I was very hesitant to buy the '16 model because of the huge grill but I decided I could get used to it. After a test drive I was sold. This vehicle is much, much quieter than my 2006 RX 400h. I will say that I really miss the CVT though. I opted for the Lexus Safety System and the blind spot monitor. The all-speed cruise control works great. It has taken me into freeway stop & go traffic and done fine. I really like the ability to choose the following distance (100, 130 or 160 feet) from a steering wheel mounted button. I'm not as impressed with the lane centering feature so I mostly leave it off. There is a front facing camera that "sees" lane lines and will make steering wheel inputs to keep you in the lane. It feels like there's a little invisible hand on the wheel making slight wheel inputs - which may not be the ones you want to make. It's a very odd sensation. The front camera also can detect human forms over 3 feet tall and will try to avoid hitting one up to about 50 mph. I have no experience with this and hope never to test it. The front facing radar is smarter than I expected it to be. I was afraid of sudden braking when a driver moved into the buffer area between you ant the car you had been following because if you leave a 100 -160 foot buffer in front of you it will certainly happen. However when it happens the system adjusts slowly just like I would. The blind spot monitoring / cross traffic radars in the rear are equally smart and seem to give warning at a greater distance when the car in the rear is closing at a rapid rate. Backing out of a parking space is much easier now when the radar units are looking for cars & the backup camera can recognize people walking behind you & sound a warning. Overall I'm very impressed with the safety systems. The new position prediction lines on the backup camera are a huge improvement over a wide angle camera with no lines line the one on the old Lexus. I also loved my old HID headlights and was very pleased to find the LED headlights gave me an equivalent amount of illumination. The 12 inch navigation screen turned out to be worth the extra money. I can set it up to split the screen to have both nav and my quick dial list showing. The joystick input device takes some getting used to but after a little use I can live with it. The voice recognition system is still poor although better than the nearly nonfunctional system on the old '06 model. I tried to get the nav system to give me guidance to an airport about 60 miles away and the best I could do while driving was to get the system to display the nearest 5 airports - none of which I wanted. I could have pressed my assist button & asked the operator to download the route into my nav system but I just waited until I was within about 20 miles and it showed up on the 'closest' list so I could select it. The nav system does have a HUGE weakness though and that is finding a shortest route during a recalculation. You are better off stopping the car, deleting the route and starting from scratch if you want to modify the route but allow the nav to recalculate a route at the end of your modification. A Garmin GPS does a much better job of both initial routing and recalculating a route. I love the ability to receive texts while driving and having them read to me. Even better is the ability to activate my iPhone Siri from the steering wheel and having 'her' send a text for me using only voice commands. Previously my texts went unread and unanswered until I stopped the car. My vehicle was delivered with the towing prep package. This made it incredibility easy to install a hitch I ordered from a company on the Internet. It took an extra body to help hold it up but in 20 minutes with a socket wrench I had the hitch & electrical connector installed. I'm really pleased with my purchase. Some systems are excellent and others are just ok or need some improvement but overall it's a very nice package.
I traded my 2005 RX for the new 2016 model. I was ready to get a new RX two years ago but waited to see the new model as I saw the news trickle in over the past year. My 2005 RX was in great shape and a joy to drive so we had the luxury of waiting. I worked with the local Lexus dealer to keep me informed, put a deposit to hold one of the first units delivered and bought mine November 6th. Normally I would not buy a new model this early but it's a Lexus and I have had zero problems with the previous one and none thus far with the 2016. So, I can somewhat compare to my 2005 which had all options and the new model which has all options except AWD which I did not want. First, this car is larger than the earlier models. The specs don't tell the reality but you can see it and feel it in the interior. The exterior look for me was a bonus. I have the 20" wheels and they are awesome with the back inserts. The Triple Beam LED lighting and the aggressive grill give a younger appearance to the RX. Our exterior is Eminent White and interior Parchment. The interior layout is nicely done and mostly intuitive, especially is you have had a previous RX. As far as features, the Navigation and split screen on the 12.3" display is a big improvement to also control the audio, phone, climate and information. We had rain sensing windshield wipers before and would not buy a car without them. The big surprise was the color heads-up display which is integrated with the navigation and other information. Looks great and works great. Another feature we like is the Dynamic Cruise: Set it and the radar adjusts the distance set for moving traffic and it's all shown in the HUD (can't get any easier for interstate driving long distance). As far as performance, it's not a BMW and should not expect that type of car. It handles great for driving on rural and highway roads but don't take it to the track. The car is extremely quiet even at interstate speeds and local bumpy roads. For the almost two months of driving we have been getting about 25 MPG which is about what I expected. (If I was in Atlanta traffic I am sure it would be worse, but I moved from there). In summary, glad I waited. Not disappointed and surprised at the synergy of technology and driving experience. And of course the Lexus reliability. May keep this one for 11 years as well. UPDATE: It's been eight months and still love the car. I have not had any mechanical problems and just had the 6 month 5,000 mile check up. Amazing how Lexus can manufacture a total redesign and I got one of the first deliveries with no mechanical issues. The car is super quiet and fun to drive around town and interstates. As mentioned previously the navigation on the 12" screen paired with the color Heads Up Display is awesome. The one annoyance I have observed is the Lexus voice recognition command software. There is a comprehensive list of commands that work well when spoken as scripted but not very intuitive or forgiving. I am use to iPhone Siri level VR. However, I use the integrated Lexus Siri Hands Free capability often for many functions and that works well for phone and music. Overall, exceeded my expectations, highly recommended. ONE YEAR UPDATE: Not much to say other than the car has had no problems and I still love the car. Getting good gas mileage (25 combined) and have taken on several 500+ mile trips. Very comfortable and easy to drive. Navigation screen and Heads Up Display are great but map software not as current as iPhone and Google maps. There is a lot of features I am now getting comfortable with and also noticed the new RX has gotten the highest safety rating possible. Update July 2017 - No maintenance problems and rides like a champ. What is impressing me most is the gas mileage. I am getting 27+ on interstate driving and in town 22+. My previous RX got 16 / 21 so real happy about that. Also, still crazy about the Dynamic Cruise and Heads Up Display. Navigation and Voice Activation triage the weakest spot.
Car has an annoying drone noise when starting up and driving. Was told it was the exhaust and Lexus was designing a new system which when available would be installed. Have not been notified yet after 4 months. Intend to check with dealer to see what is happening. My guess is that if they are serious, the new system will be on the 2017 models and will then be available to be replaced on the 2016 cars for the people who complain. Since last posting, dealer replaced an exhaust assembly that Lexus Rep. suggested and car is fine now. It now sounds like it should for a Lexus. I am once again driving the Lexus I expected I would. Traded car for a 2017 RX 350 with all the available safety options and find the car to be quieter and more responsive than the 2016 was. Exhaust problem no longer is an issue and overall the car is now a pleasure to drive.
The throttle on the RX 350 has a .O6 sec documented delay. A dealer diagnostic tech hooked up a data collection program to the vehicle and was able to graph the "Dead point delay". The case was sent to the factory techs twice and was acknowledged as "Normal operational standards". This effectively removes the drive active control of the throttle. I have never driven a car that does not respond to every impulse I have while I operate a car. Wireless deadbanding is "Not" the hallmark of safety. You can't have any human controlled machine set to not respond to instantanious correction. The car is never allowed to decide when it wants to add or subtract power. The driver is suppose to be in charge. This is grossly unsafe.
We waited for this car for over a year when we needed to get an SUV. It is hands down much better than the 2015 model with it's looks, ride, and interior quality. I was coming from a 2003 BMW 325i with the sports package so I wanted to get something that wasn't pillowy and had composure when making quick turns. The RX is very nimble and is particularly responsive with the Sports+ mode, as many have alluded to in reviews that the F-sport trim provides the taught steering and suspension that gives it more of a car-like feel. Gas mileage would have been better with the 450h but once you get up to cruising speed on the freeway you can lift and coast somewhat to achieve some pretty decent mpg's. We are still pretty ginger on the accelerator so I can't say how much power it has, but it is definitely there if I need it. That being said, the eco-mode definitely has a conservative tune and if you want to punch it to beat cars when coming on from an onramp, the Sports/Sports+ mode will get it done. The f-sport seat bolsters are kind of raised too much to my liking and I worry that the leather will get worn out from excessively getting in and out, but once in the seat, I fit perfectly and it is very comfortable.