2013 Lexus RX 350 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Premium cabin design and materials
  • plush ride
  • comfortable rear seating
  • generous standard features.
  • Expensive options packages
  • no third-row seat option
  • pointless F Sport package.
List Price Range
$12,966 - $23,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2013 Lexus RX 350 leads when it comes to providing a plush ride, a luxurious cabin and everyday utility. For most buyers, those attributes should be enough to overcome its rather uninspiring driving dynamics.

Vehicle overview

Pioneering products often fall out of favor and get pushed aside as newer, improved or more innovative things come onto the scene. The Lexus RX was a pioneer at one point, introducing the world to the luxury car-based SUV. Eventually, this type of vehicle would be dubbed "crossover" as more entries flooded the market. Yet despite this torrent of competition over the years, today's 2013 Lexus RX 350 definitely hasn't been pushed aside, as it remains the best-selling luxury crossover.

A reputation for reliability and a devoted customer base certainly helps in this regard, but the RX 350 still feels suitably new, improved and innovative. This competitiveness is certainly attributable to the fact that the RX is only two years removed from a complete overhaul. Comfortably seating five passengers, the RX boasts a high-class interior, an impressively smooth ride and a pleasing array of standard features.

The RX also packs the latest high-tech features you can use without leaving you feeling as if you need to keep a 13-year-old on standby to explain how everything works. The navigation system, for example, features the Lexus Remote Touch interface that utilizes a mouselike controller with tactile feedback. It's been updated for 2013 for improved functionality and control, and although it still requires one to pay a fair amount of attention to the screen, it's still pretty easy to use. For those who can stand toe-to-toe with that 13-year-old, the Lexus Enform suite of apps ties the car into Internet-based services like Pandora, iHeart Radio, Open Table or MovieTickets.com.

In addition to the Remote Touch updates, the 2013 RX gets subtle styling tweaks that add a little more visual flair to its face and a new F Sport model that features an eight-speed automatic transmission and a sport-tuned suspension. However, its ride is unpleasantly firm and there is no dynamic improvement -- in fact, our track testing showed its handling, braking and acceleration to be worse than the regular RX. We would avoid it.

F Sport aside, we recommend the 2013 Lexus RX 350. However, that doesn't make it an automatic choice. The new Infiniti JX35 is generously sized, providing an adult-friendly third-row seat. The Acura MDX may not be quite as spacious, but it still seats an additional two passengers, is more involving to drive and matches the RX 350's reputation for reliability. If you don't need quite as much space as the JX and MDX provide, the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Volvo XC60 are all excellent smaller luxury crossovers. But overall the RX 350 continues to maintain its top-tier status, even if it's no longer a pioneer.

2013 Lexus RX 350 models

The 2013 Lexus RX 350 seats five people and is available in a single trim level. The hybrid RX 450h is covered in a separate review.

Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, foglamps, LED running lamps, rear privacy glass, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats with two-way adjustable lumbar, a leather-wrapped power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a sliding and reclining rear seat, cloth upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Safety Connect emergency communications, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a nine-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The Display Audio With Back-up Monitor package adds a rearview camera, a larger central display screen, Bluetooth phonebook download capabilities, the Lexus Remote Touch electronics interface, the Enform suite of app-based features, real-time traffic and other information, and a 12-speaker sound system with HD radio and iTunes song tagging.

The Premium package adds a sunroof, power-folding mirrors, roof rails, a rearview camera, leather upholstery and driver memory functions.

If that's not enough stuff, the Comfort or Navigation packages can be added to the Premium package. Comfort adds automatic wipers, xenon headlamps and heated and ventilated front seats (available separately). Navigation adds the Display Audio with Back-up Monitor contents plus a navigation system and voice controls.

The Luxury package requires the Premium, Comfort and Navigation packages. To them it adds 19-inch wheels, LED headlamps (available separately), 10-way power front seats, a heated wood/leather steering wheel, upgraded leather upholstery and a smog-sensing auto climate control recirculation.

The F Sport package adds to all-wheel-drive models 19-inch wheels, an eight-speed automatic transmission, a sport-tuned suspension, special exterior styling elements, special white-accented interior trim and perforated leather upholstery. The wheels and special styling can be added to front-drive models with the Sport package.

The Navigation and Luxury packages can be enhanced with a head-up display, a dual-screen rear entertainment system and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system. Other stand-alone options include an automatic parallel parking system and adaptive cruise control with a pre-collision warning system (requires all-wheel drive).

2013 Highlights

The Lexus RX 350 gets revised styling for 2013 that brings it in line with the brand's new design direction. The interior receives a few design and functionality enhancements as well, while the standard equipment list expands to include a power liftgate and iPod/USB audio interface. A new F Sport package gets special styling cues, a sport-tuned suspension and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Performance & mpg

The 2013 Lexus RX 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 270 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. The F Sport package requires all-wheel drive and includes an eight-speed automatic.

In Edmunds performance testing, a front-wheel-drive RX 350 went from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, which is average for the class. The F Sport was actually a little slower.

EPA-estimated fuel economy with the six-speed automatic is 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 18/24/20 with all-wheel drive. Lexus-estimated fuel economy is 18/26/21 for the F Sport.

Safety

Every 2013 Lexus RX 350 comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags, side curtain airbags, front knee airbags and the Safety Connect emergency communications system that includes automatic collision notification, an emergency assist button and stolen vehicle location services. The optional adaptive cruise control system includes a pre-collision warning system.

In Edmunds brake testing, an RX 350 came to a stop from 60 mph in an excellent 114 feet, which is 10 feet shorter than average. Curiously, the supposedly sportier F Sport came to a stop in a disappointing 131 feet.

In government crash testing, the RX 350 received four out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars for frontal-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the RX 350 the highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Driving

When it comes to ride quality, the 2013 Lexus RX 350 doesn't disappoint. The compliant suspension and plentiful sound insulation isolate passengers from the outside world in a silent bubble of luxury. The 3.5-liter V6 is notably quiet, but it's also powerful enough to swiftly accelerate this crossover with ease. The softly sprung suspension never feels floaty, while the steering provides more weighting and response than past RX models. Still, those seeking a more engaging driving experience should consider the Acura MDX or Audi Q5. We don't recommend the RX 350 F Sport, as it suffers from an overly firm and poorly damped ride, with no appreciable increase in driving feedback or involvement. Worse still, its handling and braking numbers at our track were actually worse than the regular RX 350.

Interior

Upscale appointments, exceptional cabin materials and cutting-edge tech features make the 2013 Lexus RX 350 look and feel suitably expensive for its price. Authentic wood trim and high-quality leather lend an air of opulence, and the optional Mark Levinson audio is one of the best sound systems on the market.

The controls are more complicated than past Lexus products, but then there are now more features that need controlling. When you opt for the Display Audio or Navigation packages, you get the Lexus Remote Touch system, which is essentially a mouselike device that allows the user to move among a variety of icons on a large, centrally located screen. It's a nifty technological achievement, but in practice, we've found it can draw too much attention away from the road. Some people love it, while others hate it -- we recommend playing around with it before you take an RX 350 home.

The front seats could use some extra adjustment range and thigh support, and lateral support is lacking. However, rear passengers will find the seating roomy and comfortable thanks to reclining and sliding adjustments. There's also ample luggage and cargo space, with as much as 40 cubic feet behind the 40/20/40-split-folding rear seats and 80 cubes with them stowed. There is no third-row seat, however, so those who have an occasional need to schlep the neighbors' kids around should consider an Acura MDX or Infiniti JX35.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Lexus RX 350.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Pleasantly Surprised
sh4n,10/08/2012
Test-drove the audi q5, mercedes glk and rx350. I decided to got with the rx350 because it had an amazing feel to it, very luxurious. I had a rav4 (v4) prior to this, I used to average 10.8L/100km. In the rx I average 11.5L/100km, wow. I also felt like it was roomier than the q5 and glk. It cost me more than the german competitors and it was worth it. I really enjoy driving this car and if Lexus keeps their standards high I can see my self purchasing another one in 4 years. I got mine in Starlight Black Mica (the colour glows in the sun) with the saddle tan interior. I am loving this combination. The LEDs and new corporate grill make this car look much more sportier than before.
Absolutely LOVE it.......
Wind Hill,03/13/2015
4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I just purchased my first Lexus a few days ago and it was the best decision that I had ever made. The vehicle is so comfortable and well built. The quality of the vehicle is absolutely outstanding. The interior is very well made & plush. This vehicle has all the features. The vehicle is so quiet and I just love it. I used to own a 2012 Cadillac and it was so uncomfortable and very noisy! This will not be my last Lexus. I am sure that I will purchase another one in the near future. Carrie
Elegance, Sophistication, Power
Diane Cartwright,02/11/2016
4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Lexus spoiled me. After driving my GS 300 22 years and 191,100 miles I thought I'd like to drive a newer car. I test drove several Toyotas including the Highlander and was close to being sold until I went across the street to Lexus. Ah, the comfort of my GS 300, the beauty of the elegant lines, gorgeous starfire pearl exterior and parchment interior and supremely quiet inside. How could I ever accept any other car? I can't, never will. This is a most exceptional car and, after looking and researching this model for 3 years, I finally have my dream car. It's about as perfect as one will find with a roomy interior and power on the road. What a beautiful, elegant vehicle. There is only one little annoyance: I'm a petite person at 5'2" and, even when the driver's seat is adjusted as high as possible, I cannot see on the other side of either side mirrors. The size and placement of the mirrors completely blocks my view of any other car that may be close to me. I have to jump up and arch around the impediment to see any car I might hit or any curb I approach in a turn. My GS 300 had the mirrors lower than eye level and I never had a problem seeing any other cars. For this reason my next car will probably be another Lexus but a more driver-friendly, safer view one. Word to the wise: Be sure your Lexus RX 350 Is made in Japan not in North America. Nothing excels Japanese attention to detail, pride in workmanship and acceptance of nothing less than perfection. Teaching American workers about technical requirements doesn't convey teaching ethics and a sense of self worth that extends to Japanese made products. Those are the cultural differences. You'll be able to tell the country of manufacture by the VIN number. When it begins with a "J" it's made in Japan. Anything else, like a "2" and it's made in Canada. You take your chances if it's not made by the Japanese. I've been researching ultralight, featherweight travel trailers and see my 2013 model can only tow 3500 pounds maximum which limits choices in travel trailers. I don't want to buy a more powerful Lexus so may have to compromise on the RV. I'm also reticent about having a trailer hitch installed. The car is just so beautiful I don't want to do anything to spoil the bumper. I may have to investigate a heftier transmission in a newer model but it will be Lexus or maybe Toyota Highlander if the ride has been improved.
Compliments my Porsche 911
Bob Heilweck,09/27/2016
F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
I just bought a 2013 Certified RX 350 F sport with 18,000 mi. and think it's a great car. I have always driven manual shift cars and this car is a nice luxury experience. I am in my early 70's and plan on this being my last car, which is why I bought a Lexus and not a German car. As far as the reviews, I don't quite understand. I have owned an early Porsche 911 for almost 25 years. This car is certainly not a Porsche, it was never intended to be. But I can hold my own on an autocross course, and I have driven this car on some curvy, decreasing radii turns requiring heavy braking, power on acceleration out of turns and weight transfer. I think this is a great car for what it is in the handling dept. Having driven Honda's for most of my life, if the quality is up to that standard (and I am sure that it is) I will be very happy.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2013 Lexus RX 350 features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2013 Lexus RX 350

Used 2013 Lexus RX 350 Overview

The Used 2013 Lexus RX 350 is offered in the following submodels: RX 350 SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Lexus RX 350?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Lexus RX 350 trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Lexus RX 350 Base is priced between $12,966 and$23,521 with odometer readings between 54261 and110460 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Lexus RX 350 F SPORT is priced between $20,000 and$20,000 with odometer readings between 86349 and86349 miles.

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Which used 2013 Lexus RX 350s are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2013 Lexus RX 350s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Lexus RX 350 for sale - 11 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,459.

Find a used Lexus for sale - 9 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $21,278.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus RX 350 for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $20,359.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus for sale - 1 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $22,030.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 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