2023 Lexus RX 350 Restricted assessment | WUWM 89.7 FM

Luxurious and utility are ubiquitous with the Lexus RX 350, in any other case often called the icon of luxurious household vehicles.

This SUV that started off extra as a tall wagon when launched within the U.S. market in 1998 has been the best-selling luxurious car right here for the previous 10 years. Right here’s why.

It’s Toyota dependable, presents AWD for security in sloppy climate, has a taller stance for higher outward visibility, isn’t too tall to make entry an issue, is quiet inside with a leathery inside, holds 5 folks comfortably together with child cargo beneath the ability hatch, and has good energy and a easy experience. Oh, and for a luxurious crossover, it was fairly priced.

Not a lot today, as the bottom front-drive RX 350 now ideas the monetary scales at $48,550 and the AWD mannequin at $50,150. However these different factors stay the identical. Lexus, the posh arm of Toyota, has not futzed with success a lot these previous 25 years aside from the RX which, like an amazing majority of automobiles, continues to develop bigger. For 2023 the wheelbase stretches one other 2.4 inches whereas for styling, its tail overhang appears to have shrunk.

If something, the styling might need stagnated a bit though the chrome roofline trim’s wave down towards the tail continues so as to add a little bit of aptitude. The hood’s nostril although now bulges extra, maybe from Ram pickup inspiration, as if its large grille isn’t noticeable sufficient. Nonetheless, for sensible functions, the RX is simply what the physician ordered.

The dealing with is reasonably simple and easy to manage whereas the multi-link rear suspension supplies a well-controlled experience and the brand new powerplant, a 2.4-liter I4 offers the crossover loads of acceleration with 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. The one draw back to this new engine, which replaces the outdated dependable V6 that had powered the RX for ages, is its growly nature. Speed up arduous and the RX’s air of luxurious dissipates in a grumble that sounds extra mid-priced than $50,000+. The V6 sounded smoother.

In fact, the purpose is to chop car weight with a four-cylinder vs. the V6 and with an eight-speed automated to assist gasoline mileage. To that time, the EPA charges the RX 350 at 21 mpg metropolis and 28 mpg freeway. Sadly in 30-degree climate I managed simply 20.0 mpg in about 60% metropolis driving.

However I did have the AWD out there for when issues bought a bit of slick. Each Soccer mothers and dads respect that.

Naturally Lexus masses the RX with all of the related security tools one expects at present, identified right here as Lexus Security System+ 3.0. That features a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, intersection assist (arrows flash on the display to indicate automobiles approaching from both aspect), bike detection, good cruise management with curve velocity administration, and lane departure alert and steering help.

Different techy gadgets embrace a digital key, intuitive parking help, rear cross-traffic alert with auto braking, a head-up show, superior parking which is an automated parallel parking system, and Visitors Jam Help — as an autonomous driving mode to assist a driver in sluggish, stop-and-go conditions the place the automobile can creep alongside and keep within the lane by itself. Good for commuters or people who usually drive on congested highways. In principle, it frees a bit of time for a dad or mum to scold a baby or work an app or two on a cellphone.

Inside, the driving force and occupants will really feel sufficiently coddled because the attractive darkish metallic blue take a look at SUV scored darkish grey and brown leather-based and suede seats with black higher door and sprint surfaces. There’s even some suede trim within the door panels. Trim is a satin chrome and the data display and air vent trim is a gloss black, whereas the console prime is flat black. Total, there’s a hushed tone to the inside.

The take a look at SUV additionally included good-looking Mark Levinson stereo audio system within the doorways. That stereo occurs so as to add $1,160 to the worth tag, however then you definitely do get 21 audio system and wonderful sound high quality.

Correctly too, Lexus has deserted that sensitive and inconvenient touchpad on the console that was used for tuning the radio and different information display features. Now there’s a ginormous 14-inch touchscreen mid-dash to search out almost all driver-selected features, plus the radio tuning. It really works significantly better than that pad did.

The display appears overly massive, but for us folks, it might be simply the ticket.

Seats are typical finely contoured Lexus fashions with energy up entrance and heated/cooled entrance and rear seats too, plus a heated wheel, which is a should right here among the many frozen tundra. There’s additionally a wi-fi cellphone charger and loads of USB plugs entrance and rear.

These rear seats additionally will energy down to spice up cargo house which is already a beneficiant 29.6 cubic ft behind row two. The second-row seats additionally may be powered to a barely reclined angle. Head and legroom are spacious in row two, another excuse this can be a primo household hauler.

I like that the RX steering wheel is powered too, so it’s easy to tilt or telescope for driver consolation and there are three seat reminiscence buttons on the sprint’s left. The motive force’s seat and steering wheel additionally energy again and up for simpler entry and entry as soon as the ignition is off.

A panoramic sunroof is commonplace and guide sunshades grace the rear aspect home windows, which all full the inside bling for RX 350.

One glitch on this examined preproduction RX 350 is an annoying false driver consideration warning beep. This occurred a LOT, usually once I was turning the steering wheel and my arm would cross in entrance of the driving force’s instrument pod, which seemingly broke the digital beam that was watching my eyes. One hopes that might be much less sensitive on manufacturing fashions.

I additionally am not a fan of the heated and cooled seat controls being situated on the digital touchscreen. I really feel they belong on the console for simple entry whereas the RX used that spot for the auto cease/begin button, a hill descent characteristic, a parking brake and one other off-roading button. These will not often be used. Within the display’s protection, the heated/cooled seats and heated wheel controls have an automated characteristic so one might set them and neglect them.

One different design concern as extra automobiles transfer to push-button door releases, copying Tesla: push button confuses a good quantity of passengers who’re on the lookout for a lever. Even after they push the button, they’re undecided if the door is to open by itself (it does on the Genesis G90), or if they need to push it, pull up on the button space or what. This fashion change is an answer seeking an issue.

All of which returns us to pricing. I discussed the fundamentals earlier, however the examined RX 350 Luxurious AWD mannequin begins at an much more strong $58,150, together with supply. Including simply the stereo brings it to $59,310 and there are actually extra choices that would push it to $65k.

There are a number of trims for the RX 350 together with hybrid fashions for many, together with the Luxurious version. All these hybrids get higher gasoline mileage as regenerative braking and the hybrid system supplies modest electrical energy for early acceleration. I’d go for a hybrid despite the fact that their energy is barely much less at 246 horses. Its mpg rankings are 37/34, so fairly the bump over gas-only.

A top-line RX 450h F Sport additionally is obtainable beginning at $62,750 and touts 366 horses and a 406 torque score. Satirically the extra highly effective 450h will get higher gas economic system at 27/28 in contrast with the examined gas-only Luxurious version, once more because of hybrid assist.

Little doubt the RX 350 remains to be a sound selection for a household luxurious SUV that even Goldilocks would think about excellent!

FAST STATS: 2023 Lexus RX 350 Restricted

Hits: Quiet and engaging luxurious inside, AWD, managed experience, positive security tools. Large touchscreen replaces awkward console touchpad, cozy seats are heated/cooled entrance and rear, heated wheel, panoramic sunroof, energy tilt/telescope wheel, wi-fi charger, energy down rear seats, good cargo house.

Misses: Annoying false driver consideration warning beeps, growly engine on heavy acceleration, heated seats/wheel managed on display, too many features on display, much less used features are buttons on console, push-button door launch confuses riders. Modest MPG.

Made in: Cambridge, Ontario

Engine: 2.4-liter turbo I4, 275 hp/317 torque

Transmission: 8-speed automated

Weight: 4,155+ lbs.

Wheelbase: 112.2 in.

Size: 192.5 in.

Cargo: 29.6 – 46.2 cu.ft.

Tow: 3,500 lbs.

MPG: 21/28

MPG: 20.0 (examined)

Base Worth: $58,150 (contains supply)

Bill: $54,445

Main Choices:

Mark Levinson PurePlay Encompass Sound w/21 audio system, $1,160

Take a look at car: $59,310

Sources: Lexus, www.kbb.com

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