Driving a Lexus RX never gets old. Every time I’m behind the wheel I’m reminded of just how easy to drive, comfortable and all-around amiable this mid-size luxury is and why it’s so popular. Case in point, the 2022 RX 350 F Sport. My F Sport test model in a striking Grecian Water hue shows its sporty side, not just in looks, but handling upgrades thanks to an additional F Sport Handling package.
The RX is one of the most recognizable SUVs out there with its can’t-miss huge grille, distinctive LED daytime running lights and taillights, and overall polished, sleek style. In Grecian Water, a new color in the F Sport palette, it really pops. The F Sport model is appropriately badged as such, includes an F Sport front fascia mesh and grille insert and rides on great-looking 20-inch F Sport split 10-spoke alloy wheels in a Dark Graphite finish. This model is also equipped with fog lamps, a new standalone option offered across all grades this year.
F Sport Handling
This F Sport model isn’t just about more aggressive looks. On top of the base F Sport trim, it’s equipped with an additional F Sport Handling package (formerly the Performance package.) It gives the RX a sportier ride than you typically expect from the RX with tighter handling thanks to equipment upgrades that include F-Sport tuned adaptive variable suspension, front and rear performance dampers, and sport steering. The Package also includes a sound generator and moonroof, (though this model has an optional panoramic moonroof.)
The Lexus lineup shares a single engine option: a 3.5-L V6 that delivers 295-horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. torque. An 8-speed automatic feels smooth but the RX doesn’t sprint off-the-line due to its 4,000+ pound curb weight. Horsepower feels great though in regular city and highway driving and when merging.
The F Sport’s red and black interior with aluminum trim and sport pedals serves up an appropriately sporty vibe. As always, the RX’s well-designed cabin is well-crafted, user-friendly and full of soft-touch materials. The cabin’s NuLuxe-trimmed 10-way power heated and ventilated power F SPORT front seats feature enhanced bolsters. The driver’s seat is comfortable, but leans to the firmer side. A leather and heated F-Sport badged steering wheel provides easy to use controls.
The slightly V-shaped center console area places everything within perfect reach. A vertical storage slot fits your cell phone. But don’t mistake it for a charger, wireless charging is optional.
An optional Navigation/Mark Levinson premium sound system upgrade includes Lexus’ 12.3-inch split touchscreen display that always impresses with its colors, graphics quality and responsiveness. You can also control via a remote touchpad on the console. The 15-speaker sound system is outstanding as is Dynamic Voice Command. Connectivity includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa and six USB ports.
Additional F Sport Handling goodies in the cabin include a performance-inspired digital instrumentation cluster with a G-meter, F Sport badged gear shift knob, aluminum trim, a heated steering wheel along with heated/ventilated front seats and LED ambient lighting.
A roomy second-row offers very comfortable seat cushions with plenty of leg- and headroom along with two USB ports and air vents. The F Sport Handling package also adds a rear armrest storage compartment.
The RX offers a reclining/sliding 40/20/40 rear split seat and rear seat one-touch fold levers. An optional kick sensor liftgate operates at a nice speed and opens up to plenty of cargo space. A standard cargo Tonneau cover hides your valuables. Under the cargo area you’ll find a spare tire and a small space for storage. The F Sport’s stainless steel rear door garnish gives off an upscale look.
Ride and drive
Overall, the Lexus RX is just so easy and comfortable to drive. It’s the most engaging drive in the F Sport Handling’s Sport S+ plus mode and handles the road confidently thanks to optional all-wheel-drive. And while it’s a roomy SUV, it’s not too big to cause parking hassles. However, there was more road noise than I expected while traveling at highway speeds.
The Lexus RX is equipped with Lexus Safety System 2.0+ which includes an enhanced Pre-Collision System with daytime bicyclist detection and low-light pedestrian detection along with Road Sign Assist and Lane Tracing Assist and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert are also standard. You’ll need to upgrade to the Panoramic View Monitor to add Intuitive Park Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Braking
My test model is loaded with options. They include a wireless charger ($200), standalone fog lamps ($275), a terrific color head-up display (600), panoramic moon roof and aluminum roof rails ($500) and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson/Navigation system with 12.3-inch touchscreen ($3,365), power rear door with kick sensor ($150), and panoramic view monitor with intuitive braking and RCTA Braking ($1365.)
My vehicle’s F Sport Handling package isn’t line-itemed as an option on my vehicle Monroney, but on the website it adds $1,050 to pricing.
It’s easy to see why the RX’s combination of luxury, comfort, utility, technology, safety and value make it a popular sight in the carpool lane and beyond. If you want to turn things up a notch in terms of driver engagement, give the F Sport handling version a test drive.
- What I Liked Most: Overall drivability, sporty handling, the Mark Levinson Sound system.
- What I would change: Make wireless charging standard.
- Fuel Economy: 19 city/26 highway/22 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 1000 miles.
- Weight: 4,387 lbs. (AWD).
- Spare Tire: Standard spare tire.
- Length-Width-Height: 192.5” long/ 74.6” wide/67.7” high w/o roof rack.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.2 gallons with the fuel filler on the driver’s side.
- Official Color: Grecian Water.
- Towing Capacity: 3,500 pounds w/Tow Package.
- 2022 Lexus RX 350 F Sport: America’s best-selling midsize SUV shows a sportier side that’s more than skin deep.
- Warranty: 48 months/50,000 miles Basic Warranty; 72 months/70,000 miles powertrain.
- Final Assembly Location: Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.
- Manufacturer's website: Lexus