Rapid Review: 2015 Lexus RX 350 AWD

Jerry Reynolds | January 21, 2015
Rapid Review: 2015 Lexus RX 350 AWD

The term “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind with the 2015 Lexus RX 350.

Since the RX 300 came to the U.S. in 1998, the RX has been an exceptional seller for Toyota, averaging right at 100,000 sales per year, which is impressive. One thing I always talk about on my radio show is the fact that most people who buy or lease the RX 350 do so time and time again. That is a great indication of quality and resale value.

The RX 350 comes with the tried-and-true 3.5-liter V6 engine putting out 270-horses. It has a 6-speed automatic transmission. My Fire Agate Pearl review vehicle is all-wheel drive, which I recommend. You lose one mile per gallon, but it greatly enhances the driving experience.  Acceleration is strong and steady, and while you won’t get a whiplash when you stomp on it, it is more than adequate.

Inside the RX 350 is an attractive interior. It is not plain by any stretch, but it is not a “jump out and grab you” interior like some of the luxury vehicles like Audi. The dash layout is simple and clean, with soft-touch materials everywhere. Second row seating offers more room than most 5-passenger SUVs, and a nice touch is that the rear seats will recline and slide for even more comfort. The rear seats can be folded flat from the cargo area, another nice touch. Cargo room is terrific.

On the center console, you’ll see the Lexus Remote Touch system, which is a mouse-like controller that allows you to move among a variety of icons on the centrally located 7-inch color screen. It takes a little getting used to, and honestly, I preferred the old mouse setup, it was friendlier to the passenger than this new system. The new system is OK once you get used to it.

Standard equipment abounds with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, fog lights, LED running lights, rear privacy glass, heated mirrors, a power lift gate, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, ten-way power front seats with power lumbar adjustment, a leather-wrapped power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, rearview camera, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. You also get Bluetooth connectivity, a 12-speaker sound system, and voice activation.

My review vehicle has several options. First up, the Comfort Group, which is $1390 and gets you Xenon HID headlights, LED fog lights, and heated and cooled front seats. It also has the rear entertainment system and navigation system for $4060. It comes with rear headphones, and a suite of cool apps with the Lexus Enform system. Enform gives you a ton of real-time info like traffic and weather, you can even access your Facebook account. Whatever apps you have on your smartphone, you’ll see on the screen.

19” aluminum wheels run $700, for $1200 you can see your speed and navigation directions on the heads-up display. $995 will buy you the 15-speak Mark Levinson sound system, and it will parallel park itself for $500.

I would recommend the Premium package also. Priced at $2700, you get a sunroof, power-folding auto-dimming mirrors, roof rails, leather upholstery, blind spot monitoring, and driver memory settings.    

Look, the RX 350 is not a “blow your skirt up” exciting SUV, but it has a phenomenal ride, it is super quiet inside, and extremely comfortable. Best of all, it is a great value for a luxury SUV. It is no wonder people buy the RX 350 time and time again.

What I liked most: The ride, drive, interior, and value proposition.

What I would change: I would go back to the old mouse system.

MSRP: Base price $43,105.  As equipped $55,099.

Fuel Economy: 18 City/24 highway/20 combined.

Odometer reading when tested: 8040 miles.

Weight: 4178 Pounds.

Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.2 gallons of regular fuel.

Towing Capacity: 3500 pounds

2015 Lexus RX350 in a few words: A great SUV and a tremendous value.

Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 6-year/72,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance.

Car Pro Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Manufacturers website: http://www.lexus.com/models/RX

Dealers: We have great Lexus dealers in Plano and Grapevine, TX, Houston, Lubbock, Sacramento, and Portland.   

Photo Credit: Lexus
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