2009 Lexus RX 350 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Premium cabin appointments, luxury sedan ride, easy-to-use high-tech features, rock-solid reliability history, excellent dealer service.
  • Plush ride suspension calibration makes for merely acceptable handling, third-row seat not available, expensive option packages.
List Price Range
$9,899 - $13,985

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Although competitors offer superior driving dynamics, the 2009 Lexus RX 350 will impress anyone shopping for a luxury crossover SUV with its plush ride quality, exceptional fit and finish, and ample day-to-day utility.

Vehicle overview

By the early 1990s, Lexus had solidified its reputation as a builder of upscale luxury vehicles that appealed to those who prized a magic carpet ride over sports car handling dynamics. In keeping with that philosophy, the company rolled out the first luxury crossover SUV, the RX 300, in 1999. Meeting affluent consumers' increasing desire for sensibly sized SUVs that were easy to drive in suburbia and furnished to luxury sedan standards, the RX 300 was a home run for Lexus. Contributing to its success was its easygoing personality, upscale cabin, virtually silent powertrain and outstanding build quality.

The next-generation RX (the 330) arrived for 2004, sporting more aggressive styling and a larger (3.3-liter) V6. Three years later, a more muscular V6 filled the engine bay, and the name changed to RX 350. Now in its sixth year, the second generation of Lexus' midsize crossover is nearing the end of its life cycle, yet it remains a strong choice in its segment.

Like other luxury crossover SUVs, the 2009 Lexus RX 350 is based on a car platform, in this case the 2002-'06 Toyota Camry. As one may rightfully assume, this makes the RX 350 a serene highway cruiser, but not exactly an athlete. Still, the current RX can be a touch sporty if equipped with the available air suspension and 18-inch wheels. Acceleration, on the other hand, would make Carl Lewis grin, thanks to that potent 3.5-liter V6 transplant that Lexus performed a few years ago.

Even when squaring off against more modern rivals, the 2009 Lexus RX 350 serves as a fine example of what a luxury crossover SUV should be. Yes, sportier competitors like the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Infiniti FX35 are better choices if corner-carving handling dynamics are a top priority. And 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.

2009 Lexus RX 350 models

The 2009 Lexus RX 350 is a luxury crossover SUV of midsize dimensions that seats five. Standard features include 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 a CD changer and steering-wheel-mounted controls) and second-row seats that slide and recline.

Leather upholstery is optional but the chances of finding a cloth-upholstered RX are highly unlikely. Most models will have the Premium Package, which adds leather seating, seat memory, a power tilt/telescoping wheel, a sunroof and a roof rack. Opt for Premium Plus and you'll also get adaptive bi-xenon HID headlights. The Performance Package includes all the preceding plus an adaptive air suspension and 18-inch wheels. This year also brings the Pebble Beach edition, which includes chrome wheels and grille accents, leather seating, walnut cabin accents and a golf-and-travel-themed gift pack.

Other extras available include a user-friendly 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. Other options include adaptive cruise control, front seat heaters, rain-sensing wipers and towing preparation.

2009 Highlights

Apart from a new Pebble Beach edition, the Lexus RX 350 sees no changes for 2009.

Performance & mpg

A 3.5-liter V6 rated at 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque powers the 2009 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 either version will run from zero to 60 mph in under 7.5 seconds.

Fuel economy estimates stand at 18 mpg city and 23 mpg highway for the FWD model, with the AWD version rating 17/22 mpg. Properly equipped, the RX 350 can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Safety

The RX 350 comes standard with front-seat side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags and a knee airbag for the driver. Standard stability- and traction-control systems as well as antilock brakes with brake assist are on hand to help one avoid an accident in the first place.

In government crash tests, the 2009 Lexus RX 350 scored a perfect five stars for driver and front passenger protection in frontal impacts. In side-impact tests, the RX 350 again 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 its frontal-offset crash testing.

Driving

In true Lexus fashion, the 2009 Lexus RX 350 possesses a smooth and sophisticated personality. Acceleration is swift and silent thanks to the 3.5-liter V6 and quiet cabin. 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 performance tires.

Interior

Although the RX 350 is an entry-level luxury SUV, the cabin gives the impression that this could be the company's flagship. Real wood and leather trim on the console, door panels and steering wheel come standard and make for a rich ambience. The optional Mark Levinson sound system rivals the best systems available anywhere, and the available voice-activated navigation system boasts one of the most user-friendly interfaces. Rear passengers can get comfortable thanks to the seat's reclining and sliding adjustments. That seat is split 40/20/40 to optimize both passenger comfort and cargo-carrying flexibility. When it's time to turn this luxury cruiser into a beast of burden, the standard power liftgate makes life easier and allows easy access to the RX 350's maximum cargo capacity of 85 cubic feet.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Lexus RX 350.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Oil cooler hose leak
Vikings Fan,09/10/2018
4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I bought my 2009 a year ago in 2017. Had no problems with the car until a few weeks ago, the car started smoking and I managed to stop the car in my driveway to notice that the oil was leaking out. Towed to a mechanic and they said there was a pinhole in the oil cooler hose. Apparently this was a defect in Toyota's and Lexus vehicles and Toyota sent a letter out to fix this for free up until 2013. I wish I had known this. If you own this vehicle and have not had this replaces, I would recommend going to a mechanic to see if it still has the old rubber hose and get it replaced. I am lucky that the engine didn't get ruined.
I love my Lexus
bryanjeffrey,03/20/2014
4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
I have a 2009 RX350. After driving Audi and BMW's for some time, I fell in love with the RX350. It is my daily commute car, the AWD is like Velcro in the snow and ice, and compares favorably with Audi's Quattro, which I still feel is probably the best AWD system there is. The RX has plenty of power (thank you again to the WI State Patrol officer for being so understanding), plenty of comfort and is ideal for long or short trips. Probably obvious, but make sure you use only synthetic oil. Mileage is good, performance is beyond solid for an SUV, it is a blast to drive, top end is very responsive and I have never lacked for acceleration when needed.
Nice Luxurious SUV-Strange Lack of Features
johnnymize6,06/07/2015
4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
We got this car for an insane deal from a family member. Only issue is a rear hatch that sometimes has a mind of its own and closes right when it opens up in power mode. We have to open it manually every so often, especially in the cold. Otherwise it only has required oil changes and basic maintenance. It's really quick, smooth, refined, and luxurious. It's extremely quiet inside and the interior has nice materials. The seats have bad leg support-my legs hang off of the end of the drivers seat. Otherwise it's extremely nice. It does handle pretty bad, however, with a slightly tippy feeling and some of the worst steering of any car I've driven. It feels like a video game with no feedback and is scary in the rain especially. The car also lacks Bluetooth and USB or aux imports, which is unacceptable in a 2009 luxury car. Our former 2008 Mazda had these!
Buying a used 2009 lexus rx350
phillip,09/22/2018
4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
Recently bought a used lexus rx350 suv from a lexus dealership in santa monica ca. The price of the car was about 9998.00 before taxes. Thought i did enough research for it before i bought it but i was mistaken. but I didn't take into consideration of dealing with the excitement of buying a car and a high pressure salesmen hovering around me. Those things really get into the way when you buy a used car. First off when i checked engine oil it was clean. Which is a good sign. Then i check the transmission oil and it was very dirty and unclean looking. First bad sign. Then checked the engine air filter which was brand new. Good sign. But forgot to check the cabin air filter. Which i found out later had never been changed... ever, which is a bad sign for maintenance from the owners. The salesmen didn't want me to touch this stuff but i did it anyways. On the test ride i missed several things...the air conditioning system was weak. The ride was bouncy. These missed items didn't come out til later after the driving the car for several hours. Knew i had to buy expensive struts for it and the air conditioning system was getting weaker and weaker as i drove it. Thought i was in for a very expensive air conditioning service. When i finally inspected the cabin air filter which was in the glove box i discovered that the filter was piled up high with every type of debris on it. Not sure how the air conditioning system even worked. Changing it out solved the problem and hopefully it didn't damage the system elsewhere. But it is blowing hard and strong for now. As for the struts will have to buy some kyb shocks over ebay and have someone install them for me. Kyb struts seems to be the choice for japanese cars. Other things i missed. I looked at the radiator fluid when i opened the radiator cap and it was brown which means rust...another bad sign. In the process of cleaning and flushing that right now...but is a long process of emptying the radiator...putting chemicals in it and flushing again and again then putting the right type of coolant that toyota uses. Also in the process of changing the trans fluid, another long process because toyota takes a special trans fluid. And the bolts are hard to get to for the transmission pan and all those bolts. But the list goes on. Checked for leaks underneath it and there was no leaks which is a good sign. But when i got home i noticed there was leaking oil underneath the car. Not sure if they put some of that space age stuff in the trans or engine to stop the leak temporary...but will have to deal with that problem later. So there you have it...what not to do when you buy a used car. I should have walked away when i saw that dirty trans oil and that brown rusted looking coolant in the radiator but i didn't. And i should have known by the carfax that had 6 service records of just engine oil changes only...just not good enough. Hopefully i can get all these thing sorted out because the vehicle is very clean inside and out. Also the thieves hit the car last nite. They wanted the covers for the roof rack it has. They just pop off at the ends of the roof rack and are easy to steal. Someone must have stole theirs and now they are returning the favor on me. Also those little roof rack covers that hide the bolts are about $50.00 bucks apiece.

Features & Specs

MPG
17 city / 22 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Gas
270 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
18 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed automatic
Gas
270 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all Used 2009 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 2009 Lexus RX 350

Used 2009 Lexus RX 350 Overview

The Used 2009 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 2009 Lexus RX 350?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Lexus RX 350 trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Lexus RX 350 Base is priced between $9,899 and$13,985 with odometer readings between 63139 and133916 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 2009 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) 2009 Lexus RX 350 for sale near. There are currently 6 used and CPO 2009 RX 350s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,899 and mileage as low as 63139 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 2009 Lexus RX 350.

Can't find a used 2009 Lexus RX 350s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Lexus RX 350 for sale - 4 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $16,957.

Find a used Lexus for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $25,325.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus RX 350 for sale - 10 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $8,740.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus for sale - 4 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $12,800.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 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.

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Check out Lexus RX 350 lease specials