By Tony West
Lexus is a renowned luxury brand that’s affordable and elegant. When I drove the 2013 Lexus RX 350 for the first time, I was impressed by how much more this SUV offers. The 350 all wheel drive turbo version of the RX is fast and sexy. A 3.5 liter V6 makes for an efficient 270 hp engine with Active Torque Control. The RX 350 needs that control with all that power. A tap of the gas sends the RX Turbo from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds. While I wouldn’t recommend the RX 350 for soccer moms, the SUV without the F-Tuned Sport Suspension and horsepower would be a great family vehicle. The main reason I don’t see the RX F-Sport as much a “family” vehicle is that it’s fast as hell. In Chicago speeding on expressways with winds at 20 and 30 mph may cause the RX to have more rollover issues. That said be careful, or buy the chick version.
For those with a need for speed, the Lexus RX is a perfect sport SUV. The exterior is sleek and masculine while yielding sharp contours in the hood, and Lexus’ signature spindle grille with LED headlights. The Lexus RX 350 has an 8-speed automatic transmission and manual shift/clutch controls behind the steering wheel. The all wheel drive Lexus RX also has power disk brakes.
The interior of the Lexus RX is what we’ve come to expect from Lexus, luxury meets technology somewhere within functionality. All the essential controls are made easy for the driver to access. The steering wheel has buttons for the radio, drive mode, and formatting functions.The Lexus RX also has heated and ventilated leather seats, dual zone climate control and the Lexus Premium Audio System that comes with an auto sound levelizer, XM Satellite Radio, 6-disk changer, Bluetooth, and a 12 speaker sound system.
The interior of the 2013 Lexus RX also seems roomier, with 54.5 inches of legroom in the front and 43 inches in the rear. The RX also has reclining/ sliding 40/20/40 split rear seats. Similar to the GS is the Remote Touch System. All of the major controls, including climate, media, navigation, and Bluetooth utilize a small mouse button at the center console. The Remote Touch makes driving much safer not having to search for each control button. More cool features in the RX 350 are the Intuitive Parking Assist, the Lexus Enform Destination Assist, Blind Spot Monitor and the Brake Assist. And with 10 airbags I feel cushioned in this lux turbo machine. The Collision Alert…ehhh it works, in traffic, or in the drive thru, and even when someone walks too close to the vehicle.
Still the Lexus RX 350 is a lot of fun to drive. With 18 city and 26 highway mpg’s it’s a pleasure to drive. My Toyota 4×4 doesn’t get 21mpgs combined. Even with horsepower and torque the gas isn’t tough on the wallet. The only question I had was who the Lexus RX’s competitors were. At 47,000 the Lexus isn’t cheap, so there’s no comparison with cheap plastic boxes. The closest luxury competitors with speed are the Cadillac SRX, the Ford Explorer, the GMC Acadia, the Land Rover Evoque, and the Lincoln MKX. It’s a compliment to say that Lexus’ redesigned Turbo RX gives all these SUVs a run for their money.