2011 Lexus RX 350: Review notes

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car appraisal  of Lexus RX 350 crossover.
The V6 in the 2011 Lexus RX 350 is rated at 275 hp.

By: Andrew Stoy on 12/22/2011

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DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: The 2011 Lexus RX 350 is the near-luxury crossover to beat, targeted by the type of the Cadillac SRX and the Lincoln MKX as of the United States, the Acura MDX and the Infiniti FX as of Japan--and the BMW X5 and the Mercedes-Benz M-class as of Europe. C'mon, Mercedes, where's the X? It can't be a crossover with no an X, right?

Anyway, suffice it to say so as to the Lexus has a big bull's-eye on its tailgate correct now. Having exhausted seat occasion in almost all of the above-mentioned utes, I can tell you so as to the RX leftovers competitive, but now barely. Fortunately for Lexus, a few easy profits determination assist tremendously.

From a ride-and-handling perspective, the RX 350 handles itself now fine. There are no surprises, nor is present engagement. That's now how the huge bulk of Lexus clientele similar to completely cars. Ditto the powertrain: perfectly adequate, nothing to see here, satisfy enjoy the stereo.

About so as to stereo: The infotainment scheme is one put Lexus has in use a genuine detour, and it's leaving to get me additional supposed one nighttime to create a decision how I sense concerning it. The palm mouse is a sole get on the huge multimedia-interface query of the close to the beginning 20-teens. On one hand, it's after that to not possible to not seem absent as of the street to operate the component at what time you're unfamiliar by means of it. On the other, it has a number of nice skin genuine as haptic feedback at what time you mouse in excess of an alternative box so as to I might see flattering extremely intuitive on one occasion you'd lived by means of the RX for a few weeks.

Most importantly, I didn't contain any problem operating essential skin of the car with no attention to study the operating system. Radio, climate and seat heaters are all adjustable by,by means of high-quality ol'-fashioned buttons.

Where the RX actually unsuccessful for me was NVH. Mainly N--the noise inside. I've driven manifold cars lately at cost mark healthy underneath the Lexus's $50,000-plus so as to contain exhibited a great deal fewer street roar and wind noise. But the worst offense stemmed fairly possibly as of the smallest amount enjoyable exhaust tuning of no substance which I've still ridden in.

Accelerate absent as of a stoplight and you're assaulted by a sad moan so as to implies neither presentation nor luxury. On the freeway I establish myself continually checking my blind spot for a rusty 1980s Iron-Duke-powered Pontiac. It was bad sufficient to be surprising, so maybe our RX speciousness as of an exhaust leak or a number of similar malady.

Regardless, sound deadener and exhaust tuning are inexpensive, and Lexus motionless has the bones of a top contestant in petroleum overall uninspiring class. Fix persons few nits, and the RX 350 be hypothetical to carry on to be a similar leader.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: If you similar to by means of lavishness crossover as of the milquetoast train of automotive plan and engineering, the RX 350 is by means of car. The RX now isn't extremely engaging as of a driver's perspective--and isn't so as to fraction of come again? the crossover craze was all concerning in the primary place--getting out of big, boring, large SUV tanks and eager on the svelte and sporty new crossover class?

Not in the RX, construct earth to drive better supposed it looks, and that's by no means a high-quality thing. Heavy steering and a ponderous suspension sense strength be come again? the Lexus purchaser is charitable for, but so as to doesn't create it good.

At the similar time, petroleum RX is a labor of art in the center of crossovers, correct up present by means of the Infiniti FX for responsibility a small additional by means of the crossover idea to stay the styling new and vibrant. And petroleum pearlescent pallid paint job doesn't hurt--it's actually lends a luxurious appearance to the vehicle. The tone series in,within by means of petroleum center package, construct blends soft-touch synthetics and leather by means of all of the wanted understanding and controls to make a top-notch environment. The artistic integration of the headrest-mounted back video screens unaccompanied is value a number of type of award.

Put me downward as not fairly on plank by means of the Lexus interface--I get the idea of the knob controller, but similar to an close to the beginning iDrive, present are a number of kinks to labor out and a number of functions (like a "Back" button) so as to are curiously missing. The driver-oriented layout too tends to minimize the use of the scheme by the passenger, particularly if a pair of cups of coffee are wrinkled up blocking passenger correct of entry to the controller and buttons. The a variety of redundant audio and climate controls do assist offset so as to problem, but I'm not certain the navigation is simple to get to with no the controller.

Finally, by means of all of the whiz-bang gear on petroleum vehicle, I was astonished to discover no lively cruise control, lane-departure warning scheme or bird's-eye-view backup camera.

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NEWS EDITOR GREG MIGLIORE: I enjoyed my nighttime in the RX 350, approximately surprisingly so. It's healthy done, has a polite quantity of authority and is extremely quiet. Even by means of the warmth going, the radio humming and a cold rain falling, the cabin was motionless approximately eerily serene.

I similar to the looks, construct are largely unchanged in new years, but Lexus construct the accents and forms labor well. The steering--helped by as,at the same occasion as big wheels--has a noticeable heaviness to it, and the ,whole demeanor is relaxed and controlled.

The center is a bit underwhelming, featuring more frequently supposed not staid, pedestrian materials. I liked the mouse border for audio; it's a nice characteristic so as to rapidly a number of differentiation for the brand.

This segment has gotten so good, but there's a cause Lexus motionless sells a ton of these. People similar to 'em. It's a respectable contestant but nothing mind-blowing.

SENIOR ART DIRECTOR CHERYL L. BLAHNIK: The center of petroleum 2011 Lexus RX 350 is so spotless so as to it approximately had a germ-free emotion to it. I'm too not a fan of petroleum clunky mouse interface, construct reminds me of the computer so as to I'm on daily for a lot of frequently at work. In all honesty, I don't desire to be reminded of labor at what time I'm driving. I determination say, though, so as to the cabin was at ease and roomy.

On road, the RX 350 is smooth and quiet, construct was expected, but the car is far as of fun and engaging to drive. There's extremely small steering sense and reply is lacking, but I establish the engine ,court case abundance of power. If Lexus might amp up the heavy feel, I counting similar to petroleum RX 350 a entire lot more.

2011 Lexus RX 350

Base Price: $40,250

As-Tested Price: $52,775

Drivetrain: 3.5-liter V6; AWD, six-speed automatic

Output: 275 hp @ 6,200 rpm, 257 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm

Curb Weight: 4,343 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 20/18.4 mpg

Options: Dual-screen rear-seat entertainment by means of navigation counting rear-seat DVD scheme by means of wireless headphones, a/v inputs, 120V authority outlet and navigation by means of voice command, XM weather and traffic, backup camera, remote hors d'oeuvre ($5,005); lavishness wrap up counting semianiline leather trim, one-touch open/close moonroof, retractable electrochromic heated exterior mirrors, wood and leather steering wheel/shift knob, wide-angle camera, 19-inch alloy wheels by means of all-season tires, authority back door, illuminated scuff plates, headlamp cleaners ($4,900); soothe wrap up counting rain-sensing wipers by means of mist control, high-intensity headlamps, adaptive front lighting scheme and driver/passenger heated and ventilated seats ($1,950); 12-speaker audio scheme by means of in-dash six-DVD changer ($610); cargo net ($59)



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