’t be had for < $40k

    What you’re basically saying is that you’re willing to pay $8,000 for the “I drive a Lexus and you don’t” factor. Personally I consider the interior of the Edge to be on par with this easily. All of the features that seperates this car are extras.

    Resale is another thing altogether.

  • avatar
    Axel

    I’m not going to invoke the name of a certain mezoamerican SUV model, but this rendition of the RX certainly isn’t pretty. Ridiculously forward-raked C-pillars on CUVs are my #2 current styling pet peeve, right after ridiculously high beltlines on sedans.

    I thought the U stood for “Utility.” Why do these designers insist on lopping off the entire top back corner of the cargo area, thus eliminating 25 perfectly good cubic feet, and making it useless for hauling around bulk objects?

    Oh, yeah, because then it would look too much like a station wagon, and we can’t have that. Let’s sacrifice utility on the altar of fashion. Montezuma would be proud.

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    not even remotely interesting… At least Toyota knows who they’re marketing to!

    I didn’t even know there was a new RX until now. Looks just like the old one.

  • avatar
    pb35

    Ridiculously forward-raked C-pillars on CUVs are my #2 current styling pet peeve

    Agreed, why bother? I also have no love for the “altezza” tail lights. I’ll never own a car with those. The front end looks like Garfield.

    Golden Almond Metallic sounds nice though.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    The old RX always felt too light

    Really? We’re not talking about a sports car here, but my mom always taught me that added lard detracted from an automobile’s driving dynamics, fuel economy and fun-to-drive characteristics. That, and don’t talk with your mouth full.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Why are manufacturers abandoning touch screen interfaces?

    I recently added touch screen navigation/audio/video/hands-free systems to both of my cars and using them is a breeze. Granted they each cost about $800 – but the usability is great.

    Why the manufacturer of a $40,000 car can’t afford to develop a touchscreen system is beyond me.

    Joystick menu systems are the worst of both worlds. A button that forces you to take your eyes of the road to navigate menu systems.

    Touch screens eliminate the tactile feedback of a button, but you get the added benefit of lots of functionality without rows and rows of buttons on the dash.

    -ted

  • avatar
    carguy

    As much as I personally dislike soft urban mommy mobiles, I have to admit that the Lexus RX is still the yard stick by which all other products in its class are judged by. Lexus has clearly done a lot of research into what their predominantly female suburban audience is looking for and they clearly deliver. To me it seems over priced (the CX-9 is much better value) but their target demographic clearly disagrees and is voting with their dollar in consistently impressive numbers.

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    If you don’t ever, ever think about what you’re driving, they’re the perfect vehicle. And that’s not a bad thing.

    If that’s the case, then why buy an ES when a Hyundai Genesis is within spitting distance?

    I mean, people buy a Lexus because, well, it’s a Lexus aka name brand, whether or not the vehicle on question is a gussied-up Camry or a 3 Series wannabe IS.

    That being said, my mother aspires to own a new RX. Either that or she’ll take a Genesis.

  • avatar
    Axel

    Oh, I forgot to mention: that center console housing with the swoopy line looks really hideous in the picture, though I suspect it looks a lot better in person.

  • avatar
    tedward

    I’d be really interested to hear more about the transmission. CVTs are one of my pet peeves (although I’ve only driven two cars that had one) and I’d like to know if they’ve been improved over earlier efforts. If not, equipping any car over 12k (the auto versa should get a pass I guess) with such a sub-standard mechanical part is grounds to flame the car, regardless of anything else it may do well. Does it constantly mimic a geared car (not just when manually overriding the “gear” selection), instead of droning on D as a default? Is that why it got no significant mention?

    Also, as much as a don’t like Toyota product, I actually do like their styling. The Corrola, Matrix, Infinite IS (not-F), FJ, Yaris, etc… all do their thing in a funky and Japanese way. Most of them are better looking than many in class competitors. This thing is a giant step back though, almost Acura-ish in execution…and that’s no compliment. That dash is hideous as well.

  • avatar

    “I am not sure how the wagon became an object of scorn by my generation.”

    It started with the baby boomers. They almost universally hated their parents, rejecting everything their parents believed, stood for, did, thought, and bought. Their parents drove station wagons, because that is what you bought in the 1950s (and into the 60s) when you had to haul around your own personal baby boom. The baby boomers themselves would never be caught dead owning or driving a station wagon, as it would mean that they have become their own parents.

    “So how did we get to SUVs?”
    The larger buying public always is some late echo of an earlier, much smaller fad. Those in the Design profession, from graphic & package design to car design, are aware of “cutting edge” stuff and over time dull the edges off of it, recycle it, and regurgitate it back into the mainstream. (I know this because I spent the first half of my professional life in the design business.) Once it has been dulled enough, it becomes acceptable to the mainstream consumer, yet has just enough of that echo of edgy to make the buyer feel “fashionable.”

    “So how did we get to SUVs? (get to the point chuck!)”
    Boomers car choices always echoed some earlier fad. From Hot Rods – late 40s early 50s small-scale fad, became Muscle Car fashion in the 60s. To Sports Cars – late 50s, early 60s fad became small car (Datsuns & Mazdas & GTIs oh my!) fashion of the 70s and 80s. (Helped of course by OPEC.) When the baby boomers grew up, got married and became their parents, they still rebelled and refused to buy the station wagon. Hence the boom in minivan sales through the 80s. Echoing the 70s small scale fad of the “Custom Van” (remember those!) The MIni-Van was really a clever repackaging of the station wagon, made Boomer-palatable by clever designers. “See, this is not your parent’s station wagon, it is a cool van!”

    “So how did we get to SUVs? (would you get to the friggin’ point chuck!)”
    The next logical iteration of the “not your parent’s station wagon” theme is the SUV. It reflects back on the echo of the 1970-80ss “Rugged Outdoorsman” ethos and first small-scale fad of the off-roaders of that era. Guys taking Chevy Blazers and Ford Broncos, jacking them up on knobby tires and acting like Burt Reynolds in Deliverance, or just Sheriff McCloud on TV. The Bronco’s tires were un-knobbied, lowered just far enough for mom to climb in with a skirt on, and with a little help from CAFE and loopholes, presto, the Ford Explorer. The SUV is not your parent’s station wagon but satisfies the role of family trucksterism while appalling to your rapist-killer inner Burt Reynolds … though safely toned down to merely ‘Eddie Bauer’ appearances.

    Me? I never had enough kids to consider a station wagon. I was also born too late to be a baby boomer, and honestly think the generation before me are a bunch of total whack jobs. But I think I understand what makes them tick since I’ve had to listen to them go on and on and on about themselves for the past 40-some years.

    –chuck

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    @zerofoo: I’ve heard that warranty costs for touch screen failures were a contributor

  • avatar
    slavuta

    jonboy0706

    If you would drive 2010 RX350 and Edge and then just sit in them both… You would see that what you’re saying is dumb. RX350 is a different planet in terms of luxury. While Edge is bigger, it not translates into more comfort in the back. Sitting in the middle of Edge’s second row is a torture. Driving the Edge is pretty dull. My 2009 Highlander with 4 cyl is more fun to drive then the Edge.

    racebeer

    I had same thoughts. RX = Venza??? Looks like this is the case. May be not but they are so much alike.

  • avatar
    shoes

    “I have many happy memories slouched down in the third row, kissing girls. I suppose piloting one of those behemoths might have tempered my enthusiasm for the genre.

    Your memories are happy but you call them behemoths? Odd.”

    I was 13 the last time I rode in the third row of
    a station wagon and kissed a girl and was too young to sample the driving experience myself.

  • avatar
    blautens

    The touch screen NAV system on the Gen2 RX is far easier to use in my opinion. Aside from that, the fact that there wasn’t anything in the new RX that made my wife say “I must have this”, so that means we’ll be keeping the 2005 RX for a while longer…

    By the way, on the Gen2 RX you CAN use the NAV while the vehicle is moving for most versions of the software…there’s a series of 5 keystrokes (one is a hidden button) that enables that. Once you’ve done that, you can even turn on the rear view camera while you’re going forward (which makes me a little nauseous, oddly enough).

  • avatar
    NickR

    Oh, I thought you were calling the girls behemoths.

  • avatar
    volvo

    Just compared specs of the 2010 RX350 with 2009 RAV4 V6 AWD.

    RX350 costs $10K more than the RAV4 Limited and $15K more than the RAV4 base. Has 6 more horsepower, 1000# more weight and 6 speed auto rather than 5 speed. The Lexus gets 2mpg less (probably due to the weight). Most other published specs are the same.

    I don’t know if the engine and suspension are similar but I suspect they are.

    Lots of extra cash for that swoopy L on the hood and extra bling inside.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    I recall writing an e-mail to Motor Trend when I was in high school complaining that this wanna-be M Class won SUV of the year (RX300). I did all the typical slams on Lexus (toyota with leather, bland styling, etc.).

    During my 2nd year of university, my friend invited me out to eat with her and her mother. I walked out of the apartment and there was an RX300 waiting. I got in the back and was absolutely blown away that the rear passenger room easily trumped my folk’s GMC Yukon. The ride through Morgantown’s pothole-ridden roads was fantastic. The car was quiet and comfortable. There were no terrible groaning truck sounds that I was used to in the Yukon.

    My point: As a normal person’s passenger car, the RX is very hard to beat. It is luxurious, quiet, comfortable, OK on fuel, available in AWD, and plenty quick. We have an RX330 as a pool vehicle and I much prefer the mouse style modulation on the new RX350 for navigation. I’m from the computer generation, though.

    While I wouldn’t buy one of these myself, Toyota luckily offers a more frugal and wagon like option in the Venza. I really feel that a 4cyl AWD model will be in my garage within 2 years as my utility/travel vehicle. RX-lite.

  • avatar
    revolver1978

    As part of a couple with three dogs, living in Pittsburgh, and few wagons to choose from, I’ll be in the market for a “CUV” in the near future.

    Most of the vehicles mentioned above have come across my radar – RX350, Edge/mkX, Venza, Rav4, etc. I agree with a number of the comments above. With respect to the RX350:

    Edge: Cheaper interior? You bet it is. But I’ll take [agreeable looking] function over form, and I think it was a wrong move for Lexus to go from a touch screen nav to a sensual joystick. The exterior, on the other hand – Edge wins for me here. BTW, anyone else notice that the Edge and the Escape have almost no difference in cargo capacity and minute differences in passenger volume? Edge is definietly the looker of the two though. . .

    mkX: See edge, the interior isn’t that much nicer than the Edge, though solid satin silver plastic is preferable to striped satin silver plastic.

    Venza: Somehow seems fresher and cooler than the RX350. Interior is defeinitely cheaper, with shiny grains that are not of this world. No black interior is available to help enrichen it either. Great mileage with the 4 Cyl – I could see driving one of these. Kudos to Toyota for promoting the HELL out of it. . . it’s everywhere. Like every commercial on Television. And they gave one away on Top Chef.

    Rav4: Not really in the same league, in terms of platform, price, looks, or materials quality. From the side it looks like some animal laid it (like and egg) rather than a person designed it. (I ascribe this look to the ES, the Avalon, and several other Toyotas.) Drove one (a 4 cyl rental) in San Francisco last year. It was fine, not to loud, not to quiet, kinda floaty. When the design first came out all I could think of was HR Geiger meets Corolla. That’s lessened some with age. . .

  • avatar
    wsn

    volvo said:
    Just compared specs of the 2010 RX350 with 2009 RAV4 V6 AWD.
    RX350 costs $10K more than the RAV4 Limited and $15K more than the RAV4 base. Has 6 more horsepower, 1000# more weight and 6 speed auto rather than 5 speed. The Lexus gets 2mpg less (probably due to the weight). Most other published specs are the same.
    I don’t know if the engine and suspension are similar but I suspect they are.
    Lots of extra cash for that swoopy L on the hood and extra bling inside.

    OK, using your logic, a Hyundai Genesis is as good as, if not better (in terms of reliability) than, a Rolls Royce 200EX. And much cheaper.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    volvo :
    February 25th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Just compared specs of the 2010 RX350 with 2009 RAV4 V6 AWD.

    RX350 costs $10K more than the RAV4 Limited and $15K more than the RAV4 base.

    The Toyota version of the RX is the Highlander, not the RAV4, although the RAV4 has grown in recent years to make the difference between it and the Highlander less.

  • avatar
    James2

    I think ToMoCo needs to hire Chris Bangle (seriously; although there’s probably a non-compete clause in his contract). If Toyota is hell-bent on making increasingly ugly cars like this new RX (the old one looks way better), then they need to try to blind the masses with some old-fashioned arrogance a la Bangle.

    OTOH, ToMoCo engineers need to sit down with their counterparts at Lotus. What’s Japanese for “light weight”? First, the Scion xB adds 600 pounds and now this RX adds (I’ve read elsewhere) 400 pounds. It wasn’t like the previous RX was a tin can.

    My folks are now on their third generation of ES and you can see the costs being incrementally engineered out of each succeeding generation. The first ES300 was clearly built at a time when the yen could support “indulgence” while their current ES330 is really little more than a leather’d Camry.

    Every time my dad bought a new ES I’ve pointed out that he could have saved a lot of money by getting a Camry –but he always mentions the Lexus customer service– and I think my mom prefers the cachet the Lexus name has over the Toyota name. And then I point out to my mom the dime-a-dozen presence of the ES. She just shrugs.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I have one major issue with this turd of a design… LF-XH… shown twice

    1.
    http://www.egmcartech.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/lexus_lf_vh_concept_suv_image_1.jpg

    2.
    http://thepassionatepursuit.com/images/weblog/08-06-12-lexus-lf-xh-matte-black-4.jpg

    WHY DIDNT THEY BUILD THE CONCEPT THEY SHOWED US!!!! WHY? I loved the concept and was genuinely excited about seeing it on the street. When I saw the reveal for this 2010 version, I lost my breath. It’s like they their balls and decided wimpy was better. This one really pissed me off. Seriously, the way the concepts A-pillar blended into the hood/fender was an amazing design touch. This thing lost every bit of the concepts flare.

    A freakn joke…

  • avatar
    ccd1

    Everytime I see a car like this, I wonder why Americans do not buy hatchbacks when the car gets bigger than a compact (with the exception of the Prius). A midsize HB would have the same storage capacity with the back seat down and would be MUCH more fun to drive. If you doubt this, compare the storage capacity of the Mazda CX-7 with the now departed 2008 Mazda6 HB.

  • avatar
    Flake

    OK seriously, some of the comparisons to other vehicles that are being made in these comments are ridiculous. Let’s clear a few things up…

    FoMoCo RX equivalent is NOT the Edge, it’s a Lincoln MKX. Base price for base price the MKX AWD is $690 MORE than an RX AWD. The Edge competes with the Venza. Tick every option box on each car, and the Edge is $565 MORE than a Venza. Interestingly, the $38K they both top out at is about $1K less than their respective luxury branded base model. And comparing an RX to a RAV4 and saying that it’s overpriced by comparison? Really? Ever sat in either?

    You can always pick out something that one car has over another (yay, an Elantra gets better fuel mileage than a 911! It must be better!), but it certainly enhances your credibility if you at least use proper comparisons to support whatever pre-drawn conclusion you came to.

  • avatar
    hwyhobo

    pb35 wrote:
    I also have no love for the “altezza” tail lights. I’ll never own a car with those.

    Thank you. I see too many pimped out Civics in my neighborhood driven by crew-cut teenagers barely sticking out from behind the wheels of said rap-blasting Civics with such lights (apparently it must be very fashionable in that crowd) to be ever caught dead driving a car with those.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    You can get a 2009 SEL AWD with leather for $32,000. This starts at $38,200 for the AWD http://www.egmcartech.com/2009/02/06/2010-lexus-rx-350-pricing-announced/ Which means one won’t be had for < $40k

    For one, perhaps we may be dealing with a disparity in Canadian and US pricing, but here goes:
    * The base Edge is CA$30.5K, the Limited AWD is $39.5K, which is about where you need to be to equal the RX’s content. Or you could buy an MKX, which is a lot more
    * The RX is CA$46K, adding leather (which adds all sorts of other crap) is $50K, and the Edge is still not as well-equipped. Again, you need to move to the MKX, which is cost-parity with the RX.

    Don’t get me wrong, I happen to like the Edge: I think it’s much better looking—actually, it’s quite attractive—seems solid and reliable and I wouldn’t need any of the extra crud that the RX offers. But I don’t think that saying the RX is a slow, expensive Edge is accurate.

    $10K buys you a much nicer interior, more compliant ride and higher feature content. And yes, the residual value is much, much better.

    I also have no love for the “altezza” tail lights. I’ll never own a car with those.

    Lexus, unlike most, actually has every right to use this little stylistic quirk. The term “Altezza” came into popular use because that style of light was popularized on a JDM Toyota of the same name; a car we saw as the first-generation Lexus IS.

  • avatar
    volvo

    The Toyota version of the RX is the Highlander, not the RAV4, although the RAV4 has grown in recent years to make the difference between it and the Highlander less

    I also speced it against the Highlander and except for weight the specs for the RX350 are as close to the V6 RAV4 as to the Highlander.

    And comparing an RX to a RAV4 and saying that it’s overpriced by comparison? Really? Ever sat in either?

    Yes, and driven both. I guess it just matters what the mission you envision for the vehicle. I personally would get an AWD CUV/SUV to use it as a AWD SUV. That doesn’t require leather, wood, etc. I also have trouble with a 2WD SUV/CUV. If you want a luxury vehicle get a luxury sedan.

    OK, using your logic, a Hyundai Genesis is as good as, if not better (in terms of reliability) than, a Rolls Royce 200EX. And much cheaper.

    Exactly! It may not be great logic but it is my logic. Everyones milage may vary.

  • avatar
    Mazdarati

    The price comparison data is difficult for competitive models, for you are more likely to get a big discount on a Ford or Lincoln than a Lexus. That said, the depreciation on the Lex is less, so go figure!

    They rolled out a 2010 RX at the hockey arena the other night and I thought it looked pleasant enough but hardly inspired.

    I tried the current RX 350 when I needed a carry-all type vehicle, but opted for the Mazda CX-9, which whilst not quite as luxurious, was a 3 row configuration and could carry more cargo. The Mazda also feels taut and handles more car like. IMHO the CX-9′s interior is the nicest of all the contenders. So far, I’m happy after 16k miles – no problems at all.

  • avatar

    If you compare invoices rather than MSRPs the Ford will lose any advantage–Toyota dealers have wider margins.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    There were significant reliability and driveability issues with previous RX transmissions. Some dealers were recommending transmission fluid changes at 15,000 mile intervals to improve durability. Has that been addressed?

  • avatar
    jkim23

    Interesting comment about the location of the seat heater buttons. My parents have an ES350 and the heat seat buttons are difficult to reach; they are right in front of the center armrest. I have to contort my arm just to reach them. You would think that Lexus of all companies would be able to locate them better. Why not just below the center stack like a lot of other car companies? Or on the center stack even.

  • avatar
    meefer

    Given the relatively large amount of wasted plastic, why not just put the seat heater controls next to the shifter on each side?

    Also, I’m not sure this swoopy interior is all that great. Reminds of the new Audis a bit until you get to the dash mounted shifter. Seriously, just have buttons like an Aston.

    Oh and I think it’s the D-pillar.

    Unfortunately this overall interior theme seems to be the future for Lexus, with the HS and this RX having a lot of carryover.

  • avatar
    pb35

    psarhjinian

    I’m familiar with the Toyota Altezza and yeah, Lexus has the right to do what they wish. I still ain’t buying it!

    I’d rather have the GX.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    I like the door panel/grab handles better on the old RX. They seem to be cost-cutting by using the same rear seat console, too. Overall, sort of disappointed, just like with the new ES (interior-wise) and pictures of the HS.

    It’s a bad time for Toyota, so I’m pretty sure they’ve cut corners to maintain profitable. Hopefully in better economic times, Lexus will be able to afford to engineer and design a more luxurious car, given the price premium isn’t really justifiable anymore.

  • avatar
    V6

    the new RX is the worst kinda of ugly. Bland and boring ugly.

    Infiniti FX please

  • avatar
    GiddyHitch

    Unfortunately, this RX redesign follows the sad trend of Japanese luxo brands beating solid older designs with the proverbial ugly stick (see latest Infiniti FX and G, all Acuras from the last few years). The Lexus LS remains the last good looking luxocruiser from the land of the rising yen.

    On a related and ironic note, I always wondered if the aftermarket came out with regular red brakelight housings for cars that come stock with clears (i.e. Ford Fusion, Mazda 6, etc.). Such an odd choice for the RX. I hope they’re not planning on using bronze rims for the refresh.

  • avatar
    ktm

    The Infiniti FX is a very nice CUV, however, it is FAR from practical. I owned one for two years and while I enjoyed driving it, it was really a sports car on stilts without the benefits of a sports cars performance.

    The rear boot space is severely limited by the longitudinal and lateral arching hatch design. Rear passenger leg room was ok; my wife’s Prius has more leg room in the rear than the FX 35 it replaced.

    The passenger and driver are separated by a massive center console and you feel like you are in a cubicle.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved the FX but it is not really a practical vehicle and is suited for those who prefer form over function.

  • avatar
    johndoe800

    Ssyangyong Motors called. They want their ugly piece of junk back.

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    (mkaresh):
    “among similarly-priced crossovers I’d rather have an EX35 or, if more room is needed, an Acura MDX with the fancy shocks.”

    2nd, at least with regards to the Acura.

    My mother-in-law has an ’08 RX350, and it’s better than our ’08 MDX in exactly 2 ways: It’s a little quieter, and the interior wood trim is nicer.

    Other than that, it rides worse (surprising), while at the same time handing worse (not surprising), the seats are nowhere near as comfy, and it won’t hold half the stuff (or people) the MDX will. MPG is about the same.

    IIRC, RX and MDX are #1 and #2 in sales in their category (whatever that is), so lotsa people obviously think they both offer good packages for what they are.

  • avatar
    tshelly

    blautens,

    I saw your post that said this: “By the way, on the Gen2 RX you CAN use the NAV while the vehicle is moving for most versions of the software…there’s a series of 5 keystrokes (one is a hidden button) that enables that. Once you’ve done that, you can even turn on the rear view camera while you’re going forward (which makes me a little nauseous, oddly enough).”

    Can you tell me what these keystrokes are? Thanks

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Follows the usual Lexus approach of downgrading the exterior by slapping on a larger grille, decontenting all the exterior trim and adding a new swish here or there in the interior or in this case throwing in a new curve ball goofy dash treatment and calling it a day. It’s so painfully obvious that Toyo… oops Lexus is cost cutting right along with the best of them today.

  • avatar
    LarryB16

    I see that the 2010 RX350 comes with 18″ or 19″ wheels only, and there is a tiny footnote in the Lexus brochure that states, “18-in and 19-in performance tires are expected to experience greater tire wear than conventional tires. Tire life may be substantially less than 15,000 miles, depending on driving conditions.”

    I have a 2002 RX300 that didn’t need replacement tires until 40,000 miles.

    What were Lexus engineers thinking when they decided to build a car with tires with such a short lifespan? I’m having second thoughts about a purchase that I expected to be a no-brainer.

  • avatar
    HollowScar

    Hey! New here.

    Anyways, I saw one in the new movie, Orphan, and I have to say it looked really cool from the inside. The wooden trim, and leather seats was really nice. It was truly luxurious, but unfortunately does not have a great exterior. The SUV, is good for luxury, if you have the money, but I believe you can do better.


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