It’s not difficult to understand why the Lexus RX has been popular for so long. It’s always possessed a very stylish, classy exterior look that particularly appeals to women.
And in case you hadn’t noticed, the RX is seemingly your basic “chick car,” even though I don’t see it as having any great feminine characteristics. In fact, I love the elegant Lexus RX 350 because it’s a very capable midsize, luxury crossover sport utility vehicle.
Even though men shouldn’t shy away from ownership, seemingly every time I see the RX 350 on the road a woman is at the wheel, accompanied by two or three children. Side note: my wife has fallen in love and says the RX 350 is her next car of choice – we’ll see!
2014 Lexus RX 350
- Performance: 3.5-liter, V6, 270 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 18-25 mpg
- Estimated price: $39,760 to $47,450
- Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 6 years/70,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/ unlimited; corrosion: 6 years/ unlimited
When Lexus unveiled the RX in 1998, it was quite the innovative SUV. It was very visually appealing with its sleek, well rounded lines and rather low-profile design. Yet more importantly from an historic standpoint, the RX helped usher in the new crossover SUVs that were being built on a car platform and combined the driving capability of a sedan with the versatility of an SUV.
Of course, this quickly became a winning concept and it wasn’t long before most manufacturers jumped onboard with their own version of the crossover SUV.
The Lexus RX is still greatly admired, yet it has plenty of competition as well. Rivals include the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC60, which is indeed a very upscale group.
The 2014 RX 350 has a few minor changes, but not much has been altered since its redesign two years ago. This year’s changes include a new 115-volt backseat outlet, a pre-collision warning system, and the Siri Eyes Free for iPhone owners.
Sorry, there’s still no third row option and five people are all that’s going to reside inside the RX 350. And there’s no V8 engine, either.
Even though the quiet, smooth-riding RX has remained a V6, I’ve always enjoyed its performance capability. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter, V6 that produces 270 horsepower and 248 pound-feet. The RX travels 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds and can tow up to 3,500 pounds. Gas mileage is a bit low at 18-25 mpg.
The RX 350 offers a comfortable, efficient cabin setup that one expects from a Lexus. There are no comfort issues for front or backseat occupants, and the cargo space is roomy. What might bother some is the optional Navigation package with its remote touch system. The mouse-like device is too distracting for this driver.
If an upscale crossover SUV is the vehicle of choice, the RX 350 should definitely be among the contenders. Even though women love this SUV, it’s a good buy for men as well, assuming they can put aside their macho tendencies.