2017 Lexus RX 350

2017 Lexus RX 350 Review

The 2017 Lexus RX 350 crossover SUV blends bold style and exceptional everyday luxury.
4.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

Comfort, quality and a carlike driving experience are key strengths of the 2017 Lexus RX 350. Although it falls short of its competitors in some ways, it's impeccably crafted and boldly styled. The RX is a smart pick if you're looking for a well-rounded luxury crossover.



what's new

For 2017, the Lexus RX 350 includes some previously optional safety features as standard equipment. The F Sport trim is now available in front-wheel drive.

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Even if you're not interested in a sporty crossover, we think the F Sport is the way to go. Its improved handling doesn't come at the expense of ride comfort thanks to its adaptive suspension, and its styling enhancements give the RX a bit more flair. As for options, it's largely up to you. Though the Remote Touch interface is far from great, chances are you'll end up with it anyway to get some of the RX's other bundled feature extras.




trim levels & features

The five-passenger 2017 Lexus RX 350 crossover is available in base and F Sport versions.

The base model comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine (295 horsepower, 268 pound-feet of torque), an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. (All-wheel drive is optional.) It's equipped with 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights and high beams, LED foglights and running lights, rear privacy glass, a power liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated-leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel and a 40/20/40-split rear seat.

Also standard is a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, Safety Connect emergency communications, a suite of drive safety aids (the Safety System+ package, including lane departure warning and intervention and forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic emergency braking), Bluetooth, an 8-inch display screen, a smartphone-integrated navigation system and a nine-speaker sound system.

The F Sport includes sportier exterior styling, 20-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, enhanced engine sound, transmission paddle shifters, unique gauges, heated and ventilated sport seats, leather upholstery and unique interior trim. The F Sport is also available with all-wheel drive.

Options are grouped into packages or are stand-alone items, and availability can depend on the trim level and region in which you live. The Premium package adds roof rails, auto-dimming side mirrors, automatic wipers, driver-seat memory functions, leather upholstery, wood trim and a rear armrest storage compartment. The Navigation package adds a navigation system, the Remote Touch tech interface, a larger 12.3-inch display (optional), voice controls, the Lexus Enform App Suite and a 12-speaker sound system.

The Luxury package includes the Premium package items and adds 20-inch wheels with choice of color inserts, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, rear door sunshades, upgraded leather upholstery, four-way lumbar adjustment for the front seats, heated rear seats, and power-folding/reclining rear seatbacks. A rear-seat entertainment system can be added to the Luxury package and includes two 11.6-inch adjustable screens, a DVD player, an HDMI port and a 120-volt household-style power outlet.

Other options include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a panoramic-view backup camera, either a regular or a panoramic sunroof, a towing package (with an upgraded cooling system), front and rear parking sensors, a hands-free power liftgate, upgraded LED headlights (with 18 individual LED accent lights), a color head-up display, a heated steering wheel and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.



trim tested

The RX 350 comes in just two versions, although it can be optioned in many ways. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Lexus RX 350 base model (3.5L V6; 8-speed automatic).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.5 / 5.0

Driving

4.0 / 5.0

Acceleration4.0 / 5.0
Braking3.5 / 5.0
Steering4.0 / 5.0
Handling4.0 / 5.0
Drivability4.5 / 5.0

Comfort

4.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort5.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration5.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.5 / 5.0

Ease of use4.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.5 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility4.5 / 5.0
Quality5.0 / 5.0

Driving

edmunds rating
The 3.5-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic make a great team. The RX 350 chassis also steers, handles and brakes with poise and balance, unless you drive it like some kind of Porsche and push it quite hard. It's engaging enough feel for most people but stops short of being a sporty SUV.

Acceleration

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The strong 3.5-liter V6 doesn't waste any time when you merge onto the highway or pass on a two-lane road, and the eight-speed automatic transmission is a willing partner. It sprinted to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds at our test track, a second slower than an Acura MDX and a BMW X5.

Braking

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The brakes give a reassuring and secure vibe in daily use, with steady response and consistent feel. But we did observe more nosedive and pull than expected in our 60-0 mph panic-stop tests, which ranged from a distance of 123 to 129 feet.

Steering

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The RX responds accurately to inputs, with steering effort that's neither too high nor too low. It nicely isolates road vibrations, too. But it can also feel vague, lacking some of the feedback that helps you judge how much to turn the wheel.

Handling

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You'll feel stable and secure in the RX 350, even when hustled on mountain roads. Body roll is gradual and smooth, and there isn't that much of it until you push it hard. It's not a sports car, but it's certainly no marshmallow that will upset sensitive tummies.

Drivability

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The fantastic eight-speed transmission delivers smooth and predictable shifts yet will still readily downshift as needed in response to throttle inputs. That's an increasingly rare trait — the competition holds on to top gear for dear life.

Comfort

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It's easy to see the RX 350 as a pleasant place to spend a long road trip. It has comfy seats with available intelligent heating and cooling, the cabin is quiet and serene, and the ride is mostly smooth. We say "mostly" because this current-generation RX favors control over pillowy softness.

Seat comfort

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We never tired of the sumptuous leather seats, which offer many adjustments and feature excellent heating and cooling with a unique automatic setting. The usual RX seat side bolsters are less prominent than with the F Sport seats.

Ride comfort

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The base RX ride is generally smooth and well damped unless the surface is uneven, at which point body movement can get busy (possibly because of the optional 20-inch wheels). The F Sport's adaptive suspension adds control without a comfort penalty.

Noise & vibration

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You won't find much in the way of wind rush or road noise, and the engine sound is refined. It's not that there's no noise at all; it's more a case of fairly low levels that are balanced with one another so no single source of noise stands out.

Interior

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This easy-to-master cockpit is a spacious and comfy place to pass the miles. Overall it's excellent, but the huge rear entertainment screens should give you pause, and the cargo area isn't as versatile as those of rivals, many of which also offer three rows of seats (of admittedly debatable use).

Ease of use

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The seating position is great, and the controls are easy to use. A nice mix of knobs and buttons. The massive 12.3-inch navigation screen is easy to read, and though the tech interface's Remote Touch joystick has been improved, it's still not an ideal interface.

Getting in/getting out

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Neither too tall nor too low, the seat height of the RX is about optimal. Wide-opening doors provide easy access, and the door sills are cut in fairly close to the seats. The power-memory steering wheel swings away to provide more clearance.

Roominess

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There's plenty of room up front, even with the panoramic sunroof present. The rear offers copious headroom and elbow room, but knee and toe space can be tight behind a tall driver. The optional rear headrest screens significantly reduce personal space.

Visibility

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The view forward and to the sides is unobstructed, and the rear three-quarter blind spot is moderate. Nicely sized outside rearview mirrors. The excellent (and optional) 360-degree camera system even has a perimeter scan feature.

Quality

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Although Lexus isn't immune from quality-control gaffes, the Japanese brand is so incredibly consistent with overall quality, fit and finish and detail that you'll be impressed with how well it holds together, even with extensive miles on the clock.

Utility

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Bold styling comes with a cost: reduced cargo capacity. Bulkier items are less likely to fit, and the 40/20/40-split folding seatback doesn't fold totally flat. Unless you're looking for max cargo and max luxury, don't consider it a deal-breaker. The optional hands-free power liftgate is a nice touch.

Technology

Befitting a luxury crossover, the RX 350 offers a generous set of standard safety and convenience tech. A robust list of options also covers a wide range of priorities, including a glorious panoramic sunroof, audiophile sound quality, heated surfaces, and decadent interior trim and upholstery.

Audio & navigation

Nice standard nine-speaker audio system comes with a CD player, USB, Bluetooth and an 8-inch display. Twelve- and 15-speaker upgrades and the optional navigation system come with an excellent 12.3-inch display but also the clumsy Remote Touch mouse-like controller.

Smartphone integration

The Lexus Enform App suite includes now-common apps and services such as Pandora, Slacker and iHeartRadio, Yelp, OpenTable and Facebook Places. Other services include fuel station/price search and real-time traffic, sports and stock information.

Driver aids

Includes a nice complement of standard safety tech and driver aids such as a rearview camera, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and lane departure/keeping assist. Helpful upgrades include surround-camera view, blind-spot monitoring, and front and rear parking sensors.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.