2008 Lexus RX 350 Review

Pros & Cons

  • High-grade cabin furnishings, luxury sedan ride, user-friendly high-tech features, rock-solid reliability history, excellent dealer service.
  • Soft suspension tuning makes for merely acceptable handling, no third-row seat option, pricey option packages.
List Price Range
$6,850 - $12,888

Used RX 350 for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

Although competitors offer superior driving dynamics, the 2008 Lexus RX 350 will impress anyone shopping for a luxury crossover SUV with plush ride quality, exceptional fit and finish, and ample day-to-day utility.

Vehicle overview

The introduction of the Lexus RX series was perfectly timed to meet affluent consumers' emerging desire for SUVs that were easy to drive in suburbia and furnished to luxury sedan standards. The first of the luxury crossover SUVs, the RX 300 quickly became the brand's best-selling vehicle. It won over shoppers with its easygoing personality, upscale cabin, virtually silent powertrain and outstanding build quality. Now badged as the RX 350, this midsize crossover is nearing the end of its second generation but remains a strong competitor in its class. Rivals surpass the 2008 Lexus RX 350 in the handling department, but for buyers seeking comfort and serenity in large helpings, it easily satisfies.

Like other luxury crossover SUVs, the Lexus RX 350 is built on a car chassis, in this case the 2002-'06 Toyota Camry platform. These origins provide an immediate clue to the RX 350's personality: It's a serene and forgiving highway cruiser, but has never been much of an athlete, even by sport-utility standards. That said, the current-generation RX feels a touch sportier than the original, thanks to the availability of an adaptive air suspension and 18-inch wheels. Adding to the effect is the potent 3.5-liter V6 Lexus slotted into its crossover SUV last year. Rated for 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque, this V6 allows an all-wheel-drive RX 350 to accelerate to 60 mph in the mid 7-second range -- impressive for a V6-equipped midsize SUV.

In addition to comfort and quickness, the current RX has always been known for its arsenal of technology, and despite a recent flurry of redesigns in the premium SUV segment, it's still up to speed in this regard. It was the first crossover SUV to offer adaptive headlights, and its optional Mark Levinson sound system rivals the best stereos in this class, provided you're not put off by the $6,200 price tag on this package option. A navigation system with a rearview camera is also available, of course, and unlike in many competitors, the interface is user-friendly and easy to understand.

Overall, the 2008 Lexus RX 350 serves as an excellent example of what we think a luxury crossover utility vehicle should be. Certainly, competitors like the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Infiniti FX35 will serve you better if sporty handling dynamics are a priority, while those needing third-row accommodations should check out the Cadillac SRX, Mercedes-Benz R350 or Volvo XC90. However, for consumers interested in a plush, convenience-laden five-passenger crossover, the RX 350 remains a worthy candidate in this very competitive market segment.

2008 Lexus RX 350 models

The 2008 Lexus RX 350 is a luxury crossover SUV of midsize dimensions. It comes in a single trim level with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The RX 350's level of standard equipment is impressive and includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a power rear liftgate, auto-dimming mirrors all around, 10-way power front seats, wood interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-speaker stereo with an in-dash CD changer, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, four one-touch power windows and second-row seats that slide and recline.

Leather upholstery is technically optional on the Lexus RX 350, but the chances of finding a cloth-upholstered RX on a dealer lot are virtually nil. Most models will have at least the Premium Package, which supplies leather, seat memory, a power tilt/telescoping wheel, a sunroof and a roof rack. Opt for Premium Plus and you'll get all of the above, plus adaptive bi-xenon HID headlights. Or, you could go for the Performance Package, which has all the Plus Package goodies, plus an adaptive air suspension and 18-inch wheels. Other high-tech extras available on the RX 350 include a navigation system, a rearview camera, a stunning Mark Levinson audio system and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones. The nav and entertainment systems can be purchased à la carte, but the Mark Levinson system is only available as part of a pricey package. Stand-alone options include laser-based adaptive cruise control, front seat heaters, rain-sensing wipers and towing preparation.

2008 Highlights

A new grille design and chrome exterior door handles distinguish the 2008 Lexus RX 350 from last year's model. In addition, there's a new graphite-finish 18-inch wheel design on the options list, and in models with a gray interior, you'll find black bird's eye maple trim.

Performance & mpg

A 3.5-liter V6 rated at 270 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque powers the 2008 Lexus RX 350. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, and buyers have a choice of either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Lexus claims a 0-60-mph time of 7.3 seconds for the FWD model and 7.4 ticks for the AWD version. Fuel economy estimates are down this year due to revised EPA testing procedures, but the RX is still efficient for such a powerful SUV. The ratings are 18 mpg city/23 mpg highway for the FWD model and 17/22 for the AWD version. Properly equipped, the RX 350 can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Safety

All the latest airbags are found on the RX 350, with standard front, side, head and even driver-knee airbags. Standard stability and traction control systems are on hand to help one avoid an accident in the first place. Although NHTSA has not tested an RX 350, the structurally similar RX 330 scored a perfect five stars for driver protection in frontal impacts and four stars for the front passenger. In side-impact tests, the RX 330 earned five stars across the board. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the current-generation RX a "Good" rating (the highest possible) in frontal-offset crash testing.

Driving

In true Lexus fashion, the 2008 Lexus RX 350 possesses a smooth and sophisticated personality. Performance is swift and silent. This is first and foremost a luxury vehicle, and as such the suspension is tuned more for a plush ride than sporty handling. Although the RX never feels floaty, those seeking a firmer dynamic should consider the Performance Package, which includes an air suspension along with 18-inch wheels fitted with lower-profile (235/55VR18 vs. 225/65SR17) performance tires.

Interior

Looking at the cabin of the Lexus RX 350, you'd never guess this is an entry-level luxury SUV. Real wood and leather trim on the console, door panels and steering wheel come standard and make for a rich ambience. Available features such as a rearview camera, adaptive headlights (which swivel slightly in the direction you are turning) and a voice-activated navigation system mean that this midsize luxury sport-ute gives up nothing to the more expensive prestige-brand SUVs when it comes to technology. The second-row seat reclines, slides fore and aft and is split 40/20/40 to optimize both passenger comfort and cargo-carrying flexibility. Behind that seat there are 38.3 cubic feet of luggage space; flip the seat down and cargo capacity increases to 85 cubes. Highly refined it its operation, the standard power liftgate makes life easier when the RX 350 is used as a beast of burden.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Lexus RX 350.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Lexus lives up to its reputation
Randall in Dallas,07/21/2016
4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I was looking for a mid-size SUV with power, luxury comfort, good handling, solid engineering, minimal maintenance and a quiet ride. I did a lot of research and test drove 7 different brands. The Lexus was clearly superior to all of the others. The RX350 checked all of the boxes and then some. It is as solid as a tank but it drives like a sport sedan. I knew I'd be sacrificing some MPG to get the power & responsiveness I wanted but I have been very pleased with the mileage considering I drive about 75% city and 25% highway. If I ever get tired of this car I know my next one will be a Lexus too. **Update: I have now owned this Lexus for more than a year and my original review still stands. I've had no maintenance issues and am still delighted with this vehicle.
Love this RX 350!
Mark Wilhoite,09/21/2016
4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
This is my second RX. The first was a 04 RX 330. I like this car so much better because it has the larger 3.5 engine and along with that no timing belt to replace! This model also has updated navigation and Bluetooth along with voice command. I love the Lexus brand and the great reviews this car has. I recommend it!
My Car Is Smarter Than I Am
Rhonda Gaines,05/06/2018
4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
If you are thinking about a Lexus RX350 Just Do IT! I was overthinking and unsure when I decided to buy this car because it had belonged to my mechanic. I trust him because he works on my BMW Z3 and had an urgent need for another car when my Volvo experienced a sudden death. "It's just another car" I thought. Boy was I wrong. I LOVE and ADORE this car. The heated seats are a treat. The stereo system, navigation and blue tooth were easy to figure out. The first time it rained i was laughing all the way home as the sensing system turned the wipers on and off as needed. Seriously? When a dash light came on I though "uh OH". the honeymoon is over, now the problems start. Nope, it was telling me my (full size) SPARE tire was low. Everything about this car is delightful. Cargo space is huge, back seats have their own cup holders. The push button tailgate is wonderful. I never imagined a car could do all this. Mostly I feel safe in the car. It's big, roomy but drives responsively. I still miss my '94 Volvo may he rest in peace but this car, even used is my perfect choice.
Excellent family car!
bonfig8,11/28/2010
After years and years of research for the perfect "next" family car, my husband and I settled on a used (2008) RX 350, and couldn't be happier. We had bought a Chrysler Pacifica when they first came out in 2004 and had terrible luck with reliability, but couldn't justify trading it in until we got our money out of the thing. So basically we have been looking for the next car for 7 years. Having 2 younger children we were set on another three row vehicle, but were not happy with the costs of a new Pilot, Acadia, Highlander, etc. We then looked at the two row luxury market and almost got a Volvo xc70. I'm so glad we test drove the certified used RX 350 first. Love it!!! and the price.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2008 Lexus RX 350 features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2008 Lexus RX 350

Used 2008 Lexus RX 350 Overview

The Used 2008 Lexus RX 350 is offered in the following submodels: RX 350 SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A), and 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Lexus RX 350?

Price comparisons for Used 2008 Lexus RX 350 trim styles:

  • The Used 2008 Lexus RX 350 Base is priced between $6,850 and$12,888 with odometer readings between 60706 and200623 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2008 Lexus RX 350s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Lexus RX 350 for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2008 RX 350s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,850 and mileage as low as 60706 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Lexus RX 350.

Can't find a used 2008 Lexus RX 350s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Lexus RX 350 for sale - 10 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $14,099.

Find a used Lexus for sale - 8 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $11,193.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus RX 350 for sale - 6 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $10,814.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus for sale - 10 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $24,602.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 Lexus RX 350?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Lexus lease specials
Check out Lexus RX 350 lease specials